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Conversations at the Edge (CATE) Resource Guides


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This page contains links to articles, interviews, and videos that can be incorporated into your syllabus in preparation for an event or afterward for post-event discussion and research. Go to for detailed event information.

Shu Lea Cheang: UKI
Wednesday, April 10, 6:00 p.m. CT
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.

Shu Lea Cheang: Fresh Kill
Thursday, April 11, 6:00 p.m. CT
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.

Please note that All CATE events will have real-time captioning (CART). Hearing loops, wheelchair seating, and companion seating are also available at the Gene Siskel Film Center. For other accessibility requests, please visit or write


In her latest feature, UKI, pioneering media artist Shu Lea Cheang mixes 3D animation and live action to create an exhilaratingly queer science-fiction epic of corporate surveillance, contagion, sex, and biotechnology. Residents of a city beset by a viral epidemic discover that the pharmaceutical firm GENOM has been harvesting data about their sex lives to develop a drug that will bring the population under its control. Meanwhile, one of GENOM’s humanoid data collectors, dumped into a toxic e-waste site, mutates into the virus UKI. Backed by mutants, castoffs, and the city’s infected activists, UKI sets out to sabotage the firm’s authoritarian ambitions. Drawing from her experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic and the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and ‘90s, Cheang imbues UKI with the power, in her words, “to mobilize, to infiltrate, to subvert.” 

Fresh Kill, Shu Lea Cheang’s groundbreaking debut feature, is a cyberfeminist eco-thriller, now restored for its 30th anniversary. Partners Shareen (Sarita Choudhury) and Claire (Erin McMurtry) find themselves in the crosshairs of a nefarious multinational corporation after they discover it is poisoning citizens through toxic cat food, contaminated sushi, and nuclear waste. When their daughter disappears, they turn to a global band of hackers and activists. Cheang shifts between horror, camp, and agit-prop, structuring the film around an electric sense of destabilization and disruption. Characteristic of the activist impulse that runs through all her work, Fresh Kill’s themes of predatory capitalism and environmental catastrophe remain just as pressing today. 

Shu Lea Cheang’s appearances are presented in partnership with Video Data Bank.


Born in Taiwan and now based in Paris, Shu Lea Cheang is an artist and filmmaker whose work aims to re-envision genders, genres, and operating structures. She began her career as a member of activist media collectives Paper Tiger TV and Deep Dish TV. Later, as a celebrated pioneer of Net Art, her work Brandon (1998–99) became the first-ever web-based artwork commissioned and collected by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Since 1994, she has produced four feature films, Fresh Kill (1994), I.K.U. (2000), Fluidø (2017), and UKI (2023), which encompass a new genre she calls “Scifi New Queer Cinema.” In 2019, she represented Taiwan at the Venice Biennale with the mixed media installation, 3x3x6. Over the years, Cheang has participated in many renowned international biennials, including Performa 19, New York; the 11th Taipei Biennial; the 50th and 58th Venice Biennale; and the 1992 and 1994 Whitney Biennials among others. Her works are included in the world’s key permanent collections for contemporary art, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; NTT InterCommunication Center, Tokyo; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and DSL collection, Paris. 

Artist website 
Video Data Bank Artist Page


Docile, Mutating and Resistant Bodies: Shu Lea Cheang [Article]
Huang, Banyi | Art Asia Pacific, (113) | p. 76-85 | May/Jun 2019
 *This is a library resource that requires ARTIC login

Shu Lea Cheang [Interview]
Chua, Lawrence; Cheang, Shu Lea; Hagedorn, Jessica | Bomb, (54) | p.60-63 | 1996
 *This is a library resource that requires ARTIC login

Machines of Loving Grace [Interview]
Blas, Zach; Cheang, Shu Lea | Frieze: Contemporary Art and Culture, (203) | p.170 | 2019
 *This is a library resource that requires ARTIC login

Shu Lea Cheang at the 2019 Venice Biennale [Interview]
Simpson, Veronica; Cheang, Shu Lea | Studio International | June 14, 2019


Cinema Frames, Videoscapes, and Cyberspace: Exploring Shu Lea Cheang's Fresh Kill  [Article]
Marchetti, Gina | Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique, vol. 9 (2) | p.401-422 | 2001
*This is a library resource that requires ARTIC login

"Collective Orgasm": The Eco-Cyber-Pornography of Shu Lea Cheang [Article]
Oishi, Eve | Women's Studies Quarterly, vol. 35 (1/2) | p. 20-44 | 2007
*This is a library resource that requires ARTIC login

Pleasure by Extraction: Shu Lea Cheang at the Musée Départemental des Arts Asiatiques [Article]
Tenaglia, Francesco | Art in America | June 11, 2021


Shu Lea Cheang on Panopto
Available with SAIC login credentials.


Conversations at the Edge Lecture Recordings
Conversation at the Edge video recordings (2016–present.) Available with SAIC login credentials.