Plug In ICA: Chen Zhe - Towards Evenings: 891 Dusks, an Encylopedia of Psychological Experiences & Hyphen-Labs - NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism, January 23 - March 22

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art presents:

Two solo exhibitions:

Chen Zhe
Towards Evenings: 891 Dusks, an Encylopedia of Psychological Experiences

NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism

January 24-March 22, 2020

Opening Event:
Chen Zhe in conversation with Nasrin Himada
Thursday, January 23, 2020 | 7pm

Opening Reception:
Friday, January 24, 2020 | 7pm-10pm

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art • Unit 1 460 Portage Avenue,
Winnipeg MB, CA

Please join us on Friday, January 24 at 7pm for the launch of two solo exhibitions: Towards Evenings: 891 Dusks, an Encyclopedia of Psychological Experiences by Beijing-based artist Chen Zhe, and NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism by Hyphen-Labs. This marks Chen's first major Canadian solo exhibition, and the first presentation of Hyphen-Labs' work in Winnipeg.

Our winter 2020 exhibitions center the corporeal and internal dynamics of time relating to dusk and afrofuturist science-fiction with formal and digital references to the power of everyday routines and transformative acts of self-determination. Towards Evenings: 891 Dusks, an Encyclopedia of Psychological Experiences is a journey in search of the nebulous space between day and night, light and twilight, the known and the unknown. With a particular focus on the interpretative slippage in between reading and viewing, Chen materializes her fascination with the topic by probing literature and visual clues throughout history and across culture. The exhibition at Plug In presents a section of this six-chapter project. 891 Dusks, an Encyclopedia of Psychological Experiences is a glimpse into the artist's rigorous research on widespread symptoms of "evening uneasiness" in an encyclopaedic structure mimicking that of the bible, categorizing and conceptualizing "disquiet" through hundreds of "psycho-poetic" entries. The audience is invited into an immersive environment constituting a space for reading and listening, for taking time, allowing for the durational to take hold.

In NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism a transmedia exploration is told through speculative product design, emerging technologies, cognitive research, and transhumanism. Created by and for women of color, Hyphen-Labs presents a multi-layered possible future that transcends the constraints of the present, a realm which The New Yorker has called "another plane of consciousness." Hyphen-Labs and its collaborators designed a roster of products —such as earrings that can record police altercations and clothing that thwarts facial recognition — thematically rooted in security, protection, and visibility. The virtual reality experience is the first chapter of a science fiction story placing you in a "neurocosmetology lab" where black women are the innovators of brain optimization. NSAF is set in a future United States after the first amendment has been abolished, which ignites a movement of black women to form a band of resistance through a neurological technology that collects "communal memories and knowledge" in defiance of old and new systems of "cognitive tyranny." Additionally, participants are invited to contribute to ongoing neurological and cognitive impact research studies as a way of bringing scientific exploration into public spaces.

Chen Zhe (b.1989, Beijing) received her BFA in Photography and Imaging from Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles in 2011. Her works have recently been featured in exhibitions at Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden, Germany (2019); The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT9), Queensland, Australia (2018); Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan (2018); Para Site Art Space, Hong Kong (2018); OCAT Museum Xi'an, Xi'an (solo, 2018); CAFA Art Museum, Beijing (2017); The 11th Shanghai Biennial, Shanghai (2016); Power Station of Art, Shanghai (2016); Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai (2016); The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2013); and Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, Beijing (2011). She is the recipient of the Three Shadows Award (2011), Inge Morath Award from the Magnum Foundation (2011), Lianzhou Festival Photographer of the Year Award (2012) and the Xitek New Talent Award (2015). Chen is the subject of TV documentary films, Chinese Viewfinder (2013), produced by ARTE, France; and China Through the Lens of Youth (2014), produced by NHK, Japan. Her latest publication Bees & The Bearable was awarded the Best Photobook of the Year by Kassel Fotobook festival in 2016.

Hyphen-Labs is an international collective working at the intersection of technology, art, and science. Through their multi-disciplinary backgrounds from engineering, architecture, biology, design and coding, they work at the edges of the visual arts and film that push artistic practice into the realm of technological innovation. They exhibited Higher Resolution at the Tate Modern in 2019 presenting a series of actions and events centered around digital platforms. Their work NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism is an award-winning animation that was created by Carmen Aguilar y Wedge (Hyphen-Lab's co-founder, structural engineer and artist), Ece Tankal (Hyphen-Lab's co-founder, designer, and new media artist), and Ashley Baccus-Clark (Hyphen-Lab's director of research, molecular and cellular biologist, and multidisciplinary artist). NSAF has been exhibited widely, including the Sundance Film Fest, Park City, Utah; Tribeca Film Fest, New York; Primer Speculative Futures Conference, Berlin; and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. It was also included in the block buster group exhibition "Computer Grrls," which toured through the United States and Europe.

Towards Evenings and NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism run from January 24 - March 22, 2020. For our opening event, Chen Zhe will be in conversation with Plug In's assistant curator, Nasrin Himada, on Thursday, January 23, at 7pm. Save the date!


What: Opening Event | Chen Zhe in Conversation with Nasrin Himada
When: Thursday, January 23, 2020 | 7pm
Where: Plug In ICA, 460 Portage Ave, Winnipeg, MB

What: Opening Reception | Towards Evenings: 891 Dusks, an Encyclopedia of Psychological Experiences by Chen Zhe and Neurospeculative AfroFeminism by Hyphen-Labs
When: Friday, January 24, 2020 | 7pm-10pm
Where: Plug In ICA, 460 Portage Ave, Winnipeg, MB

All public programming is free and open to the public.


Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art recognizes we are in the territories of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Dakota, Dene, Métis, and Oji-Cree Nations. Plug In ICA is situated in Treaty 1 territory, the ancestral and traditional homeland of Anishinaabe peoples. Treaty 1, was signed in 1871, taking this territory from seven local Anishinaabe First Nations in order to make the land available for settler use and ownership. (referenced from the University of Winnipeg)

Plug In ICA extends our heartfelt gratitude to our generous donors, valued members, and dedicated volunteers. We acknowledge the sustaining support of our Director's Circle. You all make a difference.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We could not operate without their continued financial investment and lobbying efforts.

Plug In ICA relies on community support to remain free and accessible to all, and enable us to continue to present excellent programs. Please consider becoming a member of Plug In ICA and a donor at or by contacting Angela Forget:

For more information on public programming and exhibitions contact Nasrin Himada at

For general information, please contact: or call 1.204.942.1043

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art

Unit 1, 460 Portage Avenue

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Canada, R3C 0E8