PINK SLIME CAESAR SHIFT premieres at Berlinale Forum Expanded exhibition

A Mechanism Capable of Changing Itself: February 14 - 28, 2018

We thought DNA would be an open book. And though we can transcribe the letters – C, G, A, T – we can only decode a small percentage of it. 98% is undecipherable. This is the "dark matter genome": the silent majority.


Thanks to the Guggenheim Fellowship in Film/Video, 2017 and the NYFA/NYSCA Gregory Millard Artist Fellowship in Digital/Electronic Arts

I will be focusing on Pink Slime Caesar Shift body of work through most of 2018, finishing the long video (Pink Slime Caesar Shift), shooting/animating a series of shorts, working with biologist Sumeyye Yar at Biotech Without Borders to embed secret messages in bovine muscle cell DNA, and working on small wearable sculptures that will store these DNA sequences for future use. I feel terribly lucky, and incredibly grateful.


KIT Duesseldorf, March 3 - June 3, 2018

With Yeşim Akdeniz, François Dey, Jen Liu, Kubilay Mert Ural, Ceel Mogami de Haas, Christoph Westermeier, and Müge Yılmaz.

The exhibition Meeting the Universe Halfway is based on an essay by Karen Barad (*1956) in which the theoretical physicist and feminist theorist covers many different fields of science, sociology, and the humanities and offers a report on the world as a whole. Barad’s conceptual framework is agent realism, which deals with the inseparability of being and knowing. She questions the distinction in scientific disciplines between the theory of knowledge (epistemology) and the study of the nature of being (ontology). On a scientific basis, Barad develops a new language for the idea of an exchange between objects with regard to aspects of posthumanism. It is assumed that it is not the human being that is the measure of all things, but that communication takes place on equal footing.


NEW/NOW at Philbook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma

An exhibition of the Tulsa Artist Fellowship, January 27 - March 4, 2018

It is also possible that there was a contamination. Two groups gathered in adjoining houses, waiting for the other. Each person arrived five minutes after the other, instead of at the same time. There was a disorder of space and time, it was as if the meat was staging a rebellion, self-determining, after all, to be one matter rather than two. In turn, there were batches who would carry their messages, but turned rancid before our eyes.


SICK TIME at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE

March 22 - June 2, 2018

We are all united by the fact that we will experience fluctuating states of debility throughout the course of our lives whether we currently identify as sick or not. Furthermore, in the United States, many of us are exhausted from living and working in a capitalist system as insufficient infrastructures for care have further deteriorated. Considering the fact that the failures of public health and biomedicine are felt by some disproportionately due to race, class, gender, sexuality, etc., Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism's Temporal Bullying provides a platform to explore collective forms of healing to deal with structural processes of exclusion and the way in which trauma is held in the body. To this end, artworks dealing with care, illness, fitness, sleep, somatic sustainability, labor, alternative temporalities, and wellness culture will be shown at Bemis, with an exhibition on life/work balance providing a locus for ongoing conversations about transitional architectures for relief and potential repair.
































Born in Smithtown, NY, currently lives and works in New York.



2003 – 2005   De Ateliers, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
1999 – 2001   MFA Fine Arts and Integrated Media, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California.
1994 – 1998   BA Creative Writing, BA Studio Art High Honors, Oberlin College, Oberlin Ohio.


Selected One- and Two-Person Exhibitions

Pink Slime Caesar Shift, Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam.

The Red Detachment: Bai Wei’s Natural History¬, solo commission by OK.Video/ruangruppa, Bogor Zoology Museum, Bogor, Indonesia.

Digital Billboard Platform: Jen Liu’s The Pink Detachment, LAXART, Los Angeles, CA.
The Pink Detachment, SomoS Kunsthaus, Berlin, DE.
The Red Detachment of Women: Online, commissioned by Triple Canopy as part of the Standards issue.

The Red Detachment of Women: Performance for 6 Dancers, co-commissioned by Triple Canopy and The Whitney Museum, Whitney Museum, New York, NY.

The Managers, Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam, NL.
SAFETY FIRST, Mallorca Landings, Palma de Mallorca, ES.
Come One Come All (permanent commission), Citizen M Times Square, New York, NY. 

Melon Mysticism for Everyone. Commissioned by ISCP in collaboration with NYC DOT and ISCP, Manhattan Bridge, NY. 

Initial Public Offering, Space of Drawings, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Six Colorful Stories: John Baldessari, Jen Liu.  Ceri Hand Gallery, Liverpool, UK.

Brody Condon, Jen Liu, On Stellar Rays, New York.
Volta NY Art Fair, solo booth (Ceri Hand Gallery). 

The Last Alphabet / Pasta Belt Health, Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam, NL. 

Insurrection for a Million or One, Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam, NL.
Drastic Measures, Unknown Pleasures, Ceri Hand Gallery, Liverpool, UK.

An Innocent Revolution, DePauw University, Greencastle, IN.
New Dawn Fades, Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery, Los Angeles.
DM.0086: A Local Map of Broken Glass, Division Museum of Ceramics and Glassware, New York, in collaboration with Barb Choit.

Rotterdam Art Fair, solo booth (Upstream Gallery). 

The Last Four Seasons, Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Ready To Die!, Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery, Los Angeles. 
Friends Electric!: Jen Liu, Andrea Thal, Binz39 Foundation, Zurich.
Videos van Jen Liu, Melkweg Media, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Jen Liu, Folkert de Jong, Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam.


