One Thousand and One Attempts to Be an Ocean

Yuyan Wang

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Staff Picks One Thousand and One Attempts to Be an Ocean
Yuyan Wang

11 Minutes

Staff Picks

July 1–30, 2022

“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, Yuyan Wang 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.

One Thousand and One Attempts to Be an Ocean is presented on e-flux Video & Film as the July 2022 edition of Staff Picks.

For more information, contact program [​at​] e-flux.com.

Film, Music, Internet, Data & Information
Experimental Film, Video Art, Water & The Sea
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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.


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