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Jingyi Wang

Jingyi Wang is an artist and experimental filmmaker. Born in Shanghai and studied in New York, she draws inspiration from the intricate, implicit systems woven into urban life and city dynamics amidst technological transformation. Her work examines how psychic, physical, and symbolic structures imply and manifest themselves within everyday survival spectacles and sceneries. She navigates the interplay of these structures, exploring how they interpolate and incubate the human condition. She engages with the complex entanglement between known and the unknown, presence and the absence.

In her recent work, she delves into the enigma of private and public spaces and the disconnections within their inhabitants. Through the mediums of film, computer graphics, and interactive media, she encounters and intervenes her memories and experiences in Shanghai, which became the ghost of her life: the wandering streets with lights and signs, the classroom of collectivism, the Chinese family of controversy, and the perpetual underground culture.

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The bedrock of collective human memory and consensus rests upon the ever-shifting tapestry of human nature. In the realms of computation and artificial intelligence, investigations into fuzzy cognitive mapping have frequently been harnessed to transmute the cognitive and semantic fabric of spatial understanding into the rigidity of mathematical or logical constructs. These constructs, in turn, have been instrumental in guiding our terrestrial journeys and prognosticating our behavioral trajectories.

Yet, I seek to suspend mathematical models and focus on exploring whether our subjective cognition of space holds the key information that defines contemporary humanity - our commonality. Such commonality may exhibit certain characteristics (capriciousness), typically intertwined with the silent authentication of entities (collective memory); it may reflect the foundation upon which consensus can still be achieved in the development of technology.

How does our perception and recollection of space reflect such capriciousness? I embark on research propelled by the use of brainwaves and computation, with the aim of resurrecting the subtle subterranean process of recalling the perception of space and memory when prompted by symbolic stimuli in the human mind, along with its topological relationship to collective memory.

"Building Your City, Choosing Your Weapon" is a multimedia project that weaves an apocalyptic narrative through film, EEG brain activity, visual generation, GPT, immersive installations, and a web-based platform. It extends the interactive storytelling of my film, "Good Old Days Part.1," an experimental animation exploring an apocalyptic futuristic city and personal memories — a collective memory of a past era when the world was tangible, shaped by human hands, versus an alternative reality with a redefined humanity.

In the in-person exhibition, attendees will step into an immersive screening experience where their brain activity data generates eerie images of an unknown city. The narrative guides them to locations on earth, triggering further visual creations that enrich the world building of the “unknown city”. The online exhibition will host this circuit within a web-based platform.

By reflecting on the mechanism of memory and virtual city, the research also aims to question the survival in a post-human intelligent future, where humans’ practical experiences can be replaced by machines and computation.

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