Behind The Screen

The project is a multimedia interactive installation, taken inspiration from the social media app Instagram, that aims to reveal the negative user experiences that are evoked by social media, including the pressure towards overexposure of user privacy and the anxiety towards the distancing of a social-media self and a true self.

Linjie Kang

https://youtu.be/aT0pH1rIzq8

Description

The project is a multimedia interactive installation, taken inspiration from the social media app Instagram, that aims to reveal the negative feelings that are evoked by social media, including the pressure towards overexposure of user privacy and the anxiety towards the distancing of a social-media self and a true self. Simulating the browsing of Instagram user posts, the project basically detects the existence of audiences and responds accordingly, as the more people come to visit it, the messer the installation will end up, because the infrared detection trigger system is connected to spray painters.

In our age, there’s no way for one to escape from social media. It is true that social media brings convenience to our daily life, however, with it also come various negative experiences. The vague boundary of privacy and publicity in social media which makes people feel insecure and overly exposed has long been a heated discussion, while the forming sharing and posting culture on social media has forced people to go through a self-filtration process where people gradually start to fake themselves on their personal accounts. Due to these reasons, it is common for people to live a masked life on social media where only beautiful looking things are recorded, while the true self that is behind the screen is often hidden.

Based on this life experience, the installation aims to reveal the true anxious emotions people are having that are hidden behind the screen and unseen on social media. The installation explores the exposure of privacy through social media by turning the once virtual and personal information largely public, and it physicalizes the two-folded life people are having online and offline, making the once internal emotions and pressures external and visible to all.

IMA/IMB Shanghai
Capstone Studio (Shanghai)
Art,Social Good/Activism

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distortion of the self through datamoshing

Julia Ann Myers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56X5L-M8jYM&feature=youtu.be

Description

Using digital photographs with strong attachments to my sense of self, I created photoshopped collages using processes of datamoshing to distort and transform images. Digital photography represents a myriad of choices reflecting how we want to be perceived, from how we “perform” for the camera to which images we choose to keep, edit and share. These images form our sense of identity, informing us of how others view us and how we want to be viewed. Using images with strong connections to my personal identity, I was able to retake agency over the photos and reclaim the part of my identity associated with the images. This process of deleting data created additional meaning, transforming my connotations with certain photos and memories.

IMA/IMB Shanghai
Capstone Studio (Shanghai)
Art

One Free Click

To make recycling appropriated content on Kuaishou easier for grassroots digital creative entrepreneurs, a website connected to an auto-editing service and a video database is developed to help them survive on the video platform.

Yufeng Zhao

https://studio.youtube.com/video/XAiOpUtHbV0/edit

Description

One Free Click is an interactive website that showcases trending yet replicable Kuaishou videos within selected hashtags and generates auto-edited derivative videos, ready to upload with a single click. This project is inspired by the structural practice of video reproduction on Kuaishou, the leading short video platform in China.

Kuaishou is known for the unabashed earthiness of its contents and its encouragement for mass entrepreneurship by means of monetization of digital content. On Kuaishou, in order to speed up the production and bring down the cost, there are a large group of videos that are reproductions of existing ones. Many reproduce the same plots, scenes or lines, and some are just collages or re-edits of existing videos. However, thanks to Kuaishou’s delicately curated recommendation system, the lack of content originality does not affect the publicity of the videos in attracting new audiences to the publishing accounts. Such workflows are often passed down from established Kuaishou influencers to newcomers through self-run mentorship programs.

One Free Click is a piece of web art as well as a product designed for newcomers to the Kuaishou business. The entry page presents a collection of videos under a few popular tags among the reproduction practice. Under each tag, a condensed view of the existing corpus is shown in order to quickly familiarize the user with its creative context. While unveiling the phenomenon, it also responds with an automated editing workflow for simple video reproduction, free of charge to average Kuaishou users struggling with mechanical labor and hassles in their mobile editing software. With a click of a button, it generates a random video from a database of existing ones for immediate downloading and publishing. It aims to provoke thoughts in China’s landscape of fast-entertainment, mass entrepreneurship, and the ecosystem for content creators.

