VIDEO ZINE #2 錄像雜誌第二期 /
The Ultra-realist, the Extra-ordinary 非凡超（極）真實 - p.3
Grand Narratives, Minor/Local Histories 大敘事微焦點
Grand narratives, in the postmodern context, are often objects of rebellion. The three video essayists in this session prove that grand narratives contain minor truths that could turn out to challenge and override broadly held discourses – and possible only when the minor truths are unearthed. A local spot, or a point in time, could be where the everyday history-beholder, i.e. the videographer, begins to delve into the entangled fabrics of the past.
10' 38" | Full HD 16:9 | 2020 | mp4 Original Language : Mandarin 國語 Subtitle : English 英文 & Traditional Chinese 繁體中文 Location : Kaohsiung, Taiwan 台灣高雄 Selected category:  DETAILED EXPLANATION OF A SINGLE ART WORK 「我的作品由零說起」  ON-SITE DOCUMENTATION 「留住一瞬即逝的」  THEMATIC EXPOSÉ / EXPRESSIVE JOURNALING 「有板有眼，有話要說，有感而發」  NARRATION & MONSTRATION 「講述與示範」
Port of Kaohsiung, typhoon, history, Nntional plan, glory
高雄港, 颱風, 歷史, 國家計劃, 光榮
Based on personal experiences in the past and his studies of Kaohsiung’s harbor history, Chang composed a first-person narrative text of a stealthy ghost, telling his story with the detached voice of a broadcaster and through a projection flipping through pages of information with almost non-existent hands. Thus he takes us through the rise and fall of the Port of Kaohsiung, the dramatic life of Lee Lien-Chih, "Father of Kaohsiung Harbor," the fragility and absurdity of civilization exposed by the threat of a double typhoon invasion in July 1977, and the gray areas of a debate on the city's "glory" -- and all these strands interwoven, dialectically.
Born 1986 in Taiwan, CHANG Chih-chung received his MFA from the National Taiwan Normal University. He lives and works in Kaohsiung.
Chang’s works have won first prize of the Kaohsiung Awards (2019), were the finalist of Taoyuan International Art Award (2021, pending), selected in Taipei Art Awards (2020) and nominated for Taishin Arts Award (2020), have been presented in the National Art Exhibition (2017), and are part of the permanent collection at the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, and Art Bank Taiwan. His works have been exhibited across Taiwan and internationally. The artist has participated in artist residency programs in Taiwan, Korea, Nepal, Norway and Finland, and took part in the post-earthquake reconstruction and art exchange program Solastalgia in Lalitpur, Nepal, and The Arctic Circle residency and expedition program in Svalbard, Norway. He participated in Mediations Biennale in Poznan, Poland, and was invited as independent scholar to present at ICHSEA in Jeonju, Korea, as Taiwanese artist representative in PORT JOURNEYS in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and as visiting artist to Rinehart School of Sculpture, MICA in Baltimore, USA.
Chang’s artworks deal with rapidly-changing environments like ship, island, water as well as port, and through textural and spatial processes of investigation, collection, interweave and reconstruction. He seeks to unveil the universal experiences of the tension and gray area between human civilization and nature, as they constantly shape each other. His works are usually realized based on a core narrative text, in forms of video, installation, photography, painting, documents as well as site-specific projects and workshops. Chang was the co-founder of alternative art space Waley Art located in western Taipei. He is also an avid observer of the role of maritime culture in public education and knowledge systems in Taiwan.
Tamas: I like shadow theatre a lot, and it is really an interesting story from the beginning to the end.
John: I wonder why the creator used the overhead projector with material he printed out himself. Is there a point to making it analog? Why not do this in a digital way? But I agree it is an interesting history and story.
Hoi: This work has a nostalgic feel to it. The use of analog slides gives a personalised, intimate touch to it.
