Affective Storytelling

4 to 6 March we’ll be hosting an online film event with designer Ningli Zhu on the topic of affective storytelling with digital objects.


Online film event

Our thoughts and emotions are often misinterpreted online as it is difficult to communicate them in a digital space. Moreover,the digital objects we use such as our phones, computers, software and augmented and virtual reality lead and divert our attention offline as well as online. Affective storytelling is a way of telling stories that plays with this notion. Zhu describes it as “writing lyrical poems to resist an inescapable digitized world”.

Ningli Zhu is a visual designer and concept developer who is interested in storytelling on cultural identity as well as social-technological issues. Her curiosity and artistic inquiry lie in how our relationships are shaped in the digital transformation. With a background in both design and media industry, she is exploring affective narrative in the intersection of graphic design, new media art and technology, merging computational technologies into post-cinematic video making.

 The main language of the event will be English.

Oddstream art & technology is part of Lindenberg Cultuurhuis in Nijmegen.

March 4-6 | 20:00-23:00 | Free entrance | Link to the livestream in Mozilla Hubs

Click for a short guide to Mozilla Hubs.

» Ningli Zhu wrote an essay about this topic as well, that you can read here on our website. «

Online presentation and discussion

On Thursday 4 March at 20:00 we will be hosting a presentation and discussion on Zoom about the topic of affective storytelling with digital objects. During the presentation, Ningli Zhu will offer her interpretation on affective storytelling and how the films in the program are examples of this form of storytelling. Watch it here

After the discussion, we will watch the films collectively on Mozilla Hubs. Mozilla Hubs is a virtual space where it is also possible to connect with other visitors and explore the space together.

Moderator of the meetup is Sabine Winters, philosopher and founder of Future Based, an interdisciplinary philosophy platform. The presentation and discussion will be recorded and shown in Mozilla Hubs during the remainder of the event.

Saturday 6 March at 20:00 Mario Sergio Alvarez, one of the makers of CROMA, will be interviewed by Oddstreams curator Lieke Wouters. This interview is in Dutch. Watch it here

The films

Ningli Zhu – <Face to Face> (2019)

<Face to Face> is a self-reflective video essay narrating the social psychological influences and intimate connections between digital interaction and user in a personal way. The essay communicates on social anxieties and struggles on presentation and shows a fascination for digital identity. Through a mode of poetic and fictional visual storytelling, Zhu displays a blended character of the ‘modern cyborg’; between ‘self’ and ‘others’, ‘human’ and ‘machine’, ‘inner space’ and ‘outer space’.

Yaoxuan Wang – ‘Is Ambivalence Eternal’ (2020)

‘Is Ambivalence Eternal’ is a series of visual monologues that reflect on slogans, a common instrument exist across the Chinese educational system and emotional capitalism, which works as social frames that crafts people’s perception for personal and social developments. As a response,  Yaoxuan finds her way out of the slogans with what she called the ‘flowing’ method.

Yaoxuan Wang is a visual designer who has her passion in exploring the tension between reality and illusions. She aims to evoke the deepest connection in the audience by engaging their thoughts, emotions through visual storytelling, emotional graphics, and interactive product.

Is Ambivalence Eternal trailer

Aiwen Yin – <A Call> (2015)

‘A Call’ is a love letter to an impossible loved one. It asks questions to our modern struggles with love and attempts to give a “solution”. <A Call> is made under the context of an on-going design research A Sigularity Of Love: The Survival Of Modern Affections.

Yin Aiwen is a practicing designer, theorist and strategist, who use writing, speculative design and time-based art to examine the social impact of planetary communication technologies. She advocates relationship-focused design as a strategy to redesign, re-engineer and reimagine the relationship between technology and society. Besides publishing and exhibiting internationally, she also works as a strategist and researcher for cultural institutions.

< A Call > Trailer

FM7 (Fabián Alejandro González & Mario Sergio Álvarez) – ‘CROMA’ (2019)

‘CROMA’ tells the story of twin brothers whose relationship is indicative of the roles of the dominator and the dominated. The video narrates the dominator’s imposition of his perceptive reality onto the other through a virtual reality experience, immersing the subordinate twin into a simulation  where the virtual becomes reality, creating a new context of reference for the ultimate truth. In the end, the boundaries between reality and virtuality not only become unintelligible for the brothers, but also for the viewer.

Mario Sergio Álvarez’s multidisciplinary work focuses on the generation born after the 1990s in Cuba, born along the consequences of the fall of the Soviet Union and now living on the remains of  an old utopia. This generation’s discontent and criticism became a form of indirect protest in a society  based on constructed truths and a lack of individual happiness. Mario researches this indirect  protest of his peers in disciplines such as film, animation, installation and photography.

»  Mario Sergio Álvarez will be interviewed about the film by our curator Lieke Wouters. This interview will take place on Zoom on Saturday 6 March 20:00. «

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