IMA/IMB Shanghai
Capstone Studio (Shanghai)
Culture,Tool\\\\Service

台北夢Taipei Dreams

Erase for new interpretation, 台北夢Taipei Dreams is an interactive website that contains more than 50 erased stories of people who have come to Taipei, the capital of Taiwan.

s

https://vimeo.com/418902703

Description

Entering, assimilating, and then reinterpreting, the experience of accommodating to a new city is conceptually aligned with both the technical and poetic process of erasure poetry—a text being encountered, read, and eventually “erased” in forming new interpretations of an existing narrative. Taipei is like no others, but as one index city seems to entail a common metropolitan theme built up with the burdens of people’s ambitions and aspirations on a scale of different visibilities. These stories of “dreams” come from mostly university students/graduates around my age who have moved to Taipei for work or study. With a lot of comparings and imitations in the highly competitive environment, it seems like many are subconsciously living out the stereotypes of what they expected people in Taipei would be like. Perhaps, the biggest stereotype is that Taipei is an absolute place of dream-come-true as they first entered in their own processes of wayfinding, where “dreams” are in fact very much overlapped. The diverse yet homogenized complexity of these stories have to deal with the dynamic between collectivism and individualism. Each story is of one unique person, but comes together as one.

Taking the form of erasure poetry as part of the social practice of this project, I hope to explore the dynamic from a personal perspective. By translating and erasing others’ stories whose original texts were in Traditional Chinese, I have entered a virtual space of the city of embedded dreams, and finding my very own reinterpreted from others’ real life endeavors. The website not only provides a freely explorative experience, but a collection of city experiences, which does not have the magic to achieve one’s dreams, but through interactive engagements invites people to reflect on their own encounters. Through 台北夢, we could be closer to our dreams.

IMA/IMB Shanghai
INTM-SHU.401.1
Capstone Studio (Shanghai)
Culture,Narrative/Storytelling

Mirror

Mirror is an animated short film visualizing depressive feelings resulted from extreme self-criticism.

Chenchen Zhou

https://vimeo.com/417160347

Description

Mirror is a digitally-drawn animated film depicting the inner struggle of a person who experiences extreme self-criticism. The initial idea comes from my personal experience of doing self-criticism in an extreme way and ending up with negative feelings. Self-criticism as an objective evaluation of oneself can lead to improvements. However, based on Sigmund Freud’s theory of personality structures, while experiencing extreme self-criticism, the unbalanced psychological parts of an individual can reduce mental well-being. The way I visualize the two conflicting minds of a character over self-criticism is based on how Freud divided one’s personality into psychological parts.

In my depiction, I let my character experience harsh criticism towards his/her self to show how extreme self-criticism can lead to strong depressed feelings. When I was struck by the anguish of criticism, the inner struggle was hard to convey verbally but I perceived it in a visual form. In this project, I turned my visions into a film to convey this chaotic inner state. The black and white visual style fits in the dark tone of the story. There are two conflicting parts inside the character: one part of the character does self-criticism, while the other tries to resist it. The conflict between the two parts is translated into the action of consuming and fighting between a figure outside the mirror and his/her reflection. The figures in my film don’t have distinguished characteristics as I intend to present the self-criticism concept in a universal way. The character can be understood as every person so that audiences can project their feelings onto the film character. The usage of a mirror in the film is inspired by Jacques Lacan’s concept of the mirror stage. As a mirror can reveal the psychological state, in the film, the mirror serves as a trigger for the process of self-criticism.

IMA/IMB Shanghai
INTM-SHU.401.1
Capstone Studio (Shanghai)
Art

The Ticker Pin

This installation collects sexually offensive message sent to children detected by NGOs on various social media platforms; by exposing and cumulating these messages, it calls for more attention to child sexual abuse in the cyber spaces and better child protection on multiple levels.

