Yue Zhuo is an experimental artist and designer studying Information Experience Design at the Royal College of Art. Her work involves installation, digital art, AR and VR experience. She is fascinated by the concept of Humans, both biology and sociology. Her works use multimedia to propose a speculative future for humans and aim to give the audience a further understanding of humans and themself.
People are always filled with awe and curiosity about death. Apart from the influence of different cultures and religions, the limitations imposed by the era greatly shape individuals' perspectives on what happens after death. The concept advocated by transhumanism offers a different approach to death and life, suggesting that through scientific and technological means, human life can achieve eternity, considering death as temporary and merely a stage in human evolution. This perspective starkly contrasts with our current widespread view of death. However, this distinct viewpoint has prompted me to contemplate whether our understanding of life and our attitudes towards life and death will also undergo changes under the influence of future technology.
Perhaps in the near future, the advancement of science and technology will bring forth an entirely new form of life, surpassing the boundaries of death. Death may no longer be the sole endpoint or choice, raising the question of whether our attitudes towards life and death will differ. Will our understanding of life also undergo a transformation?
In this project, I will construct a future scenario where the successful implementation of brain uploading through scientific and technological advancements gives rise to a third form of life beyond life and death. In this context, how will we perceive death? How will we regard life?
The entire future scenario is built on the premise of successful brain uploading, so I have conducted extensive research on how brain uploading can be implemented based on existing scientific and technological advancements.
Uploading the mind means replacing the human brain with an entirely mechanical brain that operates in a way that mimics the activity of the human brain, like a brain in a vat, where people will live in a world created by their own brain for the continuation of life. After uploading the brain, people are no different from death in the physical world. They no longer have a physical body and are no longer connected to the real world. But in the world of the uploaded brain, they can still vividly experience themselves living in the world they inhabit, just like living in their dream.
1st step: SCANNING
Taking the neural tissue as a unit, Scanning every part of the brain by using microscopy.
2nd step: DIGITAL RECONSTRUCTION
Using the computational model to digitalize the brain data it scanned.
3rd step: SIMULATION
Using a supercomputer to simulate every brain function to make it operate like a real human brain
The world after uploaded
UPLOADED WORLD = DREAMING
- Normal perceptual abilities (smell/hearing/vision/touch/taste)
- Normal cognitive abilities
- Inability to distinguish between reality and dreams
"Uploading" is is a small installation that showcases a model of brain uploading. The brain sculpture on the right represents the supercomputer simulation of brain uploading. The screen on the left is a monitor connected to the uploading computer, displaying the appearance of the world after uploading. Since the post-uploading world is composed of individual consciousness, in order to avoid limiting it to a specific person, AI generative technology is utilized. By providing the keyword "world creation," AI develops stories and generates images, allowing more people to resonate with the visuals.
I am attempted to showcase this future world by this small model of brain uploading. I collected different feedback from the audience to gain further insights into the contemplations prompted by this new technology, as well as gather opinions on how people perceive this world and the changes in values regarding life and death brought about by this third form of existence.
Medium:Installation; ai generated animation; graphic design
It is an installation-centered exhibition, where the installation serves as a connection point between the real world after brain uploading and the uploaded world. When individuals choose to upload their brains, they will die in the real world, and this small device represents their death in the real world. At the same time, they are reborn in the uploaded world, and this device also represents the embodiment of the new life after uploading. It symbolizes both life and death, the third form of existence.
The device is connected to the supercomputer in the uploaded world, converting the power consumption of the supercomputer into brightness. When not in used, it functions as an empty container. However, when the ashes of the uploaded person are poured into it, it symbolizes the birth of a new life. It starts to heat up, emit sounds, and emit light, resembling a living organism.
I placed it in different settings for people to observe. It is not limited to representing a cemetery associated with death, but can be placed anywhere, serving as a way for people to remember and respond to this alternative form of life.