00 Zhang building her imaginary world
The Overture of prototype series
The Prototype series is a world-building practice that
consists of a sequencing of works that I have brought
together to tell a larger story. Their evolution is realised
across sculptures, Installations and CGI, but also through the
text piece titled The Overture of the Prototype Series.
With this practice, I am building a imaginary worlds that
occupies the real space to envelop and engage viewers the
viewers transitbetween reality and th evirtual world.
Although the worlds I create are digital, the interactive
nature of gaming allows a multidisciplinary narrative
experiment actual cybernetic concepts, and potential of
collective imagination that less attached to borders, cultural
identities, gender and religion.
The players portray a band of brave travellers constantly lured to new and uncharted territory to overcome the crippling sorrow of estrangement; They are always pushed by a great curiosity and experiencing the unhealable rift forced between a human being and a native place, between the self and its true home.
1 Said, Edward (2002) Reflections on Exile and Other Essays, 65. (Harvard University Press)
Level 1 : The One 2
-Unprecedented growth of cutting-edge technology and prosperity soon followed nimbly navigated
unthinkable human beings' coding cognition makes us realize that the natural environment we
currently living and staring at are not nature, but an advanced and highly encoded program.
00 finds fierce "Suiyo energy" through a synaesthesia3
moment with her computer RAM (Random
access memory). This moment implant digital Memory 001 to 00's memory system. Even perfect
the program glitches. Humans began to learn to use the energy of memory as well as their possible
interaction. Scientist plan to store them for future usage.
2 Campagna, Federico (2018) Technic and Magic: The Reconstruction of Reality. (London: Bloomsbury Press) A reality system filtered by inbuilt parameters that dominates each historical age emerges to us as the One and only world.
3 Cytowic, Richard E. (1989) Synaesthesia. (MIT Press). Cytowic's early cases included individuals whose synesthesia was projected outside the body (e.g. on a "screen" in front of one's face).
Prototype 0023 has its working data and machine code sealed in CERES-1: a solidpropellant rocket that escapes Earth and lands on a satellite orbiting around us. *CERES-1 & Space Art DAO Powered by Galactic Energy Space Technology Co
-The discovery of the energy of the Suiyo caused the Earth to use magnetic suspension, mental buoyancy, and memory energy. An insect like creature links of the wings link to satellite (Prototype0022-23) Whenever the butterfly is activated, human existing memory can be replaced by the star memory. The first data of the space Server's Memory001 comes from 00. Interacting with Prototype0023 can get memory to the e-mail of audience.
Prototype0022 Memory 001 from 00
Prototype0023 Installation view Invites at Zabludowicz
Collection, London, 2023
Collection, London, 2023
-The invention and use of this new form of memory energy means people no longer rely on non-renewable resources. The new corporation Zion Transport for One (ZTFO) uses it to build “The Tube”, a light rail transit system overground of the city. As soon as The Tube is put into use it becomes the most important transportation network in the city.
ZTFO: Keep the City Moving
Prototype0016, ἄγγελος (‘angelos’) breaks
into this plane through cracks
caused by gravitational waves. ἄγγελος
is indeed a creature born from gravitational waves, which are disturbances in
the curvature of spacetime. The Greek word ἄγγελος means messenger, implying
the role of angels as messengers of God and intermediaries between God and
humans. Similar to these spiritual beings, the creature ἄγγελος is a mediator
who creates a portal between the current world and the Reverse side. Every ἄγγελος
is a component of the tangible link which binds this binary system. If two ἄγγελος
get close enough to each other, they can gravitationally distort the space
between them, creating a liminal zone between the planes of worlds.
-The portal, permitting travel between the two worlds,
closes, leaving this ἄγγελος trapped in this liminal zone, neither in the Real
world nor the Reverse. It roams this nowhere space looking for a way to realize
TOCTV: The One Central Television
-During a world system update, the creature is suddenly activated and downloaded into the current
plane of one, ending up by chance in the tube. It unrestrained a clone machine (Prototype0013) in
the tube and reproduce until its energy fills the space— and in this way becomes the space itself, so
that rail transit cannot be operated.
4 Plane is a term that, in some spiritual and esoteric philosophies, is used to refer to a locality or dimension which can be physical or non-physical. Each plane is a universe with its own rules with regard to gravity, geography, magic and morality.