Yunzhu Pan

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1phvwSSWnskkX_RHnxGJsss0uYMUpuG57/view?usp=sharing

Description

This project collects sexually offensive message sent to children detected by NGOs on various social media platforms; by exposing and cumulating these messages, it calls for more attention to child sexual abuse in the cyber spaces and better child protection on multiple levels. Most messages in this project’s database is collected by organizations like Bark, ChuLe, and individuals who has personal experience with the stated CSA issue, or involved in related activisms in various ways.

The installation is a stand-alone art installation, with a Raspberry Pi mini-controller running a program collection input data, and a thermal printer reacting in real-time, printing out the gathered data. The core components will be placed in a round-shaped transparent glass cover on a pedestal.

This project is a response to the issue of child sexual abuse in the online world, hoping to invoke attentions of parents and tech companies, which through research, are clearly proved to be the two parties that plays the most significant roles in dealing with online CSA(Child Sexual Abuse). The form of the installation is inspired by the “ticker tape machine”, an installation used by businesses to transmit and keep track of stock price information around the late 20th century. This particular installation was chosen because despite of any particular topic it serves, it perfectly embodies the role of a “perfect listener”; the ticker tape is a small device pinned into the real world, listens to live-data that’s constantly produced and updated in the real world, and acutely reacts to what it hears. This installation is designed to embodied the role of such a “listner”, that would monitor and “listen to” offensive languages and messages targeting children in social media and games, and would stay acute to any updates or changes.

IMA/IMB Shanghai
INTM-SHU.401.1
Capstone Studio (Shanghai)
Social Good/Activism

On the Way Back

On the way back is a storytelling based installation based on true history to explore the isolation and essential loneliness of human.

Wenhan Dou

https://vimeo.com/417101570

Description

The project is based on and adapted from historical events in 1992. A Soviet astronaut was on his mission in space when Soviet Union collapsed so that he was trapped in space longer than he expected, unsure about when to go back. The project sets up the scene in an office desk of a rocket launch center, the staff working on this desk is receiving messages from that astronaut in the space station. The supporting documents and newspapers on the office desk, together with the message from the universe will bring the audience back to 1992 and have an immersive experience.

IMA/IMB Shanghai
INTM-SHU.401.1
Capstone Studio (Shanghai)
Narrative/Storytelling

Lashi Conservation Park

Lashi Conservation Park is a photo book project that reflects on the social media induced tourism and its impact on the landscape of Lashi, Lijiang, China.

Yutong Lin

https://youtu.be/BABlw0LdtCM

Description

Lashi Conservation Park is a photo book project that walks on the popular horseback riding trips which take tourists up to the source of the Lashi Lake (拉市海) in the mountains. Lashi Lake is located in Lijiang, Yunnan, China. It was a pathway in the ancient Tea Horse Road before the twentieth century, the trading route between Tibet and China. However, the designation of Lijiang as World Culture Heritage in 1997 gradually turned the whole town to a tourist destination, which drastically reformed its landscape and demographics. Lashi Lake now operates more around tourism and its infrastructure than it used to be. Similar to many other famous sites for sightseeing in China, it also has been decorated with “scenic spots” for tourists to take photos for social media posting, which are the sculptures, props, and advertising billboards. To an extent, social media-induced tourism dominates the landscape, rendering the landscape secondary as the backdrop for tourist photography. Therefore, the local and historical context of Lashi is silenced and alienated. The further recontextualization of the tourist imaging on social media forces the landscape to acquire new meanings as embellished souvenirs. Collectively, the online circulation and repopulation of such maintain and reproduce the imagination of a tourist attraction.

