책임기획_YUAN Goang-Ming   2006_0624 ▶ 2006_0903

Bill VIOLA_Dissolution, Edition 6_2005

● 위 이미지를 클릭하면 타이페이당대예술관(MOCA Taipei) 홈페이지로 갑니다.

Han Tang Yuefu Music Ensemble_Bill Viola_Cheng Chih-Chen_Granular Synthsis Kim Young-Jin_Lee Yong-Baek_Robert Lazzarini_Ron Mueck_Tao Ya-Lun_HUANG Po-chih Laurie ANDERSON_TSENG Yu-Chin_Yuki KIMURA_Mary ZIEGLER_Miwa YANAGI_MA Chun-Fu

Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei No.39 Chang West Road, Taipei, Taiwan 103 Tel. +886_2_25523721

L'ici n'est plus, tout est maintenant. ● Paul Virilio,Esthetique de la disparitio, Traditional Chinese translation by Yang, Kai-Lin, Taipei: Yang-Chih Book Co. , 2001 Edition. ● "In those days privation was typical in our village, subjecting most adults to migrant labour in Manchuria. Those folks were allowed merely an annual visit back home during the Chinese New Year's break. As time for the New Year's Eve Dinner approached, the entire village would cling onto the vantage point of the hill, waiting with full-blown excitements and anxieties upon beloved ones who, by then, would have had walked twenty days, all the way from Manchuria. " ● On the New Year's Eve of 2006, my father recalled his childhood experience in the Province ofShandong, China. According to my father, in those days poverty prevailed over the village, subjecting most adults to migrant-labour in Manchuria, i. e. the North-East Provinces of Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang. ● On the New Year's Eve of 2006, I was about to make a journey back home. Nonetheless, in this case, I've managed to wrap up all these tasks just three hours prior to our reunion feast: sending the last email, rushing to the airport by taxi, making a few more phone-calls while waiting in the departure lounge, and finally, catching up with news updates in my assigned seat. Two hours after the take-off, I was all set to dine with my long-awaiting family.

Han Tang Yuefu Music Ensemble

The Speed of Ecstasy ● The distance that used to take twenty days to walk is now turned into a matter of two effortless hours both in the physical and in the spiritual senses. One could claim that our ancestors' ultimate dream is now realized by virtue of this achievement. The sharp contrast between these two scenarios brings to view questions of the relationships between the body and speed. As it conjures up a paragraph from Milan Kundera's Slowness: Speed is the form of ecstasy the technical revolution has bestowed on man. As opposed to a motorcyclist, the runner is always present in his body, forever required to think about his blisters, his exhaustion; when he runs he feels his weight, his age, more conscious than ever of himself and of his time of life. This all changes when man delegates the faculty of speed to a machine: from then on, his own body is outside the process, and he gives over to a speed that is non-corporeal, non-material, pure speed, speed itself, ecstasy speed. Milan Kundera,La Lenteur,original text first published in 1995; traditional Chinese translated by Wei, Chih-Hsiu, Taipei: Crown, 2005, p. 6. ● This speed of ecstasy is indeed a great gift the technical revolution has bestowed on us. But why does Kundera seem melancholic over it? That's because the moment we get behind the wheel and step on the gas, we are cut off both from the past and from the future. Speed throws us afar and twists the ways our bodies perceive and contemplate upon distance. For those who've had to walk twenty days from Manchuria back home, the only things that could preoccupy their minds would be the feeling of physical fatigue and thoughts of their beloved ones. Time, distance, physical fatigue and the yearning for homecoming can be seen in this case to form a direct ratio; one's yearning for return deepens as time passes and stamina wears out. Whereas in the case of the jet flight, the sharp contrast in the mindset can be easily detected, as one turns this voyage into merely a two-hour comfortable trip, in which the only thing that matters is punctuality. ● Ours is a time characterized by "speed mania. " In a society that equates speed with power, we are forced into a state of "excessive experience" as a result of perpetual acceleration. Slowness has, paradoxically, become a luxury. The longing of contemporary women and men for slowness can be seen in the sweeping success of Carl Honore's 2004 bestseller, In Praise of Slowness, which was translated into 12 languages. Carl Honoe,In Praise of Slowness:How A Worldwide Movement Is Challenging the Cult of Spee, original text first published in 2004; traditional Chinese translated by Yen, Hsiang-Ju, Taipei: Locus Publishing, 2005 edition. A global "movement of slowness" is gradually developed in various forms against the speed-mania e. g. "slow food," "slow work," and ultimately, "slow living. " In Honore's account, "slowness" does not refer to a lack of speed; neither does it suggest deceleration on every matter. Instead, it should be conceived as a particular mindset for living with "tempo giusto,"(precise tempo) to speak in musicological terms. Ibid, p. 23.

