This article examines a series of video works by Okin Collective, a group of three Korean artists (Jin Shiu, Kim Hwayong, and Yi Joungmin) who have over the past few years been productively concerned with an array of political, social, and cultural issues from both local and global perspectives. Such issues include the process of urban redevelopment in Seoul, the global environmental crisis, utopian aspirations in the neoliberal economy, and the Korean authorities' ideological control of citizenship. The collective's imperative to engender sensory and affective engagement with these issues has led them to produce several video works derived from their open-form performances. I argue that the videos can be read as projects that foreground and explore an array of interrelated ideas or issues revolving around collectivity. Taking individuals' performative acts as their nodal point, the videos demonstrate open forms that are produced through and resonate with these individuals' collective participation. Presenting both the catastrophic situation of contemporary society and utopian aspirations, the videos present the “space of the common” that is made by participants' performative practices. These performances produce a common affective understanding of the present and a shared envisioning of the future as the overlapping temporalities of collectivity.
Jihoon Kim; Invitation to Perform Utopia and Catastrophe: On Okin Collective's Video Works. Camera Obscura 1 December 2016; 31 (3 (93)): 141–151. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/02705346-3662057
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