ARTIFICIAL UNIT

Artificial Unit, curated by Sun Yi-Cheng, can be construed as a continuum of Unit of Interdependency, another curatorial project by Sun in 2018 that not only questioned the appropriateness of mainstream societal units (i.e. family and community) under the law and order in contemporary Taiwanese society, but also focused on the relations of collective production among artist communities/collective More specific, Artificial Unit shifts its focus back onto the most primeval state of symbiosis/coexistence among human beings (e.g. conjoined twins and reproduction) as well as the ensuing expansion and continuation of the Self. As the essence of life is becoming increasingly digitalized nowadays, this exhibition on the one hand seeks to reexamine how the existing units (incl. nation, family, race, and self) were formed through the “regulated co-production,” and on the other hand tries to construct an ideational model for the question as to “how people fabricate units” on the basis of exhibition and scenario-based performance.

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The Ouroboros

Curated by Amy Cheng of TheCube Project Space in Taipei, The Ouroboros is an international joint exhibition that marks the second phase in the 2018-2019 Taiwan-Luxembourg Exchange Program. This exhibition will be synchronously on view at TheCube Project Space in Taipei and the Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art Contemporain in Luxembourg.

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Towards Mysterious Realities reader/catalogue

Toward Mysterious Realities is a research plan devoted to rethinking the relation between Asia and the international world. Through a two-year plan, artists will display their views on specific historical moments and life experiences. Through the crisscrossing and parallelisms of these experiences, through different localities/shared temporalities, or shared localities/different temporalities, we will try to reveal the relation between the conditions of the past and present. Apart from exhibits between Seoul and Taiwan, the plan also includes residencies by many artists, workshops, four days of discussion are to be held in Kuala Lumpur. A subsequent book will collect writing by scholars and artists, and documentation of exhibitions in the past three years.

Towards Mysterious Realities
Language: CHN/EN
Pages: 315
Publish Date: Jan. 2019

Author: Au Sow-Yee, Amy Cheng, Atreyee Gupta, James T. Hong, Hsu Fang-Tze, Hyunjin Kim, Yongwoo Lee, Shih-Chieh Ilya Li, Ngoi Guat-Peng, Thum Ping-Tjin

Artist: Au Sow-Yee, Francisco Camacho, Chin Cheng-Te, Bani Haykal, James T. Hong, Hou Chun-Ming, Hsu Chia-Wei, Huang Da-Wang, Im Heung-Soon, Haejun Jo & KyeongSoo Lee, Li Liao, Shih-Chieh Ilya Li and Prajakta Potnis

* You can buy it at TheCube Project Space or online.

Tiangong Kaiwu II: Modern Life and the History of Technology

The Praxis School is a thematic lecture/workshop series initiated by TheCube Project Space in 2016 and held on an annual basis thenceforth. “Tiangong Kaiwu: Modern Life and the History of Technology” was the theme that ran through the 2018 Praxis School, with special foci on modern life’s relations to the history of technology, the history of science, and contemporary art, as well as on their complex interplay.

The 2019 Praxis School extends the theme of “Modern Life and the History of Technology” to the practices and beliefs concerning the idea of “medical care/healing,” seeking to discuss several cultural concepts (e.g. illness, health, filthiness and cleanness) and the ways they affect us physically and mentally, from which we can cogitate on the question as to how associated technologies and concepts gradually shape the state of our society and social life.

The lecturers/discussants this year include Li Shang-Jen (a historian of Western science and medicine), Tsai Yu-Yueh, (a cultural researcher who has long surveyed aboriginal tribes and lent profound insights as to how modern medical care influences aboriginal peoples’ lifestyles), Yang Yu-Chiao (an artist who interprets the evolution of folk medicine from multiple perspectives in folktales), and Chen Yin-Ju (an artist who devotes herself to the practice and cultural studies of shamanic healing).

