Visual Communication – Graphic Design (MA)

Zhiqiang Li

I am a visual digital artist that uses video, animation and interactive installations. My work explores the relationship between humanity, information technologies and artificial intelligence – focusing on errors and glitches within mechanical and machine logic. It is in errors and ‘mistakes’ that humanity is often found within digital systems. My research explores and exploits those moments – questioning our relationship to such systems and the implications for communication practices. 

My work transcends the binary perspectives of of digital realities / fictions, biological / non-biological being and human / mechanical reconstruction – blurring and interrogating the boundaries between them. It is through this process that I ask audiences to question and explore the relationship between human nature and technology. ship between human nature and technology. 


2019 Tate Archive (r) Exhibition, Tate Britain, London 

2019 Moonscapes Exhibition, Crypt gallery, London 

2018 Museum futures Exhibition, Royal academy of arts (RA), London 


Degree Details

School of Communication

As a visual communicator, I have always been interested in using digital technologies to explore projections of possible futures. With the development of information technologies, humans have moved from two-dimensional into multi-dimensional perceptions of time, space and reality. 

Artificial intelligence promotes this continuous development of technological self-awareness – navigating between biological and non-biological modes. This is directly impact the evolution of the information / data-oriented communication. It is my speculation that these forms of communication will gradually acquire biological characteristics. The relationship between information and humans will be transformed into the relationship between two living creatures. 

Mistakes and errors within these new communication relationships will be an important features of new forms of digital consciousness. Through speculation and visual interrogation – it is my intention to continue to explore these relationships and possible singularities of visual / information communication practices.

Mistake on Tate archive

A Full Stop,No1

A Full Stop,No2

A Full Stop,No3

A Full Stop,No4

Mistake in Tate arctive

The first part is to explore the relationships between human nature and big social machines through digital errors. False punctuation on the Tate Archive damaged the rigorous logic and format of the website. The error prompted me to further explore the humanity underneath the mechanical logic. Human nature breaks the rules of archive and thus the error is made. The false punctuation happens to reflect the new form of human nature that is intervened by the logics of big social machines. If the punctuation is the reflection of human nature in the digital world, what would its form be like in reality? I virtualize the error into a living creature (some human organs) and tried to figure out what shape ​human nature would take under the social mechanical influence. By installing the creature in a physical museum, it reveals the current problems with Tate archivists, the future information development and the impact of big social machines on humanity.

Insecure Dialogue: I am never see my name

Insecure Dialogue

Humorous Dialogue

Humorous Dialogue : angry bird

Fearsome Dialogue: I think I‘m creative.

Fearsome Dialogue

The second part is to probe the relationships between human emotions and digital technology through false logics and conversations made by AI assistants. Artificial intelligence has become an integrated part of our everyday lives. Originally, artificial intelligence was developed to serve the needs of human beings and help us solve problems, nevertheless, our problems can be overly intricate that disrupt the built-in problem-solving formula of artificial intelligence, resulting in artificial intelligence software misinterpreting our inquiries and offering illogical responses. The failure of artificial intelligence to provide logical responses may be attributed to human and machine intervention. In our communication with artificial intelligence, such failure can cultivate a sense of humour, insecurity, and even fear.

From the perspective of information development and the process of human information cognition, I believe the wrong answers provided by artificial intelligence to our problems represent an interesting mixture of humanity and mechanics, and the information developed through such mixture enhances the emotional communication and grants artificial intelligence a newly developed consciousness to communicate with human beings.

To communicate this experience I created three disturbing creatures, based on human body parts, through anthropomorphic processing of the illogical dialogues between artificial intelligence and human beings. My goal is to visually represent how artificial intelligence is a mixture of human nature and machine logic and to amplify the feelings of humour, insecurity, and fear. Through the form of dialogue and questioning, the creatures manifest my experience in using artificial intelligence intelligent software while establishing communication with the audience.


0:50 mins

Emotional Dialogue,No 1

Emotional Dialogue,No 2

emotional Dialog

The dialogue between the creature and magnified micro expressions of human,No 1

The dialogue between the creature and magnified micro expressions of human,No 2

The dialogue between the creature and magnified micro expressions of human,No 3

At the same time, there are changes in micro-expressions, formulating a dialogue between artificial intelligence creatures and human micro-expressions and creating empathy between creatures. I intend to invite my audience to explore the relationship between artificial intelligence and human emotions from a brand new perspective. In the meantime, I also wish to let my audience contemplate the future of the relationship between artificial intelligence and humanity.

As the information society evolves, digital errors not only are able to probe the relationships between humanity and social machines, but also prompt humans to ponder over our emotional relationship to and within the digital world.


2:46 mins
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