Review by Hong Yu
For the forty-year anniversary of Ars Electronica, the YAIR Platform from Berlin has commissioned digital artist Wu Juehui, a significant architectural installation “Bit Tower” at the St Mary’s Cathedral in Linz, the biggest cathedral in Austria.
Wu is a media artist from Hangzhou and has exhibited widely with international institutions. This is the first time for the artist to exhibit a monumental sitespecific sound installation at Ars Electronica 2019.
The artist has produced built environments to bring viewers closer to a cocktail of sound and light, a physical and psychological experience inside the Mariendom.
As one of the post-internet generation of artists, Wu Juehui ’s practice in many ways embraces the minimalist aesthetic of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The artist attempts to reduce to the barest minimum what is necessary for an action, object or intervention to be declared an artwork. Paying tribute to Bruce Nauman and Bill Viola and many other early explorers, Wu doesn’t cease challenging the technical aspect of site-specific installation. He uses all sorts of phenomena as the actual material, together with technical components, yet the solution behind it is very minimalistic and elegant. Visitors on site, are invited into the installation.
The physical journey through the Bittower places the various light waves, sound waves and electronic signals into an unfolding context that allows the viewer to understand the language of Wu’s work.
Bit-tower in this sense is a real-time installation that converts physical forms through electronic media into visual, sonic, emotional residue within the artwork’s audience.