2018, multimedia installation
Comprising three separate but interconnected parts, Monadis an inquiry in to the dynamics between subject and object, and the potential for using technology to transform our relations with the “other”. The work is inspired by the German philosopher G. W. Leibniz’s text Monadology(1714), which proposes that the universe is composed of an infinite number of simple substances, or “monads”, each of which is perfect and self-sufficient. As an immigrant artist who both engages in solitary performance in public space and organizes interactive events for seemingly disparate communities, Lin identifies deeply with the idea of the monad as a self-contained being that generates its own cosmos.
In The Third 1/3 Monad, Lin uses virtual reality software to simulate a series of basic basketball movements. But instead of having viewers experience the athletic mastery of the player, modeled on Chinese American NBA star Jeremy Lin, the artist puts them in the position of the ball – to be bounced around and tossed into the air. Here, the artist draws parallels between the monad, his own career, and that of his namesake, Lin, who has similarly followed a lonely path of striving for excellence against great odds in his chosen profession. The two accompanying videos show different ways of occupying the Guggenheim’s iconic rotunda; as a basketball that is dropped from the height of the oculus, and as a performance artist who arduously rolls up the ramp from bottom to top. Together, these elements announce the new forms of agency that will become possible once we can actually be, and not just commiserate with, the “other”.