“Repository” by Weidi Zhang


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Title:


    Repository

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Artist Statement:


    Our digital footprints in the vast data universe are duplicatable, transferrable and mutable.  Deletion has become much harder than throwing a piece of paper into a shredder, which was first invented over a hundred years ago. Photos, videos, geographical tag or just simple texts living on social media platforms as the virtual presence of digitized human memories strengthen the power of machine computation and analysis while underlying the control from us.

    When we try to preserve or delete our own stories in the digital landscape, do we still have the authorship of them? Are they in a constant shift of meaning and representation?

    Repository is a virtual reality experience created around the issue and question of data authorship and data oblivion.  It builds a world of data in motion merging the structure of a server farm (A place physically stores data) with a  paper shredder (A machine deconstructing data). Repository gradually transforms from a surreal bank safely stores memories into a space filled with floating shreds of letters and characters through assembling and fragmenting various conversations borrowed from Twitter posts in 2019. Its non-linear narrativity, interactive experimental sound, and surreal aesthetic provide a conceptualization of an alternative model of human-machine interaction, and question whether we have the right to be forgotten, at the same time as the right to be remembered?

     


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