There is nothing abstract about power and control. The Situationists in the 1970s practiced “drifting” as an interventive measure to overcome the highly managed and restricted concrete capitalist urban space. Drifting challenges the self-assured, authorial flaneur portrayed by Walter Benjamin in the 1930s. Rather than regaining full subjectivities of the latter, S.I. drifting assumes temporary bodily presence to be wandering in order to step outside routine, to re-experience the familiar for its estrangement. Drifting highlights chance encounters, the opening up of our senses in order to discover and to unveil. It is thus a research method that invites us to encounter power and control as practical spatial arrangements and the possibilities of our physical mobility to generate new knowledge. Diversion is concrete activities, and very much the starting point of critical research, fully entrenched in everyday activities and the many ways we have been interpellated as citizens. How does walking entitle us to the encounter of power? But diversion (detournement) is far more than just walking. What do objects that fill up our quotidian space tell us about the omnipresence of power? What about popular media artefacts? And what about the language games embedded in our everyday conversation? What are the concrete actions available to us? These are questions the video essays in this session contemplate. Diversion is a research activity to the S.I., but they have also been keen on "representing" them as artefacts such as maps and video. Each of the works in this session could be understood as a map of its own purpose.
03'48" | 16:9 | 2018 | digital Selected category:  VIDEO ESSAYS THAT EXPLAIN HOW ALGORITHM WORKS 打開編碼演算的黑盒
cityscape, retracing, Mapping
城市景觀, 回溯, 製圖
Vive Google Maps, Vive L’Amour is a single channel split-screen video, juxtaposing a walking sequence from Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-Liang’s Vive L’Amour (1994) with a real-time recreation on a similar walk following Google Maps. By contrasting the cityscape extracted from a fiction film and the all-pervading Google Maps, the video explores our perception of space, traces of collective memories, and the impact of documentation in the juxtaposition of the same location of different temporality presented as framed moving images.
CHEN Hsin-Yu is a filmmaker whose work explores the intersection of subjectivity, perception, perspective, and desire. He is interested in the liminal space between seeing and being seen where subjectivity is implicated and constructed. He holds an MFA in film and media arts from Temple University and is currently based in Philadelphia, PA.
JURORS’ NOTES 評審評語
I found this work quite interesting as it allows me to build a relation to the video and at the same time extend my understanding of Tsai Mingliang’s original film. It also reminds me of how to extend and further contextualize a movie. (WONG Fei-pang)
It reminds me of the book World Film Locations: Hong Kong (2013, Intellect Books), which Linda did with Kimburley Choi). I have not watched Vive L'Amour 《愛情萬歲》, but I like the video for its attempt to deconstruct a movie location (拆解電影場景). (WONG Chun-hoi)
I haven’t seen Tsai’s work. What I like is its presentation of using Google Map only. This approach results in subduing emotions and yet by doing that it takes the work to a higher level of emotional impact. (John Chow)
From the video I saw the changes brought by the city's urban renewal. (Linda Lai)
04' 37" | 16:9 | 2020 | Digital HD Location : UK Selected category:  THEMATIC EXPOSÉ / EXPRESSIVE JOURNALING 「有板有眼，有話要說，有感而發」
spinning, protest, semiotics, Charles Tilly, Black Lives Matter
巡迴發放, 抗議, 符號學, Charles Tilly, Black Lives Matter
What Can Spinning Be? is a video about the features and possibilities of different kinds of spinning. The work first focuses on the aesthetics of spinning, how it appears to us and how it may affect how we see things. Then, the videographer imagines how we might inhabit, embody and enact spinning, as a technique in our 'repertoire of contention' that could have radical, even revolutionary, results.
The video uses found footage of spinning ice skaters, skateboarders and roller skaters; footage of spinning animals and objects; and video of the spinning techniques that helped protestors bring down the statue of slave trader Edward Colston in the Black Lives Matter protests in Bristol, U.K, in 2020.
This work was made as part of “Lan Gwuhj Geimz,” the 2020 artist commission for Open School East.
Director/Editor/Score: Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau
Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau creates sculptures, drawings, paintings, performances and videos. His blackly humorous work addresses ugliness, taste, and the ambiguities of language and objects He is currently undertaking a practice based PhD at Kingston School of Art where his research is looking at power relations and emotional states in performance and video. He was an Open School East Associate in 2014. He founded The Bad Vibes Club, which is a forum for research into negative states, now runs Radio Anti with Ross Jardine, and collaborates with Ben Jeans Houghton as the ARKA group. He lives and works in London.
