Past Exhibition


December 12 – 17, 2017

Art Sonje Center 3F


For six days in December, Art Sonje Center for Contemporary Art will be transformed into a venue for innovative technologies and artistic imagination from across the globe. Artists and tech-developers will join hands in this showcase of a wide range of new applications and products that shape our present and future. A BETTER VERSION OF YOU provides a look into the technological agents that serve as the foundation of contemporary societies on a global scale, from self-learning machines, neural networks and ubiquitous computing, to swarm-based urban planning, personalised experiental gaming, brain-machine interfaces, precision agriculture, online safe spaces and the everyday tools of the entrepreneurial self. Harnessing perspectives from China, South-Korea, Japan, USA, Russia, South-Africa and Europe, A BETTER VERSION OF YOU will showcase latest advances in defining political and social technologies.

About the Exhibitors

Bunch of Keys, Teeth, Bones, Forged money / Alice Creischer
Nature says: Keys on a key ring, teeth that have nothing to bite into, bones are of no economic interest until I’ve nearly scoffed them. I can sell you the rest. And suddenly you’re free to invest in your survival. You didn’t have this freedom before.

B2B Area
A meeting point for latest B2B technologies.

Facing the Same Direction / Maja Čule
Technology made a promise of greater productivity, and with it more free time for pursuing personal growth. Yet somehow work seems to occupy our thoughts and lives all the time. By taking part in this campaign, you will help spread a radical idea – the ability to choose between work or not work.

FATE inc. / Alex Anikina & Anton Anikin
FATE Inc. is a company working on the best possible future for everyone. It is achieved through ‘fate conditioning’, or the process of introducing subtle changes into individual timelines so that they are put into alignment.

Founders / Simon Denny
FOUNDERS is the prototype for a game exploring the tech-libertarian vision of competitive settlement in light of the collapsing welfare state and a decaying earth: “Exit a decaying earth and settle, trade and build your way to a free galaxy one domain at a time – YOU CAN BE THE FOUNDER.”

The Patch / Melanie Gilligan
The Patch allows users to communicate thoughts and affects directly from brain to brain, conjuring a whole range of social, cultural and economic applications that have far-reaching effects on the structure of society as well as people’s most intimate relations.

Industry Hub
A meeting point for latest consumer technologies.

Game I: Future is Fate / Kang Jungsuck
Game I is the prototype of a game generated by AI, allowing users to explore their own identity based on an avatar created from the metadata that is amassed during the course of one’s life. It was produced by the game-designing AI “AI BEGELINA”.

OmikujJ䖴䖴硸/ Elena Knox & Katsumi Watanabe
Department of Intermedia Art + Science, Waseda University Omikuji is a live-stream event taking place between Japan’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) and Artsonje Center in Seoul. The event focuses on Alter, a new robot with experimental AI that uses a self-organizing neural network to classify its surroundings. Such AI strategies include deep belief networks, through which machines determine certain inputs to be believable. Using Knox+Watanabe’s Belief Machine, visitors can communicate with Alter in Tokyo’s Miraikan.

Cyborg Series / Lee Bul
Lee Bul’s well-known Cyborg Series has tackled the question of physical augmentation and man-machine extensions since 1997. The image of the ‘cyborg’ – as the technologically enhanced human body – where human and technology become inseparable – still provides a leading concept for understanding our current ‘cyborgian’ state under the condition of pervasive digital technology.

Play Station™ – Farsight / Lawrence Lek
With Play Station™ we enter the world of the technology start-up Farsight. A world leader in digital automation, Farsight trains employees to outsource their jobs, rewarding top performers with access to exclusive entertainment and e-holidays. Access to this virtual world is through a mandala-like installation of VR headsets, video training guides, and voiceover tutorials.

SWARM is a social software that visualizes the collective consciousness by recording the evolution of opinions on a given topic between different actors. Initially intended to operate at an urban scale to promote horizontality between government officials, planning authorities, and the civil society, SWARM reflects the exchange between different voices at different scales – from domestic, to local, to city-wide, to regional, to international. “Ideas converging. Evolving. Better Together.”

NTU: Nervous Conditioner / Nolan Dennis, Tabita Rezaire, Bogosi Sekhukhuni
Nervous Conditioner is an independent foray exploring the possibilities of enabling virtual self-organization as internet consusers. NTU crafted its own web server, acting as an amulet to power and host Nervous Conditioner, a closed network prototype on the deep web. Nervous Conditioner was conceived as an ‘uncompromised’ channel for people of color to discuss, share, and organize, without the presence of whitesupremacist, hetero-normative cults that populate innumerous corners of the public forums of the Internet.

Replika is an AI friend that is always there for you. It learns from you, gets to know you, and keeps your memories. Your Replika will live on long after your physical existence has vanished, soothing the pain of your friends. Replika was created by Luka, a team of young female software engineers based in San Francisco and Moscow that launched one of the first chatbots based on deep neural networks.

Bitcoin and The Case of Coltan / Andreas Siekmann
Bitcoin and The Case of Coltan present the material conditions of so-called crypto-currencies, thereby bringing to light the underrepresented reality of digitized economics: far from being “immaterial”, they are based on labor- and energy-intensive processes of exploitation.

BayEarth® / Walter Solon and Jorge Loureiro
BayEarth® is the prototype for an artificial soil system that has been developed by a person at the Research and Development sector for precision agriculture at German corporation Bayer. BayEarth® are intelligent artificial soil particles introduced into natural soil to gather information and help rehabilitate degraded and depleted lands.

BIV IC Group / Du Yuqing
BIV IC Group is an international corporation dedicated to the development of an ultra-high bandwidth brainmachine interface to connect humans and computers. Future customers learn about the company history and get information about buying plans, services and financial opportunities that come with the new 4 technology. A free chip implantation is provided at the booth.

Make Bad Cookies / Payne Zhu
Current data ethics hold that all the data generated by a human being are real and are also used to exert control within society. Payne Zhu made a program that automatically produces the data needed by a user 24 hours a day. These “bad cookies” are not based on user behavior and increase the range of possibilities for network behavior.


Opening reception and keynotes by Jinsang Yoo (Prof., Kyewon Univ.)
4 PM December 12

Talks with exhibitors and commissioners
3 PM December 16

Commissioners: Christian von Borries, Nina Franz
Exhibitors: Elena Know/Katsumi Watanabe, Do Yu Qing, METASITU, Alex Ankina


A BETTER VERSION OF YOU will set its sails in a number of cities across the world. Opening for the first time in December 2017 at Art Sonje Center for Contemporary Art, it will be hosted in March 2018 in Beijing, China and different locations throughout Asia and Europe.

This exhibition is a part of the research project “A Better Version of 人” of the Goethe-Instituts in East Asia.

December 12 – 17, 2017
Art Sonje Center 3F
Produced by
Goethe-Institut China, Goethe-Institut Korea
Conceived by
Chrstian von Borries and Nina Franz
Elena Know/Katsumi Watanabe, Do Yu Qing, METASITU, Alex Ankina
Christian von Borries, Nina Franz