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Miao Ying’s work highlights the attempts to discuss mainstream technology and contemporary consciousness and it’s impact on our daily lives, along with the new modes of politics, aesthetics and consciousness created during the representation of reality through technology. She deliberately applies a thread of humor to her works and addresses her Stockholm Syndrome relationship with cultural and socio-political power, such as censorship and self-censorship, lifestyle branding and ideologies in general.

Her recent website and installation work 'Hardcore Digital Detox' (2018), hardcoredigitaldetox.com, is a Strategic Lifestyle Advice tool with the seemingly illogical premise of offering an online retreat from the digital world. The work parodies the widespread commodification of ‘wellness’ in Western societies and emphasises the fallacy of a global internet culture while simultaneously underscoring the undemocratic use of networked power in both China and the United States.

Formally and thematically, 'Hardcore Digital Detox' pursues Miao’s Chinternet Plus (2016), also composed of a website chinternetplus.com and an installation. “Internet Plus” is a strategy that was proposed by China’s Premier of the State Council in 2015 to apply cloud computing and big data to traditional industries with an aim of rebooting them. Miao’s project is what she describes as the official unveiling of a “counterfeit ideology,” a parodic take on the original strategy of Internet Plus. The work is essentially a guide for how to brand an insubstantial idea, suggesting that, in the case of political branding in particular, media can easily stand in for the message.

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Jin Liping
Xu Zhen

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Miao Ying, CN