Yunfeng Yao


Digital Twin: Spiritual Machines - Contemplator

Interactive Installation


uHand2.0 Palm / 4" Displays Module / Raspberry Pi Mini Mainframe / Custom Power Supply​


Royal College of Art, 2023 London

M P Birla Millenium Gallery, 2023 London

The Koppler X Gallery Piccadilly Circus, 2023 London

Spiritual machines redefine the boundaries of the human corporeal body, where humans become a hybrid of organic and mechanical objects. The installation shows a damaged face that just as soon recalls the torn faces of the final painting in ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’. The physical body of the human being is transformed into a meta-media of avatars. Technology makes us cyborgs. We can see ourselves through the lens of the machines we have recently created.

The psychological dimension of humanity that has long haunted me is addressed here through my typical image, sound and text equation. I believe that between these questions, artificial intelligence is already beginning to enter our world in many fascinating and banal ways, all open to speculation.

Within this, I create Spiritual machines as a creator to reject the existence of inner entities and create a 'post-human narrative'. The definition of 'human' becomes less stable when humans cease to be pure, monolithic organisms. Moreover, 'identity' is no longer reliable. In a post-humanist society, we should consider a new discourse to resist the duality and instability of 'identity politics'. 

Whenever they receive information from the outside world, the Spiritual machines struggle and think simultaneously, as if they are trapped in their shells. At once familiar and disturbing, these hybrid faces pierce contemporary anxieties about privacy, surveillance and identity.