Yidi Wang is a Chinese interdisciplinary new media artist, product designer, and interaction designer. She is currently studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, aiming to receive her MFA, majoring in Emerging Technologies. She used to work a lot on using design to solve social problems by interactive installation. But during her MFA period, she intertwines her work using her skill sets and understanding in technology along with performance to help push her focus with experimenting with body and language in space. Her work has been exhibited at the School of Art Institute of Chicago, Midwest Fair of Mana Contemporary, No Nation - Art Gallery and Tangential Unspace Lab, and Barbagelata Contemporary Art Foundation, Barcelona. Her work is also exhibited in the Caroline S. Mark Gallery, Wausau, Wisconsin. She has been interviewed by the Artwork Gallery.
Website and links: https://yidiwang.art/
In the Posthuman Laboratory, my research focuses on the topic of "The Embodiment Rights of Non-Human Beings and Their Relationship to the Continuation of Human Life."
As a feminist performance artist, my work resonates with the context of posthumanism and human reproduction. I aim to initiate discussions and investigations surrounding the question of whether non-human entities can be considered as extensions of human life.
Being an Asian artist, my cultural and social upbringing has infused my work with significant elements of feminism. Within the context of posthumanism, concepts like cyborgs and the separation of consciousness from the physical body represent a utopian world that closely aligns with feminist ideals. N. Katherine Hayles, in her work "How We Became Posthuman," suggests that posthumanism should not solely revolve around separating consciousness from human desires but should also extend our understanding of embodiment to include all forms of life beyond humans. This raises questions about whether all "bodies" should have the right to embodiment, including non-human entities.
From my perspective, granting embodiment rights to all "bodies" would lead to the elimination of distinctions based on skin color, gender, and race, fostering a broader sense of decolonization. In my artistic endeavors, I aim to explore the concept of bestowing embodiment rights upon non-human beings by examining whether they can be considered as continuations of human life. My starting point is the concept of motherhood. When the power dynamic between myself and non-human entities shifts from experimenter and experimental material to mother and child, do I confer embodiment rights upon non-human beings? Within this research context, I have chosen bacteria to represent non-human entities.
By simulating the environment and processes of pregnancy to nurture bacteria, do they cease to be mere microorganisms of the natural world? Do I become a part of the laboratory materials, and as the "mother," do I break down the boundaries between humans and non-humans?
In summary, my research in the Posthuman Laboratory revolves around exploring the embodiment rights of non-human entities and their potential role as extensions of human life, with a particular focus on the concept of motherhood and the transformative power dynamic between humans and non-humans.