Ani Liu

2020

1st Place recipient

I am a research-based artist. My work examines the reciprocal relationships between technology and its influence on human subjectivity, culture, identity. In my project oriented practice, each work involves a deep dive into a new body of research, resulting in new modalities of thinking and making. As such, I have utilized techniques ranging from sculpture, laboratory work, biometric sensing, perfumery, robotics, projection, and cell culturing. Reoccurring themes in my work include feminism, gender politics, synthetic biology, labor, robotics, AI, nostalgia and longing. My work imbues scientific processes with narrative and emotional expression, humanizing technology and blurring the lines between rational/emotional, hard/wet, human/machine, engineered/organic.

I often utilize the techniques of the topic I am researching to express the ideas behind the work. Each project usually takes months to years to research and complete, and can result in multiple pieces. For instance, "Mind in the Machine" explores the relationship between mechanized and human labor. For this project, a portrait of a factory worker was created by programming her machine to knit a according of her emotional state. Through an EEG brainwave sensor, her mood throughout a working day was recoded and translated through stitches of varying tensility.

Another project, "Real Virtual Feelings," explores the materiality of emotional responses seated in the digital realm. This sculpture is programmed to emit a drop of dopamine for each "like" received on social media. This piece draws conduits between the virtual and physiological, the digital and molecular, simultaneously critiquing digital platforms while utilizing them.

Examining ways humans seek to understand themselves both through science and personal narrative, my sculptures explore how scientific protocols and engineering might be harnessed for emotional expression when freed from the confines of capitalist production.

  • Real Virtual Feelings

    Real Virtual Feelings 2' x 3' x 5.5' 2018

    This sculpture deposits a drop of dopamine for each social media like.

  • A Taxonomy of Possible Consciousness

    A Taxonomy of Possible Consciousness 40” L x 24” W x 34"H 2018

    Exploring mind-body dualism, transhumanism, and AI, this work investigates the relationship between emerging science and our notions of sentience.

  • Mind in the Machine Psyche in the Age of Mechanical Production detail

    Mind in the Machine Psyche in the Age of Mechanical Production detail 24" x 39" 2017

    This is a textile portrait of a factory worker in china. This knit is generated from the brainwave EEG signals of the worker.

  • Mind in the Machine Detail

    Mind in the Machine Detail 24" x 36" 2017

    I produced a textile portrait of a factory worker in china. This is a photograph from the project. The knit is generated from the brainwave EEG signals of the worker.

  • Mind in the Machine Psyche in the Age of Mechanical Production

    Mind in the Machine Psyche in the Age of Mechanical Production 24" x 39" 2017

    This textile is generated from the EEG signals of a factory worker.

  • A Search for Ghosts in the Meat Machine

    A Search for Ghosts in the Meat Machine Set of 9 sculptures, each the height (5’5”) 2018

    Examining ways humans seek to understand themselve

  • A Search for Ghosts in the Meat Machine detail 2

    A Search for Ghosts in the Meat Machine detail 2 Set of 9 sculptures, each the height (5’5”) 2018

    Examining ways humans seek to understand themselves.

  • Algorithmic Animal Gaze

    Algorithmic Animal Gaze 2' x 5.5' 2018

    Shannon-Fano algorithm, image of the artist’s body.

  • Telepresent Drawing

    Telepresent Drawing 4” x 4” x 8” 2019

    A box containing graphite, paper, and a video camera was sent into space where a drawing was created in zero gravity. An exploration of how experience can be transmitted across space and time.

  • Laboratory of Longings detail

    Laboratory of Longings detail 6' x 4' x 12' 2017

    This is a living installation in which the sweat of a couple is harvested to feed a field of carnivorous plants.

  • Kisses from the Future

    Kisses from the Future 3.5" x 3.5" x .5" 2017

    A series of self portraits exploring a decentralized identity composed of the multi-species constellation that is a microbiome.