de Sarthe is pleased to announce its fourth solo exhibition for Beijing- and New York- based contemporary artist Lin Jingjing, titled, "Lov-Lov Shop". As a continuation of her interdisciplinary project "Lov-Lov" (2018-), the exhibition explores the contradicting effects of technological and social development and our consequential dependence on material consumption and obsession with the self. In this exhibition, Lin suggests that the foregone conclusion to humankind’s present-day social dilemmas may result in fundamentally altering what it means to be human. "Lov-Lov Shop" opens on May 25 and runs through July 6.
Technological advancement continues unabated under the guise of efficiency and convenience. Automation technology – namely artificial intelligence (AI) – assists humans in countless fields, often outperforming them. The best chess players in the world are no longer human beings, and Lin’s "Lov-Lov Shop" asks: “What if the best lovers and life partners were also no longer human?” The 6-channel video "You Need To Be Careful With Me: I Fall In Love And I Fall In Love Forever" (2019) is a commercial advertisement that introduces a new AI lover to an eager audience. Using images and footage appropriated from movies with text overlay, Lin presents a dystopian world where direct human interactions can be replaced by ordering a personalized robot that is tailored to meet our intimate and emotional needs.
Taking over half the space, "Lov-Lov Shop" (2019) is an advertising campaign that promotes customizable artificial companions, both romantic and platonic. Customers can modify their Lov-Lov Robots down to details such as socioeconomic class, cultural history, language, age, temperament, appearance, interests, sense of humor, and the degree of closeness and dysfunction. Other than fulfilling your personal desires, Lov-Lov Robots also will take into account your need for social validation and will incorporate these needs into a completely closed and manageable system, eliminating the need for human interaction and thus the possibility for unwanted conflict and drama.
"Lov-Lov Book" (2019) is an advertisement for a book written by AI authors. The publication purports to explain the perks of being a patron of Lov-Lov Shop and why users no longer need humanity.
Titled after their slogan, "We Have Solutions" (2019) is a parallel set of posters that promotes special mind-altering medication, such that one can alter their sense of reality. A medication regime can supply users with feelings they have deeply longed for or solve their emotional problems outright.
Lin’s "Second to None" (2019) and "A New Dawn For America" (2019) illustrates a presidential election campaign run by an AI candidate. Consisting of a detailed speech and strategy, the campaign is delivered through five projections atop a single, white cube. Expanding from her other works, Lin questions the application of AI in wide-scale social engineering and the phenomenon of technology dictating political, economic, and social evolution.
With the accelerating speed of technological development, our identities are increasingly shaped and presented in digital form. Social interactions and personal growth can be streamlined by transitioning relationships and identities into the digital realm. Lin’s alluring but facetious new series comments on our absurd desire to simplify existence and what it means to be human. Lov-Lov Shop warns us that as a society, our selfishness and our inflexible obsession with fulfilling each and every desire could lead us to a developmental dead-end.