Real Guy Fitness



2017
Material: Arduino & sensors, Netlab Toolkit, dumbell, projector and see-through mirror.

Media Installation
Video: 3 min

Masculinity is facing crisis in post-feminism America. For sensitive teenage boys in South California, there is a tension between the pleasure of carving out a flawless physique body type to win the anonymous gaze and the fear of being identified as “less man” figure. This project roots the “masculinity” in the ancient Chinese philosophy to reinterpret American teenage masculinity issue in the age of social media. From the perspective of Taoism mysticism on the inclusion and exclusion, the notion of “real man” (大丈夫) is not associated with aggressiveness and toughness, but a solidness with softness. The softness makes a man stronger. If social media makes them “feminine”, can social media help these sensitive male find masculinity as well?

This project sourced the skin-care personal stories on Tumblr and
used fitness routine and vocalization cues to reconstruct a masculinity based on Taoism. A “real man” (大丈夫) is born from the harmony of masculinity and femininity.











Note

The relationship between the user and social media fits the dynamics between inclusion and exclusion based on the Taoism mysticism.
 
Real Guy Fitness: "You can still be a man" explored the tension between physical body image, embodied visuals, and teenage fears, within the ways youth consume social media content. Paying explicit attention to the fear of "less-man figure" and construction of teenage psychology, this project speaks to the fragility of adolescent masculinity and identity confusion in high school.

张试图通过东方人对于大丈夫能屈能伸的柔性特点,来重新诠释美国女权语境下千禧一代护肤男子的青春困境:刻板影像中“男性化”特征的减弱与想要获得“男人”的社会化标签的两难。青春,是一个形成自我的重要时期。完美无暇的躯体图像在社交媒体上吸引大量眼球,沉迷于外在的肌肉也就与“男子气概”产生了联系,虚荣的男子于是按照社交媒体上流行的男性形象雕刻着自己的肉体与生活习惯,这是“自恋”,“自爱”还是追求“男子气概”呢?纳尔喀索斯是否有害怕过女性化的标签呢?

张复制再利用发布在社交媒体上的少男们的护肤体验,创造出一套刚柔并济的男性新标准,在有着社交媒体的镜子前健身。刚中带柔,柔中带刚。来吧,举起你的男子气概。


(纳尔喀索斯:希腊神话中一个俊美而自负的少年,爱上了自己的倒影,于是掉入水中想要找到自己所爱。他的身体消失了,留下的是在岸边的水仙花)


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Installation


The image below shows the minium setup to bring this interactive experience to life.




The image below shows the proper prototype environment based on two key points mentioned above.







Mark