Baik Art Gallery

Chaos Kong

CHAOS KONG | 12 July – 12 August 2023

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Chu MIRIM treats the grid and the pixel as formative languages at the boundary between design and fine art. She has developed a unique and refined world in her art by taking internet technology and data as subjects for her work.

Chu focuses on the data that makes the web and city work in a ‘data-driven society’. While we are not actively aware of it, invisible data and the technology that processes it have already permeated every corner of our daily lives. Proof of data’s dominance in our lives ‘away from keyboard’ was established during a Kakao Talk data center fire in Pangyo last year. The fire caused a service failure due to simple physical damage to the server battery, and almost all of society stopped. When the messenger went down, communication was cut off and it was impossible to call a taxi or pay at a cafe. Daily life became chaos. When the data linked to the smartphone became unavailable, we could not summon even trivial memories such as photos or contacts. Now, the data cloud has become the external brain that stores memories and relationships.

In the exhibition Chaos Kong Chu intends to reconsider the daily life of a data-driven society that we experience in modern times. The artist becomes a ‘Chaos Kong’, referencing an engineering strategy ‘Chaos Monkey’ developed by Netflix that slows down the network or stops the entire group of machines in order to test for potential failures, while recording data loss. ‘Chaos Kong’ refers to the highest level of Chaos Monkey, designed to reduce errors in data processing systems. Such chaos engineering is an experiment to intentionally generate and build solutions proactively ahead of problems that may occur in the operating environment.

Chu examines the transformation and loss of data that she has created and backed up since 2001, and reinterprets the scrap data that could not be backed up due to incomplete synchronization. In Chu’s art, first of all, the daily environment of the contemporary era is set as the web and the city. Then, while overlapping these two places, import and export to the web screen are repeated. In the process, she proposes a new backup by realizing what is lost or newly created: as a flat surface, a video, or a screenshot of a video work rendered as a flat work.Just as new data is created by taking screenshots of video data viewed on a smartphone, the artist intends to propose new backups that evoke daily life in a data-centric society by displaying video work and screenshots of video work on a flat surface.

The exhibition Chaos Kong represents a process of reproducing incomplete data by summoning data that had been forgotten even by the artist herself for a while. This forgetting is also a metaphor for relying on electronic devices and the data stored in them in the aftermath of the interpenetration of data and technology into our life world. Chaos Kong provides an opportunity to think on this entanglement together.