Schedule of the Lectures

#1_2019.05.26(Sun.) 2-5pm
Exploring the Body: The French Revolution, Anatomy, and Stethoscope
Lecturer: Li Shang-Jen / Discussant: Guo Jau-Lan
#2_2019.06.22(Sat.) 2-5pm
The Discovery of Mosquitoes as the Vectors of Disease: A Medical History that Connects the United Kingdom, Takao, Xiamen and India
Lecturer: Li Shang-Jen / Discussant: Daiwie Fu
#3_2019.07.27(Sat.) 2-5pm
Abnormal People? Psychiatry, Minority Communities and Trans-cultural Sensitivity
Lecturer: Tsai Yu-Yueh
#4_2019.08.31(Sat.) 2-5pm
Looking for the Correct Practice: A General Introduction to the Folk Medicine in Folktales
Lecturer: Yang Yu-Chiao / Discussant: Yen Fang-Tzu
#5_2019.11.30(Sat.) 2-5pm
Shaman and Healing
Lecturer/ Discussant: Chen Yin-Ju and Lin Li-Chun

Outlines of the Lectures

#1_2019.05.26(Sun.) 2-5pm
❚  Exploring the Body: The French Revolution, Anatomy, and Stethoscope
Lecturer: Li Shang-Jen / Discussant: Guo Jau-Lan
Venue: C-Lab (No.177, Sec. 1, Jianguo S. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City)

A stethoscope is an emblem of modern physicians. In The Birth of the Clinic: An Archaeology of Medical Perception (Naissance de la clinique: une archéologie du regard medical), French philosopher Michel Foucault wrote that “a stethoscope […] transmits profound and invisible events along a semi-tactile, semi-auditory axis.” Over the past two centuries, physicians have employed this simple instrument to detect invisible, indescribable changes inside patients’ physical bodies. On René Laennec’s (1781-1826, the inventor of stethoscope) idea about pathological anatomy, Foucault commented that “vertically from the symptomatic surface to the tissual surface; in depth, plunging from the manifest to the hidden.” The Western medicine had long sought to cope with health and illness from both the balance of humors and the harmony between the body and its external environment. It was not until the French Revolution that a dramatic transformation in Western medicine occurred and that hospitals, pathological anatomy and physical examination became popular. Since then the Western medicine has had an utterly different understanding of body and illness. This lecture is intended to address this revolutionary transformation and its influence on our perception of body, life and death.

#2_2019.06.22(Sat.) 2-5pm
❚  The Discovery of Mosquitoes as the Vectors of Disease: A Medical History that Connects the United Kingdom, Takao, Xiamen and India
Lecturer: Li Shang-Jen / Discussant: Daiwie Fu
Venue: C-Lab (No.177, Sec. 1, Jianguo S. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City)

The mainstream of Western medicine in the mid-19th century believed that tropical diseases such as malaria are caused by swamp gas, while the tropical medicine emerging in the early 20th century claimed that tropical diseases are parasitic and transmitted by vectors such as mosquitoes. French philosopher Georges Canguilhem described these vectors as “grim reaper with wings.” The key figure who brought about this paradigm shift was Patrick Manson (1844-1922), known as “the father of tropical medicine.” In the early years of his career, Manson used to work with James Laidlaw Maxwell Senior, the first Presbyterian missionary to Takao, Formosa. Then Manson went to Xiamen, China where he made a major breakthrough in medical science, proving that mosquitoes can transmit diseases. Later, he even solved the mystery of malaria in collaboration with Ronald Ross (1857-1932), a British physician stationed in India. Manson used to practice medicine in Hong Kong. In that period, he and his junior classmate James Cantlie (1851-1926) co-founded the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese, from which Sun Yat-Sen was one of the earliest graduates. After returning to his homeland, Manson had served as a medical advisor to the Colonial Office. He not only helped the U.K. government formulate its colonial medical policy, but also founded the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. This lecture not only analyzes the images used in and produced by tropical medicine research, but also examines the links between Manson’s research and the 19th-century colonialism.

#3_2019.07.27(Sat.) 2-5pm
❚  Abnormal People? Psychiatry, Minority Communities and Trans-cultural Sensitivity
Lecturer: Tsai Yu-Yueh
Venue: C-Lab (No.177, Sec. 1, Jianguo S. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City)

How can the standardized diagnostic system in psychiatry be generalized to Taiwan’s local context? What characteristics of contemporary psychiatry are manifested in the abnormal course of life of “abnormal people” in minority communities? How should we retrospectively respond to the convergence, fusion and clash of modern psychiatry and tribal cultures? In this lecture, the lecturer will share her observation and reflection gained from her field survey over the past years.

