Everything Before, Everything After

FILE 2024 | Installations
International Electronic Language Festival
Seph Li – Everything Before, Everything After – China and UK

A digital installation features a winding river in the style of Chinese painting, symbolizing time and transition. Touch screens allow visitors to paint over it, altering its course unpredictably. The river embodies history and the future, with each trace contributing to its eternal flow through space and time. Recorded interactions ensure its perpetual existence.


Born in Beijing in 1988, Seph Li has a mixed background in technology and design, and his keen interest in interactive artworks led him to the field of media arts. Seph studied computer science and entertainment design at Tsinghua University and continued his master’s study in design/media arts at UCLA. Seph currently resides in London, United Kingdom; he creates interactive artworks as well as technical experiments with other production studios.

alfred schnittke

a far cry
concerto grosso no 1
V. Rondo: Agitato
Alfred Schnittke’s haunting first Concerto Grosso for 2 violins, harpsichord, prepared piano and 21 strings,
violinists; Nelson Lee & Meg Freivoge
harpsichord & prepared piano: Andrus Madsen


“It’s a piece by Alfred Schnittke, a Russian polystylist composer who spent most of his life behind the Iron Curtain. Schnittke is underrated. This is perhaps due to his post-modern tendencies, which for lesser composers can be a veil for lack of substance. That’s not the case in this piece. Take a listen to the fifth movement of his Concerto Grosso No. 1 (1977).  It is a great example of how Schnittke freely takes from disparate styles to create an unpredictably effective result”. David Werfelmann


The Outland is a large black box, perched atop hydraulic legs, that bounces and dives unpredictably, shudders and shakes, tips and wobbles, to the point you might be afraid it will fall over. It is in fact a flight simulator ride, with no door and no external markings. As soon as you learn that, the box becomes more and more intriguing, inciting imaginary flight paths as you try to reconcile the visible movement of the box with what sort of vision the imaginary audience inside would be experiencing.