Juxtaposing past and future and primitive and high-tech, Guan Xiao employs modern technology to address and unravel her cultural and physical environment and personal thought processes. Her work disregards linear time, instead considering diverse cultures and artifacts in a more holistic manner. Her comparisons of regionally and chronologically disparate objects expose similarities among civilizations, regions, and eras while avoiding solid conclusions. In this regard, her work stands as a puzzle that the viewer is meant to solve. Both her videos and sculptures address the ways viewers read and respond to visual cues; for example, Xiao’s David video, named for Michelangelo’s sculpture, is an absurdist commentary on the contemporary commercialization of a centuries-old sculpture, while her work Core Sample positions tripod-like sculptures as future artifacts and scientific samples.