Isea 2022 - Possibles



June 9 to August 21

Artwork / Repository

Authors: Weidi Zhang


Repository is a VR experience raises the questions of data authorship and data oblivion.  It builds a world of Twitter posts in motion merging the structure of a server farm with a paper shredder, where the collective memories are deconstructed into floating letters and characters to compose an evolving narrative.  


Theme: Virtual Reality Art, Data Visualization

More information:

  • Abstract: 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?

  • Biography: ​Weidi Zhang is an LA-based new media artist and researcher. Her current research and media art practices investigate A Speculative Assemblage – interactive image-data-based visualization of a human-machine reality in the context of data visualization, responsive Intelligence system design, and immersive media. Her works are featured at international venues, such as the SIGGRAPH Art Gallery Best In Show, ISEA, Times Art Museum (CN), Japan Media Arts Festival, Lumen Prize (UK), SIGGRAPH ASIA, IEEE VISAP, Planetarium 1 (RUS), Zeiss-Planetarium (GE), Society For Arts and Technology (CAN), and others. Currently, she is a Ph.D. candidate in the Media Arts and Technology Program and a graduate researcher in Experimental Visualization Lab. She lectures at UC Santa Barbara and The Ohio State University. She holds her MFA degree in Art + Technology at the California Institute of the Arts and a BFA degree in Photo/Media at the University of Washington, Seattle. 


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La Rambla, 7, Barcelona

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