Shi Qing: The Semiconductor Demon

2023.04.01 Saturday 19:00


2F, The Cloister Apartments, 62 West Fuxing Road, Shanghai

Speaker: Shi Qing

Moore's Law can be viewed as to describe an acceleration path. Today, the processing of semiconductor chips is close to the atomic scale, and the traditional physical fabrication method is seeing its end. Moore's Law is considered by many, including himself, to be approaching its end. Moreover, the discovery and application of silicon in semiconductors is a fortuitous event, but there is no clear answer so far as to whether carbon-based materials--such as graphene--can actually replace it. With the intervention of new conductive materials and quantum computing, will carbon-based technology, which has been put to an end by silicon-based computing, make a comeback? Or has silicon-based, long held hostage by machine consciousness, begun to learn from carbon-based again? 

In my previous works Qian Xuesen and the Yangtze River Computer and Textiles, Carbon-Based Machines and Revolution, I mentioned "people's computing" and carbon-based machines--they are also included in this topic of organizational computing. The term "semiconductor demon" , on the one hand, refers to the speed paradox of the chip technology is about to face, and on the other hand, reveals the "imperial monster" nature of the semiconductor industry itself, which has been deeply embedded in a high degree of alliance between capitalist conglomerates and state coordination from the beginning, and continues to be a "Cold War relic" in today's international politics scene. Nowadays, people frequently referred to Artificial Intelligence and its computing ecology, which seem to offer the possibility of cracking the electronic hegemony. However, it remains unclear in terms of its organisational and technological tendencies and development path.

About the Speaker

SHI Qing is an artist who lives and works in Shanghai. He works in a variety of media including installation, video and performance. His work engages with the fields of body and site, nomadic geography, spatial production, media archaeology and the history of socialist technology. He is the co-founder of Chongqing Work Institute (CWI) and Jiangnan Stack.

About the Vortex

Vortex is a long-term project. We will update the content of performance lectures by artists and talks by experts both on- and offline. Following the fundamental approach of connecting local practice, theories, and context, we hope that this nonstandard art venue will become a place of torrents, flux, and confluence.

The Macalline Center of Art (MACA) is a non-profit art institution located in the 798 Art District of Beijing and officially inaugurated its space on January 15, 2022. Occupying a two-story building with a total area of 900 square meters, MACA unites artists, curators, and other art and cultural practitioners from around the world. Through its diverse, ongoing, and collaborative approaches, the Center establishes a new site on the contemporary art scene. Guided by the “work of artists” and backed by interdisciplinary research, the Center aims to bring together a community passionate about art and devoted to the “contemporary” moment so as to respond proactively to our rapidly evolving times.