Critic's Note: The results of the process and its faithfulness to the objective can be summarized in the word "product"; both the use of a process similar to design and the utter exclusion of any subjective elements can be viewed as characteristics of a product. Another paradox, however, is that in spite of these similarities, Kim's works are most definitely not industrial products. This is witnessed by the fact that their meaning as "products" does not merely express a relationship of tension with the work of art. Rather, the significance of his works in the context of art history emerges from the subtle tension they betray with the "ready-made." Kim's works may appear ready made, but they are not. As the words indicate, a "ready-made" work is one that has been prefabricated. But Kim's works are "products" rendered according to a carefully planned design. If ready-made works have been used in art in order to break down the boundary between art and the everyday, Kim's creations of "products" is an effort to reestablish the tension between art and the everyday that was broken down by the ready-made.
This tension hints at a certain social dimension that goes beyond simple artistic concerns. Through his "products," the artist is pursuing a rigor that is not visible to the naked eye. He creates highly polished structures by making products reminiscent of intricate machinery, but he shows that such polished works can only be born out of a stable system of micro-level parts. If we liken society to an artificial object, a product, then it is formed by the norms and systems of micro-level elements invisible to the eye. A product is a systematic work created from standardized criteria or interfaces. Such a system cannot come into being without the involvement of the micro-level. The work of Kim Byoung Ho is the creation of a fantasy that seeks to form the system of a society as interface from a micro-level of virus-like elements.
Artist's Education: Chungang University. Seoul, Korea. M.S., Technology Art.
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