Xara-Xinran Wang

"The City and the I"

Section MS3, Linn Phyllis Seeger

Keywords: encryption, writing, moving image, built environment

In MS3, the core problem we discuss is "encryption", the word can be interpreted in many ways, it can be the coding process of information, or an incomprehensible state of things, but I want to explore what encryption means to us or the impact of encryption on the people living in it. I want to explore is the relationship between "the self" and "the other" in a post-truth era dominated by images and media, truth or real always hidden or even misunderstood.And behind this is that each of us has the ability to manipulate the real, so the real concrete modern life will be in the form of a kind of false reality debris in our vision, and this inevitably led to the alienation of the self from the others and the subsequent sense of loneliness and incompetence of the individual.

Since my own background is urban design, I have always been trying to connect private and urban space. I think urban space is just an enlarged version of private space, or private space is a microcosm of urban space, and the two have a strong correlation. Recently, I was inspired by the artist Chantal Akerman's short film Saute ma ville (1968). In her images, she describes the double slavery of women from their cities to their families. The film takes a woman's perspective from the swaying city landscape following her steps into her home, and repression and loneliness have become clues linking public and private. So, in my project.For me, I want to use private space and public space to refer to "the self" and "the other" respectively, which involves an expression of spatial personification, namely space as the subject of action, seeing and speaking as the two main ways of action. Each subject is independent and speaks its own language, and we cannot understand others, or even ourselves, because the language is fragmented and illogical. And each subject is also constantly engaged in the behavior of seeing and being seen, or a kind of gaze. For example, while I stare at the city, I also become the viewing object of the city, but this gaze is sometimes powerless, because even if the behavior of seeing and being seen occurs, the self and others cannot have a real connection. So, everyone in it feels trapped in their own space, but this invisible prison is built by everyone and the media.

My raw material was some scattered videos that I captured in my daily life with an old, hand-held VCR, And my habit makes the camera itself as my substitute look, the part of the camera record is the world I see. Here implies the relationship between seeing and being seen, and as the subject of behavior, I am like a manipulator behind it. This is closely related to "encryption", so I decisively chose video as the main medium for discussion. I use the black and white color for the whole video, because in my opinion, black and white is an initial expression of distortion, because the real world is colorful, and the black and white effect of removing the color is the first distortion of the truth. In the video, there are four completely unrelated clips, including my bedroom space, the computer crash, the subway's convex mirror, and the city space. I juxtapose these several spaces together and make them achieve continuous sliding and hopping. Therefore, in my opinion, these four Spaces are homogeneous, without the primary and secondary relationship. They are just irrelevant pictures controlled by me, and this kind of homogeneous treatment makes everything flat and false. The third processing, I added a separate language to each space, some is just some sound, such as computer crash fragments and subway convex mirror fragments use the real sound, and my bedroom space and urban space fragments I used myself to write some of the dialogue, but the dialogue itself is more like a soliloquy, did not form a continuous and effective communication. So, here, the language becomes the last layer of "encryption" encoding.

In response to the theme of MS this year, first as to "encryption", on the one hand, as a controller of information, many pieces of irrelevant information and clip together according to a certain logic, and the key to unlock the video logic is in my hand; on the other hand, as a viewer of the video, the picture presented in front of the audience is only a part of my life, and the information does not appear at the same time, so it is difficult to get an omniscient perspective. As for the three key words of the whole MS study this year, I actually have my own understanding, "multiple" and "repetition" are metaphors for both actions, "multiples" is because everyone is the operator of information, every time our processing of information is a distortion of the truth, and this distortion will make the truth away from us at the rate of multiple; "repetition" is at the same time, it is our attempt to establish contact with the outside world or "other", and it also implies a kind of futile and helpless. Finally, "continuity" is related to the state of the world, that is, the world we see is not a simple linear narrative, but a narrative that relies on weak connections to bring things together, that is, a hidden continuity or broken continuity.