Emotional Nexus
West Bund Art & Design

9-12 November, 2023
West Bund Art Center, Shanghai

Participating Artists:
Fei Jun, Liu Xin, Chen Zhe

Naiyi Wang

Exhibition Coordination:
Diane Xing, Zhou Yue

In this era of crisis and vitality, our immediate perception of the ‘here and now’ returns us to our inner emotional and spiritual instincts. With a pioneering spirit and innovative ideas, BMW has forever strengthened the bond between humans and vehicles, and used intelligent technology to create advanced sensations and infinite reveries on future mobility. Emotional Nexus aims to transgress the frontiers of mobility, using BMW’s human centric technology to delve into questions around perception, its representation, and bring about emotional resonance. BMW continues to harness the power of science and technology to endow ‘perception’ with new dimensions, allowing synesthesia to be felt instantaneously.

The entanglements of art and technology has inspired multiple possibilities for this exhibition. The former, from a perceptual perspective, understands the power of empathy and unfurls emotional impulse. The latter, from a rational perspective, recognises that machines are not merely tools, but intelligent systems that have a life and can produce people’s emotional maps. BMW joins hands with artists to embark on a journey of emotional discovery, reflecting on future mobility wherein humans and vehicles evolve together.

Emotional Nexus presents the journey of ‘arrival’ in two paths - in Boundless Flow, artist Fei Jun uses emotional data to reveal ‘sensorial arrival’ and reconcile with one's own emotions; while in Sensation Synthesis, emerging artists Liu Xin and Chen Zhe create an affective experience in which technology is shrouded by poetic perception, exploring the path of ‘intelligent arrival’ for the co-evolution of humans and vehicles.

Technology cannot build a holistic life experience without emotional awareness. Emotional Nexus starts from these senses and constructs moments of contemplation, aiming to prompt reflexive thinking about the relationship between humans and vehicles in BMW's vision, and inspire an endless imagination about future mobility. We look forward to driving with you!

︎︎︎ Boundless Flow
From here, we enter into an interior journey and fall into the flow of emotional data. BMW joins hands with artist Fei Jun to create a digital emotional theater, and together with THE i7, we travel beyond the imagination and reshape senses at the crux of the mind. Through this piece, the inner dialogue between human and vehicle becomes traceable. With THE i7’s real-time collection of audience emotional data, an emotional analysis algorithm continuously dissolves negative emotional factors, and transfigures the perceptual responses from THE i7 with dynamic visuals. Beyond creating mobility, BMW also establishes emotional links with users’ inner lives through in-vehicle intelligent interaction system. The work Polyphony of Emotion responds to BMW's exploration of future mobility – how intelligent interaction systems can establish better affective connections between humans and vehicles, and thus open the channels for a multi-dimensional sensory experience.

︎︎︎ Sensation Synthesis
Here, our senses continue to expand - Artists Liu Xin's NOAA and Chen Zhe's Passage have been commissioned by BMW ART TALENTS. With their new works, the two artists respond to BMW's endless imagination on the relationship between humans and vehicles – more than just a car, but an emotional companion. Inspired by BMW iDrive system, young talent Liu Xin conducted an in-depth exploration of future mobility and sensory connections between humans and vehicles, bringing the human-computer interaction experience into a deeper relational context. Based on BMW IconicSounds Electric, young talent Chen Zhe created a field of sensory resonance, intertwined with light and sound, using this ‘futuristic soundscape’ to expand the boundaries of individual perception. The two artists enshroud technology in romantic and poetic artistic language, and respond to BMW's keen insight into the future of human-computer interaction with theatrical, audience-sensitive works.

Passing through a corner of the amber stage, we see how artist Liu Xin translates cold and distant data into a warm and emotional visual language. And arriving at the star-studded night, artist Chen Zhe's imagination of sensory resonance possesses an entangled and evolved depth, transforming into an invisible ‘futuristic soundscape’ where the boundaries of individual perception are expanded with the sound of driving. In a field where power devices, light, and shadow overlap, future intelligence evolves into an invisible and cognitive soundscape, constantly responding to BMW's exploration of using technology to intervene in sensory experience.