Selected Group Exhibitions and Performances

NEW/NOW, Philbrook Museum, Tulsa, OK.
A Mechanism Capable of Changing Itself: Berlinale Forum Expanded Exhibition, Berlin, DE.
Meeting the Universe Halfway, KIT Museum, Duesseldorf, DE.
Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Part II, curated by Taraneh Fazeli, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE.

The Visible Hand, CUE Art Foundation, New York, NY.
After Party, curated by Leo Li Chen, Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong.
Soft Skills, curated by Kaegan Sparks, James Art Gallery of the CUNY Graduate Center, New York, NY.
Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time, curated by Taraneh Fazeli, EFA, New York, NY.
OK. Video, curated by Renan Laru-an and Julia Sarisetiati in coordination with ruangrupa, Jakarta, Indonesia.
Warp and Weft screening: Sondra Perry and Jen Liu, Lawndale Arts Center, Houston, TX.
Glitch Girls: Jen Liu with Aliza Shvarts (solo screening and conversation), James Gallery at CUNY Graduate Center, New York, NY.
COMM | ALT | SHIFT, curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah and Dexter Wimberley, Aljira, Newark, NJ.

WE ARE NOT THINGS, curated by Hannah Whitaker, Invisible Exports, New York, NY.
Traversing the Phantasm, Berlinale Forum Expanded exhibition, Akademie der Kunst, Berlin, DE.
Public Spirits, CCA Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland.
Color Visions, Videoforma Festival IV (exhibition section), Kuryokhin Center for Modern Art, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Hybrid Visions, curated by Jens Geiger as part of China Time 2016, Metropolis Kino, Hamburg, DE.
Art Dubai Film, Dubai, UAE.
Jen Liu (solo screening), Fundacja Nosna at Henryk, Krakow, Poland.
Utopia Is No Place, Utopia is Process, curated by Jacqueline Mabey, USDAN Gallery, Bennington College, VT.
Jen Liu, Attaque(e)r le visible at La Mutinerie, Paris, FR.

Berlinale, Forum Expanded, Academy of Arts Berlin, DE. 
Film Montage, Coreana Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea.
Screening the Speculative: Melika Bass, Jen Liu, and Peter Hopkins Miller, New Museum, New York, NY.
The Ism That Dares Speak Its Name, PARMER at Abrons Art Center, New York, NY.
Socialism, Really? Momenta Art, Brooklyn, NY.
The Cost of Wealth, a project of Jubilee and Goethe-Institut in collaboration with CINEMATEK, Argos and deBuren, Brussels, BE.
Transformer, Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam, NL.
Poet Transmit (performance), curated by Victoria Keddie and Cat Tyc, St Marks Church, New York.

Shanghai Biennial, Shanghai, China.
Unto Void Fulfills This Place, das weisse haus, Vienna, Austria. 
Monsanto Shadow Symposium (performance), Radical Archives CFP, NYU A/P/A Institute, NY. 
Ready-To-Hand, Sunview Luncheonette, Brooklyn, NY. 

Salon der Angst, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria. 
Only Dead Fish, Upstream Gallery / Lloyd Hotel, Amsterdam, NL
Hold This Object Up Until There is Nothing Left of You, Modern Edinburgh Film School, Scotland. 
Implausible Imposters, Ceri Hand Gallery, London. 
I Like the Way You Move, Edinburgh Art Festival, White Space, Edinburgh, Scotland. 
Pleasure Paradox, Gallery MK, Milton Keynes, UK. 
#catcamp, Helper Projects, Brooklyn, NY. 
Nite Flights, Old Hairdressers, Glasgow, Scotland.
Present and Accounted: ENACT, Performance Art Festival, Cleveland, OH. 
The Scenery Changes Three Times: Brian Belott, Matthew Craven, Sara Cwynar, and Jen Liu, Schema Projects, Brooklyn, NY. 
Cacotopia, Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester, UK. 

We Are 2-Up, Bowery Poetry Club, curated by Sue Scott Gallery, New York, NY.
Folio (group exhibition and performance), Soloway Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.
Harvest (performance), Antechamber, Copenhagen, DK. 
Reverse Engineering, Paraflows, Vienna, AT.
Bottoms (performance), On Stellar Rays, New York, NY. 
Fuel for the Fire, Dawn Kasper + Human Resources LA/NY, New York, NY. 
Blink: art, Gwangju, Korea. 

Space.  About a Dream. curated by Catherine Hug, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria.
Monodramas / Act 4, curated by NADA for New York City Opera, New York. 
Art Rotterdam Video Hall, curated by Zapp Magazine, Rotterdam, NL. 
Utopian Structures – New Existentialism Part 3, Gebert Stiftung für Kultur, *ALTEFABRIK, Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland. 
Localhost, AZKM Kunsthalle Muenster, Muenster, DE. 
Memory of A Hope, Ceri Hand Gallery, Liverpool, UK.  
Eslov Wide Shut, curated by Stefan Lundgren, Blomsterberg’s Warehouse, Eslöv, Sweden.

