To Your Eternity—— the 4th Future of Today Biennial

Opening time:2023.7.23
Duration: 2023.07.23 -- 2023.11.12
Location: Today Art Museum Hall 2, No.32 Baiziwan Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing

Exhibition Preface

“For never has experience been contradicted more thoroughly than strategic experience by tactical warfare, economic experience by inflation, bodily experience by mechanical warfare, moral experience by those in power. A generation that had gone to school on a horse-drawn streetcar now stood under the open sky in a countryside in which nothing remained unchanged but the clouds, and beneath these clouds, in a field of force of destructive torrents and explosions, was the tiny, fragile human body.”

—Walter Benjamin, “The Storyteller: Reflections on the Works of Nikolai Leskov” (1936)

To Your Eternity, the fourth installment of the Today Art Museum’s art and technology themed biennial, zooms ever slightly away from an obsession with the now and the next, but revels in unlikely, luminous juxtapositions across geography and time: Isamu Noguchi’s 1947 monument for a world after humans with Siah Armajani’s 1969 attempt to build mathematically viable towers towards the limits of the earth’s gravitational pull; retro-style video games exploring China’s first wave of entrepreneurship with extreme speculations of a “thousand-year plan”; a space artist in search of fallen satellites with a photographer chasing hurricanes in the eye of the storm; the aesthetic possibilities of merging bodies and machines with cross-species reproductive technology; the beguiling world of jinns that transcend space with new sci-fi stories about languages that drastically warp time; “Asian Futures without Asians” in Hollywood’s entertainment industrial complex; stately portraits of Huawei’ figurehead with a migrant worker’s durational, maximalist record-making of precarious labor.


The exhibition takes its title and spirit from the 2021 anime series To Your Eternity. Created by Yoshitoki Ōima, the story follows an amorphous alien entity as it approximates various forms of inorganic, plant, animal, and ultimately human lives through inhabiting their life cycles. This trans-species metamorphosis is spurred by the death of the previous host, expanding the definition of “intelligence” to also encompass feelings, embodied experiences, and situated knowledge against a grander scale of time. The exhibition similarly hopes to immerse visitors in an exhilarating range of artistic and philosophical perspectives on what technology means for our imagination, heart, and livelihood beyond media novelty, spectacle, or gadgetry. As an art and technology biennial, To Your Eternity features an unusual range of media, encompassing VR experiences, AI and algorithm-based art, games, video, lecture performance, sculpture, drawing, wallpaper, photography, tapestry, lacquer, mural, and monument. By inserting crucial art historical examples from the mid-20th century into the mix of more recent work, the exhibition invites ponderings on longer throughlines in historical conditionings of our current technological and existential crisis that never truly went away.


Featuring over 30 artists and collectives, To Your Eternity will take place from July 24th to October 15th, 2023, accompanied with a series of events, lectures, and other public programs. 


Xin Wang


aaajiao, Morehshin ALLAHYARI, Siah ARMAJANI, Ching Ho CHENG, Tishan HSU, Natalie IVIS, JIANG Yifan, An-My LÊ, LI Jiabao, Ani LIU, Jen LIU, Xin LIU, LU Yang, Toshio MATSUMOTO, MIAO Ying, Mark Ramos,James J. A. MERCER, Isamu NOGUCHI, PAN Caoyuan, Francesco PATERLINI, PENG Ke, Agnieszka POLSKA, Walid RAAD, Sarah ROSALENA, Jakob Kudsk STEENSEN, Astria SUPARAK, Peilin TAN + Anton VIDOKLE, WANG Ye, WU Ziyang, YUAN Zhongtian, ZHAN Youbing, zzyw (Yang WANG + Zhenzhen QI) with Jiaoyang LI, Qianlin LI, and Zongying LIU.