Staff Picks: Yuyan Wang

Staff Picks: Yuyan Wang


Yuyan Wang, One Thousand and One Attempts to Be an Ocean (excerpt), 2021.

July 1, 2022
Staff Picks: Yuyan Wang
July 1–31, 2022
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e-flux Video & Film is very pleased to present Yuyan Wang’s One Thousand and One Attempts to Be an Ocean (2021, 11 minutes) as the July 2022 edition of our monthly series Staff Picks.

“It’s an exploration of a world that can all too often fall into the superficial that recognizes its pleasures as well as its pitfalls.” (Berlinale, 2020)

In One Thousand and One Attempts to Be an Ocean, Wang Yuyan creates a visual ocean brimming with deep emotions and a feeling of uncanniness. Wang’s vibrant and colorful video juxtaposes the monotony and superficiality of current internet iconography with the unexpected thrill of rediscovering the (un)known. It reflects on the experience of not being able to see the world with depth perception. Overall, these images may be seen as a mirror of the society of spectacle, as well as an ecological and social critique of the inexorable entropy of our information societies— groundless waves we are all together drowning in. What one hears is the question.

Watch the film here.

Yuyan Wang (b. 1989, China) is a filmmaker and multidisciplinary artist living in Paris. She graduated from Le Fresnoy—National Studio of Contemporary Arts in 2020 and from the Beaux-Arts of Paris in 2016. Wang’s work oscillates between film and installation, often taking an immersive perspective. Her works focus on the mutation of elementary materials and examine the industrial production chain of images with its endless development towards an abstraction of reality. Beyond the transcription of hypnotic atmospheres generated by omnipresent media, her projects portray alienating industrial labor, revealing how the mechanical and repetitive relationship provokes workers into a state close to trance. Poetic and political, her approach aims to radiograph modern productivism’s mutations since the beginning of the twenty-first century. Her practice of image recycling is a form of detournement regarding the economy of attention.

About the series 
e-flux Video & Film: Staff Picks is a monthly streaming series of staff picks and recommended videos designed to disrupt the monotony of an algorithm. Before the end times of big data, we used to discover suggested content along dusty shelves in video rental stores, where Post-it notes scribbled by shift workers implored us to experience the same movies that made them guffaw, scream, or weep. Sometimes the content bored us, sometimes it overwhelmed us, and sometimes, as if by magic, it was just right. e-flux invites you to relive this rental store mode of perusal, with personalized picks curated through judgment that does not take into consideration your viewing history. 

For more information, contact program [​at​]

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July 1, 2022

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