Linda: I like this work not because of its nostalgic touch, but how it reminds me of the process of teaching in my early days. I salute to this method of presentation: it requires extreme organization in order to execute the montage effectively. The work is a performance in itself documented on video. And since it is afterall a video, I kept watching for any actual cuts that may have assisted the “live performance” aspect. And how can I ignore the piece’s anti-monumental historiographic intention? The focus on a single place and its past is a clever way to question and counteract the problem of grand narratives.
Journalism, US Army, surveillance, Orwellian, media
In Ultraviolet Garden, objects are positioned on a chessboard as pieces of a strategy game where lenses, video cameras and magnifying glasses are components which reflect foundfootage images of a murder that occurred on 12 July 2007. This date marks a situation where two Reuters journalists died because the telephoto lenses from their cameras were mistaken as two RPG guns during the North American Army’s air strike against the New Baghdad district. Over three years, Reuters tried to access the video attack through the Freedom of Information Act Law without success. On 5th April 2010, the video became public under the name of Collateral Murder through Wikileaks.
In Ultraviolet Garden, a brief narrative is the means to a much larger one as it folds and unfolds various possibilities of meaning: on one level, the work is a narrative of technology, of a system that controls over images, and, on another level, the artist’s hand performs how the images of the world move like chess pieces, following a strategy focused on capturing a body, except that what it captures is a real physical body, and possibly more bodies that the image system did not “capture.” These images no longer protect the flesh, nor do they allow the formation of a body.
Ultraviolet Garden presents itself as the choreography of bodies being destroyed. The metaphor of a garden with destroyed bodies as seeds ushers in a denunciation of something that may be called a system of visibilities and invisibilities that strengthen a regime of control that operates through the image. The image is then a way of exercising and perpetuating a position of power, a way that certainly encompasses more dimensions than the ones achieved by imaging techniques and technology in general. Nonetheless, it is via the army’s technological devices that they impose a re-structuration of the real space-time, generating a space-time for their own actions by manipulating reality through the editing of the images they obtain. A body tangled in a system of that sort is an infra-necessary, surplus body, whose only value is as an informative correlate in a topography of fixed dynamics. The body becomes irrelevant. Its irrelevance is already present in the specificity of this videographic recording that has evaded the control network that contained and produced it, and which shows us bodies being annihilated with the same ease as characters in video-games. But the irrelevancy is also felt in other information leaks of more recent years, such as, for instance, the ones set in motion by Edward Snowden when he revealed the existence of certain US cyber-vigilance programs that use servers from Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook or Youtube, both in the US and abroad.*
*This is based on an excerpt about the Ultraviolet Garden inserted in Hallo Excentrico, a book about the artist's work, written by David Revés, re-edited for this V-zine.
Editor’s note: the year “2017,” which appears at the end of the video, should be “2007.”
Director: Rodrigo Gomes Text: David Revés
Rodrigo Gomes is a media artist born in Faro, Portugal in 1991. He lives and works in Lisbon.
He is an emerging artist working in the fields of audiovisual sculpture, live audio/visual performance and new media. His works particularly explore the space among digital and physical entities by creating a hybrid relationship between architecture, sculpture and media arts with content generated by computer. He holds an MF A degree in Multimedia Art from the University of Lisbon, a postgraduate degree in Sound Art from the Faculty of Fine Art of the University of Lisbon as well as a degree in Visual Arts from the University of Évora in Sculpture.
He participated in collective and individual exhibitions, such as Alternative Film/Video Festival in Belgrade (Serbia) Video Art Miden Festival (Greece), Satellite Art Show NYC (USA), 18th Media Art Biennale WRO in Wroclaw (Poland), CosmiX III Incantation in Paris (France), “After the Bang” in Galeria Municipal do Porto (Portugal), “Aspekt! Aspekt!” at the WRO Art Center (Poland), “Among the stones there’s green” in Ocupart (PT), “Mammographies through Satellite” in The Room (PT), “How to deposit images on a bank Appleton Box (PT),” The New Art Fest in Nacional Society of Fine Arts (PT), FUSO festival in MAAT (PT), Sonae Media Art Award at the National Museum of Contemporary Art (PT).
