Chopsticks, Comic Sans and Pure Leaf (2016)

website, digital videos

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chopstickscomicsanspureleaf.com is a website and a browser-based video project. The three items that constitute the name of the project come from nowhere and everywhere. They are natural and artificial, private and public. So are their relations. They may or may not be relevant. So are their importances. 

These are the premises of the project, and of the ways we click, we scroll, we browse, we see. We jump over conjunctions where things and images connect, from one tab to another, until they themselves diminish into the gaps in between.

Now try to substitute every ‘and’ to ‘or’. Then change them back. Shut everything down, one by one, and retrieve them from history. Do you notice that tiny delay that is inevitable? Like a saccade. Suddenly you don’t know why you end up being there, or here. Welcome back to nowhere, and everywhere.

Above are the first few lines of words you will read, as the page loads. They disappear as you scroll, so do the logic and the connections between images, icons, and hyperlinks. The first impression of the website as a video repository would soon disappear, too. You are left in a jumbo of things, randomly conceived, casually grouped. Everything on the webpage is clickable, but nothing is determined — the more links you click, the more confused and uncertain you get. Why am I looking at this? When did I open a Google Map page? Why is this link broken and what was there? I am not intended to buy anything on Amazon either. And who are these people in the videos? Wait, where is the first tab — how did I get here? What is this, at all?

You look at the screen. Scroll, scroll, click, click. As if you continue doing this, you will get the answer eventually. Scroll, scroll, click, click. “What an imitation of life!” You hear somebody says.

“Who?” You stop, and ask.

No one answers. Your brain goes blank for a few seconds, and when you look back at your screen, your laptop has already gone to sleep mode. On the dark, reflective surface, you see you.