CHEN Chih-Chien_Date Line_2006

When speed transcends distance. ● The ways humans conceive of time, space and distance have thoroughly evolved from the time of industrialization to our present era of telecommunication. French philosopher Paul Vilirio has forcefully argued that the world of virtual reality has voided the 'distance' so decisive to human perception. Similarly, Jean Baudrillard has suggested that the burgeoning of modern media has resulted in the obliteration of distance. rs as if a surface was adhered to our eyeball ? a situation which seems to constantly place us out of focus from the surface we are looking at, preventing us from obtaining a panoramic vision of the view, or to grasp any sense of reality.

Granular Synthsis_Kurt HENTSCHLAGER & Ulf LANGHEINRICH_MODEL 5_1994

Body and Technology ● We are fully aware that the seeming omnipotence of modern technology has handed us a one-way ticket to speed-addiction, as we would no longer be either willing or easily/possibly able to walk twenty days from Manchuria back home. The only redemption we are capable of is to reassess our dependence upon technology and to adjust our attitudes for it. Such reassessment entails, I propose, a reflection upon both instrumental and bodily skills. Over two thousand years ago, Chuang Tzu (around 369-286BC) addressed technological dependence, expressing misgivings regarding a "machine heart" in the book on "Heaven and Earth: Tzukung (around 520 BC) traveled south to Ch'u, and on his way back through Chin, as he passed along the south bank of the Han, he saw an old man preparing his fields for planting. He had hollowed out an opening by which he entered the well and from which he emerged, lugging a pitcher, which he carried out to water the fields. Grunting and puffing, he used up a great deal of energy and produced very little result. "There is a machine for this sort of thing," said Tzukung. "In one day it can water a hundred fields, demanding very little effort, and producing excellent results. . . . It's a contraption made by shaping a piece of wood. The back end is heavy and the front end light and it raises the water as though it were pouring it out, so fast that it seems to boil right over! It's called a well sweep. Wouldn't you like one? " The gardener flushed with anger and then said with a laugh, "I've heard my teacher say, where there are machines, there are bound to be machine worries; where there are machine worries, there are bound to be machine hearts. With a machine heart in your breast, you've spoiled what was pure and simple; and without the pure and simple, the life of the spirit knows no rest. Where the life of the spirit knows no rest, the Way (Tao) will cease to buoy you up. It's not that I don't know about your machine. I am ashamed to use it!" Book XII, Heaven and Earth,Chuang Tsu. See also,The Story of Chuang Tz, Tainan: Ta-Hsia 1984 edition, p. 145. ● The critical reflection upon bodily skills can also be seen in Book III of Chuang Tzu, "Nourishing the Lord of Life". The allegory goes that while Cook Ting was cutting up an ox, he was fully attentive to "every touch of his hand, every heave of his shoulder, every move of his feet, and every thrust of his knee. " He slithered the knife along with a zing, and all was in perfect rhythm. As a result, Cook Ting's butcher knife remained as good as new after nineteen years.

KIM Young-Jin_Fluids_2005

As we read these allegories, we can see both dimensions of bodily and instrumental skills that Chuang Tzu attempted to demonstrate. The gardener's refusal to use machines signaled great doubts over the nature of mechanical efficiency; it could therefore be seen as a philosophy of "nurturing good health" which derived from his vigilance with regard to developing a mechanized mentality. Whereas in the case of Cook Ting, the cook's mastery over mechanical tools-albeit merely a butcher's knife-should be seen as a kind of knowledge developed not through theoretical abstraction, but through bodily practice. It should be noted that what Chuang Tzu called "Tao" should not be apprehended as the realization of abstract knowledge or theory. Rather, Chuang Tzu's notion of "Tao" should be conceived as a "Way" beyond the basic functionality of our senses, in the sense that it is a philosophy which can only be realized through bodily practice and the mastery of bodily skills. Although the gardener and Cook Ting may first appear to present contrasting attitudes regarding mechanical instrumentality, they can be seen, paradoxically, to be both guided by the same philosophy: that is, the way of health-nurturing which can only be realized through actual everyday experience of bodily practice. Both cases can thus be seen to be directed towards a form of art? one that is derived from everyday experience.

