Nyff Review: ‘Dragonfly Eyes’ Captures the Malleability of Postmodern Identity

The modern pervasiveness of surveillance technology causes an unfamiliar type of cognitive dissonance where their use is collectively recognized but an innate fear of privacy lost has been pushed into the subconscious. Whether it’s security cameras posted in neighborhood bodegas, webcams affixed to almost every laptop made after 2010, or the increasing appearance of dash cams, nestled inside vehicles that can capture either the pure mundanity of the metropolitan commute or the underlying tension of it mortally barreling out of control: they’re watching, and the rapid proliferation of public-monitoring equipment makes it hard to tell who “they” are — if anybody — or why they bother to watch in the first place. Chinese visual artist Xu Bing, whose previous work includes a calligraphic book and installation piece, Tianshu, that deconstructs the logical patterns we associate with language — in this case, interpreting 4,000 nonsense characters designed to look like Mandarin — boldly approaches the
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