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NOAA (2023) Neon light installation and live-simulation

Neon Installation
Video Installation

A commission by BMW at Westbund Shanghai 2023.

Artist Xin Liu has been tracking several decommissioned satellites, “NOAA”, drifting in space since 2020. She reinterprets the received data into audile signals and images to communicate with them. Like the thought experiments in Valentino Braitenberg’s Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology, these vehicles slowly came to embody love, logic, manifestations of foresight, creative thinking, personality, and free will in the eyes of the artist. In this BWM commission, the artist imagined a cosmic dance of countless orbiting vehicles in her dazzling installation.  


267.8 x 278.2 x 275cm 
Metal, Neon 

They are "vehicles," a series of hypothetical, self-operating machines that exhibit increasingly intricate if not always successful or civilized "behavior." Each of the vehicles in the series incorporates the essential features of all the earlier models and along the way they come to embody aggression, love, logic, manifestations of foresight, concept formation, creative thinking, personality, and free will. 

- publisher's synopsis on <Vehicles Experiments in Synthetic Psychology> by Valentino Braitenberg

During the conception of 「NOAA」 , I was tasked to propose a view on the future of AI and automobiles. Yet, I found a deeper connection with my old friends: NOAA weather satellites from the early 2000s. Twenty years after being decommissioned, they still repeat their orbital journeys day after day. 

How are they certain, from one image to another, this is the world? Does the turmoil on this planet sadden them?