You Can Heal Your Life! curated by Emma Gray, Circus Gallery, Los Angeles. 
Never Can Say Goodbye: The Way Out, curated by Lauren Rosati for No Longer Empty @ Former Tower Records, New York. 
Scope Foundation: "d.i.y. sci-fi", curated by Zach Layton, Scope Art Show, New York. 
Exploitation on Demand, curated by Karin Laansoo, Sparwasser HQ, Berlin, DE.
Jen Liu, Mie Olison, Gurdjieff Players, Issue Project Room, Brooklyn, NY. 
36 Dramatic Situations, Louis V E.S.P., Brooklyn, NY.
Malleable Memory, Aicon Gallery, New York.
Upstream Cinema: David Haines, Jeroen Jongeleen, Cristobal Leon and Jen Liu, Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam, NL. 
All Things Being Equal, Raritan Valley Community College, Raritan, NJ. 
NADA Gala (Performance Program), New York. 
Black Hole Hums in B Flat, Ceri Hand Popup, London.
Fugue State (performance), Dorsche Gallery, Miami, FL. 
APT at Pulse Miami, Pulse Fair, Miami, FL.
Filmsalon: Claudia Kugler, Kunstverein Nurnberg, DE.
Building Paradise, 7+Fig, Los Angeles.
Vision Division­: Olaf Brzeski, Theresa Froelich, and Jen Liu, Czama Gallery, Warsaw, Poland.
NEWAGERIOT, Country Club/Los Angeles.
MONITAUR, Aspen Museum of Art, Aspen, CO.
The Last Session, Flemish Cultural Center, Amsterdam, NL.
University of Trash, The Sculpture Center, Queens, New York. 
EXHIBITION, Exhibition 211, New York. 

Agrifashionistas, Royal Academy, London.
NADA Emerging Artists Gala (performance), New York.
Without Sun: Brody Condon, Jen Liu, Avelino Sala, and Adriaan can der Ploeg, Virgil de Voldere Gallery, New York. 
New Collections III, Centre PasquART, Biel/Bienne, Switzerland.
Shifting Identities, (Swiss) Art Now, Kunsthaus Zurich.
The Violet Hour: Matthew Day Jackson, Jen Liu, and David Maljkovic, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle.
The Golden Record, Collective Gallery/Edinburgh Festival, Edinburgh.

Dream of Today, curated by Amy Smith-Stewart, Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles.
An Aside, special exhibition of Zoo Art Fair 2007, London.
NADA Art Fair (Upstream Gallery & Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery), Miami, FL.
The Present Order is the Disorder of the Future, De Hallen Museum, curated by Xander Karstens, Haarlem, The Netherlands.
Mind Hacking II, organized by Theresa Frölich and Antonia Lotz, Wewerka Pavilion, Münster, Germany, traveling.
Paper Bombs, curated by Bart Exposito, Jack Hanley Gallery, Los Angeles.
M*A*S*H, curated by Amy Smith-Stewart and Omar Lopez-Chahoud, The Helena, New York.
The Fit/Turtle, Nueans in collaboration with Michael Shamberg, Dusseldorf, DE.
The Return of the Seven Samurai, Galerie Lucy Mackintosh, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Romer II, Akademie Schloss Solitude Romerstrasse Gallery, Stuttgart, DE.
Flood Lit Wendy House, New York Rio Tokyo Gallery, Berlin.
NADA Artfair (Upstream Gallery and Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery), Miami, FL.
View (Eleven):Upstate, curated by Amy Smith-Stewart, Mary Boone Gallery, New York.
Liverpool Biennial:Virtual Grizedale, A Foundation, Liverpool, UK. 
Big City Lab, Art Forum Berlin.
Experiments in Pop, curated by Laura Hoptman, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Switzerland. 
Liste Artfair Basel (Upstream Gallery), Basel, Switzerland.
Peekskill Project 2006, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY.
Trial Balloons, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Castilla y Leon, Leon, Spain.
Jen Liu + Bjorn Melhus + Claire Rojas, Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery, Los Angeles.
Things We Saw in Holland, Kravets/Wehby Gallery, New York, NY. 

Carlos Aires / Jen Liu / Melvin Moti / Elodie Pong, Galleria Laurin, Zurich, Switzerland,
Explosive Compulsive: Reed Anderson, Adrianne Colburn & Jen Liu, Luggage Store Gallery, San Francisco.
NADA Artfair Miami (Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery and Upstream Gallery), Miami, FL.
Liste Artfair Basel (Upstream Gallery), Basel, Switzerland.
Futurism, Melkweg, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Fast Forward: A Passion for the New, curated by Scenic in affiliation with MOCA LA, House of Campari, Venice, CA.
Videonale 10, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany. 
Open Video Call, Artists Space, New York.

2004    100 Artists See God, Institute of Contemporary Art, London.  Traveling exhibition through Independent Curators International.  Jewish Museum, San Francisco; Laguna Beach Art Museum, California; and Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY; tours through 2006. 
LA Freewaves: Karaoke Boat, Los Angeles. 
Biennale Bonn: New York State of Mind, Bonn, Germany. 
Through the Gates: Brown vs. Board of Education, California African American Museum, Los Angeles.
Futureways: The Middelburg Triennial 2304, curated by Rita McBride, Glen Rubsamen, and Rutger Wolfson, de Vleeshal, Middelburg, The Netherlands.
Homies, DianePruess Gallery, Los Angeles. 

Nueva 2003 Tokyo, Laforet Museum Harajuku, Tokyo
Filmstock, Luton, England.  Traveling to Oulu International Film Festival, Finland
An Interest in Life, curated by John Baldessari and Meg Cranston, Apex Art, New York.


