Google Office 0.2, 2010
in collaboration with The Improvement League
Taipei Biennial 2010
Taipei, Taiwan
Curated by Tirdad Zolghadr and Hongjohn Lin

Assembled and directed by Michael Portnoy, the Improvement League was a think tank comprising artist/futurologist Steven Johnson, artist Adriana Lara, writer/curator Raimundas Malasauskas, Cabinet magazine editor Sina Najafi, artist Michael Portnoy, and architect Gro Sarauw. The League was established to “improve” existing breeds of art making by pruning, grafting and hybridizing certain lines of thought, in a kind of conceptual horticulture. More futurology than critique, the League uses the seeds within contemporary forms and approaches as tools for invention.

Six months prior to the opening of the Biennial, The League was given the proposals of all the artists in the exhibition and selected Olivia Plender’s Google Office installation as the subject of their inaugural action. Transmuting its genetic material at an early stage of development, they grew an errant twin, producing an installation that was exhibited alongside Plender’s artwork.

Google Office 0.2 was a multi-room living search engine, a participatory installation accommodating one person at a time for a befuddling five minute “search” comprised of a series of bewildering encounters with multiple performers. Moving through several spaces (a rotating reception desk, a two­-person ngihtclub inside of a larger desk, a constantly transforming black and white "snow" camouflaged room) the participant's initial search query was transformed and frustrated wildly throughout the experience. 

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