Keywords of the Greater Bay Area



Chen Qiufan

Electronic Ruins

Every defective electronic device, every forgotten or abandoned account in the corners of the cloud and local servers where indexing fails, is a patch of electronic ruins existing in a quantum state. You would barely notice its existence unless you dove through it with incredible skill; only then would its co-temporal lyricism and beauty shine through. These data ghosts, labeled “useless,” do not cease to exist but rather wait for reincarnation in an immeasurably virtual netherworld. Their existence depends on the speed of degradation of the stored natural materials or their robustness in the face of the many disasters caused by the Anthropocene. Their lifespan exceeds the physiological lifespan of the human species. These electronic ruins are preserved in the form of the remains or the excesses of human civilization. The Hawking radiation triggered by a near-Earth miniature black hole swallowing matter plays the role of an awakener; those neutrino storms penetrate the Earth’s crust and mantle, activating the resonance of the residual storage medium with an incomprehensible, complex spatio-temporal order so that new life is born in the decentralized electronic ruins. The trivial human memories of past lives are reorganized into a magnificent creation myth in which the human becomes the object, while data is the subject of God’s creation and annihilation.

(Translated by Fiona He)

About Keywords of the Greater Bay Area

The "Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area" is a new construction envisioned from a top-down perspective and territorial integration. It is a blueprint for a future urban development based on efficiency, speed, and mobility. What if we conceive the Greater Bay Area as an experiment, an imaginary experiment? On the one hand, there is the question of 'diversity'. When we talk about smart cities, artificial intelligence, automation, ecological crisis, information security, the future of virtual reality, global trade, etc., where does this view of the future come from, and what determines it? On the other hand, a profound political, spatial, historical, and geographical significance is present in the Greater Bay Area. Is it possible to develop a different imagination based on the history and culture of the "Pearl River Delta-Greater Bay Area;" meaning, to consider a development departing from local knowledge production, negotiating with accelerating technologies, facilitating collaborations between art and other disciplines, and reshaping the vision of institutions of art and technology? By exploring the diversity of technologies, human and non-human ecologies, and reproduction of social relations, might it be possible to reposition the "Greater Bay Area" as a pioneering experiment of southern China's technological and cultural imagination beyond a mere economic zone?

Editors: Jianru Wu, Guo Yun
English editor: Christy Lange