Waves Against Wall is an installation inspired by the Chinese internet censorship issues. Made with a daily object that people grew familiar with since the coming of the digital age--keyboard, the piece is meant to bring a new perspective into an ordinary object. Censorship, though, not a new concern itself, traces back to the start of human civilization. Supposedly, no introduction nor defense is necessary when advocating for the removal of censorship, as suppressing any speech is a crime against all humanity. Therefore the intention could not have been marked clear, stands in opposition to such despotism, namely, no authority in this world has the authority to decide for all people, for their endless fallibility and rapacity. Washing and enclosing any one thing, like the vicious wave of the sea, is a crime and betrayal against the people who they are in the responsibility of.
With each pressing, the keyboard will then form a wave-like movement to lap off the typed words, mimicking the rapid deletions done by the censors of the Chinese internet. Knowledge, information, art, literature, the existence of these being effaced within seconds, consuming anything in view. Without the collision between true and false, the dividing lines had been beclouded. Many lost the ability to speak sternly and uprightly, proceeding to word their judgments in places absence of light. The practice of self-censoring was established to protect speech, like waves, repeatedly washing to censor themselves, though never lost the determination to pound themselves, again and again, against the great wall of censorship. The movements of waves mark many resemblances between the actions of the government and the people, both in doing the censoring and self-censoring, deleting or retaining information. Keyboard as the performer, was meant to remove the naturalness of a wave and attach the familiarity that reminds people of the censorship happening on the face of this digital world every day.
The piece was designed to be physically experienced. Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, the physical construction is currently on pause. If interested, please do pay a visit back here or to my personal website phoebezheng.com in the future.