Fall Again, Fall Better

2012 Shanghai, China
Coauthors: Jeffrey Shaw, Sarah Kenderdine, Sinan Goo

Software: Sinan Goo
Production: EPIDEMIC, Paris

    Fall Again, Fall Better is an installation constituted by two elements: a projection screen or a large LCD monitor, displaying computer-generated content in anaglyphic red/green 3-D, and the user interface, which is a handle from an urban subway train (that should be the same type used in the trains of the city where the work is shown).

    On the screen the viewer sees a group of computer-modeled human figures. When he or she pulls down the handle these figures fall. When the viewer releases the handle they rise up again. These human figures are modeled to mimic the physiology of a push puppet, the children’s string toy that falls down when the button beneath it is pushed to loosen its strings. Sinan Goo created a computational model of that toy and applied it to the musculoskeletal physiology of these simulated human figures. The algorithm also incorporates a random function that causes the figures to fall differently each time, so that whenever the handle is pulled the resultant composition of fallen bodies is always unique and never repeats itself.

    The title of this installation references Samuel Beckett's bleakly uplifting pronouncement: “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” Failure and falling are synonyms in a language of anxiety that haunts the global consciousness. It is a discourse that ranges from the metaphysics of the Fall and the mortality of all life forms, via history's natural and man-made calamities, arriving at the Buster Keaton tragicomedy of our everyday mishaps. In this sense the installation can be interpreted as a monument to the fallen that takes the form of a risibly cruel theatre of continuous re-enactment, where each viewer is an inter-actor and whereby a Beckettian betterment may be endlessly rehearsed.

    Exhibition Record

    2012/10/02 - 2013/03/31

    9th Shanghai Biennale, Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China

    2014/03/15 - 04/12

    Animamix Biennale 2013-14, Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

    2014/03/20 - 04/17

    Animamix Biennale 2013-14, Oi! Gallery, Hong Kong, China

    2015/09/18 - 10/16

    Hidden Pasts, Digital Futres: A Festival of Immersive Arts, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada

    2016/09/01 - 09/09

    2016 Hong Kong - Macau Visual Art Biennale, Beijing Minsheng Art Museum, Beijing, China

    2016/09/20 - 10/08

    2016 Hong Kong - Macau Visual Art Biennale, Dunhuang Silk Road International Convention and Expo Center, Dunhuang, China

    2016/10/19 - 10/30

    2016 Hong Kong - Macau Visual Art Biennale, Henan Art Museum, Zhengzhou, China