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

Gary Zhexi Zhang

Gary Zhexi Zhang is a visual artist and writer whose work explores social infrastructures, technical histories and conceptual systems. 

Somerset House Studios
New Wing

Gary Zhexi Zhang 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.

His recent projects explore financial fictions, weird temporalities and catastrophe. Dead Cat Bounce, an oratorio he made in collaboration with Waste Paper Opera, premiered at Somerset House, London in July 2022. A 2021 solo exhibition, Cycle 25, documented events that shape the boundaries between speculative belief and the material world, like natural disasters, scam nations and cosmic economies. Recent group shows (2021-) include Liquid Ground, UCCA Dune; Death Ray on Coral Island, Power Station of Art; Rehearsing the Future; Alien Art Centre; The Principle of Hope, Inside Out Art Museum.

As a researcher, he has held fellowships at the Berggruen Institute in L.A. and Sakiya - Art Science Agriculture in Ramallah. He is a co-founder of design studio Foreign Objects, which was incubated at NEW INC and received the Mozilla Creative Media Award. He has taught at Parsons, ETH Zurich, MIT and is currently an Associate Lecturer at Goldsmiths MFA.

Dead Cat Bounce, an oratorio in collaboration with Waste Paper Opera, Somerset House. Photo: Fergus Carmichael

As a writer, Zhang's interests lie at the intersection of aesthetics, political economy and thie history of science and technology. His first book, Catastrophe Time! (Strange Attractor, 2023), brings together artists, researchers, and interstitial practitioners explore weird temporalities in finance, technology, and catastrophe. With Victoria Ivanova, he co-authored Future Art Ecosystems 3: Art x Decentralised Tech (Serpentine), a strategic briefing for 21st century cultural institutions. He is also a regular contributor to magazines including Frieze, ArtReview, Elephant, Sleek, Klima, Fireflies, AIGA Eye on Design, Walker Soundboard, Foam, Journal of Visual Culture/HaFI, Annual and King's Review. Recently and upcoming book chapters include Incomputable Earth (Bloomsbury, 2023), Sonic Continuum (Archive Books, 2023), Resisting Reduction: Designing Our Complex Futures with Machines (MIT Press, 2020), Steve Bishop: Deliquescing (Sternberg Press, 2019).

Poyers! (2022), installation view in Liquid Ground, UCCA Dune.