Selected Bibliography

Reiger, Birgit. “Im Grenzbereich con Kunst und Kino,” Tagesspiegel, February 17, 2018.
Pett, Inge. “Forum Expanded: A Mechanism Capable of Changing Itself,” Art in Berlin, February 16, 2018.
Genhart, Irene. “Berlinale: Forum Expanded,” Filmdienst, February 16, 2018.
Hinrichsen, Jens. “Berlinale Calling,” Monopol Magazine, February 14, 2018.
Valinsky, Rachel. “The Visible Hand,” Art21 Magazine, May/June 2017.
Anania, Katie. “ArtForum Critic’s Picks: “Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism’s Temporal Bullying”
Clements, Alexis. “How Art Making Is a Type of Management,” Hyperallergic, February 6, 2017.
Coombs, Gretchen. “The Visible Hand at CUE Art Foundation,” Temporary Art Review, April 20, 2017.
Hong, Cathy Park. “Artists and Identity,“ ArtForum, Summer 2016.
Weinstein, Matthew. “Machine Dreams and Painting’s Extremes: Matthew Weinstein on Jonathan Lasker and Jen Liu,“ ARTNEWS, March 10, 2016.
Kang Kang, “Really, Socialism?!“ Yishu Magazine, March/April 2016.
Steinbruegge, Bettina. “Rueckblick: Berlinale 2016 – Von Phantasmen, Haltungen und Erfahrungen,“ Spike Art Magazine, February 21, 2016. “Dansende Arbeiders in kartonnen dozen,” NRC Handelsblad, October 23, 2014. 
“Letter to Marisa Merz,” PERSONA, Sternberg Press, Berlin, DE, 2013. 
“Jen Liu, Initial Public Offering 0000: SOD,” New Danish Art, Copenhagen, DK, 2013.
Dawson, Kelly Chung, “Chinese Art Goes Public in NYC,” China Daily USA, August 2, 2013.
[Chinese language interview], World Journal, July 11, 2013. 
Skye Sherwin and Robert Clark, “Exhibitionist: This Week’s Art Shows in Pictures,” The Guardian, September 16. 2011.
Davis, Laura, “New York Based Artist Jen Liu….” Liverpool Daily Post, September 13, 2011. 
Gerhard H. Kock, “Weltweit daheim und unterwegs,” Borkener Zeitung, June 1, 2011. 
Sabine Müller, “Kölsche Südsee-Träume,” Rurh, June 6, 2011.
Hallett, Nick, “BOMBLOG: A Night At the Opera,” Bomb Magazine Online, April 5, 2011.
"Weltraum. Die Kunst und ein Traum," ZDF, broadcast April 9, 2011.
"Weltraum. Die Kunst und ein Traum," Dradio, broadcast April 4, 2011. 
Davis, Kim, “High Brow on the Lower East Side,” The Big Apple Magazine, January 2011. 
Carlin, T.J., “Brody Condon & Jen Liu,” Art Review, January and February 2011. 
Patrick Gantert, “Brody Condon and Jen Liu…”, February 7, 2011. 
Chayka, Kyle, “Two Kinds of Abstraction At On Stellar Rays,” Hyperallergic, December 6, 2010. 
Fee, Brian,  “3x300: Jen Liu, Christiana Soulou, and Paul Lee.”  NY Art Beat, November 19, 2010.
“Klaus Part 2 Volta and Armory New York March 2010.”
“Five Questions for….Jen Liu”, MetroLife UK, October 29, 2008. 
“Artwork of the Week – Jen Liu”, Liverpool Art and Culture, November, 2008.
“we”, Catherine Wagley, Artslant, July 21, 2008
“ArtCal Pick: Without Sun”,, July 2, 2008.
“Jen Liu and a Group of Rising Artists Move Out of the Art World’s Daze”, Regina Hackett, Seattle P-I, June 28, 2008. 
Graves, Jen.  “The Lunatic is on the Grass.” The Stranger, August 28, 2008. 
Graves, Jen.  “Artists of the Apocalypse Speak.”  In/Visible, The Stranger Podcasts, June 25, 2008.
Gray, Emma.  “Jen Liu at Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery, LA.”  Saatchi Online, November 10, 2007.
“Top 10 Shows in Los Angeles This Month”, Saatchi Online, November 3, 2007.
“L.A. Confidential,” Emma Baker.  Artnet­, May 19, 2006. 06.asp
 “Review: Globos Sondas” Max Andrews. Frieze Online.  2006. 
“Explosive Compulsive at the Luggage Store.”  “Colin Berry.  Artweek, February 2006.  p13-14, illus.
 “Focus Los Angeles: Jen Liu.”  Flash Art, January-February 2006, p.72, illus. 
 “Who Are These People Showing So Much, And Why Do They Feel The Need To Be Seen?”  Kenneth Baker.  San Francisco Chronicle, January 7, 2006.
 “Explosive ‘Compulsive’.” Hiya Swanhuyser, San Francisco Weekly, December 8, 2005, illus.
 “20 Bright Young Things: Jen Liu.” ArtReview, December 2005, illus.
"Jen Liu at Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery," Christopher Miles, Artforum, September 2005, p. 312.
“Jen Liu at Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery,” Shana Nys Dambrot, Artweek, June 2005, Volume 36, Issue 5, pg. 17,(cover image: detail of “Light as Air, Light As Love: Diamonds of the Earth”).
Knight, Christopher.  “A Harsh Yet Enchanting World,” Los Angeles Times, May 6, 2005. 
 “A Powerful Atmosphere for New Ideas,” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, February 9, 2004. 
 “Toekomst werpt licht op heden,” Provinciale Zeewuse Courant, The Netherlands, January 30, 2004.
 “Highlight: 100 Artists See God,” Contemporary Magazine, Issue 57, December 2003, p 24-25, illus.
Reindl, Uta Maria.  “Cyberfem Spirit – Spirit of Data,” Kunstforum International, December 2001, p 326-327. 
Dogramaci, Burcu.  “Frauen, bits und bytes,” Suddeautsche Zeitung, Nr. 295, December 22/23, 2001.
Gardill, Von Ingrid.  “Frauen und die Kunst im Netz,” Nordwest-Zeitung, December 12, 2001. 



