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Provocative Jokes Deconstructed

A handful of the numerous Instagram jokes made at the expense of the objectification of real people are deconstructed, each broken into three parts – people, words, captions. The flicking through jokes, ready to be laughed at, are turned into separate entities demanding viewers’ attention and thinking, making up their own minds on what is at stake with these secret pleasures.

The Instagram Project

The Instagram Project is a constellation of works looking at the Instagram images that knowingly or not participate in the construction and consumption of the Chinese as a spectacle of the other yet often mistaken as the societal reality. With a satirical and analytical approach, the project takes the images (and the words accompanying them) out of Instagram, dissects, alters, and repurposes them to create new meanings and contexts. Each work within the project tackles a certain type of images with a specific method, undoing the underlying ethnocentric value judgements that fuel the popularity of them. Quirky Science Questions and Provocative Jokes Deconstructed are two works from the project.

Quirky Science Questions

A set of unexpected science questions devised based on images and video clips from Instagram. The reading of the images shifts as they are given a new function, liberating them from the narrow-minded. The questions are produced in collaboration with Theodora Ntoka, an education researcher with a quirky scientific mind.

Slide Q1.

The vehicle is carrying 50kg of lettuce. This can be sold at ¥4 per kg. As they travel right now the top layer of lettuce (5kg) gets damaged and needs to be sold at 50% discount.

An option to avoid the damage would be to cover the vegetables with a canvas and send the person lying on the lettuce to the market by train. The single trip train ticket would cost ¥15. Would this option be an economical choice for them?
Slide Q2.

The food delivery man on this vehicle is exerting force on his back and legs in order to remain the current squatting position. Does the force he exert change when the vehicle is in motion, compared to when the vehicle is still?
Slide Q3.

The diameter of each pipe is 12cm. The vertical distance from the top of the head to the shoulders of the man on the far left is 30cm. Use perspective to calculate the distance between the front of the pipes and the man on the far left.
Slide Q4a.

It takes 9 sec from when the man starts to brake till the vehicle stops. How long would it take for the vehicle to stop if there were two more people on the log?
Slide Q4b.

It takes 9 sec from when the man starts to brake till the vehicle stops. How long would it take for the vehicle to stop if there were two more people on the log?
Slide Q5.

The person at the bottom is exerting a vertical force of 120N to the ladder. The ladder weighs 15kg and the person on the ladder weighs 65kg. The cable is able to withstand 60kN force. How much additional weight can the person on ladder carry?
Slide Q6.

Could that person swing the banana like a pendulum? If yes, what would be the optimal starting angle?
Slide Q7.

The man’s teeth are cutting 0.03mm of the rope every 5s. The average speed of his vehicle is 30km/hour. If he needs to travel a distance of 15km, what is the minimum thickness of rope he needs to make sure it doesn’t break before he reaches his destination?
Slide Q8.

The delivery box on the bike can hold up to 15 pizza boxes (31cm x 31cm x 5cm each). How tall is the child sitting in the box?

Yuxin Jiang is an artist working to challenge the thinking on intersectional identity issues through analysing cultural forms, such as languages, image culture, and her own living experience of becoming a global citizen. Her practice is shifting towards one that is collaborative and functional with an increased interest in situating her work beyond the art context. She lives and works in London and Shanghai. Recent projects include part of Syllabus (2019/2020), a UK-wide artist development programme; translation of the Chinese edition of Photography: The Key Concepts; exhibition-based work Five Events and Some Observations on Identity, which won Lianzhou FotoFestival Jury Prize 2018 and a finalist for Jimei x Arles Discovery Award 2017.