#4_2019.08.31(Sat.) 2-5pm
❚  Looking for the Correct Practice: A General Introduction to the Folk Medicine in Folktales
Lecturer: Yang Yu-Chiao / Discussant: Yen Fang-Tzu
Venue: C-Lab (No.177, Sec. 1, Jianguo S. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City)

Oral traditional folktales tend to record normal or abnormal events in a sequence of plots. To make enigmatic abnormality intelligible or even controllable, folktale characters always make attempts of all stripes, such as medical practice based on herbs, prayer, spell or dance.
Their attempts failed time and again. These characters may nonetheless recognize what is inappropriate or imprecise in their previous practices through imitation, learning, or notice given by other characters performing specific functions. No sooner did they acquire a new understanding of seasons, celestial bodies’ movement, culprits’ characteristics, or nuances of symptoms, then they would modify their practice, pick suitable herbs, or change the vocabulary in their spells, insofar as to cure the patient (or know that the patient is bound to die of illness). Quovis modo, what they’ve done is looking for the correct practice.
The aforementioned process sometimes serves as the paradigm or teaching for folk medicine practice, becoming the guidelines for the later generations on similar affairs. However, some abnormal events give prominence not so much to medical practice as the ins and outs of themselves, from which we can grasp the way of specific things. Presented in the form of quasi-performance of typical stories, this lecture aims to provide a synoptic outline of folk medicine in folktales.

#5_2019.11.30(Sat.) 2-5pm
❚  Shaman and Healing
Lecturer / Discussant:Chen Yin-Ju and Lin Li-Chun
Venue: C-Lab (No.177, Sec. 1, Jianguo S. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City)

Neptune, an emblem of supra-consciousness, entered spiritually sensitive Pisces in 2012, and will not leave until 2026. In this period, the public spotlight shines on the contentious issues regarding eternity, spirit, healing and salvation. The mysterious shamanic culture is also included.
“Everything is a sentient being with feelings.” Shamanic healing is an ancient practice serving to “fix” our physical and mental health from somewhere beyond the third dimension, which is implemented in a highly practical and empirical fashion in our quotidian existence that other spiritual beliefs are not. Featuring the use of herbs or sound waves, shamanic rituals lead us to a higher level of consciousness and expand the six roots of our sensation, thereby allowing us to roam the spiritual world where we can learn, divine, and mend the net of our soul. In this way, the mental confusion and hard-to-treat illness that plague us in the material world can be dispelled once and for all.
A shaman is also known as a witch doctor. How do they complete the healing process? Taking the form of dialogue-oriented knowledge sharing, this lecture explores (1) the definition of a shaman; (2) the approaches and purposes of witchcraft rituals such as the use of herbs, sound waves, frantic dance, and fast; (3) the consciousness transition and its history; (4) the three worlds of Shamanism; and (5) the ways of message reception and treatments, as well as pertinent case studies.

About the Lecturers / Discussant

Li Shang-Jen
Li Shang-Jen earned his Ph.D. from the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, Imperial College, University of London, and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine. He is now a research fellow at the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica.

Guo Jau-Lan
Guo Jau-Lan is an independent curator and art critic based in Taipei. She received her doctorate in Western art history in 2006, with a primary research interest in how the American critiques constructed its anti-modernism postmodern art theory through an interpretation of Robert Rauschenberg and the American Neo-Dada art movement. As an Associate Professor, Guo teaches Modern Art, Contemporary Art and Curatorial Practice in Department of Fine Arts, Taipei National University of Arts. Her curatorial involvement began in 2006, with a focus on the cultural praxis of image, visual culture and Sound Art. Her recent focuses in research and curatorial practice include, how exhibition could invent history and produce knowledge as well as how it triggers negotiation in a conflict. 