The Visible Hand: Curated by David Borgonjon, CUE Art Foundation, 2017.
Public Spirits, CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland, 2016.
10th Shanghai Biennale: Social Factory, Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China, 2014.
Reverse Engineering, Paraflows, Vienna, Austria, 2012. 
Eslov Wide Shut, Eslöv, Sweden, 2011.
Space.  About a Dream. Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria, 2011.
VOLTA NY 2010 Artists’ Book, VOLTA, New York, 2010.  
The Last Session, Flemish Cultural Center, Amsterdam, NL, 2009. 
The Violet Hour: Matthew Day Jackson / Jen Liu / David Maljkovic, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA, 2008.
An Innocent Revolution, Depauw University, Indiana, 2007.
“PROP” Proud to be a V.I.P., Nueans, Duesseldorf, Germany, 2007.
Sommerakademie 2006 im Zentrum Paul Klee: Experiments in Pop, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Switzerland, 2006.
Globos Sondas, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Castilla y Leon, Leon, Spain, 2006.
Art Forum Berlin: Big City Lab, 2006.
Videonale 10.  Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn Germany, 2005.  
Friends Electric!  Binz39 Foundation, Zurich, Switzerland, 2005.
100 Artists See God.  Independent Curators International (ICI), New York, 2004, p 14, illus.
Futureways.  Printed Matter, Inc., and Whitney Museum of American Art, 2003, p 64, illus. 
Cyberfem Spirit: Spirit of Data.  Helen von Oldenburg and Rosanne Altstatt (eds.), Edith-Russ-Haus fur Medienkunst, Oldenburg, pp 30-33, illus. 

Curatorial Projects

2017          Microscope Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.
2008          We, Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery, Los Angeles.
2007          I Could Be You, co-curated with Alexandra Blattler, in collaboration with Akademie Schloss Solitude, Fluctuating Images Galerie, and The Stuttgarter Filmwinter Film Festival.


Grants / Residencies

2019               Swatch Art Hotel AIR, Shanghai, China.
2018               Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY.
2017               Tulsa Artist Fellowship, Tulsa, OK.
2016               Para Site AIR, Hong Kong.
                       LMCC Process Space Governor’s Island, New York.
2012               Quartier 21, Vienna, Austria.
2011               Krems AIR, Krems, Austria. 
2008               Pollock-Krasner Grant
2008 / 2009    ISCP, New York
2006               Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany.
                      Sommerakademie im Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Switzerland.
2005              Grizedale Arts, Cumbria, England.
2003 – 2005  De Ateliers, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.















My work starts with research-based fictions. From existing socioeconomic and political conditions, I build speculative narratives that reveal our latent social desires. Through this I critique the limitations of existing solutions for social problems, while expanding the imaginary around these issues.


- Deflate the abstraction built around traditionally leftist approaches.

- Embrace a materialist position through embodiments in physical form: exaggerated images, props, costumes, clichéd gestures and pop music, accessed emotionally through the senses.

- Force economic and scientific research through familiar cultural tropes, in contested accounts of the past and present.

I am attracted to mediums that seem “thin” – paintings on paper, video, music, and performances – forms that express material impermanence. This is related to my interest in propaganda, posters, and sloganeering – manmade objects whose authority is subject to the transit of history, prone to divergent swings in meaning. Their instability further reveals the intrinsic, intimate connection between social policy and desire. Originating fantasies – about national, gender, and economic identities – can be warped and juxtaposed in ways that reveal unexpected convergences. “Minor stories”, such as safety tutorials, meat manufacture, and small objects of feminized hygiene - reveal the nuances of the “major stories” of globalization, the interlocking systems of the exploitation of female labor.


Exhibition inquiries: Upstream gallery, Amsterdam

Festival/screening inquiries: Arsenal Berlin

Anything else?
jenliu3 - at - gmail - dot - com


Single-channel 4K video
Running Time: 24:20

Pink Slime Caesar Shift is a video integrating live action and animation, whose premise is four proposals to alter the DNA of mass-produced in-vitro hamburgers to carry secret messages of labor insurrection on behalf of Special Economic Zone factory workers in China.

In the last decade, labor protests have increased in China, but they remain brief and localized, due to the government’s clampdown on social media. Large scale labor organizing is stymied by the inability to communicate across distances. Meanwhile, China’s resource capacity has maxed out, and shortages of beef – resulting in counterfeit beef scandals and imbalanced international trade deals– have become commonplace.

If the solution to the latter problem – meat shortage – is the production of synthetic meat originating in cow stem cells (already in development), its workflow would be ideal for solving the former problem – creating channels of communication for political organization – through altering the meat’s DNA as a data carrier. I have identified four feasible methods to do so – and will be developing biological samples exemplifying these methods throughout 2018.

