• About / CV
  • Projects
    • Other Spring
      theory-fiction world-building, 2023

    Other Spring



    • 10/2023 - - The Interface Between Humanity and the Universe 3.0 天人之境 v3.0, - China Academy of Art, China, Shanghai Curated by Ziyang Wu
    • 9/2023 - - Ars Electronica, Austria, Linz
    • 5/2023 - - Elektra Virtual Museum, Canada, Montreal
    • 5/2023 - - HMG, South Korea, Yongin

    Other Spring (OS) is a theory-fiction world-building project.

    “No design framework is perfect or complete. All design frameworks foreground certain notions at the expense of others. So, it’s a matter of priorities–what are values that we collectively think are important?”

    Interview between Dawn Chan and zzyw, published on Hyundai Artlab Editorial, May 02, 2023

    Film snapshot: UNO

    Film snapshot: OS Village


    “Other Spring” (OS) is a speculative worldbuilding project presented as a docufiction. Using the unique creative approach of worldbuilding, it critically examines the profound impact of computational media, automation, and artificial intelligence on society and culture.

    Inspired by the ancient Chinese fable “The Peach Blossom Spring,” the project explores the possibility of “heretic computing” (a term coined by media theorist Alexander R. Galloway). It challenges our society’s prevailing understanding of “computing” as the pursuit of efficiency, convenience, and data exchange.

    Film snapshot: UNO’s data-transferring network

    Set in a not-too-distant future where the all-powerful AI-driven network UNO (Universal Network Observer) becomes the bedrock of reality, OS reflects the urgent need to safeguard privacy, user agency, and individuality in our increasingly interconnected society.

    In the world of this docufiction, the world is divided into two completely different parts: UNO, a panoptic automated society run by Neural Network-powered artificial intelligence, and “Other Spring,” a haven protected by H.A.Z.E from the network. The haze represents an intricate technical infrastructure of middleware and unique protocols embodying unconventional algorithmic design philosophies.

    In this world, the haze enables OS to stay invisible, allowing inhabitants to retain individuality, heterogeneity, and cultures to coexist harmoniously.

    The project blends reality with speculative fiction by combining media theory, cryptography, network engineering, and architectural theory. It does this in an attempt to challenge our understanding of information society and the power dynamics it brings.

    The growing influence and control of algorithms over our lives, coupled with the erosion of privacy and agency in the digital age, underscore the urgency of this subject.

    OS proposes a unique approach of fusing theory, creative usage of technology, and the concepts of fog and haziness to demonstrate the immense potential of heretic computing and alternative algorithms.

    It emphasizes the importance of opacity, intimacy, and intrinsic value in computational design. It invites media theorists, artists, designers, and game developers into deeper dialogues to foster a more holistic, humane relationship with technology.

    As algorithms gain more power over our lives, exploring alternative approaches like OS is crucial to safeguarding plurality, autonomy, and human values.

    “Other Spring (OS)”是一个理论向的虚构世界创作项目。这个多元化的项目包括一篇研究论文、一个虚拟世界和一段短片,运用世界构建(World-building)这种独特的创作手段,批判性地剖析计算媒介(computational media)、自动化以及人工智能对社会和文化的深远影响。

    该项目深受中国古代寓言《桃花源记》的启发,探讨了"异端计算"(“heretic computing”,引用媒体理论家亚历山大·R·加洛韦的观点)的可能性,从而挑战我们现今社会对“计算”既定的理解,即追求效率、便利和数据交换。

    OS设定在一个不太遥远的未来,其中,由人工智能驱动的全能网络UNO(Universal-Network Watch)主宰着世界,反映出在我们日益互联的社会中对隐私、自由(代理性)和个体性保护的紧迫性。

    在这个项目的构建中,世界被划分为两个完全不同的部分:UNO,这是一个全视全能的自动化社会,由高级人工智能驱动;以及“Other Spring”(桃源),这是一个受到H.A.Z.E(迷雾)保护的网络。迷雾代表着一个庞大的底层技术结构,由中间件和独特协议构成,体现了一种非传统的算法设计理念。






    World Building

    Architectural Drawing: UNO’s Structure

    Architectural Drawing: UNO’s 3 types of Functional Districts

    UNO’s observational network infrastructural elements

    Hidden village 桃源’s architectural and inner working

    The HAZE oriented technical infrastructure of Hidden village 桃源’s buildings

    Stream the film

    Watch on Vimeo


    = = = = = =



    Directed and Written by zzyw (Zhenzhen Qi and Yang Wang)

    Production Team Credit:

    • Creative Producer: Matthew Doyle
    • Research Architect: Junling Zhuang
    • Worldmaking Architect: Mehrdad Ranjbar
    • UE5 Technical Art Generalist: Cecil Boey
    • Graphic Design / Film Editor: Qinru Zhang
    • Music Composer: Maxwell Sterling


    • Qifan Pu, Ph.D (Consultancy on Cryptography)
    • Kevin Chen, Ph.D (Consultancy on Cryptography)
    • Hanwen Zhang (Guest Critic)
    • Huiqi He (Consultancy on Cinematography)
    • Yuehao Jiang (Guest Critic)

    Special Thanks

    The project is sponsored by Hyundai Motor’s 5th VH Award and premiered on May 2nd, 2023.

    The artwork is currently on view at HMG Vision Hall (Yongin) and Elektra Virtual Museum (Montreal). It will also be presented at Ars Electronica (Linz) and Museum MACAN (Jakarta), with dates to be announced.

    • Other Spring
      theory-fiction world-building, 2023