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Two warnings on the tech companies’ pages:

  1. Note that after a software update is installed, it cannot be downgraded to the previous version.[1]
  2. You can’t stop updates entirely.[2]

A tendency for continuous upgrading: The anxiety felt between the risks of updating and the end of support is not far from the mental illness caused by geopolitics; however, writing the current globalization model as a simple ‘Do Not Disconnect’ seems to convey the dilemma more intuitively than complex theories.

If we consider this culturally neutral technological governance as a pharmakon, it might temporarily block the identity anxiety under globalization and reveal another form of domination. For example, considering from the perspective of Updatism: why did the European mosaic architectural finishes introduced to Shanghai in the 19th century become ruins in the urban renewal of the 21st century? Its conclusion is likely – there is no absolute Western center, only the difference between the success and failure of updates.

In this update-centric world, we can simplify the question. Is globalization a form of anti-life? After all, if current sustainable development solutions cannot resolve global psychological anxiety, what are these solutions trying to save – life or globalization itself?

The globalization machine always abstracts things and sends them afar, creating smooth networks and gaps around the world; but life seems inclined to pause and readjust itself with the surroundings.. This indicates that life has its own method of self-updating and can always re-establish a connection with the world. Amidst these divergent logics of updating lies a potential contradiction that resonates with individuals in this era.


[1] Apple security releases

[2] Windows Update: FAQ from Microsoft


Reminder: Version Update Available

Reminder: Version Update Available, exhibition view

Reminder: Version Update Available, exhibition view

Yu Bogong, Heart Moves Before Body, 2008, installation, stainless steel, loudspeaker, sound player, 60 x 48 x 35cm

Chen Wei, Tennis Lesson (L), Block (R), 2021, Archival inkjet print, 150 x 187.5 cm

Reminder: Version Update Available, exhibition view

Ho Rui An, 24 Cinematic Points of View of a Factory Gate in China, 2023, 4K video, 24′ 45″

Reminder: Version Update Available, exhibition view

Reminder: Version Update Available, exhibition view

Hugo Servanin, Giant 43, 2023, Plaster, stainless steel, 85 x 125 x 42cm