12' 33" | 16:9 | 2021 | Digitak HD Original Language : English 英文 Location : UK Selected category:  THEMATIC EXPOSÉ / EXPRESSIVE JOURNALING 「有板有眼，有話要說，有感而發」
power, metaphor, semiotics, Foucault
權力, 隱喻, 符號學, 米歇爾·福柯
“What Does Power Look Like?“ is artist Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau’s three-part video essay in which he describes the way power appears to us -- as words, gestures and images.
Power is a complex system of relationships and actions, but we think about power in a number of uncomplicated ways. What do these simple expressions of power look like, what purpose do they serve, and who do they benefit?
In “Episode 1,” he explores metaphors: words and image-schemas that structure the abstract concept of power. We take two common metaphors of power - the ladder (as in career ladder) and the chain (as in chain of command) - and through narration, moving images and music, we explore the surface of these metaphors to think about how they look, and why they look the way they do.
Director/Editor/Score: Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau
Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau creates sculptures, drawings, paintings, performances and videos. His blackly humorous work addresses ugliness, taste, and the ambiguities of language and objects.
He is currently undertaking a practice based PhD at Kingston School of Art where his research is looking at power relations and emotional states in performance and video.
He was an Open School East Associate in 2014; he founded The Bad Vibes Club, which is a forum for research into negative states, runs Radio Anti with Ross Jardine, and collaborates with Ben Jeans Houghton as the ARKA group. He lives and works in London.
18' 47" | various aspect ratios | 2020 | Digital Location : Hong Kong // Italy Selected category:  THEMATIC EXPOSÉ / EXPRESSIVE JOURNALING 「有板有眼，有話要說，有感而發」  NARRATION & MONSTRATION 「講述與示範」
The long-distance train goes back and forth between Hong Kong and Venice. Everyday records are the scenery along the way, slowly heading towards different kinds of avoidance and withdrawal.
Guyshawn Wong is a musician and bass guitarist. He has performed in Korea, Mainland China, and Taiwan. He participated on the film score for the animated short Another World (2019) as well as on feature films like Yellowing (2016) and Vulgaria (2012). He has composed music for advertisements for different brands, including Estee Lauder. He also took part in the sound design and live performance of The Plot (2018).
CHENG Kui-sum has recently been living like an outsider, moving from the Northern District of Hong Kong, where he had lived for more than ten years, to the Southern District, where he feels better than before. But when he thinks of the cat at his home in Fanling and the graduation project he has been working on, he feels very sad. Cheng is in his fourth year at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong.
LAU Sai-wing, born in Hong Kong, graduated from the School of Creative Media, the City University of Hong Kong, focuses on film and installation art. Currently working in arts education, Lau seeks to encounter himself and others through art, to see how people face and react to uncertainties and various issues of living.
JURORS’ NOTES 評審評語
[Juror’s Special Mention: WONG Chun-hoi]
I like this video because it makes a good puzzle game among the three co-creators.
Fragments of everyday life’s footage are carefully juxtaposed to re-presence the psychological struggle of how to position oneself in social-political movements. As events wander back as shareable images, we feel the same guilt and the same impulses to escape. Many unforgettable moments suddenly pop up -- though only as blurs and mosaics.
I especially appreciate the sound design of this video. The audio of the public announcement captured from the streets suggests a strong sense of the safety of escaping from a danger zone, though a very temporary one. We can no longer hear what was supposedly said or announced through a megaphone. And the distance away from the battlefield and safety zone is described beyond geographical means.
It is the reinterpretation of footage of social events. The work is not visually violent and yet its imagery is violent in a silent way, which echoes and reinforces the work’s title. How to document social political events? What is it that should be seen on screen? The way they present these images is direct and nothing fanciful. This work, to me, resonates with another work in this issue, What Does Power Look Like?(WONG Fei-pang)
I reckon the work’s documentary impulse to present social political events through strategized use of footage. I also reckon the potential risk of showing Venice due to its impregnated meanings, which could easily override the piece’s critical concern. I’m happy to see that the footage of Venice is in fact well treated and used. (Linda Lai)
Sound also follows a similar approach -- subdued violence. Emotions only subtly creep out. There’s a widespread resonance of “escape” throughout the soundscape. (Wong Chun Hoi)