Internationally acclaimed Chinese artist Qiu Zhijie’s enormous five-storey wall painting Map of Technological Ethics 2018, has its origins in Chinese ink painting and calligraphy. Inspired while gazing across the Brisbane River, the map is influenced by Brisbane’s combination of ecological paradise and its technological integration. Painted directly on to the gallery wall, 18 metres in height and 38 metres long, the map depicts an archipelago of moral quandaries in applied science. Islands and landmarks are named for activists and political lobbies, contentious issues in medicine and biology, and looming fears of technocracy and anthropogenic climate change. Watch our time-lapse of Map of Technological Ethics, recorded over a period of five days.
Watch | Time-lapse of Map of Technological Ethics
Qiu Zhijie touches on the implications of artificial intelligence and computer technologies, from the impact of automation on labour to the use of facial recognition software in drone warfare. Assigning imagined geographies to a range of expressions of ethical anxiety throughout history and across cultures, Qiu suggests expanded possibilities for established categories of knowledge.
In the sheer scale and breadth of his map, he offers a graphical account of the potential for technology and its conundrums to pervade every aspect of human life. Map of Technological Ethics – rendered straight on the wall of GOMA for the duration of ‘The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT9) – is an expression of Qiu Zhijie’s multidisciplinary, trans-historical approach to art making, which teases open the social, moral and legal implications of scientific development.
Watch | Qiu Zhijie discusses his art practice
Feature image detail: Qiu Zhijie, China b.1969 / Map of Technological Ethics 2018 / Synthetic polymer paint / Site-specific wall painting, Gallery of Modern Art / Commissioned for APT9 / © The artist
The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT9) / Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Brisbane Australia / 24 Nov 2018 – 28 Apr 2019