Technology Review – The rise of a distinctive e-commerce culture is among the most striking changes the internet has wrought in China. Over $30 billion in merchandise traded hands on Alibaba platforms alone last November 11, a consumer holiday known as Singles’ Day, which dwarfs the US’s Black Friday. Most of those sales took place on Taobao, Alibaba’s principal consumer-facing website and app. Running on Taobao, a series by Hong Kong artist Mak Ying Tung 2, comprises photographs of oversized treadmills that Mak found on Taobao. She enlarged the stock photographs and embedded stills from movies like Iron Man and Star Wars on the treadmills’ screens to present an absurd and unsettling vision of humanity enslaved to in-app purchases and streaming entertainment. If Taobao has given rise to a new consumerist creed, artists like Mak are articulating a speculative iconography to match.  – read more