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.
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
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.
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.
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: