Li Yi-Fan

<i>What Is Your Favorite Primitive</i>, 2023, single-channel 4K HD video, 30 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.-圖片

What Is Your Favorite Primitive, 2023, single-channel 4K HD video, 30 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.

Li Yi-Fan is an artist who describes his production process as staging a death match between artist and software until a narrative work quietly unfolds from the decaying corpse of their confrontation. The artist laboriously develops his own software tools for video production: a personal, DIY system that nonetheless rivals capabilities in the resource-intensive digital special effects industry. Incorporating a video game engine that allows him to improvise in real time with detailed 3D animations, Li reflects on both the strange suspension of time and space within games, but also on the increasingly detailed desires that arise from increasingly complex technical tools. Presented as a parody of a tech keynote, What Is Your Favorite Primitive (2023) depicts a protagonist wrestling with social and ethical questions that arise from software tools designed for image production. How have images changed the way we communicate? How can emoji convey emotional content beyond one’s own perceptions of a feeling? Describing human life (and death) in intimate detail, the film speculates that video technology could construct a new politics of life by projecting a totality yet to come.