Jiayu Wu

Department: Social Design

Be Danced

A puppet on a string, a metaphor of manipulation, still maintains its relevance in modern societies. Despite living in an era characterised by a strong sense of self and a desire to be independent from the multitudes, we are still controlled. Jiayu Wu investigated this concept, taking the popular traditional Chinese square dance as a starting point. In China, every evening old ladies perform these synchronised dances en masse, displaying cultural concepts of unity and cooperation. The dancing does not only propagate collective consciousness; it also shows traces of the subtle mechanisms of state control, which are still present in China, as well as in other major economies.
‘Be Danced’ explores the same principles. This wearable fashion device that controls people’s movements is a symbol of manipulative models of governance. The person that operates the strings behind your back can forcefully coerce an unwilling gesture or elicit a discreet movement, emphasising that control occurs at both a macro and micro scale.

Copyright Design Academy Eindhoven

Copyright: Design Academy Eindhoven
Photographs: Iris Rijskamp