Lu Yang’s commission for The 1975 is performed in the virtual world by his nonbinary digital alter-ego Doku, whom he’s constructed using the latest in 3D scanning, motion capture and digital modelling technology. 50 of his facial expressions have been recreated from ultra-high quality scans, while Doku’s pop choreography was performed by a dancer turned motion-capture puppeteer. His sneakers are glowing neon. His bare torso is lit up with incandescent circuitry. His hands leave trails of violet effervescence in the air.
“In the virtual world,” says Yang, “I was able to do things such as choosing my own gender-neutral body and creating an appearance that reflects my own sense of beauty, which are not possible in real life. I consider Doku as my digital reincarnation. He is me but someone else at the same time. Just like the Buddhist concept of alayavijnana [storehouse consciousness], he represents a stream of consciousness which lingers in different worlds and different selves.”
Unleashed from the constraints of having a physical body, Doku is free to dive into the mysteries of the universe and try to establish a greater sense of his own identity. “On a planet where time and space no longer limit our minds,” says Yang, “to live is to create and explore. Emptiness and loneliness become the ultimate romance.”
He shows us how our shared virtual world, the world of digital creation and imagination, the world in which you’re watching his film, is not so different from the planet without time and space of his imagination: it’s a creative place where we can play with our identities and explore ourselves, our many parallel selves, and prepare those selves for new dimensions and universes. A whole new cosmos of infinite possibility stretches before us.
Lu Yang responds to ‘Playing On My Mind’