Desert Production (2017)

November 2017, Beijing. The government started a series of actions in order to control the exploding populations of Beijing, including force many migrant workers to leave their accommodation in a limited time. While everyone is discussing this issue, the term “low-end population” was found used in the government reports or files related to this series of actions, which further became one of the keywords showing up in all kinds of media outlets and was unsurprisingly censored by the government. On social media like WeChat, tons of articles posted by self-media was deleted or limited from access.

Desert Production is an online “performance” piece corresponding to this specific situation. The artist found out that the deleted or censored posts still remain their links, could be forwarded or reposted, but couldn’t be accessed by anyone. They are invalid pointers pointing to Null, in some way, like zombies: dead while weirdly living and cannot be killed again. So the artist reposted one of these empty links to his social media timeline for as many times as these posts will take over the place of other’s timeline for a full screen with a sentence: “Welcome to the desert.” He also sent out invitations to friends and strangers to attend this virtual performance, to produce the artificial “information desert” on the social media landscape.