Where Did Macy Go?
2020
Color digital animated video with sound
8 min 57 sec (full video)

Where Did Macy Go? is an 11-episode animated video told through a series reports of Macy’s encounter with the epidemic, life during the quarantine, search for his grandfather’s farm and his revival. The video discusses the collapse of old community structures, the emergence of a new community after decollectivization, Confucian obedience vs. social obedience, as well as the new tele-republic of home, “mask politics” and social justice under the pandemic. Originally posted on TikTok to challenge the possibility of online exhibitions, the work is a response to this era of volatility, complexity and confusion.

Storyline


Episode 1
Report from M TV Station. Macy quarantined for 28 days, then participated in the protests and unfortunately contracted COVID-19 and died. Yesterday, we bid farewell to Macy’s body remotely.

Episode 2
According to report from M Channel, Macy quarantined for 28 days and enjoyed himself. However, someone reported that Macy violated the self-quarantine requirements, and he was forced to go to the ICU. It is reported that Macy was fully recovered 14 days later, but soon disappeared after he left the hospital. Nobody knows where he went.

Episode 3
Where did Macy go? Some media outlets have reported that Macy contracted COVID-19 after he participated in the protests and died. Others have confirmed that Macy was fully recovered. Nobody knows where he went. The most common opinion is that Macy did die, but was revived on the third day after his death. Where did Macy go? We will keep following his case as it evolves.

Episode 4
“I’m Macy’s professor. I would like to provide some clues as to what happened. Macy once mentioned that his grandfather owns a farm. The farm’s name is Community. Every summer evening, people from the Community gather to drink beer in a greenhouse on the riverside. There are guitars, pipe organs, charming singing voices, and of course, the smells of delicious Korean barbeque waft on the breeze. Macy visited his grandfather’s farm when he was 14. He took a picture at the entrance of the Community. There were beautiful flowers around his feet. There was also a dog named Immunity. The farm was surrounded by tall and weird walls.”

Episode 5
Report from M TV Station. Macy was an obedient child. He listened to his mom’s words when he was young, and follows his dad’s orders as a grown up. After the coronavirus outbreak, he immediately paid for the government’s new immunity plan through the mobile app, and has become a member of the Tele-Republic of Home
Episode 6
Report from M TV Station. Macy seems crazy! He turned himself into Hugh Hefner: He copied Hefner’s rounded bed, dresses in Hefner-style pajamas, bathrobe and slippers, eats Hefner’s favorite chocolate bar. Macy’s bed connects the entire world: Macy is in the museum; Macy is in the factory; Macy is participating in a Zoom meeting. Macy stays at home and stays in bed! Macy’s Internet connects the whole world! Macy is the whole world! Let’s take a look! Macy starts to twist himself on the bed. Macy starts to dance! Macy is singing the Song of Tele-Republic of Home! 

Episode 7
An exclusive report by M TV Channel: Here is the Song of Tele-Republic of Home composed by Macy! Please pay attention! Please reward him? Give him your reward!
 
Episode 8
An exclusive report by M TV Channel. Macy perfectly meets the requirement of Tele-Republic of Home, is because he is wearing the vogued masks! Your email address, Facebook, Instagram, Zoom and Skype account are in the masks, as well as your bank account and Amazon delivery address! (A parrot interjects: The mask is the world! The world is the mask!)
Today we are doing live selling! Act fast if you want to be in! Style Preciado, 38 Yuan! Style Zizek, 18 Yuan! Style Han Byung-Chul, 28 Yuan!!!!

Episode 9
Report from M TV Station. X-gle company posted three continuous tweets, promising that all employees can be immunized for free, and work from home for 28 years. Macy was not satisfied with the changes. He thought: How about the delivery brothers? If we are all at home, who will deliver the sausage? (Then there will be knocks on the door: Macy, your sausage is here! Macy, your sausage is here!)
Episode 10
Continuous reports from M TV Channel. It is said that before Macy disappeared, he tried to renew his Community Plan on his phone. He did not wear makeup that day, and his skin looked a bit yellow. The official refused his renewal, saying that you are the “Yellow Culture (pornographic culture)”. You cannot be immune even if you pay. Macy was very disappointed, and left.