Prototype0013 clone machine
Prototype0016 ἄγγελος (or ‘angelos’)
-After the gravitational wave crack is enclosed, Prototype0016 ἄγγελος returns to its own plane, the Zion Transport for One (ZTFO) is bankrupt due to long -term shutdown. The Tube, which has been disrepair for a long time, is fully stopped and entered the deserted stage.
Game Design of
-A game developer re-forms the entire Tube into an
immersive puzzle-solving game maze.
-All players play as a witness to human civilization. A
specific location in The Tube hides an Easter Egg containing mysterious human
disclose at a press conference that clues are hidden in Psalm 46. 6 Players rush
in, and Psalm 46 becomes the main topic in society.
5 An Easter egg is a message, image, or feature hidden in software, a video game, a film, or another, usually electronic, medium.
6 The Secret of Psalm 46: A talk by Brian Moriarty about easter eggs. https://youtu.be/u0OY1RDe8Yg
-A trend emerges at this time: players begin upgrading
the game controller into actual weapons, in order to get better result in the
game. That game is called Prototype0021-Meta. However, as time passes, no one
finds any more Easter Eggs in The Tube. Subsequently, the game company becomes
the target of public criticism. No one reads Psalm 46 anymore, and the game
company announces bankruptcy.
Prototype0021 Meta: players begin upgrading the game controller into actual weapons
Players in game
- Meanwhile, a pandemic of an infectious neural disease spreads across the One world. People who are not cyber-modified spend more time indoors and in confined spaces. This kind of life magnifies human perception of its own consciousness and cognition: people realize that the world is composed of different planes. And finally, human civilization is unprecedentedly unified. People abandon the restrictions of race, gender, and nationality, and begin to look for evidence of other, interconnected planes and means to cross them. Scientists use electronic ink and scrolling game thinking to create a world system prototype: the "post2020 experiment”.
2021 Now-Showing Before Rejuvenation at Shanghai Coutts Art Center, SHANGHAI
Citizens become aware that environmental pollution
around the world is irreversible, the air remains hazy and heavy, and they no
longer want to travel or engage. But technology advances rapidly, and as a
by-product, immersive all-in-one machines called “Fluoxetine” become available
to consumers. By sleeping inside one of these devices, the perceptual cortex of
the user’s brain and all the muscle nerves are connected to the machine. It
creates the most lifelike Virtual Reality experience possible without affecting
the receptor's muscular state. This gadget is developed to meet all the sensory
and physical needs of people at home.
- Since the launch of this product, consumers'
purchasing power rapidly moves from the physical world to the virtual one.
Banks have become less necessary thanks to digital cryptocurrencies, there is
no longer any inflation, national borders have become increasingly vague, and
capitalists now make money by investing
in software for and inside the virtual world.
Advertisment in City of the One: Fluoxetine
- Fluoxetine is developed for home use, but is pricey and requires significant maintenance. In addition, with the decentralization of virtual currencies, the wealth gap does not narrow; instead, capitalists sit back and enjoy the rewards of their investments in upkeep projects and the creation of software and games. The hefty maintenance expenses of a Fluoxetine machine become untenable for younger people, who lack a reliable source of income. A force of anarchy is developing in the decaying nooks of the metropolis, slowly neglected by society.
- The semi-abandoned Tube still encircles the
metropolis, but no one can explain why gravitational wave rifts formed in The
Tube years ago, although these rifts hindered the infrastructure's ability to
work normally. In the past, commuting workers were late for work due to the
gravitationally distorted field of prototype0016, and there were not a few
people who committed suicide by jumping off the track.
The Tube is now more frequently utilized as a
picturesque viewpoint of the city and a gathering place for vagrants. There are
also rumours of secret societies carrying out enigmatic rites in the tunnels.
If you look carefully, you can find hidden symbols that these organizations
have left behind in the city.
More individuals are vanishing from the Tube,
according to recent municipal reports. They are captured on camera ascending
the elevators, but no one comes out. The police step in when these marginalized
individuals vanish, but as the government decides to cut the budget devoted to
these missing cases, now so common an occurrence in the city. The only things
it left behind are the fading signs on street walls and the urban legend of The
Lands Between 1
Fields formed by the seamless connection of various
areas with changing conditions exist in confined spaces, such as The Tube.
