Story of the Month - September 2019

Story of the Month - September 2019 

每月故事 - 二零一九年 

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圖片來源:梁學彬  Photo Credit: Isaac Leung

 

 

公共性,屏幕文化和藝術介入

梁學彬  香港中文大學文化管理助理教授

 

想像一下,當你抬頭觀看現代高速發展的摩天大樓,建築外牆上光彩奪目的電子屏幕映入眼簾,令你驚嘆不止。與此同時,電車在人潮和車水馬龍的道路上穿梭而過,你身處其中,被五光十色的店舖、各式各樣的活動和駱驛不絕的上班族包圍著。行人迎面而來,穿上最時尚的流行服飾,爭相展現出亮眼的視覺風格。無論晴天雨天,人們遊走街頭,尋覓自己的靈感,盡情刻劃出狂熱都市生活中的永恆精神。電視屏幕提供無盡娛樂,進一步為漫無邊際的城市景觀添上戲劇色彩。有那麼一刻,你會以為自己生活在科幻電影的虛擬現實中。這就是香港,世界上最繁華的城市之一,文化大熔爐的縮影。跟其他大都會一樣,香港充滿活力的城市生活,並非只由街道或大廈等實質建築物構成,亦由這些建築的功能和非實質空間經驗所組成。當科技成為我們生活中不可或缺一部份,香港人慣常被以屏幕為本的媒體包圍:不管是智能手機地圖服務,還是越來越普及的擴增實境遊戲,人們透過屏幕跟城市連繫起來,而兩者之間關係越來越錯綜複雜。於是,漫遊者——現代都市經驗的原型,在今天數碼城市裡成為「手機遊者」——以移動定位與手機科技創造網絡體驗,散步於城市景觀中。屏幕,除了讓我們即使身處摩天大廈中仍能在彈指間漫遊世界,還能把香港都市景觀化身為一個舞台——超巨型屏幕構成交錯網絡與我們生活合而為一。發放著令人目炫神迷的廣告與流動影像,巨型屏幕突破了大廈外牆身份限制,成為傳遞訊息的媒介,在鋪天蓋地的資訊洪流中創造出現實。這些屏幕身處建築物、媒體科技以及新型態公民身份之間不斷變化的連接點,成為結合個人和集體經驗的「媒體建築」。

 

崇光藝術與文化項目與錄映太奇首個合作項目「人造風景」,以全球其中一個最具代表性的鬧市購物區銅鑼灣為中心呈現場域特定媒體藝術。在2019年三月,亞太區最大的LED戶外屏幕CIVISION放映了四件錄像藝術作品。在這個極度多元的市區裡,「人造風景」以創新藝術體驗,把銅鑼灣重新導向至不斷變化的城市體驗。卡娜《黑動》透過聲音演算生成,模擬自然中美學圖案,把銅鑼灣化身為一個神秘的未知宇宙,以獨特方式呈現水、岩石、空氣與雲的元素。施政《餘燼》把途人沉浸在一個人造「自然」景觀巨型迷宮裡,以想像平行時空引領他們遊走其中。陸明龍《Nøtel》探討巨型屏幕作為廣告媒介之首要功能,透過虛構奢華酒店廣告,《Nøtel》以「仿製品」之姿態,理所當然地詰問現實與真實。鄭智禮作品《O》以航拍科技,在高空捕捉崇光百貨前軒尼詩道行人過路處俯視圖,為行人創造一個正在被實時拍攝的錯覺,透過模擬形式在屏幕與城市散步者之間建立一段既遠且近的關係。

 

鑑於我對新媒體藝術項目製作及策劃的專業知識,實踐的研究傾向及方法,我把藝術家及策展人的專業身份結合於我的學術研究當中。「人造風景」促使我發展一個持續的研究計劃,旨在探討創意介入、屏幕媒體以及城市空間三者間的關系,並考察公共性如何透過公共屏幕放映內容的生產、消費及發佈得以體現。我將於2020年策劃另一公共屏幕放映項目,加深我對公共屏幕於不同文化語境下的解讀,為未來就香港及西方兩地的比對研究作重要的基礎。

