Born 1984 Shanghai. Lives and works in Shanghai

Lu Yang’s fascination with the tensions between mind, body and technology inevitably attracted her to Parkinson’s disease. In this degenerative illness, the neurones that initiate movement go haywire, sending out impulses as if of their own accord. While patients strain to achieve the smallest deliberate movement, their limbs go rigid or tremble uncontrollably. One treatment for those tremors is Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), in which a tiny electrode is implanted in the brain to block stray nerve impulses. When the current from a subcutaneous battery is on, the twitching and shaking decline; when it is turned off, they resume. Lu Yang’s multipart Krafttremor Project (2011) builds on earlier works such as Revived Zombie Frogs Underwater Ballet (2009), in which she used electrical stimuli to “reanimate” dead frogs. It centres on a video in which the frequencies of Parkinson’s sufferers’ movements are translated into atonal clicks and hums, generating an eerie electronic soundtrack. Lit as if with disco lights and with their eyes morphed into those of amphibians, the men seem to be shaking to the beat, but in fact “their lack of control is controlling the music,” the artist says.


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