- Algae, Mask
We live in a time when masks are rewriting wearable protocol but in dire shortage. Masks protect, hide and morph the identity of the wearer against surveillance capitalism. How could we take these entwining narratives around masks to speculate on the symbiosis between the masked and the mask? Amidst all-too-familiar dialogues and interrogation of mass consumption, futuristic fashion, as well as the toll this takes on earth and society, how can future masks subvert the Anthropocene, instead, by provoking sharing, individual agency, and communal production? How about a mask that breathes, that is, made by organic raw materials? As we confront and question narratives of our new normalcy in the year of hindsight and the time of pandemic, these frames have coalesced in a vision of the mask as an emblem for open-source eco-consciousness- functional, accessible DIY living wearables made with biomaterials, such as algae.
Project ‘Algae Mask’ explores the symbiosis between humans and other beings, layered as second skins. The video Algae Dream rides on the prospective prototype and the sleek languages of market economy to smudge the fine line between fiction and reality. In the bricolage of source videos and original footages, motivational video mock-up and authentic presentation documentation, the video challenges audience in a multiplicity of narrations stemmed from discourses of business and science, displacing viewers within the muddy ground of faith and evidence: is this a real happening, or just utopian rhetoric?
Algae is found in a vast range of objects from medical usage to food, furniture, and beyond. Chlorella pills made out from fresh water green algae, for instance, are gaining currency in alternative medicine, with their many purported health benefits including detoxifying heavy metals (according to a rumour during the days of heavily tear-gassed Hong Kong). Increasing disquisitions show algae to be a biomaterial, a self-regenerating energy source that is exceptionally minimalistic. New imaginations and methodologies around algae include algae type photography, algae-bioplastic, and a prototype for a fully algae-powered building (though too expensive to be commodified -- alas, another capitalistic excuse).
Algae also has a queer spirit. It has an all-encompassing means of reproduction, from vegetative, asexual to sexual, and its extreme versatility allows it to persist through the whirligig of time. In fact, the name ‘algae’ does not have a specific indication; it loosely refers to a polyphyletic, non-cohesive, and artificial assemblage of oxygen-evolving, photosynthetic organisms; it is an umbrella term, a metaphor. A term that still feels distant to many of us, but from the many instances that algae have interwoven biological and ecological histories into discourses of food, medicine, design and more, we might as well realise that we are all just a bit algal.
Hong Kong artist Queenie Li is dedicated to lens-based media coalesced with writing, performance and installation. Her multidisciplinary practice explores post-colonial intricacies and ideological alternatives within the neoliberal context, with research interests spanning across speculative ecology, healthcare culture and emerging spatial prototypes.
Li holds a Fine Art degree from the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford and a B.B.A. in Global Business Studies from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. At Oxford, she was awarded the Stuart Morgan Prize for Art History 2019, the school’s most commended dissertation prize. Currently, she is pursuing her master studies in art, culture and technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston on a teaching fellowship.
Former exhibitions include performance / lectures at the AI&Society Journal conference at the University of Cambridge (2019), the BOOKED: Hong Kong Art Book Fair at the Tai Kwun Contemporary (2020) and the IdeasCity residency co-curated by the NTU CCA and the New Museum (2020).
A current project investigates how geo-political impact of digital proliferation is instilled upon our spaces of bodily occupation through silent incubation of data centres, funded by Hong Kong Design Trust Seed Grant and the Council for the Arts at MIT, and will be featured at the Hong Kong Pavilion of the Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition 2021.
- cluster, sorites paradox, life transforming, environmental
It is a necessity for me to see things together that are systematically separated in analytic orders.
I am a blind spot fetishist. I knot bizarre webs of imaginations and thoughts. With such webwork I intend to cross the gaps between the orders. I recreate geographies of consciousness in which I move, pace and cut across. While mapping the scenery I am also about to leave it. The point is not finite cartography. I care about the scope and a space that puzzles me about transitory infinity, enclosed by a semipermeable film. I am a blind spot fetishist. I develop essay films and installations like The Cluster.
Deborah Uhde is a media artist and film editor. She specialises in documentary, essayistic and experimental films, as well as installative formats. Her films have been shown on different occasions during festivals and gallery shows such as International Film Festival Rotterdam, Hanoi DocLab, Berliner Festspiele, Berlin Art Week, Art Basel and Contemporary Art Ruhr. She is currently editing Limbo Documentary.
- video essay, travel, cave theory, socializing, crater
Hypothesis Voyager alludes to road movies, weaving social theory into a trip to the west of the United States. The journey is also movement through the present to the past and future. Images of an ancient cave, a modern gallery, a volcano, a crater, and the Wild West merge into one looping stasis of time. The way to find the loophole is to uncover what is immediately hidden right in front of our eyes.
This work consists of several visual components – a gallery social scene suggesting a first-person viewpoint, historical images of human shelter, a narrator speaking of the art works in the gallery, all of which flushes into the story of volcano Mt. Vesuvious showing the historical and mythological perspective of the crater’s formation. The artist’s camera shifts from a first-person onlooker to the vehicle that transports viewers through time and space. The narrator connects each chamber of visual components as she also affectively transforms, creating tours and making detours.
Producer: Amanda Nedham, Shirley Wu
Assistant Director: Jessie Chang
Director of Photography: Shao Wen Liang
LIN Tzu-Huan Lin creates video and installation-based works. To address problems in the digital era, his works embrace a broad variety of subject matters and sources, including mythology, historical events, science theory, pseudo-documentary, and sometimes abstract narrative works coupled with immersive installations. Lin was born in 1986 in Taipei. He received an MFA in Digital Arts at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, where he is based. Lin’s work has been included in international group exhibitions such as ”the 15th Digital Art Festival Taipei,” "the 6th International Video Art Exhibition," "ADAF 14th Athens Digital Arts Festival" and solo exhibitions at Taipei Fine Art Museum and Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, also in Taipei.
林子桓，1986年生於台北台灣，目前生活與創作於紐約布魯克林。於普瑞特藝術院於2013年畢業。創作形式以敘事性的影片與浸入式的空間裝置。空間裝置通常包含雕塑與繪畫。議題以研究的方式結合不相同的事件以探索藝術的不同樣貌與數位時代的問題。利用各種各樣的資源，包括神話，歷史事件，科學理論，偽紀錄片，有時是抽象的敘事作品，與沈浸式裝置相互作用。創作的內容以研究為出發點，透過對研究主題的理解後再自我詮釋與其他相關議題結合，在散亂的敘事中漸漸形塑出作品的主題。並透過空間裝置去強化觀者的感受作者對主題的世界觀。作品曾展出在2020台北數位藝術節01Love，“離線瀏覽Offline Browser｜2018 第六屆台灣國際錄像藝術展”，“ADAF 2018 |第14屆雅典數位藝術節”，2020關渡美術館個展“假想圖集與旅行者”，2017年於台北美術館的個展“銜尾蛇”等。