Bibimbap News (2023)

BIBIMBAP NEWS: HERE’S THE SECRET WE FOUND FROM NORTH KOREAN GARBAGE STRANDED ON THE SOUTH KOREAN BEACH is a lecture, performance, and ongoing research that begins with investigating North Korean trash found on a South Korean beach.

Physical journeys between South Korea and North Korea are subject to strict prohibitions for Korean citizens due to the two countries’ division. Yet, Article 3 of the South Korean Constitution states that “the territory of the Republic of Korea shall consist of the Korean Peninsula and its adjacent islands”. Ironically, amidst these present circumstances, what South Koreans witness is only a censored image of North Korea depicted by both Korean governments.

However, both as a metaphor and a tangible entity, the ocean surpasses confines—transcending borders and this nation-state paradigm. Within its expanse, garbage from both nations traverses boundaries propelled by relentless currents.

Simultaneously, virtual technology takes up the mantle of another metaphorical ocean within this literary landscape. The previous leader of North Korea Kim Jong-il once emphasized the importance of cyberspace by stating that “the internet is a special space where national security laws(of South Korea) are neutralized” and “the South Korean authorities cannot control it”.

In this research, we explore the possibilities of this seemingly unreachable North Korea by viewing through the prisms of stateless waste, ocean currents, virtuality, and technology travelling across the metaphorical and literal oceanic space. Contained within South Korea’s geopolitical borders, this practice thrives—melding the material and immaterial—its pursuit of the exclusive domain of its citizens. And just as the ocean’s currents and virtual movements are in constant flux, this narrative defies definitive culmination.

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