Thanks to technology and media, particularly the internet, our grasp on information and creative inspiration has grown expansively, and as a result, the unimaginable has become manageable.
Exquisite underwater dining in Dubai is but a few clicks away. Wanna fly to work? No problem! Need to tailor a touchscreen to your shirt? Here you go! At this rapid rate of outliving yesterday’s impossibilities, we could easily be “wearing” virtual shirts without even having to wear them in the near future. But then, where do we draw the line? When do things stop being real altogether?
French philosopher Jean Baudrillard theorized technology and media as key phenomena that blur the distinctions between reality and simulacra, things that are similar to reality. Literally and figuratively applying these omnipresent and penetrative aspects of our lives, Bonseok Koo concisely envisions Baudrillard’s concept in his latest series of LED nightscapes, City of Illusion.
Illuminating thirteen different city skylines, City of Illusion imagines quintessential visions of today’s metropolitan cities. Each piece, with its own depth of color and detail, mimics the nighttime hustle and bustle of city traffic and cloud-touching skyscrapers. Fabricated from hundreds of LEDs, these “cities” remind us of the continuity and vibrant movement expected and learned of a city. Koo’s point precisely is that they merely remind us. Because these “cities” are derivatives of an actual place and are rather simulacra of a shared reality, the artist shines light on the growing conundrum of what is real.