STAND BY/ME is an interactive installation that uses machine-learning models to generate speeches for Xi Jinping and Donald J. Trump, and uses randomness to build virtual conversations for both heads of states, while connecting the information flow with the lived reality of the Everyday. Visitors are exposed to narratives of both digital communism and digital capitalism that is randomly controlled. Next to the visual flow of randomly generated speeches, the work involves seemingly mundane, yet “super-charged” electrical household items, i.e., power sockets, as the actuality of human-technology confrontation. This work allows visitors to feel like they are on “stand by” and triggers questions about how technologism impacts individuals’ views and information consumption, while people face randomly generated political speech as a quiet, mundane confrontation. In sum, visitors are invited to be bystanders of randomized political speech, visualized through streams of text ad made tangible through everyday technology.

Yu Zhang (CN/NL)
Dr. Yu Zhang has a background in fine arts and design. Her Ph.D. research investigates the theory and artistic practice of interactive technologies for public, large-scale installations. As a researcher and artist, she approaches visual art with mixed reality installations and projections, sensor-based interactives, and computational arts. In the past five years, Yu Zhang has participated in different Arts Residencies and her work has been exhibited at galleries, museums, and festivals worldwide. Besides, Yu’s teaching experiences cover a broad space including traditional classrooms, workshops and design-led project-based learning activities. Currently, she lives and works in Eindhoven.