Executive Editor | Pocono Zhao Yu
Translator | Zhou Lin
The angel in the mirror tells John Dee, the scientist from the Elizabethan era: “The new world would appear before you. Novel style, strange men, the true light, and the road are full of thorns. All will being one.”
It seems like we have once again encountered a “New World” in 2020. It is obvious that human beings are generally feeling a sense of loss and longing. We believe we have become wiser, serene and long-lived compared to the faraway past. But, for some reasons, we always get lost. So, just like medieval people turned to the mirror for help, the internet has become the gigantic new mirror, and we have been constantly confiding to it and wishing to get a satisfying answer.
Ye Funa has made an online interactive work Dr. Corona Online during the epidemic outbreak. The name “Dr. Corona” comes from last century’s popular health periodical Family Doctor. As a virtual character, “Dr. Corona” professionally answers all sorts of questions that concern both physical and mental issues. Those substantial secretive questions that are too shame to tell in the reality has composed an anecdote of people’s spiritual life of today. Dr. Corona sounds similar to the New Coronavirus. It is neither a virus nor a real person, but an artificial intelligence doctor to solve problems caused by the New Coronavirus.
We are only kept apart by a little water.
Whenever I extend my lips to the clear liquid,
he tries to raise his lips to me.
He desires to be held.
You would think he could be touched:
It is such a small thing that prevents our love.
Whoever you are come out to you!
In order to see everything again, people with a vision turned to the mirror for help. In Europe, this ancient practice is called “scry,” which means “descry,” to catch sight of something difficult to discern. Desires could be like torrents in a narrow channel. We have put ourselves onto the screen even more crazily in order to identify the unknown and hazy direction.
Ye Funa has initiated the performance project Peep Stream via an online webcast platform. From real-life to virtual world, people are exhibiting their desires via selfies, WeChat moments, and the most extreme form-live webcast whiling holding the “safety mirror” in their hands. The feedback of exhibitionism and voyeurism, visual display, and symbols have been embodied boldly in this way. The mobile terminal becomes the first scene in the performance of live webcasts. The interaction of audiences also becomes a part of the performance, and it would be partially considered as the record and analysis of the performance. This live studio that inhabits the internet is also gradually turning into a way for people to present and express themselves.
Ye Funa is like the fortune-teller who holds the crystal ball, and the people in her works all have the light of the crystal ball shining and whirling in their eyes. It is engraved on the crystal ball that saying: Nothing can stop us here!
How do you understand the relationships among the elements of the Internet in both your art practice and personal life?
How does your practice during the pandemic differ from the practices before?
How do you see the involvement and influence of social media on our daily lives?