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'new work by Diane Zhou
In China and in Chinese households in the US, it’s common for hosts to offer guests house slippers after they remove their shoes. Slippers keep the feet warm and prevent qi (气) from leaking out of the soles of the foot. If the sole is the interface between body and universe, slippers serve the crucial role of cushioning them from unfamiliar, cold floors.
But what is lost when nubbly toes and gnarled veins are snugly capped away? What happens when the contact point between body and universe is sealed over?
My Homepage, “Slippery People/滑人," presents a post-society setting where most human beings are nowhere to be found, but they’ve left behind their house slippers, which contain traces of their consciousness. The user can approach the slippers dotting the landscape and access bits of memories, which appear as images and text; the content ranges in scope, from personal photos to news of national events. Through the accumulation of these fragments, the multiple connected “rooms” hint at the contours of the past lives that existed there.