Through the Aleph: A Glimpse of the World in Real Time

Jing Zhou

Artist Statement

“Through the Aleph” is a net art project offering an unprecedented visual and interactive experience where many places on Earth and in space can be seen simultaneously in an instant. It visualizes the diversity of human civilizations (microcosm) and the unity of humanity without borders in the ever-changing universe (macrocosm); it draws the connections between individuals and the global environment, Earth and outer space, eternity and time, and art and science. With an unexpected approach to surveillance cameras and global networks this meditative web project uses live data to create an abstract landscape in an open source environment. It not only embraces the dream of peace on Earth but also explores the bond between humankind and nature through time and space in the present moment. 

* The project title was inspired by two great literary works—”The Aleph” and “Through the Looking-Glass.” Perhaps the computer screen is our modern day looking-glass, and we are all Alice as we peer through our screens at an alternate reality.

Written Document
Project Website


Video Documentation
Artist Bio

Born in China, Jing Zhou is an interdisciplinary artist, designer, and professor in the US. Her award winning work has been shown and collected internationally including: Triennale Design Museum, Milan; British Computer Society, London; Asian Cultural Center, New York City; SIGGRAPH Art Gallery; ISEA; CAA; Les Abattoirs Museum, France; Mons Memorial Museum, Belgium; Royal Institution of Australia; Athens Digital Art Festival, Greece; New York Hall of Science; Danish Poster Museum; GAMeC Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery, Italy; Taksim Republic Art Gallery, Istanbul; FILE, Sao Paulo; Sardinia Film Festival, Italy; Visual Information Design Assn. of Korea; Goethe Institute Alexandria, Egypt; Stanford University; Brown University; ArtCenter College of Design; Hungarian Electrographic Art Assn., Budapest; Grand Canyon National Park; PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris Awards; International Photography Awards; public collection of the WRO Media Art Center, Poland; Moravian Gallery in Brno, Czech Republic; Waikato Museum, New Zealand; SDAI Museum of the Living Artist, San Diego; and Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco. Numerous books and magazines such as “Photo Techniques,” “NMEDIAC,” and “Computer Graphics World” have published her work. Jing is also a Gold Medal recipient of the Art Directors Club of New Jersey, Gold Winner of the American Design Awards, Silver Winner of the Summit International Creative Awards, and Prize Winner of IFUW (GWI) Poster Competition in Geneva.