Yo-Yo Lin, Elle Callahan,
Michael Matchen, Will Cherry
Ricerca, which means “search” in Italian, is a cinematic installation. As human beings, we are constantly looking for signs, meanings, and patterns because ultimately, these images and memories make up what each of us call our lives.
In Ricerca, we follow the life of a man on this search, traveling through different memories and worlds to find something he had lost, or what was never his, to begin with.
This film is experienced on five different projection screens in a gallery with custom-designed surround sound, effectively creating a space for people to be immersed and actively participate in their own individual searches through time.
The viewer gets the sense of looking through someone else’s memories—at times, scattered and fragmented on different screens, and at others, a cohesive flowing image displayed on all screens. There is a narrative present, but it is an abstract one that relies on looping animations and vivid, impressionistic images. The film is made up of hand-drawn animation, stop-motion photography, and painting on film leader to create an ethereal sense of nostalgia.
After a brief gallery run, Ricerca continued to be shown with the help of virtual reality. Reconstructed in the game engine, Unity, with 3Dception's binaural audio spatialization technology, Ricerca was one of the first art installations to live on in an archival first-person experience, intriguing curators at SXSW 2016, Los Angeles Pacific Asian Film Festival 2016, First Frame 2016, and New York Film Festival 2016.
“It’s no coincidence that we are so moved by stories about quests. The search—for love, for forgiveness, for meaning—is an essential aspect of our humanity. In Ricerca (Italian for “search”), a man scours his memories for something lost, traversing a lush world rendered with a vibrant mix of 2D and stop-motion animation. Originally presented as a large-scale video installation, the reimagined piece employs virtual reality to extend its life beyond the gallery space, raising a compelling question: what will the relationship be between VR and the world of fine art?”
— Matt Bolish, Film Society Lincoln Center
My media installation work centers around unraveling the truth that lies in the subjectivity of human memory and emotion. Just as John Cage was interested in the gaps of silences between emitted sounds, my interests lie in the intricate collage work that exists between our conscious thought. Often times non-linear and abstracted across multiple displays and speakers, my work seeks to re-discover itself over and over again, just as one does when remembering a memory.
It is this constant reincarnation of perception that leads to a perpetual state of self-exploration and agency that defines my experience-based work. I use animation and sensorial technology to create cinematic environments that allow for viewers to not simply ‘immerse’ themselves, but to *unfold* themselves into a state of wakeful thought and meditation– having roots in the spiritual traditions of Tao Buddhism. I handcraft these environmental poems, usually centering on topics of growing up, aloneness, and human connection, to navigate the modes in which we gain self-knowledge in a world where truth and falsities are exceedingly blurred.
As technology continues to grow more and more seamlessly into our lives, I aim to harness the rituals surrounding media as entry points of therapy and re-establishing how sharing intimacy is a sacred act of being human.
Yo-Yo Lin is a media artist who creates audiovisual installation experiences and explores the possibilities of the animated medium in the context of emerging technologies. She uses intelligent projection/ lighting, digital and hand-drawn media, interactive objects, and lush sound design to create meditative 'memoryscapes.' Her work often evaluates human perception and connection as a vehicle for self-knowledge. A first generation immigrant from Taiwanese parents, Yo-Yo often draws from childhood memories borrows iconography from her Tao Buddhist religion. She has shown new media works at international multimedia art galleries (Human Resources, Lincoln Center, La Corte Contemporanea), music festivals (Coachella, Panorama, Steez Day), film festivals (New York Film Festival, SXSW, LA Pacific Asian Film Festival), and public art venues. Her work has been featured in the HuffingtonPost, Indiewire, and Surface Magazine.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Yo-Yo now lives and works in New York City.