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Looking-Glass Self

Multimedia Installation, 2018

I was sitting in front of the computer and looking at my cellphone all the time, slowly moving away from the natural world, glancing over the recommended products during online shopping, getting filtered information through search engines, reading the news by narrowcasting. How I deal with the experience that was not physical and how I treat the “self” mirrored by the screen mediums? With these two questions, what I ran to do was a series of works that were titled Looking-Glass Self as a group but has a different title as an individual, trying to use my personal data to reveal the forms in which contemporary digital media shape acts of my memory, intimate routines, emotive processes, and values.

Screenshot 2021-01-11 231508.jpg

(1) I'm not
Text on mirror, 2018

Sometimes, I look at the mirror in my bedroom and I can’t recognize who I am. I think this might because I consist of too many parts. Then I kept looking at myself in the mirror and continuously wrote “I’m not XX” on my mirror, trying to strip the parts that I thought I was.

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(2) Journey Round
Video, 4 mins, 2018

I tried to present the mental journey that ran in my head when I was singing the song names Journey Round.

(3) Midnight Vortex
Photo book, 2018

A few years ago, I began to record my dreams and take travel photographs. The two different ways of recording are like ambiguous “evidence” that cannot be independently verified, waiting for me to uncover the mystery and detect the clues. Through the parallel placement of the two and the continuous evolution, I intend to explore the complex relations between various elements such as imagination, viewing, consciousness, cities, and memory.

[Midnight Vortex photo book]


(4) 7:25
iPhone, video, 2018

When I saw the clock on the screen, it often showed " 7:25". This is also my birthday date. It remained my life & death and it is the only period I would escape from the busy schedule and just pay attention to the current. I would keep staring at my phone, focus on the screen, and trying to feel the elapse of that one minute.

(5) Look! I'm walking!
Video, 1 min, 2018

I was starring at my smartphone all the time, even while I was walking. From last year, I started to record my walking at different times and in different locations, trying to present my mediated memory led by the little device on my hand.

(6) Jing Zhao's Story
MAC, E-book, 2018

During the time I feel depressed, I will use keywords to search the person who shared the same experience on a Chinese online Q&A community - Zhi Hu. I always can find a similar experience and feel from other people. When I was doing this, I felt I’m not alone. Then I began to use their words to write my own story.


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© 2022 by Jing Zhao

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