One resource problem resolves another: new methods for grassroots communication via food distribution networks, attends a new source of meat for the table. But the video itself is a message carrier, connecting the speculative proposal with the reality of SEZ workers today. Each “method” speaks of various facets of the so-called Floating Population, legal and medical fugitives to a system that renders their bodies a secret subscript to global industrial production. To that end, I have translated and integrated multiple worker education documents, weaving it in amongst scientific equipment sales pitches, documentary recordings, and poetics on intimate estrangement.


Below are basic principles guiding each proposal, specificities of context and methods of detection/decoding will be modeled over the coming months.

PROPOSAL 1/4: Fluorescent markers for long-term DNA data storage of documents on official labor policy and legal case histories. Often workers do not know their legal rights, making them vulnerable to exploitation.

PROPOSAL 2/4: Microinjection of middle-length documents about labor advocacy organizational structure. Often workers do not know who to reach out to, should they need an advocate, or to spread information and organize direct action.

PROPOSAL 3/4: Biolistic delivery through gene gun: shooting microparticles carrying messages of strike and other methods of large-scale protest in a semi-timely manner at a later stage of production.

PROPOSAL 4/4: Transfection through virus: introduction of “flies” into the “ointment”. Despite needs for large-scale networks of communication, there is still need for smaller-scale channels: in this case, to pass word between workers in a regional zone to undertake a campaign of insurrection: breaking water towers, cutting power lines, and other acts of productivity subversion.  


Direction, Props, Sound, and Editing
Jen Liu

Director of Photography
Daisy Zhou

Second Camera, Audio Engineer
Sam Richardson

Production Assistant
Soo A Kim

Mini Zhang

Lab Workers Internationale
Ziyi Li
Ingrid Zhang

SEZ Stalkers
Kathy Cho
Shoko Fujita
Nina Ki
Ziyi Li
Fredi Lumyi
Ingrid Zhang

Corey Tazmania

Anne Carson, Red Doc>, 2013
Sentience Politics, “Cultured Meat: An Ethical Alternative to Industrial Factory Farming”, 2016.
Benjamin Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, 2016.
PHYS.ORG, “The mysterious 98%: Scientists look to shine a light on the ‘dark genome’”, February 3, 2017.
Promega, “NanoLuc® Luciferase: Redefining Reporter Assays”, 2017.
Worker Empowerment, A Better Life for the Workers (internal education materials), 2016.
Corey Tazmania, couples counselor for Tarkovsky’s Stalker and wife (studio improvisation), 2017. Tom W. Bell, “How Special Economic Zones are Quietly Advancing Freedom,” Foundation for Economic Education, April 11, 2017.
Aihwa Ong, “The China Axis: Zoning Technologies and Variegated Sovereignty,” Journal of East Asian Studies

THE PINK DETACHMENT, 2015 (English subtitles)

The Pink Detachment is a reinterpretation of The Red Detachment of Women (1970), a Model Opera ballet from China’s Cultural Revolution. In the original, a peasant girl joins an all-female military detachment, takes revenge on her despotic landlord, and produces Revolution. This ballet and its many variations was a ubiquitous propaganda piece in its day.

Can such a fraught archival document be re-motivated, beyond kitsch?

This piece proposes that re-motivation is possible, but only through major revision. First, the peasant girl is replaced with an accident-prone, inefficient meat worker. Second, the wise martial leader is replaced with a ballerina-manager that provides the solutions to the worker’s problems. She provides new tools – for meat and bone grinding – while resolving the inequities of wealth and resource distribution through the factory-produced hot dog. Military overthrow (Red) has been replaced by manufactured equivalence (Pink).

Within this revised framework, portions of the original music and choreography have been preserved. It has been re-engineered to fabricate continuity between the brutal fantasy of the past and the resource problems of the present. Parallel positions emerge from the color equation, Red + White = Pink. The first position is the old term “pinko” – a Communist (Red) who has assimilated Capitalist bourgeois models (White), to create a “watered-down” compromise (Pink). The second position is a speculative solution to China’s crises in meat supply, by valorizing the integration of “undesirable” pig parts with the “desirable” portions in the hot dog. And the third position proposes the pink of femininity not as a “natural” fleshy softness, but rather as a synthetic, potentially violent, hybridity.


Direction, Props, and Sound

Jen Liu

Director of Photography

Maria Rusche

Second Camera

Sam Richardson

Production Assistant

Hoi Cheng

Accident-Prone Worker

Katharine Liu

Manager Ballerina

Mayu Oguri

Company Dancers

Eli Condon

Jasmine Hong

Nathalie Encarnacion

Maura Harris

Sorcha Fatooh


Corey Tazmania

Isabelle Zufferey Boulton


Cixin Liu, The Three-Body Problem, 2014.

David John Farmer, “In the Pink!” Administrative Theory and Praxis, Vol. 25, No. 3 (September 2003).

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service, Code of Federal Regulations: Title 9, Volume 2, Part 319 – Definitions and Standards of Identity of Composition, 2012.

Lewis Mumford, The Myth of the Machine, Volume II: The Pentagon of Power, 1970.

Isabelle Zufferey Boulton Imagines A World Full of Pink: edited narrative improvisation, 2015


The Pink Detachment paintings depict a series of large feminine fingers pushing and prodding, wielding their pressure power upon a multitude of semi-abstract objects and bobbed head-bots.

The imagery draws from various forms of contemporary “empowerment” that depend on complex structures of manipulation and economic control: from the psychic functions of Drunk Tank Pink, to the “Charm Offensive” Soft Power tactics of Asia’s international relations, to the Multi-Touch power fingers of Mac’s tutorials, to the supposed triumph of Affective Labor in the last decade. Heteronormative gender constructions and its extension into racial, national, and economic perceptions are evident, and yet, often go under-acknowledged, even when each of these aspects are admitted to function differently for different social groups.