 

Publicness, Screen Cultures and Artistic Intervention 

Imagine yourself looking up at hyper-modern skyscrapers, marveling at building facades punctuated with brilliantly-lit electronic claddings. As trams crisscross between the flow people and cars, you are surrounded by dazzling storefronts that are hybridized with hives of activity and the pounding beats composed of commuter movements. You have a close-up view of the people surrounding you - they are in their most fashionable garb, fighting to have the most visual presence. Be it rain or shine, they stroll along the sidewalk and find muses on the street, capturing the eternal spirit of the frenzied urban life. The multifarious landscape is further dramatized by sprawling televisual screens illuminated with endless entertainment. For a moment, you feel like you are living in a sci-fi movie characterized by a simulated reality. This is Hong Kong, one of the most bustling cities in the world and the epitome of a cultural melting pot.

 

 

Like many metropolis, Hong Kong’s dynamic city life is framed not only by material structures such as streets and buildings, but is also increasingly defined by a mixture of material functions and immaterial spatial experiences. As technology becomes inseparable from our lives, Hong Kong people are constantly encapsulated by screen-based media. From the use of mobile mapping services to the popularity of AR mobile games, people are intricately connected with the city through screens. As such, flâneur, an archetype of the modern urban experience, is now re-envisioned by digital-citizens as “phoneur” — from walkers strolling through the cityscape to a networked experience through location-based and mobile technologies. Apart from the screens in our hands while navigating between mile high skyscrapers, Hong Kong’s urban landscape is envisaged as a stage from which over-dimensional screens have becomea matrix of networks fused with our everyday life. Dazzling displays of advertisement and moving images mean that building facades are no longer fixated with a single identity. It is, in itself, a medium for sending messages, sheathed with mass of information, producing reality itself in a relentless flux. These screens have emerged from the shifting nexus between architecture, media technologies, and new forms of citizenry —a hybrid “mediatecture” for personal and collective experiences.

 

 

Artificial Landscape, a debut collaboration between Sogo Department Store and Videotage, was a site-specific media art project located in Causeway bay, one of the most iconic shopping districts in the world. During March of 2019, four video works were presented on CVision, Asia Pacific’s largest LED outdoor screen. In this hyper-diverse neighborhood, Artificial Landscape reorients Causeway Bay into a perpetually contingent city experience through artistic innovation. By adopting a noise-generation algorithm that simulates aesthetic patterns found in nature, Carla Chan’s Black Move transforms Causeway Bay to a mysterious unknown universe with peculiar representations of water, rock, air and clouds. Shi Zheng’s Embers immerses passerby with a massive labyrinth of man-made “natural” landscapes, guiding them through a paralleled imaginative time and space. Lawrence Lek’s Nøtel plays with the idea that the primary function of gigantic screens is advertising. By creating an advertisement for a fictional luxury hotel, Nøtel becomes a simulacrum, calling into question reality and truth in its own right. Howard Cheng’s uses drone technologies to capture an aerial view of pedestrians crossing Hennessy Road in front of the Sogo. His work, O, creates illusions for pedestrians as they are being recorded in real time, simultaneously establishing a sense of distance and belonging between the screen and city dwellers.

 

 

I have combined my professional expertise in new media art production and curation with my practice-based approach to scholarly research. Artificial Landscape has inspired me to develop an on-going research project aimed at investigating the relationship between creative intervention, screen media, and urban space, how the notion of public space is being negotiated through the production, consumption and distribution of content on public screens, and the power dynamics within screen-based media in urban settings. In 2020, I will curate another public screen project, which will enhance my understanding of public screens in varying cultural contexts and will serve as an important basis for future comparative studies between Hong Kong and the West.

 

 

Isaac Leung. An Unprecedented Change of Urban Landscape . An Unprecedented Change of Urban LandscapeVideotage and Sogo, 2018.

 

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