Juan Poyuan, an artist, gamer, and Internet addict, takes digital archaeology as the core concept of his creative process and has been focusing on digital games and online spaces for a long time. With the works of Ruan Baiyuan as an important source of creation, Juan combines online games, online communities, machine-made videos, game engines, 3D software, history, memory, aesthetics, and technical characteristics to create a new, contemporary visual experience, technical thinking, sculpture, video and other ways of viewing, presenting new perspectives and ways of thinking to reflect on and question the meta-set-up behind this post-Internet era.
It was just a virtual kiss, 2020, 10’05”
The story of love that takes place in the online game World of Warcraft is turned into the raw material to explain how players of online games construct their own virtual bodies in the digital world and how their bodies are extended in digital form, thus turning a game into a medium to touch, embrace, and kiss each other through different fantasy races of doubles. By crossing to the other side of the screen, visuality enables the character one plays to entail the illusion of bodily and physical connection with other characters, whether as affect or constraints, thus overcoming the limitation of our real body. It is a new sense of body constructed digitally, and much of it through machine-made movies and computer-realistic animation. The game world as such purports to link digital haptic perception with actual bodily movement, allowing free traverses across the real world and what is on the other side of the screen. Being in the gameworld, many new questions emerge: are there other possible ways whereby our body exists? How far is media expandability really overcoming the physical limitation of our body? Would a new spirit emerge from these new digital bodies? Are we anticipating new affective connections and new romance?