LEE Yong-Baek_Angel Soldier_2005

As we employ modern technology for the purpose of artistic expression-just as both the Greek word "Techne" and the Latin word "art" both bear technical as well as artistic connotations-we should be aware that technology of our time has fast evolved since industrialization. We are greeted with a dilemma as we attempt to combine state-of-the-art technology with art. On the one hand, we look forward to the prospect of a new horizon; on the other, we are anxious, not about the possible threats caused by the participation of technology in artistic production, or about the gradual displacement of traditional artifacts, but about a lack of vigilance on the mechanization of the mind, as well as on the loss of bodily practice.

Robert LAZZARINI_Rotary Phone? Chair? Hammers_2000

Relative Speed ● It should be noted here that the antonym of "fast" is not necessarily "slow. " We should beware that "speed" is a relative term, so is "time. " The instance known as "now" is marked differently in various parts the world-the moment marked as "08:00 p. m. " in Taipei would be coded as "07:00 a. m. " in New York. ● Chih-Chien Chen's work, Date Line, effectively articulates this notion of "relative time. " Date Line entails, first, the artist ceaselessly taking digital photographs for twenty-four hours around an enclosed space. He then unfolds and rearranges these photographed moments into a collage, subsequently creating a circular streak of time-lags programmed to be randomly displayed. A total of 2,592,000 frames are compressed into a course of 300 seconds, so as to represent the enclosed space in various moments of "now" and "have-been. " It is by assembling these various "nows" and "have-beens" that Chen seeks to articulate "diachronic time". ● Miwa Yanagi's My Grandmothers presents a set of photographs intended to capture the future. As Yanagi and a group of young women anticipate how they may look when they have aged, each of these women carries out her own ideal image of the "grandmother" in front of the camera. In so doing, the artist tries to entertain an "archaeology of imaginations" by speeding up our imaginings of the future. Such delivery of the "future present perfect" tense extends our imagination of time. ● "SlowTech" only performing arts piece will be presented during the opening by Han Tang Yuefu Music Ensemble (HTYF). The history of Nankuan music (or "Southern Winds") can be traced back over a thousand years. This ancient form of music performance paradoxically touches upon some of the critical issues confronting contemporary artists-most notably, the questions of "perception," "condition," as well as the formal limits of contemporary arts. We are honored to invite HTYF, a prominent group in preserving and promoting this traditional music, to give us a live performance in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei (MOCA), an institution which has prided itself with its avant-garde vision. We hope that their performance would shed new light upon our reconsideration of the "aesthetics of slowness" and "classical aesthetics. " Model 5, on the other hand, is perhaps the exhibition's fastest and most sensual piece of digital visual-sound installation. By interweaving thousands of editing points, high-frequency staccatos, and endlessly flickering visual images, Model 5 triggers an intense sense of spasm, ecstasy, speeding, and media-generated echoes. Although they may first appear to be in contrast in with each other in the speeds of their motions, Model 5 and the Nankuan performance by HTYF can be seen to ultimately achieve the same goal: they both create an aesthetic experience based on condensation of time and a state of contemplation. As they illuminate our imaginations of "relative speed," these two pieces also liberate us from the world of hypervelocity.

Ron MUECK_Dead Dad_1996

The extension of perception and microcosmics of speed ● Western philosophy since Plato (428-347 BC) has privileged the mind over the body, seeing the body as nothing but a mortal container of the soul. The longstanding dualism between the mind and the body was reinforced by seventeenth-century French rationalist philosopher Rene Descartes (1596-1650). This position remained largely unscathed until the mid-twentieth century when Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961) proposed an epistemology based on a "phenomenology of perception," calling for the use of the body and its sensory capacities as the primary mode of expression. ● Robert Lazzarini's work Studio Objects is of inextricable complexity in terms both of its creative procedures and of its final form. Lazzarini first scans three-dimensional objects into digital images. He then twists these images by means of computer programming, before combining these twisted images with the original scanned objects. The work is suspended in an apparent state of non-gravity, forcing the viewers into an exquisite experience of visual and bodily perception. As the work bears the marks of "existence" and "pre-existence," our perceptions are made to oscillate between "reality" and "non-reality. " Some of us may associate Lazzarini's work with Tilt by Laurie Anderson. However, unlike Lazzarini who highlights "contrasting realities," Anderson seeks to expel functionality from the instruments as she transforms the gadgets into a witty and expressive piece of sonic sculpture. As she says, "I just enjoy giving old tools new jobs. "I just enjoygivin old tools new jobs" excerpt from exhibition CatalogLaurie AndersoThe record of the tim,NTT Publishing Co. , Ltd,2005, p. 7 ● Ya-Lun Tao's installation project, Unconsciousness ―Drifting Speed: 300,000 Kilometers per Second, can be seen to embody Merleau-Ponty's emphasis on the "primacy of the pre-reflective cogito. " When viewers enter the enclosed space, walled by four large reflectors, a slowly-moving light-wall penetrate their bodies. In this infinitely extending non-referential space, a primal perception is awoken, resulting in the void of our usual everyday experiences. ● The work of Yu-Chin Tseng also aims to explore our bodily perception. In Tseng's work, children often serve as a form of material or retrospective mirror-images through which we may unlock the pre-reflective perception deeply embedded in our memories, or the memories inscribed in our bodies. ● Bill Viola's work, Dissolution, is a piece of video installation filmed at first with a 35mm camera on a high speed of 240 fps. The artist then scans these films and turns them into digital images of 15 fps. In so doing Viola creates a set of near-motionless, painting- or photograph-like video images that allow viewers to see the otherwise imperceptible details, and to experience a "microcosmics of speed. " ● Young-Jin Kim's Fluids skips the step of camera recording. Instead, he forces variations on tiny water drops by means of a cybernated drip, and then projects these variations with a home-made object projector. The outcome is a vast yet delicate spectacle of water drops-or, a macroscopic view of a microscopic world. ● Mary Ziegler's work displays "constancy in fluctuation. " Ziegler demonstrates the simple physics principles that "opposite poles of a magnet attract each other and like poles repel" using magnetic power in combination with mechanical power. In so doing she reveals a mysterious order within the seemingly chaotic nature.

