Video still from Parasite (物流) (2018)
Somerset House Studios resident

Gary Zhexi Zhang

Visual artist and writer whose work explores the fictions, infrastructure and conceptual systems that compose the concrete world, such as ecology, finance and information.

Somerset House Studios
New Wing

Gary Zhexi Zhang is a visual artist and writer whose work explores social infrastructures, technical histories and conceptual systems. He was born in China, grew up in Birmingham and is currently based in London. He studied at Glasgow School of Art, Cambridge University and MIT.

Recent exhibitions and screenings include Participation Mystique at Ming Contemporary Art Museum, Shanghai; Our Loves Are Not Only Human (with Agnes Cameron), Akademie Schloss Solitude; the Swamp School at the Venice Architecture Biennale; The Internet as a City, 2nd Decentralized Web Summit (with Foreign Objects); Cross-feed at Glasgow International 2018; (online) and All Channels Open at Wysing Arts Centre. Recent residencies include Delfina Foundation, Schloss Web (with Agnes Cameron), SPACE Art & Technology, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Praksis Oslo, CCA Glasgow and Wysing Arts Centre.

As a writer, Zhang writes about art and aesthetics in the context of socio-technical cultures. He is a regular contributor to Frieze magazine and has published essays and fiction in periodicals such as ArtReview, Elephant, Sleek, Klima, Fireflies, AIGA Eye on Design, Walker Soundboard, Foam, Journal of Visual Culture/HaFI, Annual and King's Review. He recently contributed book chapters and catalogue essays to Resisting Reduction: Designing Our Complex Futures with Machines (MIT Press, 2020), Steve Bishop: Deliquescing (Sternberg Press, 2019).

Zhang is a founding member of the collaborative research studio Foreign Objects, which was based at NEW INC. at the New Museum (2019-20), now remote. He is sometimes an adjunct lecturer at Parsons School of Design, The New School.

The First 10,000 Years In collaboration with Agnes Cameron.png

The First 10,000 Years In collaboration with Agnes Cameron
The First 10,000 Years In collaboration with Agnes Cameron

During the residency, Gary will be working on a solo exhibition at Bloc Projects, Sheffield, co-produced with Arts Catalyst. The exhibition is part of "fud", a long-term project which revolves around financial fictions, catastrophe insurance and infrastructures of speculation within the global economy. He will also be developing a publication connected with the "fud" project, a collection of documents, essays and fictions about simulation, speculation and insurance. With Agnes Cameron, Foreign Objects and Eliza Collin, he will collaborate on a series of garments based on the software archives of Bell Labs, as part of Experiments in Art and Technology, to be presented at the New Museum, New York.