Power 100

Most influential people in 2023 in the contemporary artworld


Cao Fei

Artist - Multimedia artist exploring new technologies and digital culture

10 in 2023

  • 202310
  • 202212
  • 20217
  • 202027
  • 201917
  • 201841
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2006
Photo: Nan Jiang. Courtesy Cao Fei, Vitamin Creative Space and Sprüth Magers

“I’d probably try to leave,” a random man, glasses askew, tells Cao when asked what he would do if he found himself in the Metaverse. He appears in a video series, Meta-mentary (2022), shown in Duotopia, a new body of work presented at Sprüth Magers in Berlin in April that is optimistic about the digital future yet questions whether opting out will even be possible. Cao, who is also currently a professor and master adviser at the School of Experimental Art at Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts, has spent two decades investigating virtual and augmented realities, and their intersection with the real world. In Berlin she debuted a new Metaverse avatar, Oz, half-human, half-squid and androgynous, a guise she later took to São Paulo for her retrospective at Pinacoteca. ‘Oz represents a blend of machine and human elements… As we encounter this turning point in technological development, it becomes imperative for humans to navigate the complexities of a technologically driven world,’ the artist told Dazed – or rather, the future is not a dream, as her South American solo debut was titled.

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