Daiwie Fu
Emeritus professor at the Institute of Science, Technology, and Society at National Yang Ming University. His research focus on the history of Science, Science, technology, and society (STS), sexuality and medical treatment, contemporary Taiwanese culture, and etc. His representative work in the last decade is Assembling the New Body: Gender/Sexuality, Medicine, and Modern Taiwan (2005).
His recent work is focused on the genealogical history of STS and the development of the STS field in Asia, publishing The Origins and Structure of STS in spring 2019, as the 8th book in the National Taiwan University and Harvard-Yenching Institute Academic Book Series. In his younger years, through reflecting on his experience in Taiwanese social movements, he published Radical Notes, and The Space Between Knowledge and Power, pondering on the meaning of “struggles on the margins”.

Tsai Yu-Yueh
Tsai Yu-Yueh is an assistant researcher in the sociology department at Academia Sinica. She began by studying nursing, but later changed her focus to sociology, and has served as the editor of the news and health section of a newspaper. Her educational experience includes serving as a researcher at Harvard University and at UC San Diego as a post-doctoral researcher, and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Fulbright as a visiting scholar.

Her current research interests include the Taiwan Biobank, the genetics of Taiwanese indigenous and their political identification, and participants in Taiwanese ancestry genetic testing. She has written one book, The Spiritual Order of the Yami: The Social Roots of Modernity, Change, and Suffering, edited a book with other academics, Abnormal People?: Psychiatry and the Governance of Modernity in Taiwan, and produced the documentary films, Bing Fang 85033, and Commitment! Professor Lian Ma-ke and Taiwanese Sociology, 1955 to 1999.

Yang Yu-Chiao 
Yang Yu-Chiao likes taking walks and the remains of trees. Aside from being a Japanese-English-Chinese translator, he is a full-time verbal art performer of oral traditional folktales. He is dedicated to collecting ancient scripts from countries around the world, family trees of mythological beings and folktales. He started giving “World Folktale Lectures” in Taiwan in 2014 and has since held over 150 events. He is trained in classical vocal music and has performed as a soloist with various university choirs and other professional orchestras. In 2015, he performed “I am good–Songs by Bach and Purcell and Western European folktales” at the “streams” in Taichung. In 2017, he joined up with the Artsblooming Ensemble as a folktale performer for a performance titled “Just a Rumor”. He also has a few publications under his belt: Art – What’s In a Word (2014), Change – What’s In a Word (2016), and the collaborative work with painter Chen Che on publishing a collection of poems titled Counterpoint Archive (2017). He is also the founder of the magazine COVER (2017 to date).

Yen Fang-Tzu 
Assistant professor at the National Defense Medical Center. She obtained her Ph. D from the Griffith University’s School of Nursing, M.A. from National Tsing Hua University, and her B.A. from the National Cheng Chi University’s Chinese department. Her research interests includes Witchcraft and Beliefs, Women Studies, medical Anthropology, Kam people in Southwest China, Immigrant Health, Gender and Health. Published works include Sexuality and Health (2018), Health and Danger: How the Dong Realize and Restrict Freedom (2015), The Civilization of Frontier Health: The Example of the Dong Ethnic Minority (2015), Discussing the Roots of Dong Women’s Hardships from the Infant Mortality Rate in Guizhou (2014).

Chen Yin-Ju 
Artist Chen Yin-Ju interprets social power and history through cosmological systems. Utilizing astrology, sacred geometries, and alchemical symbols, she considers human behavior, nationalism, imperialism, state violence, totalitarianism, utopian formations, and collective thinking. Recently, she has been exploring the material effects of spiritual practices and the metaphysical potentialities of consciousness.
She has participated in many international exhibitions and film festivals, such as International Film Festival Rotterdam (NL, 2018, 2011), Transmediale (DE, 2018), Liverpool Biennial (UK, 2016), Forum Expanded at 66th Berlinale (DE, 2016), Biennial of Sydney (AU, 2016), Yin-Ju Chen: Extrastellar Evaluations (US, 2016), Action at a Distance–Yin-Ju Chen Solo Exhibition (TW, 2015), The Starry Heaven Above and the Moral Law Within (TW, 2015), Shanghai Biennial (CN, 2014), A Journal of the Plague Year (HK, KR, US, TW 2013-2014), Taipei Biennial (TW, 2012).

