TC Zhou is an artist who has two distinct and connected areas of focus in his art practice.
The first involves combining creative coding with gay Chinese literature, and experimenting with both new and institutionalized algorithms. The materials he uses are both algorithms and Chinese characters, and he blends programming and natural languages (in both Chinese and English) to create generative art that is interactive and animated. TC Zhou draws inspiration from concrete poetry, and his work is driven by machine intelligence, producing endless variations. His art is in conversation with various fields, including queer studies, Chinese studies, art, science, and technology. Ultimately, TC Zhou aims to contribute to a sense of cultural belonging for the gay/queer community.
The second line of TC Zhou's art practice involves creating experimental queer games that explore queer life. These games are browser-based and are based on TC Zhou's interest in combining generative art with computer game design. TC Zhou's games draw on his own experiences as a gay person and have covered topics such as gay liberation, sex education, destigmatization, queer temporality, the human sexuality spectrum, the search for love, and the allocation of time for life. The games feature bright colors and 2D geometries, and their mood forms a gradient from joyful to sad. TC Zhou uses his own voice, generated sound, and found sound from the iPhone's Voice Memos app to create the games' soundscapes. TC Zhou's experimental games can be found on the itch.io indie game platform, and he sometimes performs the games for audiences.
TC Zhou (b. 1990) is a computational media artist. His programming-language-based art is about queer studies and gay Chinese literature. He thinks poetically and is interested in combining old stories with new media, such as machine intelligence, genetic programming, and game systems. He sees art-making as a form of research.
TC Zhou has been carrying out independent research about sexual orientation since 2014, creating flash animation and games since 2001, and making queer games since 2017. TC Zhou graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree from UCLA's Design Media Arts department, a major in Computer Science from NYU, was a panelist at the UCLA Queer Graduate Research Conference (2022 & 2023). His work was shown at V2_ lab (Rotterdam residency), Art Machines 2 (panelist at CityU Hong Kong), UCLA New Wright Gallery, UCLA Design Media Arts Gallery (solo show), Spectra Studio (Los Angeles), Top Art Space (Guangzhou). His work was supported by Points Center for Contemporary Art (Kunshan), UCLA DMA graduate student fellowship, and UCLA Stone and Kimono Lin Fellowship.