"Data Gaga", an extraordinary exhibition that focuses on data as art and network technologies, will be held in the Foyer of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre from this Friday (October 19) to October 29.
Electronic technology has provided us with a convenient medium for interaction. The "Data Gaga" exhibition will, however, enable viewers to appreciate familiar electronic technology from a new angle, and show how data and the network technologies are not only media for communication, but also targets to interact with as well as art for appreciation.
Featuring the participation of 20 artists, "Data Gaga" takes a detour from the common exhibition practice of showcasing individual works and is a realisation of different concepts. Contrary to the traditional art presentation dominated by the artist, "Data Gaga" enables the viewers to connect with artworks by being more than observers. Apart from the exhibition at the Foyer of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the event also includes workshops, talks and a performance.
"Data Gaga" is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and organised by the Art Promotion Office (APO). Videotage was invited to be the curatorial collaborator in the project, which has also gained venue support and assistance from the City University of Hong Kong School of Creative Media, Dimension+, Film Culture Centre (Hong Kong), SLOW Experience and Dawei Charitable Foundation in organising a series of related activities. It is also one of the major programmes of the New Vision Arts Festival 2012 presented by the LCSD.
John Cage is one of the most influential figures in contemporary art history. To celebrate the centennial of his birth, participating artists have created a series of artworks in "Data Gaga" by rethinking in this digital era his most famous and most controversial composition, "4'33"".
The highlight creation featured in the exhibition is a collaborative work, "Soundtracking#John Cage "4'33"". Initiated by Steve Hui (Nerve), it combines the efforts of 13 artists, whose areas of expertise lie in different fields including design, music and film, to create art based on "4'33"" by Cage. Each of them share their knowledge, skills and experiences to reinvent a new "4'33"" with a specific art form according to their own perception of "4'33"". In their creations, the element of collaboration has been adopted to encourage the participation of other artists and viewers.
Aside from the collaborative work "Soundtracking#John Cage 4'33"", creations based on data as art will also be showcased. These include "Botanicalls (Hong Kong Version)" by Miu Ling Lam. Enabling plants to interact with people through technology, plants in "Botanicalls (Hong Kong Version)" can send calls and text messages to people to request assistance. Another work by Lam, "Emergence", and a work by Rui Guerra and David Jonas, "unCloud", will also be featured in the exhibition.
An artists' talk will be held this Saturday (October 20) from 3pm to 5pm at the Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre in City University of Hong Kong. Six participating artists including Hui will talk about the concepts and creative processes involved in their participating works in "Data Gaga". The audience will also be able to learn more about the idea behind the whole event and the current developments in new media art.
After discussing the essence of artworks featured in the exhibition, Hui will produce a performance of "Soundtracking#John Cage 4'33"" this Sunday (October 21) at Videotage in the Cattle Depot Artist Village, To Kwa Wan. The performance will be based on Cage's "4'33"" and allow the audience to experience the composer's art of silence.
For details of the exhibition, please visit the webpage of Videotage at videotage.org.hk/wikitopia. For enquiries, please call Videotage at 2573 1869 or the APO at 3101 2713. To make reservations for the performance and artists' talk, please contact Videotage.
The Hong Kong Cultural Centre is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. Its Foyer is open from 10am to 8pm daily with free admission.
Ends/Tuesday, October 16, 2012
The artwork "4'33"", created with images and recordings by Yuen Chi-chung. The piece brings together notes on John Cage written by Yuen over the years and various recordings of "4'33"" by the artist.
The artwork "4'33"" by Otto Li will be presented via augmented reality display. In the work, each plastic component capturing the changing background sound of every second in "4'33"" forms a sculpture of "4'33"". The screen at the bottom shows video footage of "4'33"". Each plastic component moves along the screen while the video plays, and light from a gap beams up to a transparent plastic component on the top, making the luminous sculpture seem like a performance of "4'33"".
The video artwork "Five Colors Blind the Eye" by Henry Chu. The artist sees "4'33"" by John Cage as being a work reflecting the concept that "too much sound will make people deaf", from Lao Zi, an ancient Chinese philosopher. By showing a video constantly flashing five colours, the work resembles "4'33"" visually and digitally with the notion that "too many colours will make people blind", which was also suggested by Lao Zi.
"unCloud" by Rui Guerra and David Jonas is software enabling anyone with a laptop to create an open wireless network and distribute information, so as to explore the operation of the Internet. "unCloud" aims to open up knowledge-sharing and social sites that may not otherwise be accessible on the Internet.