The book aims to explore the visual language of the vernacular forms of tourism architecture, investigating the social media tourist’s experience through the photographic delineation of a foreign land. The linguistics of such can be shared and implemented to different places, forming a bizarre visual unity, a sense of “touristy.” Contrasted with more everyday visual encounters in the same region, together, they constitute the hyperreality of Lashi Lake, a sense of deracination from the typology of the land. By taking a camera with me everywhere I go, in a sense, I am also a tourist, eager to take photos when I feel conflicted or don’t know what to respond to what I see. As someone who has family ties to this village, who can’t speak her native Nakhi language, is the action of photo-making and photo documentation of this politicized landscape a form of reconciliation with my identity? Or does the intrusive camera further deepen the gap between me and my people, distancing myself from the water and soil of Lashi.

IMA/IMB Shanghai
INTM-SHU.401.1
Capstone Studio (Shanghai)
Culture,Art

The Public Chair

The Public Chair is a social critique on classist urban design towards the homeless population in public spaces through the implementation of hostile architecture.

Sofia Shockman

https://nyu.zoom.us/j/95950394007

Description

Used for seating and lounging, a park bench holds the purpose of recreation such as people watching, taking the dogs to the dog park and waiting, or to have a moment of rest. The Public Chair critiques how park benches in many metropolis cities have systematically suppressed homeless individuals through uninhibiting design. The Public Chair is a bench displaying hostile architecture as a critique of contemporary urban design by removing all practicalities from a typical bench.This abstract installation represents the convergence of similar yet fairly distinct class struggles, specifically for the homeless. I researched the design techniques that alleviate homelessness in Houston, Texas and have conducted interviews in New York City with several who identify as homeless on 7th and 9th street. They shared deeply moving yet traumatizing stories of their lives from the past, present, and the uncertainty of their futures. I asked them how they felt about public spaces and what they wanted to see out of them, but what struck me about their response is that they didn’t care what improvements could be done. What I discovered is that the issue isn’t a design solution, but a question of public policy and proper policing. They said that police are vigilant of their actions, thus a majority of the time they are asked to leave public property. I witnessed the policing firsthand as I was conducting my interview, the same officer circled us multiple times even though we were just chatting outside of CVS. The piece symbolizes the perpetual loop of political design and the implications of designing with inhibiting factors that hinder the use of the public sphere.

IMA/IMB Shanghai
INTM-SHU.401.1
Capstone Studio (Shanghai)
Social Good/Activism

The Little Things are Giant

Depicting an upcycled plastic tree sculpture amidst a natural forest, The Little Things are Giant is a photographic series that makes the invisible visible.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1iwtfkxQpQDq-LS-kv3oCSi-YLcrwY7qI

Description

Growing up in the suburbs of Maryland, much of my entertainment revolved around the woods. Elementary school days were spent in the treehouse, or hiding behind a tree during a game of hide-and-seek. As I grew older, I moved past the forestry of my own neighborhood and started hiking in other, slightly more distant forests. This personal connection to trees, along with the goal of raising awareness of terrestrial plastic pollution, are the leading sources of inspiration for The Little Things are Giant, a photographic series.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, microplastic pollution is estimated to be 4 to 23 times higher in soil than it is in oceans. Yet, much of the media attention surrounding plastic pollution features imagery of disturbed marine life, with sea turtles and seagulls choking on the plastic can rings stuck around their necks. On the other hand, the infiltration of microplastics is largely invisible to the eye. These tiny pieces of plastic are carried through waterways, eventually making their way into our oceans and especially our soil. The Little Things are Giant is a photographic series that aims to make the invisible visible through its depiction of an upcycled plastic tree sculpture amidst a natural forest.

Following the upcycling movement, the sculpture makes use of heating techniques to transform plastic waste material. The tree is crafted from a wood and wire underframe and shaped by heating and molding collected single-use plastic bags. By transforming objects that were once considered trash into sculpting material, this sculpture shows the value of upcycling.

By focusing on trees as a subject, The Little Things are Giant draws attention to an environmental issue that is relevant to all of our lives, and one that is imperative to find solutions for.

IMA/IMB Shanghai
INTM-SHU.401.1
Capstone Studio (Shanghai)
Art,Sustainability