Yaqi Li

"A city dies when the living experience inhabited in it disappears"

Section MS2, Kelly Spanou

Keywords: model making, moving image, materials, objects, documentation

An object dies when the living glance traced upon it disappears 1

With the rise of cloud computing, an Internet-based lifestyle has penetrated in various aspects of urban life. Cloud platforms such as Amazon are vastly used to cover daily necessities instead of going to grocery stores, food delivery applications have reduced the experience of going to a restaurant. In Shanghai, the city where I live, many community stores face the risk of being replaced by online delivery supplies provided by chain supermarkets. As a result, people are gradually losing the experience of the city and community they are part of. For my media studies project, I focus on a small grocery store in my neighborhood that I often pass by. This is just a humble corner of the city, which connects me with the authentic local culture, and people in my neighbourhood. In an attempt to discuss the gradual disappearance of the living experience in the city, I have followed a process of physical reconstruction wherein I have restaged and filmed the shop in a miniature model. In doing so, I want to address issues of memory and to document the fragile and transient physical experience that we are losing in the light of a rising Internet-based lifestyle. Considering that we have entered an age where the intangible codes may be considered more solid and endurable than concrete and bricks, my project questions how do we inhabit this hybrid physical-digital realm?

  1. Alain Resnais & Chris Marker - Les Statues Meurent Aussi (Statues Also Die) - 1953