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I WANNA (2019)

Project I WANNA contains two different processes of how humans are related to their creations and surroundings. In the processes, technologies pair expressions with different actions and consequences which make to the determination of the value of individuals. I WANNA is including two installations in pair – one photograph/film installation I Wanna Fly 5427.89 Miles and one interactive installation I Wanna Rotate 5427.89 Miles. The work is also the result of a three-month residency at A.I.R. Nieuw en Meer in Amsterdam from April to June in 2019. The residency, exhibition, and related artist talk are highly supported by the art and culture organization Nieuw en Meer.

The exhibition of I WANNA was taken place from 25 to 28 June 2019 at Oude Haagseweg 61, Amsterdam.

Related link: http://nieuwenmeer.nl/presentatie-yu-zhang/

Interactive Installation:I Wanna Rotate 5427.89 Miles

The technology behind the interactive installation I Wanna Rotate 5427.89 Miles is a distributed system of four actuation components that connect to a central embedded server. The user interface is realized on the iOS platform and presents a drawing canvas to visitors. Behind the scenes, vector points of what is drawn are sent to the central server and then distributed to all actuation components. Every individual actuation component implements their own behavior that applies the vector points to idiosyncratic, expressive movements. The movement is partially synchronized in time, but generally randomly scheduled. This allows for diverse performative actions based on visitor input.

The drawing canvas (running on the tablet) in this installation is also online http://iwannarotate.xyz for people who cannot visit the artwork.

Demo video.

Photograph/Film:I Wanna Fly 5427.89 Miles

I Wanna Fly 5427.89 Miles collected films and images from a particular moment when our protagonist – Yang flies 5427.89 miles from the place where she used to live and work – the city of Shanghai. The resulting work doesn’t just document what happened to be in front of the lens. It unfolds a variety of phenomena, which result in feelings of individual deprivation in everyday contexts crossing over physical, linguistic, and social boundaries. I Wanna Fly 5427.89 Miles doesn’t want to make a statement or even a comment about the life status of the young people like Yang. It wants to show what it means for people to live in a situation like that. How they cope with it and how the flow of technologization will impact. During Yang’s visit to the Netherlands, the smartphone seems to be permanently tied to Yang’s hand, 24/7 standing by for her work and clients. The search engine helps to get more ‘tips’ and escape the risks. Photoshop a nice photo and share with the friends and colleagues who are living on social media seems to be more important than just simply looking at what is happening right here and right now. Because of technologization comes to the head of individual life, media, social status, mainstream value make Yang’s experience be more like a ceremony, a ceremony for others.

As a young person who is from a family in northeastern China and living and working in Shanghai – one of the most modernized and expensive cities in this world, the identity of Yang refers simply to a social category which related to the only target – how to obtain money.  “For me, money is everything and money is beautiful,” Yang said to the camera. “Earning money” becomes such a shining cage enveloped in this young person and she takes it as luggage with her wherever she goes. “Earning money” becomes a kind of personal identity, willingness, and intention, strongly.

There are around 25 million young people like Yang who are living in Shanghai under such pressure to perform. Indeed, money becomes a lens of shaping how they look at, understand, and pursuit of this world. Whereas, the feelings of belonging to certain categories or the feeling of not belonging to certain categories have been made salient, in this case.

“Except for money, what do you really like?” Yang couldn’t find the answer to this question.

Single-channel video with audio (5min 58sec) from I Wanna Fly 5427.89 Miles. Special thanks Xue Yang.