1 French: L’Entre-Terre; originally from La Terre du Milieu, used in the game Elden Ring and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books.
Inside The Tube
Level 2: The Zone 1
(the collapse of time and space leads to a non-linear narrative)
The Zone is a generative complex system2, a plane built by consciousness: nonlinear couplings between a finite, systemic stable core and a permeable surface responsive to sustain dynamic boundaries but cohering a systemic whole. Only beings whose consciousness is activated can trigger The Zone; not just human beings, but any consciousness in the same dimension may interact with each other. This system is called Gaia3.
1 In film Stalker (1979) by Tarkovsky, a mysterious restricted site known simply as the "Zone", where there supposedly exists a room which grants a person's innermost desires.
2 Clarke, Bruce and Dutreuil, Sébastien (eds.) (2022) Writing Gaia: The Scientific Correspondence of James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis. (Cambridge University Press)
3 Lovelock, James, Rollinat, Christel and Couturiau, Paul (1979) Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth. (Oxford University Press)
Gaia is autopoietic tentacled,
mysterious, indescribable, self-generated; a contingent, dynamic system that
maintains boundaries and remains stable under certain conditions. The Tube is
often used as a portal connecting the two planes, enabling travellers to
activate their consciousness, while
consciousness is also exaggerated when people stay in an enclosed space.
For those who escaped from The One, The Zone appears
to be a sanctuary, a fairyland, and a utopia. In fact, it serves as an
experimental ground for a new order. Residents of this plane say that Gaia is
the supreme goddess of all, but no one has ever seen her face; her terminal is
called The Mother, and they swear she is present everywhere.
1 Haraway, Donna (2016) ‘Tentacular Thinking: Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene’. E-flux#75 (September 2016).
The continuously ascending stair shape of The Zone is
Gaia’s metaphor for The Panopticon: it carefully weaves individuals into the
social order using techniques of power and flesh. The panopticon
machine incorporates everyone into a discipline network with a delicate and
gentle trick, making each person a component that promotes the flexible
operation of the machine. What emerges in the panoptic machine is a disciplined
and docile body.
1 Foucault, Michel (1975) Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. (Paris: Editions Gallimard)
The Abstract General Entity looks like an eyeball, but
it is a plant made by Gaia, with the activated field of consciousness, a fusion
of human and nonhuman DNA. It has a varied appearance, with some human
characteristics. Tentacles serve as its most important sensing organs. Travellers who
come to The Zone need to make a choice after arriving. If the
player opts to remain, they will have to communicate with Abstract
General Entity to acquire tentaclular perception, a kind of synaesthesia with
any plants and creatures on The Zone. All knowledge
and feelings can be shared, and it can also sense danger and defend itself.
Receiving the bonding power of the tentacles is also
equivalent to performing a pact with The Zone.
All actions and thoughts after that will be perceived by Gaia. This
mechanism has effectively built a controlled collective consciousness.
Centripetal visibility and lateral invisibility combine to eliminate
individuality, leaving the traveller in a lonely state of being both isolated
and observed. Any action that doesn’t follow Gaia in The Zone will be
terminated immediately due to the synaesthesia of the tentacles.
The traveller has the option of continuing the journey
and learning more about the truth, rather than staying in The Zone. Through a branching dialogue with the deity Janus, the
traveller will be granted the chance to travel either back in time or forward
in time. However, in order to re-enter The Zone, the player must contribute to
The Zone, for instance by guiding newcomers to The Zone coming from other
1 Campagna uses this term to refer to humans in the reality system of Technic.
2 Tentacle comes from the Latin tentaculum, meaning “feeler,” and tentare, meaning “to feel” and “to try”
3 Hayward, Eva (2010) ‘Fingery Eyes: Impressions of Cup Corals’, Cultural Anthropology 24(4) 577-599； Hayward, Eva (2010) ‘SpiderCitySex’, Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, 20(3): 225-251; Hayward，Eva (2012) ‘Sensational Jellyfish: Aquarium Affects and the Matter of Immersion’，differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 23(1): 161-196.
Level 3: The Centre Console
In the dream of the man who dreamed, the dreamed awoke…With relief, with humiliation, with terror, he understood that he also was an illusion, that someone else was dreaming him. — Jorge Luis Borges Las ruinas circulares, 1940