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Digital Direction (MA)

Chunyi Shen

Chunyi Shen (Dragon) is a cross-media storyteller hailing from both the United Kingdom and China. She is captivated by non-anthropocentric rhizomatic landscapes and engages in cross-species inquiry to address contentious issues. Employing a multidisciplinary approach inspired by multi-species ethnography, she delves into a wide array of elements, including microorganisms (slime molds), stones (silent materials), neurone (emotional material), and AI psychosis (virtual materials). Through the medium of cross-media digital narrative, which encompasses AI (co-create), moving images, sound, interactive design, poetry, VR/AR, and more. She ambitiously weaves a symbiotic network of coexistence between living organisms and inanimate matter, natural substances and virtual materials.
Chunyi (Dragon)'s works emphasise metaphorical poetry and profound psychological insights, intertwining contemplations on the essence of things and philosophical significance. Her projects aim to explore the phenomenology of the body, psychopathology, post-human social ethics, algorithmic biases, marginalised voices, and the boundaries between physical and virtual spaces. By creatively fusing various mediums and concepts, she stimulates viewers to ponder the intricate relationship between humans and non-humans, challenging the conventional boundaries between art and technology.
Recent exhibitions
  • 2023 IRCAM Forum Workshop - Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
  • 2023 The Outernet Now Building, London, United Kingdom
  • 2022 University of Arts London CSSA, London, United Kingdom
  • 2022 London Craft Week, London, United Kingdom
  • 2022 IRCAM Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
Chunyi Shen(Dragon) is a cross-media storyteller hailing from both the United Kingdom and China.
The Stone-cene is a digital Stonehenge that establishes a symbiosis space. It tackles the universal challenge of nurturing kinship and coexistence among all species by creating symbiotic spaces and blending natural materials with digital media.
Drawing inspiration from the artist's personal micro-identity politics, the stone assumes the role of a connective medium, intertwining collective memories of different species to shape a coherent system. Guided by Taoist principles and string theory, this project offers a novel microscopic perspective, bridging the boundaries between physical and virtual space through the convergence of natural materials and digital media.
The Stone-cene was showcased at The Outernet London Now Building, Europe's largest digital exhibition space, which boasts the world's largest LED screen. Additionally, a virtual reality version of the installation was exhibited at the Pompidou IRCAM in Paris in March 2023.
Launch Project

The Stone-cene

By utilising stone as the fundamental medium, it connects various systems: human consciousness space(brain and neurone); bodily space, (encompassing meridians and blood vessels); natural micro-network space (comprising tree roots and microorganisms); and virtual space(AI and extended code). 
At the heart of the project lies the creation of symbiotic spaces, inviting audiences to immerse themselves in the resonance of frequencies and contribute to the formation of a new unified system. Serving as a symbol of unity, the artwork interconnects diverse perspectives, fostering collaboration among all entities within the universe.
Immersive experience
Launch Project
This immersive experience presents a narrative set in a post-human context. In a not-so-distant future, human intervention and technology threaten to severely damage the ecosystem, and the virtual world becomes a constructed "sacred place" offering an escape from reality, where humans can immerse themselves, forgetting their true selves and the state of the real world.
Two spaces undertake a part of the narratives respectively. Each has its own metaphor and is connected to an analogical medium - slime mold. Slime mold performs as a symbolic element throughout the spaces.
Slim mold is the fourth category of life form that is nor bacteria, nor plants and nor animals. Corresponding to the rhizomatic de anthropocentrism view brought by the development of the virtual world, which has blurred the boundaries between people and other species, between nature and man-made, and between material and non-material.
Memories of slime molds from anchor times and extends from now to the future, a storyline is created to shuttle between the past, the present and the future, and the growth structure of slim mold metaphors the intangible network form of the virtual world.
From reality to virtuality, from consciousness to unconsciousness, from human beings to microorganisms, from the microstructure to the grand perspective, asking questions about human ontology:
“In the dream, you are?”
vr 1
Launch Project
Poetic narrative

Fuzzy silky particles
 Fainting into a faint spectrum
 Flowing infinity
 Consciousness stacks and folds
 Carved by dynamics into neuron sculpture

 Blue vertigo buried the universe
 A new reference system
 Simulation, sedimentation
 Sporangia zygote, cellular division
 Break up and dance in the body
 Nutrient sediment beyond the original condition
Transcend the solemn geography of human limits

 Falling into an infinite universe
 Into Dionysus, find freedom
 Liberate yourself

 Burrowing into oppressive soil
 Longing to find green
 It's the resonating rhythm
 It is the rhizome growth

 Tuber connection
 Linear structure
 Flooding into ontological space
 Gradually transparent
 Peeling off surface skin
 Becoming part of your body

 Limbs soak into the same composite plane
 To greet the moist, airless space.
 Becoming a body without organs
 Becoming a pure soul

 Imprisoned inside windows
 Trees try to stretch out
 But angry failure causes them to burn
Wrapped in mottled fragments of emotional memory
 Avoiding intergalactic spectra
 vacuoles and media
 Because the micro truth is no longer visible

 Do you know where you are?
 Maybe just a figment of my imagination?
 From being to becoming
 Past melts into future
 Returns to present reality

 Where to
 Where to go?
 Locked up in a dream:
 Such a strange sensation

 Will you wake up if you feel pain?
 Jumping out of this cage
 A giant 3D fantasy
 Reflections floating around
 Surrounded by controlling forces
 Submerged art of compassion

 From nature
 Part of nature
 Nature eventually takes over bodies
 Between breaths grow buds

 Wake up!
 Wake up!

 Are you a fire,
 Dare you burn?
 Are you ice,
 Dare you to freeze?
 Can you divide into new cells?

 Are you sure you're free?
 Dare you to shout out loud that you are free
 In a parallel universe- how would you be?

 Have you
 Have you thought
 Have you ever thought:

In the dream, you are?