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Experimental Design

Xiaotong Wang

Xiaotong Wang is a multimedia artist and graphic designer from China.

Passionate about using different media and materials to create art, Xiaotong in recent years has explored the relationship between technology, power structures and emotions through video, interactive installations, workshops and design fiction. Her current work focuses on speculative design and explores alternative futures by using visual narratives and design fiction to provide an immersive experience for audiences that will allow them to critically reflect on the problems of our society.

Education

University of Science and Technology Beijing | Visual Communication Design | 2016 - 2020

Royal College of Art | Information Experience Design | 2020 - 2022

Show Location: Battersea campus: Studio Building, Ground floor

Biotechnology is gradually moving from the laboratory into our lives, and as it permeates society, our power structures, moral societal ethics and social structures are being reorganised.


What scenarios might happen in the future when capitalism applies technology to the human body and makes it conform to the needs of governments to run society?


The project investigates the power imbalance that emerges when cyborgs live in society by creating a fictional world of the future where society is supervised by cyborgs with enhanced sensing abilities, creating a fictional world of the future where odour information supervises society. 

By combining non-linear narrative comics with scenes and sets, this project presents the audience with the cultural landscape of this fictional world and the new alienation induced by the forces of technology, capital and politics. This project aims to lead people to re-examine the role of technology in contemporary society, to consider the capitalist forces behind it and therefore to reflect on our attitude towards technology in contemporary society.

StoryboardThe story takes place in the aforementioned futuristic world and is divided into three main characters, Nathan, a male politician who uses his natural citizenship as a point of contention to run for government organizations, Cleo, a female cyborg interviewer who relies on special smelling water to hide her illness, and Patrick, a pharmacy owner who is forced to make special smelling water to make a living due to a failed implant procedure.
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Welcome to London 2045.


With the support of the government and capital, biotech companies have legalised human modification techniques. The cyborgs, who have an advanced sense of smell after screening and electronic device implantation surgery, will work in some key government departments to protect the city's security and maintain the well-being of its citizens, and they are called the new supervisor.


The cyborg supervisors, with their advanced olfactory systems, can access and analyse a wealth of private data on the physiology, state of mind and whereabouts of the citizens, contained in the scent information (pheromones) emitted by citizens. However, not everyone wants the help of cyborg monitors, so some residents have started to look for "illegal" sources to buy goods to mask their scent, i.e. their identity and whereabouts.


Storyline

Nathan chooses to hide the accident he had a few days ago to pass the interview, but his scent betrays his state. In desperation, Nathan approaches the mysterious pharmacy owner Patrick and tries to purchase the "perfume". Meanwhile, Cleo, who also relies on the "perfume" to hide her health condition, is ordered by her leaders to find a way to remove Nathan from the list of candidates. All three characters have different positions, but all are subject to human nature and the rules that have been given to the current society by technology.

Medium:

Animation
Odour Enhancement Device - IntroductionCyborg Supervisor can be more sensitive to smell by wearing it.
Odour Enhancement Device - 01
Odour Enhancement Device - 02
Odour Collection Device - IntroductionCyborg Supervisor uses this device to record and collect the odor characteristics of a certain part of the human body.
Odour Collection Device - 01
Odour Collection Device - 02
Collection&"Perfume"In the future, smell has become an illegal commodity. At the same time, the glass bottle is the "perfume" used by each character in the animation.
Collection - Future ProductIn the future, smell has become an illegal commodity. Some people earn money by selling their "smell" to Patrick, the perfumer in the story.
"Perfume"These are the "perfume" Nathan and Cleo bought from Patrick in the story. They use these products to cover up their true identity, whereabouts or health status.

I investigated the parts of the human body that produce odour and the devices that collect odour at this stage. And on this basis, according to the interactive needs of animation, reasonable imagination and design. The audience can use the device to interact with the animation, which can help the audience better understand the worldview of the project, as well as the characters and plot settings in the animation.

Medium:

Acrylic, SLA

Size:

Various
Interactive Testing Part

According to the settings of the animation scene, I chose the hall sensor that can sense the magnetic changes. Mount the magnet on the physical device and behind the three small screens. When the device's magnet is attached to the small screen, the hall sensor behind the screen will receive the changed signal and transmit it to the Arduino board, which will then transmit the signal to the Madmapper on the computer and control the pause and playback of the video.

Medium:

Arduino

Size:

Various