Lin Li-Chun 
Shamanic practitioner Li Chun, Lin was once a travel journalist, having embarked on her shamanic path after a spontaneous vision quest happened in a desert in the Middle East. She has studied several different shamanic traditions in different parts of the world and has been practicing globally. She has acquired deep connections with plant spirits. She also takes keen interest in body work and the healing power of food. She believes in the philosophy that the body is “one” with the earth, and strives to investigate into different avenues of expanded consciousness, rooted in the five senses, as a means of reaching another person’s soul. She has studied with Peruvian Mestizo shamans Christina Mendoza, Herbert Quinteros, also with Shipibo Canibo shamans Antonio Vasquez and Metsa Oka. She is also trained in Core Shamanism with Kevin Turner. Currently, her only teachers are her own body and the earth that she walks on.

dust to dust: of myhts and men

The international exchange exhibition dust to dust: of myths and men was presented by Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain, TheCube Project Space, and VT Artsalon. The exhibition is curated by Kevin Muhlen, director of the Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain, featuring the collaborative work by Karolina Markiewicz and Pascal Piron, and the work from Marco Godinho. The artists are invited back to continue their art projects that they’ve initiated during their short residency in Taiwan in April 2018, and to present their final work at VT Artsalon and TheCube Project Space from Nov. 17, 2018 to Dec. 30, 2018.

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UNIT OF INTERDEPENDENCY

The exhibition, Unit of Interdependency, is developed from the on-going project “Selves-Educating” founded in 2016. The project centers on the process of knowledge production and the experiment of re-defining contemporary knowledge. Seeing art as alternative activities to produce knowledge, this exhibition has grown out from the project, Selves-Educating, to focus on the collectives or communities formed for co-production of alternative knowledge, as well as the political subjects constructed during the process of co-production, in which common ideology and active/resistant agencies are established via negotiation. For this exhibition, these self-organizing political subjects, which co-produce alternative knowledge, are saw as the “unit of interdependency” for us to re-imagine an ideal society.

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Tiɑngong Kɑiwu: Modern Life and the History of Technology

The Exploitation of the Works of Nature

Tiɑngong Kɑiwu (The Exploitation of the Works of Nature): Modern Life and the History of  Technology is the theme that runs through the 2018 Praxis School Lecture Series, with special foci on the relations between humanity and objects as well as their history, and the best way for us to react accordingly. The lecture series spans a period from August 2018 to March 2019 with a total of 12 sessions, and 9 among them are offered in collaboration with the Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (formerly known as the Taiwan Air Force Innovation Base). We’re honored to have a star-studded line-up of lecturers this year, including Huang Sun-Quan, Li Shang-Jen, Liu Yan, Hsieh Ying-Chun, Manray Hsu, Hung Kuang-Chi and Li Shih-Chieh.

Outline of the Lecture Series

2018/8/25 Sat. 2-5pm
❚  Cooperation Movement: The First Day after the Revolution
Speaker: Huang Sun-Quan
Venue: WunanbooksTaipei (No.160, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City)
The Platform Cooperativism Consortium (PCC) will hold its first Asian Conference in Hong Kong this September. As the co-initiator of this conference and the organizer of Cooperathon, Huang Sun-Quan is going to introduce the striking cases and trends of international cooperation movement in this lecture.

2018/8/26 Sun. 2-5pm
❚  The Blockchain Exchange of Digital Art
Speaker: Huang Sun-Quan
Venue: WunanbooksTaipei (No.160, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City)
Can you imagine Bairbnb (blockchain Airbnb), Buber (blockchain Uber), or BtaskRabbit (blockchain TaskRabbit)? Conceive of the new horizons opened up by a blockchain-based school such as the ConsenSys founded by Joseph Lubin and the Ethereum. How about visualizing a blockchain exchange of digital art? Is this a revolution achieved at one go that will break the clandestine dealing and monopoly in art trade/auction and thereby fosters the mutual trust between artists and collectors? Or, will it become a new totalitarian regime, a technological empire where art trade/auction is conducted in a closed system?

