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Alice Yang

Lives and works in New York USA.

YRWICM (2014)

Video installation


Bliss names your mother's favorite yoga joint, the vegan gluten-free restaurant in gentrified Brooklyn, the Asian-esque spa hidden far from downtown, and the raw food lifestyle blog.  It is a hermetic word describing a response without responsibility and escape without placement.  By locating Bliss we find its demographic - the contemporary replacement of demonstration or democracy - and the callousness of its appropriation (of Nirvana, of yoga, of Zen), the superficiality of its image (of women, of nature, of green), and the other end of its implications.  Bliss is the name of contemporary anxiety about ecological disaster, neoliberalism, and the reformation of identities and time.


Bliss is a digitized stock photo taken during the 90s that was the default for Windows XP chosen for its lack of tension and sense of peace.  The creator of the image says: "[I]t's attractive, easy on the eye and doesn't detract from other items that might be on the screen are all contributing factors. It may also have been chosen because it's an unusually inviting image of a verdant landscape and one that promotes a sense of wellbeing in desk-bound computer users."


I activate the field of the Bliss Windows XP desktop image into an imagemap pointing to several fragmented, flattened, and deactivated screenshots, blown up and abstracted, of the websites of bliss-centric industries.  The landscape becomes an archive in this project of the repetition of sleeping women, wholesome meals, and bath products in the propagation of bliss.  The original purpose of these found images are made inaccessible and anonymous and are paired with text as pseudo-captions.  The purpose of captioning the abstracted images is to hold abstraction accountable to what is outside of its production.  The text as the only creation of the artist in a virtuality of appropriated images is the footnote that pushes interaction as is commonly undertaken into an act of translation.