purikuraCAM merges Japanese photobooth aesthetics with the contemporary scenario of surveillance—camouflaged yet omnipresent.
purikuraCAM aims to present this aspect of surveillance through blatant irony: are you watching yourself at the photobooth, or is someone else watching you? Are you being surveilled, or are you surveilling yourself?
Your pictures are being taken by you, and by us.
Sixing Xu (b. 1996) is a reluctant artist, occasional writer, professional Photo Booth user and full-time student. She is currently pursuing a degree in Media Studies at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. On the home page of her website, she states that her takes joy in “finding spaces where art and technology, the physical and the virtual, past and present and future collide,” which, as she later realizes, already hide in the everyday life she grew up with. Born and raised in Beijing, China, Sixing lived with tamagotchi pets, folders of Photoshopped images, Richman games, some broadband cables and a whole lot of blue screens of death. She’d like to think of these technologically infiltrated objects not as the opposite side of human, nor as the ultimate replacement of the human kind: when we say that computers have memories, albeit the word means entirely different things, our languages implicitly share a human reality that is also digital. Her works are thus always tinted with the complexities of memories, places and current happenings—both personal and collective, but always human—as mediated through digitized images, glitchy sounds, and countless urls. She never settles on one artistic form; from videos to animations, games to installations, she sees these mediums suitable for our digital era as a conduit to reflect our states of being, to reconcile our relations with intelligent machines, and to reconstruct a poetic language of (co-)living. They are already her own secrets to living.