Shuang Li was raised in rural south-eastern China, where she grew up on a diet of YouTube, MySpace, knockoff Nintendo consoles, pirated videogames, and dakou CDs, hole-punched disks imported to China from the West as surplus plastic but disseminated in the underground market throughout the 1990s. Attuned from a young age to the innerworkings of technology as a dazzling agent of entertainment, she likewise has long been cognisant of its capacity to act as a profound vector of control over individuals in China’s new era of accelerated development and global Neoliberalism. Li’s interdisciplinary work underscores the friction between biopolitics and the body, digitised desire, and human intimacy. Like many Surrealists artists of the early 20th century, who frequently addressed the relationships between sexuality and commodity culture through the exploration of the human figure, Li suffuses digital spaces of consumerism with bodily eroticism. In Li’s 2021 work ÆTHER (Poor Objects) – a play on the word “ether” – she amalgamates disparate footage, including that of a solar eclipse with images brightened by ring lights, the lighting tool often used by social media influencers and vloggers. Forging an aesthetic and conceptual connection between these rings of light – one natural, one artificial, both uncanny – Li denotes the slippage between virtual experience and physical life.