[Labs] Lin Ke: Link, A Wanderer in the Cyberspace

Executive Editor | Pocono Zhao Yu

Translator | Zhou Lin


Robinson Crusoe 2011
computer screen performance recording 56s loop


is a wanderer,

a wanderer in the cyberspace.”

The difference between Lin Ke’s work and most videos is that he is the discoverer rather than the creator of a passage of motion picture, the body of the artist is positioned in the picture through an operation.

L in K is Lin Ke’s first solo exhibition. “Link” means “a graphical item or segment of text on a web page to be displayed,” according to an online dictionary, and its pronunciation is the homonym of Lin Ke’s name. Lin Ke has configured himself as a person who sits in front of the computer in the era of screens. He is a human specimen performing a monologue, as well as an artist who is making an art exhibition.

As the word “Link” suggests the meaning of “connection and bond”, in his work, Lin Ke himself becomes the terminal connecting the work and the computer. His personal computer is the studio that records many of his performances on  the computer and on the network.

The computer’s desktop can be the window of calculation, code, and system. It presents an interface of perfectly comfortable experience in a specific arrangement. Lin Ke is the mastermind behind this interface. He discovers, joints, reshapes the symbols from the cyberspace, and documents his interactions with the computer and all the improvisation by screen-record software.

That Lin Ke repeats the word “I know...I know...” has  become the symbol and material in the work Like Me. He is making a manifesto: “they realize this is a trap, just like drugs, because you would give up traveling, constructing, or creating when dreams become more important than reality.” The real and the virtual have been flattened in the labyrinth that leads to network technology. They are gradually moving close and blurring out each other.

This is the reflection of the inner subjectivity and the current screen culture, as well as the prophecy of the future: One day, perhaps the factuality and depth of cyber behavior would become irrelevant. The screen and thumb generation may eventually go back to the Lin Ke styled digital archive through the archeology of network operation traces. By then, “you would even forget how to fix the machines left by the ancestors. You just sit there, constantly live in the thoughts of others, and probe the thoughts of the sample of the zoo, for example, me”.

In Today, Lin Ke manipulates a still image in Photoshop. The timeline of the image is changed when the brightness and levels are adjusted. He fabricates the course from day to night or from the night to dawn. The mouse keeps moving and cruising, the word “Today” under the neon light on the other side is endlessly zooming in until the word fills the screen as a mosaic.

“Today” is like an empty symbol. It starts to transpire every time when we are discussing it. It is undoubtedly difficult to describe “today” especially when the cyberspace and the real world become unprecedentedly identical. As we may have seen in Lin Ke’s video, the game between them is evolving, or maybe they have already become the mirror of each other. And every one of us is now in the reflection.

Audio Interview


How do you see your act of presenting the computer’s history in the exhibition room as an artwork?


How do you see your intervention in the work?


What is your opinion of the Internet’s changes in recent years?

Full version of audio, please log in wechat applet

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Lin Ke

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