Ruini Shi (UK)

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A new technology start-up company claims to offer a certain kind of ”immortality”: users can choose between erasing the deceased’s electronic footprint or uploading it to virtual heaven, permanently secured and published on an immutable blockchain, allowing the addition of remembrance NFTs to the memorial. This website ”FuneralPlay” speculates on a near future when diverse ideologies and values are accepted within the setting of a funeral: apart from traditional religion, a series of subcultures are emerging as new elements in a funeral scenario. As a result, cat meme lovers, boyband fandoms, fengshui masters, otakus, gangsters, cypherpunks… all can find a private post-mortem comfort zone. This journey records the recent life dynamics of some residents on the platform.

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Ruini Shi is an animation director based in London, currently pursuing her PhD on the possibilities presented by the confluence of crypto and animation. Combining film language and technological aesthetics, she creates narratives that interrogate the compatibility between humanity and emerging technologies. Her first film *Strings* won the Award of Distinction at Prix Ars Electronica 2019. She was nominated for the 2019 Rapoport Award for Women in Art and Technology.


These video commissions are presented in the framework of the European ARTificial Intelligence Lab, which is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, Civil Service and Sport.