In 2020, he won the Black Raven Award from The New Art Fest, in 2018 the Prémios Novos and in 2017 won the Sonae Media Art award. In 2019 he received a grant for international artistic production from Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and a Merit Award – Young revelation from the Silves city council.
Tamas: Good balance between visual and audio content, it’s my most favourite video along with Once Upon a Screen.
Linda: It’s simple but powerful and, again, I like the use of minimum resources to achieve the maximal, which I appreciate a lot. … The opening with the chessboard imagery is immediately captivating. Winnie: Powerful and haunting images. It has a subtle presentation of information with strong and precise sound-image connection. ...
Winnie: [Juror’s Special Mention] Powerful and haunting images. It has a subtle presentation of information with strong and precise sound-image connection. ...
Hoi: I like the dynamics throughout the piece. I found myself enjoying works that make me ‘lose’ in the ‘expectation game’, that is, I like my viewing to be a process of discovery. The ending is shocking.
(At the artist’s request, this video’s full version will be replaced by an excerpt starting 15th May 2021.)
6' 21" | 16:9 | 2019 | HD (.mov) Location : USA , South Korea 美國、南韓 Selected category:  OBJECT LIVES / OBJECT-LOGUES 「東西自白」  THEMATIC EXPOSÉ / EXPRESSIVE JOURNALING 「有板有眼，有話要說，有感而發」
Tradition, object, ritual, gender dynamic, family
“Jesa” (제사, 祭祀) is a ceremony commonly practiced in Korea. Jesa functions as a memorial ritual for the ancestors of the participants, usually held on the anniversary of the ancestor's death, and is South Korea’s most important holiday.
To perform ancestral rituals, the household of the family’s eldest son is charged with the responsibility to prepare many kinds of food. Family members set a table for their ancestors and do a performance serving the food to ancestors. After the ceremony, they share the food and have a meal together.
The video, Jesa, reveals gender dynamics and inter-generational communication of this tradition from a female point of view. Through the unexpected interviews and stop-motion technique, the work breaks the solemnity of the tradition with humor.
Director/Animator: Kyungwon Song Music: Roger Sungpil Kim
Kyungwon Song is a Korean born independent animator currently based in Los Angeles. She is interested in non-fiction animation and her main medium is early film techniques and stop-motion.
The films she directed have appeared internationally including in Busan International Film Festival, Annecy, Ann Arbor, Visions du Réel, 25 FPS Festival, and more. Song directed a PSA for the gender equality campaign of the UN Women, HeForShe. Her latest video, Jesa, won Best Women Director at Argo Untold Stories Short Film Awards 2020, Public Jury Prize at Inde-AniFest 2020, and Best Documentary Shorts at Indie Memphis Film Festival.
Song holds a BFA and MFA in Experimental Animation from the California Institute of the Arts and a BFA in East Asian Traditional Painting from Hong-Ik University.
Tamas: I think this work is really well made, although the creator’s motive is not very clear to me. Does it count as a documentary?
John: At first I took this work as the creator’s warm and friendly introduction of her country's traditional culture. But soon I realise the creator and her mother are both subtly resisting such male-centered tradition. As a member of the family, the creator chooses to confront her father playfully, leaving only a warm challenge but not resistance - which draws my respect.
Hoi: I really like the use of stop motion here -- especially the part during which the food offerings prepared for the ritual were seemingly eaten out of thin air, suggesting the ancestors eating the food. I also really like the moment of the creator with her mother.
Winnie: This piece is well made on the technical level. I like how it uses animation to simulate the preparation of the ritual. I like the ‘silly touch’ of the ancestors consuming all the food.
Linda: I like this piece being direct and sympathetic, and yet also its subtlety on gender issues. It masters a macroscopic view of Korean culture through the lens of the microscopic. Overall, it flows really well. It’s a fine video essay as well as a documentary combining reenactment, interview and animation.