TAO Ya-Lun_Unconsciousness-Drifting speed: 300,000 kilometer per second_2006

The Unhurried and the Decelerated ● Complex processes of handwork are vital to creative activities. Accumulated imprints of time and drudgery will eventually be transformed into an aura radiated through the work itself. Besides, we should also keep instruments at an arm's length. A fresh perspective may come into view if we simply detach ourselves from the narrow-minded pre-conceptions of instrumental functionality. Po-Chih Huang 's Flov"er demonstrates this spirit of unhurried and decelerated execution. It has taken the artist over four months' painstaking efforts to scan 10,000 roses, The astonishing yet unusual delicacy of the images derive, on the one hand, from the artist's deliberate divergence from our usual approach to mechanical instrumentality, and on the other hand, from the enormous power emitted from the work itself, which is evidently the final outcome of a seemingly hidden process of time-consuming execution. Handicraft, often sidelined in the age of mechanic reproduction, is the best revenue of bodily perception. As we primarily rely on mechanical devices for creative practice, techno-arts practitioners are now confronted with a critical issue of retrieving the "aura", which was often considered to distinguish the handiwork of art. ● Ron Mueck's sculpture is the only piece of work in "SlowTech" created by traditional means of handicraft. Dead Dad is a diminished replica of the body of the artist's father. Mueck has planted his own hairs one by one onto the sculpture, as though he was inscribing every trace of mourning on it, forcing the viewer to also visually cherish the body in a meticulous manner. ● Yong-Baek Lee's Angel_Soldier refers to an archetype of "mimicry. "SeeRoger Caillois' theorization of insect camouflage and mimicry from an anthropological perspective. For Caillois, the mimicry of insects should not be considered as a kind creative performance, but merely a passive and submissive reaction to the threats imposed by the environment. It constructs a mimic world based solely on camouflage. As the viewers enter this seemingly flat and static visual space, we cannot help but stop for further exploration. A wondrous visual experience thence arises to cause great dizziness as we attempt to focus on the spectacle. Similarly, Kimura Yuki's work features apparently ordinary affairs. However, Yuki seeks to overturn our preconceptions of these experiences. Her sister presents ostensibly moving images that freeze time on the gap between seconds. We can therefore perceive time as passing in between the moments of our consciousness-Henri Bergson (1859-1941) has noted, "What I call 'my present' has one foot in my past, and another in the future. " Henri Bergson. "Of the Survival of Images. Memory and Mind". Chapter 3 inMatter and Memor, translated by Nancy Margaret Paul and W. Scott Palmer, London: George Allen and Unwin (1911): p. 170-231. ● "SlowTech" aims to present an "aesthetic of slowness" by virtue of these three major themes: (1) Relative Speed; (2) The Microcosmics of Speed and the Extension of Perception; and (3) The Unhurried and the Decelerated. I would note that despite its title, "SlowTech" is not intended to be a celebration of slowness. Rather, it should be seen as a reconsideration and interrogation of the "speed-mania" that is currently characteristic of our time. We are aware that this new aesthetics is still at a stage of work-in-progress. By organizing this Exhibition we look forward to contemporary artists' continual efforts to shed new lights on the aesthetics of speed, amidst our fast-moving world. ■ YUAN Goang-Ming

Vol.20060721e | 慢_SlowTech展

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