Yan Shao

2021-2022 *This Is Not A Drill* Student Fellow

Yan Shao

Yan Shao is a terrestrial artist and creative technologist born in China and currently lives in New York. She creates interactive installations, websites, and generative art with computational media. Her artwork focus on how interactive media expand human sensory experience and rethink humans’ relationship to nature.



Algae Chorus

Algae Chorus is an interactive sound installation that invites viewers to breathe and “sing” with algae. It transforms the real-time photosynthesis process in algae growth into sounds, and viewers can join algae by using their respiration to have a sound interaction.

The technique behind this installation is sonification - a methodology of translating digital data into sound. Through real-time sound synthesis, this project provides a space for contemplating the oxygen and carbon dioxide circulation, the environment that we relied on, and the imagination of a symbiosis relationship with algae.

Algae is a diverse group of aquatic photosynthetic organisms that produce more than 75% oxygen and assimilate most of the carbon dioxide on the earth. As we face the climate emergency, algae are critical organisms we would like to imagine to have a co-living possibility. Through the visual aesthetic of the algae movements and a rich sound experience, this project reflects on the habit of anthropocentrism and the hierarchy of biological taxonomy, and aims to open a discussion of rebuilding our relationship with organisms living on the earth towards a sustainable future.