Marshall Wang Meixuan

Marshall Wang Meixuan is a designer, an artist and an eastern surrealist based in New York. Ranging from text-image composition, time-based media, interactive performance and computational art, her practice integrates conceptual undercurrents of research, design and tangible experiences, exploring the meta ideas in the current cultural discourse.
Thesis Faculty
Kellee MasseyAndrew ZornozaNancy ValladaresFran Hoepfner

An Altar is Wherever You Kneel

Installation View

An Altar is Wherever You Kneel is a multi-channel video installation that explores the collision between rituals and emerging technologies, revealing an alternative way of experiencing spiritual practices through procedure contents and non-human centric narratives.

It is a discovery of self, fields, invisible forces and shapes. It starts off as a study of value systems that reveals the power of spirituality and an introspection of a physical body navigating in a hybrid field. It slowly evolves to a constellation of work intersecting spiritual ideologies, system diagramming, and computer graphic techniques.

Render view 1

Part I. The Impetus
We tend to pattern-find in randomness. Beneath the indeterminacy and silken dilemmas, there are dusks and dawns that guide us to where we are.

An Altar is Wherever You Kneel is an assembly of my personal interpretation of myths that science failed to explain. It’s an amalgamation of my social roles and assigned identities, nothing too special — an eastern woman, a creative practitioner, a daughter of a Buddhist mom, and a free-ish body. It’s an articulation with personal bias. It’s an introspection of self, the world, and the relationship between people and space. It’s an exploration and homage to the inexplicable mysterious forces. It brings out questions with no answers. It’s an attempt to name the unnamable, to brush the gaps in the void of language.  

The Altar Booklet, type engraved on acrylic

Part II. The Taxonomy
What will the anatomy of the sacredness look like? The attempt of capturing spiritual forms, makes me feel like I’m the cartographer, the shape-shifter, and the witch.

Being a creative practitioner is like everything above.

Taxonomy of Prayers, Woven Blanket
Early iterations on spiritual diagraming
Taxonomy of Prayers

Part III. The Video Installation I pray for a lot of things. I pray for nothing. I pray to have the courage to desire out loud. I pray to friends. I pray to my pillow. I pray when I feel like I don’t deserve it. I pray to not feel alone. I pray to recognize and acknowledge the smallness of my body. I pray for the abundance this body has given me. Prayer is my entanglement with spirituality, an action to fill in the gap of the unexplainable encounterability that happens within bodies and spaces. I started praying before the concept of “prayer” even existed in my mind. Individuals pray through all agents — through our body, through our words, through the internet. The substance of not having specificity in our wantings but still embedding them to a larger request offers us peace of mind. 

In the thinking of all that, The idea of making an Altar comes to mind — The perfect analogy, to capture the intersection between subjects I practice daily: rituals, body autonomy, procedure image generation and computational art. In the last part of this project, the Altar is set up in a multi-channel video installation environment, where a combination of moving images and words are playing across the acrylic panels, sporadically and simultaneously. Videos and messages are displayed in an organic sequence, forming a series of telling tales of spirituality, techno-body and alternative beings. Within those fast and slow, abundance lies within. In the gentle breeze of the summer day, in the late night “aha moments”, in every footstep we make, knowing that firm support is coming from the ground. It lies in the constantly shifting infinity, and the enigmatic flow of being.

process, videos rendered in UE5
Render view 2

To read more about the research + process, please view the link here.