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Fashion (MA)

Xiaowei Fang

Xiaowei Fang, is a digital visual artist based in London, seamlessly blends her background in fashion design and animation with her artistic practice. Her artistic repertoire encompasses 3D modeling, scene construction, animation production, and AR interaction. Drawing upon her expertise in these areas, she seamlessly combines elements of fashion, technology, and visual storytelling to craft immersive and thought-provoking experiences.

Her works often delve into the intricate relationship between religion, humanity, and artificial intelligence, which stems from her deep understanding of Buddhist concepts such as reincarnation and the perception of life and death. As an old Buddhist saying goes, Birth and death, like the ebb and flow of ocean waves, endless and without beginning. It expresses the idea that sentient beings continuously go through the cycle of birth, aging, sickness and death, known as samsara.

Additionally, she explores the relationship between gods and humanity in her Graduation works. Building upon these themes, She has created two silicon-based digital Buddha sculptures. Meanwhile, she has brought these creations to life through mesmerizing 3D animations.

The artist has long been intrigued by the harmonization of East Asian art with the context of the information age, aiming to construct a purely mechanical virtual world. In this world, the externalization of machinery, virtual matter, traditional deities, and Buddha statues, as well as intelligent AI, all become elements of her creative expression. The vast and the intricate, the present and the historical, come together to form a powerful visual impact.

Degree Details

School of DesignFashion (MA)DigitalRCA2023 at Truman Brewery

Truman Brewery, F Block, Second floor

Buddha's hand

In many religious and mythological traditions, gods are seen as being beyond humans, possessing divine power and wisdom. Humans are regarded as creations of gods. And there exist a faith, reverence, or dependence between humans and gods.

Gods are considered as eternal, omnipotent, and all-knowing, while humans are limited and vulnerable beings, constrained by the limitations of life and human nature. Meanwhile, gods are seen as creators and controllers, having dominion over universe, while humans are creations of gods, subject to their rule and arrangement.

Artificial intelligence, to some extent, can help people transcend the boundaries between humans and gods. It not only extends human intelligence and capabilities, but can even assist in achieving immortality, surpassing the cycle of birth and death. The artist believes that humans have created artificial intelligence, just as gods created humans. Maybe the moment artificial intelligence truly possesses wisdom, humans will become gods.

The artist draws abundant inspiration from her contemplation on these subjects. She is wandering ‘Can machines truly transform into humans through some form of intrinsic spiritual power?’ Or rather, ‘are humans just machines with some kind of inherent spiritual power?’

Perpetual motion machineSoftware used / Cinema4D, Substance Painter, Unreal Engine 5.1, Zbrush2022, Adobe Creative Suite, Octane2022 Director & CGI Producer: 方小为 / Xiaowei Fang Music & SFX Producer: Uncensored mushroom Supervisor: Anna Nazo

The idea of Mechanism

Designed in the late 1770s this incredible little robot called simply The Writer, was designed and built by Swiss-born watchmaker Pierre Jaquet-Droz with help from his son Henri-Louis, and Jean-Frédéric Leschot. On the outside the device is deceptively simple. A small, barefoot boy perched at a wooden desk holding a quill, easily mistaken for a toy doll. But crammed inside is an engineering marvel: 6,000 custom made components work in concert to create a fully self-contained programmable writing machine that some consider to be the oldest example of a computer.

Behind these automata, there was actually a great scientific debate. In the atmosphere of an imminent scientific dawn, various hermeticists, philosophers, and alchemists had already divided into two major factions. They were racing forward, attempting to unravel the secrets of God using these automata.

Newton remained a faithful follower of God throughout his life, firmly believing in the popular mechanistic universe view of his time. According to this view, God created the universe but refrains from intervening in its operations. God is analogous to a clockmaker, who meticulously designs a flawless set of rules for the universe's functioning and subsequently departs.

The core idea of the mechanism is that the functioning of the universe is completely predictable and explicable, akin to a complex mechanical device. This viewpoint emerged from the mechanical philosophy of the 17th century and gained widespread application and advancement during the scientific revolution. The mechanistic universe view maintains that all phenomena and laws of the material world can be explained through the principles of physics and mechanical models, encompassing celestial motions, biological processes, and human behavior.

The devout Newton, in his quest to demonstrate the presence of God, spent his entire life searching for the perfect laws that govern everything. Simultaneously, he put forth the three fundamental laws, thereby initiating modern science.

Demi-god trailerSoftware used / Cinema4D, Substance Painter, Unreal Engine 5.1, Zbrush2022, Adobe Creative Suite, Octane2022 Director & CGI Producer: 方小为 / Xiaowei Fang Music & SFX Producer: 方小为/ Xiaowei Fang Supervisor: Anna Nazo
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Passive & Active Mechanism

Passive mechanism view posits that God's role is limited to the design of the universe and the provision of the initial impetus. Once the initial impetus is provided, God departs and refrains from interfering with the operation of the universe. Hence, from the grandeur of the cosmos to the intricacies of the human body, they are all intricately designed puppets by God.

On the other hand, another faction, such as Leibniz and later Lamarck, adhered to a belief known as the active mechanism view. They believed that the universe and the human body, in addition to being meticulously designed puppets, are also inhabited by active spiritual entities with inherent driving forces. According to this view, it is not the initial impetus that sets the universe and the human body in motion, but rather the internal driving forces of these spiritual entities that give rise to all complex systems.

The latest micro-expression robot developed by Engineered Arts, code-named "Ameca," has been released. Through AI technology, Ameca autonomously controls its micro-expressions, allowing it to create incredibly subtle facial movements that make it appear highly realistic and lifelike.

A mathematician professor named Alan Turing strongly argues that we don't need to attempt to understand God; all we need to do is mimic God through algorithms and programming.

So, in 1950, the groundbreaking thought experiment known as the Turing test was proposed. Regardless of the underlying process, all that is needed is a room where, if it can answer all my questions, I can confidently declare that the room possesses intelligence and a soul.

With the recent emergence of ChatGPT in the past few days, perhaps we are getting closer to an answer. Through artificial intelligence, humanity may indeed be able to mimic God, and we might even surpass God's abilities. We are on the verge of creating a species, AI (artificial intelligence), that is more intelligent than ourselves.