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n-1 map data: Google | Li-E Chen 2015

LI-E CHEN: 'n-1' 2015 - 2017 Google Map Data 2015, Screenshot

Work-in-progress Presentations

Work-in-progress Presentation #2: thinking. time. silence 18-02-2017 Sat 2pm

Work-in-progress Presentation #1: thinking. space. silence 08-08-2015 Sat 1.30pm

Location: Room 261, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

(nearest tube stations: Russell Square, Tottenham Court Road)

Hosted by Prof. Nathan Widder

Department of Politics and International Relations, Royal Holloway, University of London



How can one speak about nothingness and silence?

Li-E Chen invited participants from across different backgrounds to take part in her experiment on nothingness. As an result she created a series of 'Propositions on Nothing' that speaks about nothingness and silence through the notion of ‘weight’, ‘posture’ and ‘thinking.’


Performance life 2.2.2015 - 2.2.2017

'n-1' was simply about my ex ex exp exp ex ex ex expr expr ex ex ex ex ex [pause] ex ex ex exp expri me nta ion of L I F E.

I am a passerby

I am neither a creator nor a maker.

I am a passerby in life as well as on stage.

I am aware that with anything I do, with every action I do,

I am passing in time.

As time passes, I am also passing within.

I am aware that I am passing time within time itself.


Li-E Chen, 15 April 2017, London 

Map n-1

Inspired by Devoted & Disgruntled UK "The world is an open space". I'm deterritorializing the world - a work of art, a city, a map, a museum, a library, an open space... anything is possible... when a body makes the earth to shake 地震 dìzhèn [earthquake], the ground breaks.  "Sometimes chaos is an immense black hole in which one endeavors to fix a fragile point as a center. Sometimes one organizes around that point a calm and stable "pace" (rather than a form): the black hole has become a home. Sometimes one grafts onto that pace a breakaway from the black hole." Deleuze and Guattari


Li-E Chen

2.2.2015 - 2.2.2017

map data, text and numbers on Google My Maps



n-1 Performance life documents Li-E Chen's experimental site-specific art project, 'n-1.'

Published by Li-E Chen

Hardcover, size 15 x 23 cm, 150 pages

First Edition: 30 copies limited edition with 27 Sheets of Brown Paper pieces from '(n-1) London' Li-E Chen 2016 - 2017. Published on Earth Day, 22 April 2017. ISBN: 9781366057839. If you would like to request a free copy of the limited edition for your local reference library, please email for details.


(n-1) London

2016 - 2017

text, map, propositions and chalk on brown paper

total 40 sheets in edition #00054 - #0100, approx. 13.8cm x 13.80cm, materline imitation kraft sheets 95 gsm
limited editions

read-online version


Installed-digital actions

NOTHING SPECIAL, 168 of one-minute video documentation


Li-E Chen's video documentation of Performance life 2.2.2015 - 2.2.2017 (entitled: Nothing Special) was part of 'n-1'. A total of 168 of one-minute videos form the playlist.  Numbers 56, 121, 140, 151, 152 and 156 are missing their records.​

Li-E recorded a one-minute video at each number she visited during the two years of site-specific experiments. 'n-1' was not performed directly to any audience. Instead, Li-E remained invisible as an observer, passerby and outsider to the world. Nathan waves his hand and says to me, "Can you see this is moving? can you see this is moving? You know that time is passing."




12 September 2015

as part of New Malden Art Festival 2015


Li-E Chen invites public to take part an experimental art workshop, using a domestic site of an everyday living space for participants to explore the notion of nothingness. The aim of the workshop is to explore thinking and not-thinking, knowing and not-knowing, and to use domestic space as a neutral art material.

image/worksheet by a participant of Li-E Chen's workshop 'nothing' 12 September 2015




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2 February 2015 - 2 February 2017

To do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.” Oscar Wilde

'n-1' was Li-E Chen's experimental site-specific art project involving visits to 168 locations set out as squares on a Google map of Greater London, using the city as a stage and open space for the execution of Chen’s experiments. The squares are associated with the 524 propositions of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s ‘Tractatus Logico Philosophicus’, whose account of logical structure and the limits of language inspire the project. The themes of 'nothing' and ‘non-expression’ pervade Wittgenstein's Tractatus from start (Proposition 1.1: The world is the totality of facts, not of things.) to finish (Proposition 7: What we cannot speak about, we must pass over in silence.). 

"Wittgenstein's purpose was not merely to formulate instructions which would save people from trying to say what cannot be said in language, but also to succeed in understanding the structure of what can be said." David Pear

Chen's work investigates the condition of 'nothingness' drawn from the notion of silence, non-representational forms of expression, and both Eastern and Western philosophers and artists who associate silence in their works, including John Cage, Robert Wilson, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tehching Hsieh, Harold Pinter, Samuel Beckett and the work of Improbable. ‘n-1’ developed further her ideas about 'thinking posture', a term she used for the disposition of mind and body that affects one's ways of living, thinking, and artistic making. ‘n-1’ developed during Chen’s one year durational laboratory on Nothing when she was Studio Artist at ]Performance S p a c e [ in 2012 to 2013, and from her participation in Devoted and Disgruntled events facilitated by Improbable Theatre in 2014.


With thanks to the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Contemporary Political Theory Research Group, Royal Holloway University of London, Improbable's Devoted and Disgruntled UK, New Malden Art Festival, Square Knot, all the participants and everyone who supported in Li-E Chen's 'n-1'.


The completion of Li-E Chen's two year 'n-1' was being marked with the release of an accompanying art publication on 21 May 2017.

n-1 eflyer back.jpg
n-1 eflyer front.jpg
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