Yameng Zhang is a multidisciplinary artist, specializing in stage arts and digital arts, currently studying at RCA MADD. She skillfully combines Dramaturgy and Applied Theatre with digital arts in her creative practice. As a storyteller, she excels in constructing story telling that prompt critical thinking and raise thought-provoking questions by allowing the audience to experience the Defamiliarization Effect. Through her work, she aims to inspire audiences to contemplate the subject matter from multiple perspectives. In the next phase, she will focus on experimenting with the boundaries of stage space and exploring more possibilities for the collaboration between digital and stage arts.
I aspire for my work to serve as a doorway, inviting the audience to engage collectively in contemplating various subjects. Currently, I am delving into new possibilities for viewing relationship within the digital age, while exploring how the confines of the stage can expand in digital forms. Concurrently, I am enhancing the content expressions of my digital creation through the application of stage art's creation logic. I hope to utilize the characteristics I have gained from my multidisciplinary background to explore unique ways of amplifying my storytelling in digital forms. I wish to explore how the stage art can participate in the digital realm, resonating more harmoniously with the digital context. I am just beginning this journey, I anticipate presenting the wonder and impact I've experienced in the realms of stage and digital art in a way that transcends mere amalgamation.
This is my first experiment with this form of performance. This project takes the windmill battle scene from Don Quixote and uses Instagram as a stage medium for an experimental performance. A performance for the audience who is watching right now and for the algorithms that are trying to analyse and understand us all the time. The audience and the algorithm will enjoy a rendition of the same content, but depending on the nature of the social platform and the different purpose for which the audience and the algorithm are viewing the performance, the performance will be understood and perceived differently. And the subsequent feedback generated will be different. I wish to visualise this difference and remind ourselves that our ways of perceiving are being influenced by the algorithms we increasingly live with. While we are immersed in the various Pavlovian satisfaction mechanisms in the online world, we are actually missing, or passing up, many opportunities for creation and innovation.
We live in an age of information explosion. Algorithms can help us avoid attention crashes in some extent and providing us the content we like by personalising our filter bubbles and information cocoons. But they also rush us into a perspective that is full of blind spots. We need algorithms to assist us in improving the quality and efficiency of our online lives. But repeating our past selves without innovation is not beneficial to the development of civilisation or our future. I admire and proud of the human capacity to create, and perhaps all we need is a reminder to look beyond. If possible, hopefully sometime in the future when you refresh your Instagram, you will see a reminder, the next performance is about to begin.
(THIS PRJECT IS IN PROGRESS. Follow-up progress will be continuously updated on INS @ymmmmm_8 .)
This is a story about searching for the moon. Through this story, I aim to portray the anxiety and confusion that often arise from the learned helplessness experienced when I actively try to become a digital outlier in the online world. In this story, a "digital outlier" moments refers to those moments when I refused to be easily restrict by algorithms while living my virtual lives on applications and websites.
「THE MOON」 is my independent creation part within the group work project Surreal Matrix. Surreal Matrix is a collaborative project exploring topics about digital outliers, which I created with my peers from 2023 MADD: Xinqi Wang (Cinci), Shiyun Jiang (Chai Chai), Junyi Huang, and Dimitar Spasov.