Through exaggeration of these concepts and visual absurdity, these paintings ask about what we define as power today. Further, they posit that power-made-visible can only be as cartoonish as a bunch of disembodied fingers pushing things around. The wielding of power itself may be so intentionally invisible and ubiquitous, such that nearly every structure and gesture unavoidably supports models of privilege and access, that its locatability as an image is itself an absurd proposition.

On the other hand, these might be paintings about a proposal for the future of power. If media accounts are to be believed, the inevitable push towards soft power and affective labor – ie the push East and towards female-dominated service labor – make it such that perhaps these are portraits of the world to come. Each painting is a window out to a world of pushy female fingers, the horizon itself washed in emotionally controlling hues.

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////// Final dress rehearsal on July 11, 2015 ///////

The Red Detachment of Women is a celebration of two worlds that almost exist. The first is a tropical paradise inhabited by female soldiers, as imagined in Madame Mao’s The Red Detachment of Women (ballet film: 1970). In her Red Detachment, a peasant girl undergoes a political awakening: the homicidal rage directed at her landlord is tamed, and she becomes a regulated, productive military agent. The second is an all-women state-of-the-art industrial pork processing plant, accommodating both Chinese factories’ preference for female workers with the latest in scientific management techniques.

This is a choreographed piece for six dancers, functioning simultaneously as a performance for a theatrical audience as well as a training manual for workers-soldiers that have almost arrived. Props, costumes, soundtrack and 3D-animated backgrounds blur the line between past and future, bridging China’s revolutionary imaginary and its projected economic future. An emphasis on perfect coordination and staggered synchronization implies a social machine so well designed it needs no leader. At the core of this piece is the systematization of violence for the purpose of greater productivity: whether in the production of revolution or in the production of edible goods. Exaggerated geometry and saturated reds and pinks literalize the act of systematization.

This piece poses a series of questions, such as: what is the relationship of social memory to social forgetting? How does selective memory, shaped by trauma manifesting in effects such as linguistic slips, generate new meanings - “Red Detachment” as military corps as well as the bloody disassembly of a carcass? What are the comparative optics of a revolutionary model versus a Fordist model, and is there any possibility of continuity between the two?

This piece was made with the generous support of Triple Canopy and The Whitney Museum of Art, and premiered on July 12, 2015 in a 3-person program called "Pattern Masters" which included new commissions by David Horvitz with Susie Ibarra, and Lucy Raven.


Single Channel Video

(Excerpt): This illustrates a key concept of the period: Military triumph produces prosperity, social order, international prominence, and gender equity by totally obliterating the old order. The ballet is remarkable for its synchronization of large numbers of female dancers, which makes visible the country’s efforts toward extraordinary cultural coherence. The ballet also features groups of factory workers moving in unison, the symbolism of which seems more difficult to parse given the social conditions that now characterize China, and the role of American consumers in the country’s industrialization.

In one of the ballet’s key sequences, peasants are so grateful for their emancipation that they offer soldiers heaving baskets of food, kneeling in adulation. However, military victories did not actually grant the masses regular access to food; top-down policies stymied agricultural output, and martial regimentation stalled efficiency. The resulting famine was one of the greatest tragedies of the twentieth century.

China’s political and economic landscape has changed, but scarcity of resources remains a problem. Since 2005, there has been a near-continual pork shortage in China, which is particularly painful because pork is the traditional meat of China. (The visual root of the pictogram of jia, meaning “home” or “family,” is a pig protected by a roof.) Demand rises as the population swells and living standards increase, and because of a peculiar trend: Newly minted members of the middle and upper classes cover their dinner tables with plate after plate of meat; a small fraction is eaten, and the rest is ostentatiously discarded—an aesthetics of affluence composed of heaps of fleshy trash....


Running Time: 17 min, 47 seconds

Factories will bring back money.
Factories will bring back jobs.
Factories will make everything fit again.
In factories, everyone has their place.

Western industrial production is a site of magical thinking: an old history that will never return, an idealized construction that never really was. It's impossible to know what the true costs would be if it were to return - societal, environmental, and psychological – and yet, entire political campaigns are built around this.

This piece speculates on re-industrialization, and is a sequel to my 2013 video, Safety First (Bad, Don’t Touch, Mercy!). Like its prequel, it posits a non-specific future populated by female factory workers. The geometric aesthetics of power and the romance of industrial-era alienation, are paired with theoretical and fictional texts about alternate social economies.

Video footage was shot in Ohio, animation and soundtrack by the artist. Voiceover text sources include Industrial supply catalogs, OSHA safety manuals, Monique Wittig’s Les Guerilleres, and Adorno’s Minima Moralia.


HD Video
Running Time: 15 minutes, 20 seconds

In split-screen. a factory laborer is at work, one representing good, the other, bad. Safety conditions are violated by the bad worker - and then dream sequences bring to life Romanian factory safety posters from the 1970s.

Shot in various locations in Northeast Ohio, including the Frank Lloyd Wright Penfield House. This is a major Rust Belt region, whose history is defined by Fordist production, and whose future is framed by its hoped-for return.

