The Synthesis

May 2017

recycled materials, found objects, two TVs, Macbook, speaker, LED, three-channel videos (Uncanny , New Religion and Shuffle My Memories) with two audio channels (including remix of TED Talks by Ray Kurzweil, Nick Bostrom, Janna Levin, Clint Smith, Michael Specter, and Brian Cox)

The Synthesis is the final constructional form of installation, resulted by the combination of two previous works: The Cave and Synthetic Order. This project illustrates my intellectual/spiritual journey which eventually bring a significant transformation of my identity as an artist. At the time, I was in such a persistent dilemma in making artwork inspired by whether science and technology, or my faith in Christianity. Led by wonderful professor Jefferson Pinder, I ended up making artwork about this situation in order to solve this dilemma by a practical ritual process.

Inspired by Plato's allegory of cave, I created my personal cave where I was imprisoned by the tension between science and religion. Originally I planned to perform myself getting out of the cave, however, when the cave was made, I suddenly realized that the genuine ritual had already done -- creating artwork itself was the way to physically separate myself from it. No other superficial action was necessary. This realization led me to the actual liberation from scientific rationalism and religious dogma. Afterward, the transformative power of art became the essential purpose of my practice.

The Cave

February 2017

convex lens, found objects, recycle materials, oil paper, iPad and Macbook (streaming Youtube videos of National Geographic and Christian worship) 

I was very intrigued by the mechanism of camera obscura which reflected the Plato's allegory of the cave. Using this mechanism, I created an illusion-like moving images inside the dark cave. There were two illusions combined together, reflecting my psychological tension between rationalism and dogmatism. The crucial contradiction between evolution and creation is the different perception of time — evolution perceives the deep time with multimillion year time frame while

creation relatively short timespan about several thousand years. This gap created a huge dissociation in the way I perceive history and myself. 

Synthetic Order

March 2017

video documentations (Uncanny, New Religion and Shuffle my Memories),

found objects and LED

After I got out of the cave by creating it which physically separated me, I had a very strange feeling because it actually worked thoroughly. My perspective and world view changed and liberated from those persistent illusions. I was feeling an enormous freedom and insecurity at the same time. The way I perceived every 

phenomena was so radically transformed that I began to document such ordinary things which now became so uncanny. Also, I was forced to reinterpret my past which contradicted with new perspective. 


I was deeply concerned with the impacts of Anthropocene regarding the transformation of my perspective. In 2017, there were huge march for science and environmental justice in Chicago which I found very controversial in the way people regarded science  a replacement of religion. To me, this kind of blind faith would only make science just like dogmatism of religion. 


Science is not a perfect instrument, but it is undoubtedly a superior and indispensable one that works harm when taken as an end in itself. Now people seem to desperately call science as their savior of the modern time while the god is utterly murdered as Nietzsche said.

© 2020 Hosu Lee. All rights reserved.