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/Tishan Hsu. recent work 2023

Format: 17 x 24 cm

Details: Softcover, dustjacket, 64 pages

Series design concept: Sabo Day

Graphic design: Sabo Day
Design assistance: Augustinas Milkus

Text: Laura Brown, Martha Schwendener (conversation)

Language: English

25 illustrations

Secession 2023

Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König, Köln

ISBN 978-3-7533-0571-4 


The book to be released in conjunction with Tishan Hsu’s exhibition recent work 2023 contains an essay by Laura Brown that reconstructs the creative techniques he has devised and honed over the past four decades and turns the spotlight on the early 2000s as a watershed moment when digital image editing programs suddenly produced within seconds many of the effects Hsu had anticipated. In a conversation with Martha Schwendener, Hsu dwells on the early years of his career and discusses his great theme: the fusion of body and technology in an increasingly virtual world.


When the artist learned that the new publication model introduced by the Secession in 2023 calls for freely accessible digital copies of all books complementing the printed version, he was inspired to toy with the relation between the analog book and its digital twin. To do so, he took process-oriented approaches that are integral to his creative practice such as the interpenetration of analog and digital techniques and adapted them to the book medium. Hsu’s art harnesses printing processes to translate digitally generated or edited forms into analog media, where they undergo further manipulation, sometimes iteratively, as in a feedback or echo.

In the book, the artist mirrors this process-based dimension of his work with a mutating series of eight pictures created for the downloadable version, whose title image changes over the course of the exhibition’s duration not unlike in the computer-generated special effect known as morphing. The intervals at which the cover changes are progressive rather than static. The final image is released on the exhibition’s closing day and remains in place as the “infinite” version. Meanwhile, the play with the cover image also turns collecting into a game—the printed dust cover, which exists only in the analog version, features all eight motifs, like a preprinted sleeve for collectible cards, complete with the exact period during which they can be downloaded from the web. An aficionado who wants the full set—almost like a collector buying up NFTs—will need to download the digital book on the specified dates.


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