Episode 11
Report from M TV Station. Macy participated in the protest and unfortunately contracted COVID-19 and died. However, it is said that Macy was revived on the third day after his death while nobody knew where did he go. Nobody has heard from him since. According to Macy’s professor, Macy went to his grandfather’s farm. Macy visited his grandfather’s farm when he was 14 and he took a picture at the entrance. Macy’s professor said: The entrance is still there. The beautiful flowers are still there, so is the dog named Immunity. The only difference is that there are two village guards wearing armbands at the entryway

Ending
“Where Did Macy Go?”

Inspiration/References
Due of COVID, it’s the first time we have seen so many thinkers from all over the world writing about the same issue at the same time, from Italian philosopher Giorgio Agemben’s techno-totalitarism, to French philosopher Bruno Latour and French writer François Gemenne’s argument on COVID’s influence on climate change, to the reference I used in my work: The argument between Slovenian philosopher Zizek and Korean-born German philosopher Han Byung-Chul. Zizek writes that the pandemics invites us to re-thinking the radical change of global capitalism and the re-invention of communism, whereas Han Byung-Chul declares that Žižek is wrong because global capitalism will be restored vigorously soon after this crisis and the virus cannot give us to “think” or “re-think” politics. He argues that the state of an emergency always serves as an excuse for the more enhanced system of government.


In another piece of writing, Han Byung-Chul also talked about the reason why East Asian counties handled COVID more successfully, was because of their Confucius background – a very family orientated obedience. His opinion was soon challenged by some other writers, saying that all East Asian societies have long been functioning in a Foucault’s structure – a modern societal obedience. That’s why I used this sentence in the work: Macy was an obedient child. He listened to his mom’s words when he was young, and follows his dad’s orders as a grown up. Here, mom refers to the family orientated Confucius obedience, and dad refers to the modern obedience in the patriarchal society.

The second major reference, is the essay by Spanish philosopher Paul Preciado titled “Learning From The Virus”. In the essay he wrote:
“The Italian philosopher Roberto Esposito analyzed the links between the political notion of community and the biomedical and epidemiological notion of immunity. The two terms share a common root, the Latin munus, the duty (tax, tribute, gift) someone must pay to be part of the community.”
“Immunity was a privilege that released someone from the obligations shared by all. He who had been exempted was immunized. He who had been de-munized, conversely, had been stripped of all community privileges after having been deemed a threat to the community.”


For a long time, when I used or referred to the term community, I was always thinking of its specific manifestations such as racial community and gender community. Preciado, on the other hand, provided a more fundamental idea of what constructs a community, and emphasized that all biopolitics is immunological. He used examples of syphilis, AIDs and border politics, and examined how sex workers, gay men and refugees were seen as de-munized and treated as a threat to the community. This pharmacopornographic management and production of the body continues to be applied and manifest in the current Covid-19 context.

The third reference: Hugh Hefner. In episode 6, the video restores his famous rounded bed in Chicago, which was seen as one of the oldest and most known Work From Home example, where he made more than 20 video recordings a day, with thousands of cables and most advanced telecommunication technologies during his era. Given the fact that many major companies have already announced that their employees could work from home forever, there will be no more distance between work, pleasure, production and sex.

Instagram AR Effects/Filters
Similar to posting the videos on TikTok, these AR effects and filters, which is a part of the project Where Did Macy Go?, are also my response to the current time where many exhibitions were trying to recreate an IRL experience on their own websites, while I prefer to take advantage of what Internet and social media does the best: sharing and redistributing. So far these AR effects have been shown over 100,000 times on Instagram. (@ziyang_wu_art)

Macy (Split Face)
Macy (Portal)
Macy (Face Hole)
Macy (Playboy)
Macy (Playboy 2)
Macy (Quarantine)