If the future campaign to bring industry back to the “first world” is successful, media must address forgotten safety concerns - SAFETY FIRST is a piece of speculative fiction. But how far in the future will this be, who are the agents of this change: what is their culture, language, and perspective? Just in case, geometry, video image, and sound have displaced verbal commands. And at the end, a nature-fugue provides a respite from the drudgery: a worker's vacation.


Jen Liu

Jake Hochendoner

Linus Ignatius

Shawn Kerns

Tracy Pattison

Marcia Custer

Ashley Lain
Brittany tosatto
Nina Price
Shayna Fischer
Michelle Brown
Danielle Stevens
Laiana Lewis
Alyssa D’Amico

Andrea Shearer
Paul Penfield
Tracy Marie
Joan Meggitt
Haze Productions
Joshua Talbott
Ryan Sovereign


What is the face of power?  In the contemporary global moment, it has many faces, and the higher one ascends, the less visible the face becomes – it is everywhere and nowhere. 

When we call for industrial production to come back to the West, it’s a nostalgia-dream for a simpler world, one in which everyone would have a place in the economic machinery, and power relationships would be paternalistic, visible, and negotiable through organization.

Here are a series of masks, designed for some future in which industrial production has been successfully brought back to the West.  They are meant to ease the discomfort of transition from one power model to the other: from faceless outsourced management to localized industrial management.  Inspired by the sentries in Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS (via the avant garde’s embrace of the African mask), they exist to dispel any confusion about who is in charge, soothing the frayed nerves of the post-Fordist citizen falling back into the Fordist fray.   

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Initial Public Offering OOOO (IPOOOOO) is composed of black ink drawings, video, sculpture and performance that present a fictional-futuristic agrarian-urban society. It is a new society split off from our own, initiated by the desire to overcome the cultural polarization that paralyzes our own. Through the study of Pierre Leroux’s ”Circulus”, in which equality and human manure were the two key elements of utopia, a new system of value is created. In the future, when all other forms of value have proved to be arbitrary and divisive, shit is the only thing left of provable productive force, uniting all.

Initial Public Offering is the moment at which a company goes public, split into numerous shareholders. By this Liu proposes a transitional moment of the new society, in which an initial utopian consensus model was successful, so much that consensus alone is no longer sufficient to organize the rapidly growing society. Intimations of political force and monetization start to emerge, as they struggle to maintain productivity and order. 

Thus Liu presents her series Master O-Note, that draws from Ootje Oxenaar’s currency designs to create a ”zero-value” note, which citizens convert their shit for, and thereby set the stage for the re-enactment of capitalism. Several other large scale ink drawings in the exhibition imagine the thinking, priorities and aesthetics of this society. They are as visually transitional as the society itself – a multitude of sources and styles work with and against each other, unified only by material.

Two videos explore the possibilities and drawbacks of this world. In Bottoms (OnO), a series of butts with faces painted on them march in place. A tribute to Yoko Ono’s Bottoms, it imagines a society in which equals walk towards a future of their own making. BBBitches! is constructed of stop-motion, 3D animation, and found footage set to a soundtrack of ”estranged” audio, as a transmission from a world that has evolved beyond our understanding.

realm fam


SIX COLORFUL TALES: FROM THE EMOTIONAL SPECTRUM (WOMEN) is a video reinterpreting a 1977 John Baldessari video of the same title. In his original, 6 women are each introduced by a color-based title (eg: ”Green Horn (Ilene)”), and tell an autobiographical story, head cropped small at the bottom of the frame, surrounded by a luminous backdrop of color determined by the title (eg: “Green Horn” = green).

Jen Liu develops cinematic pulp thrillers from each woman’s story, using their original voice narratives as the soundtrack. Each vignette makes dramatic use of their “color” to amplify the violence intrinsic to each tale – stylized, excessive, and often absurd. Fears that are imagined or merely implied in Baldessari’s original are realized and exaggerated. One woman depicts all the roles in this film, emphasizing the autoeroticism of violence – we see her flee from, destroy and consume herself, over and over again. This, paired with moments of narrative and visual disruption, makes it clear that this is a meta-fantasy.

SIX COLORFUL TALES was filmed in various locations in the vicinity of Vienna. Low-grade video cameras, homemade props, and a skeleton crew were used as a nod to B-movie film production, while stylistically the piece draws from giallo film in particular, gory Italian thrillers that peaked in the mid-70s.

Running time: 16:51

New Dawn Fades is part of the DRASTIC MEASURES body of work. It is based on a near-future world of environmental collapse, in which world leaders consolidate to institute austerity measures and reorganize society, in the attempt to salvage human society. In this reorganization, many new class-occupations are created, such as the Crunch Division, who exercise all day, and the Peace Division, who meditate all day.


Running time: 12 minutes, 26 seconds

In Comfortably Numb, a young runaway monk is accepted into the Brethren of the Stone, a group of 14th century Cistercian monks who abandoned their monastery for a life in free nature. The convert and his new brothers speak to each other in musical verse -- Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" translated into Latin and rewritten as a medieval madrigal-chant. However, after the initial acceptance rituals, the convert discovers that the Brethren are hostile to the outside world, which turns out to be the 21st century, not the 14th. He finds it hard to accept their disdain for the world, and their homicidal cannibalism. But finally, despite his resistance, the new convert relents to the group imperative, and graduates to be a primal spirit of nature. Comfortably Numb is the first part of a trilogy of videos. The second video will feature the primal spirits engaged in a battle against the Iron Men, which is also a grand battle between nature and technology, resistance and state power, nostalgia and modernity, as well as the battle between space rock and heavy metal.