2018/9/15 Sat. 2-5pm
❚  Innovation vs. Utilization: How should we treat technology?
Speaker:  Li Shang-Jen
Venue: C-Lab (No.177, Sec. 1, Jianguo S. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City)
How many technologies we utilize today are recent innovations, and how many of them are long-standing yet subjected to continual improvement? Do the burning issues ranging from energy and transportation to environmental pollution and food supply remain unresolvable until new technologies are available? Or, is the discourse of placing hope on new technologies little more than a convenient excuse to divert public attention from the adoption of effective solutions that will act against powerful vested interests? This lecture will not only broaden the audience’s horizons, but also offer alternative views about technology.
* This session is held in collaboration with the Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab.

2018/10/27 Sat. 2-5pm
❚  The Architectural Practice of Hsieh Ying-Chun I
Construction Techniques and Cultural Perpetuation: Two Observation Points in Southeastern and Southwestern China
Speaker: Liu Yan / Discussant: Hsieh Ying-Chun
Venue: C-Lab (No.177, Sec. 1, Jianguo S. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City)
As the modern society’s socio-economic model evolves every day, the artisan traditions, whether in terms of production or perpetuation, have undergone radical transformation, which will decisively shape new practices of cultural perpetuation in vernacular architecture. This lecture will introduce two cases that are worlds apart in their forms. The first is the wooden arch bridges unique to the Min-Zhe area of China. The second is the houses in the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Si-Chuan Province, China. Taking a glimpse of the tension between modernization and construction traditions in rural China through Hsieh’s case projects, this lecture will address how architectural scholars’ academic perspectives and architects’ practical intervention can better serve the rural construction and cultural perpetuation.
* This session is held in collaboration with the Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab.

2018/10/28 Sun.
1-3pm
❚  The Architectural Practice of Hsieh Ying-Chun II
The Sociality of Construction Works
Speakers: Huang Sun-Quan, Hsieh Ying-Chun
3:30-5:30pm
❚  The Architectural Practice of Hsieh Ying-Chun III
The Roundtable Discussion
Speakers: Huang Sun-Quan, Hsieh Ying-Chun, Liu Yan, Manray Hsu
Venue: C-Lab (No.177, Sec. 1, Jianguo S. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City)
Curated by Huang Sun-Quan, the exhibition Action without Action: Hsieh Ying-Chun’s Architectural Practices will be on view at the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts in September 2018. The first session of this forum on the opening day will focus on the dialogue between the curator’s thoughts provoked by field studies and the architect’s philosophy of architecture, thereby inviting reflections on the sociality of construction works. A building is more than a cement cube of a mere formality, nor is environmental ethics eternally the externality of the Anthropocene. The key lies in how we comprehend the socially constructed architecture.
Architectural archeologist Liu Yan and independent curator Manray Hsu will attend the second session of this forum to exchange views on Hsieh’s philosophy of architecture with the other discussants from multiple perspectives.
* These sessions are held in collaboration with the Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab.

2018/11/24 Sat. 2-5pm
❚  The Anthropocene and Contemporary Art I: The Anthropocene and Its Discontent
Speaker: Manray Hsu/ Disccusant: Hung Kuang-Chi

2018/12/8 Sat. 2-5pm
❚  The Anthropocene and Contemporary Art II: Herbal Urbanism
Speaker: Manray Hsu/ Disccusant: TBA

2018/12/8 Sat. 2-5pm
❚  The Anthropocene and Contemporary Art III: The Aesthetics of Scale
Speaker: Manray Hsu/ Disccusant: TBA
Venue: C-Lab (No.177, Sec. 1, Jianguo S. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City)
Both modern and contemporary arts have paid sustained attention to environmental and ecological issues for more than half a century. As the environmental crisis worsens with the acceleration of global warming, together with the concept of “Anthropocene” popularized among researchers of natural sciences, humanities and social sciences in the recent two decades, the art community has also reviewed the complex relations between ecology and art. In this lecture, Manray Hsu will discuss different aspects of the Anthropocene and propose his theoretical and artistic ideas as a response to “herbal urbanism” and “the aesthetics of scale.”
* These sessions are held in collaboration with the Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab.

2019/1/26 Sat. 2-5pm
❚  The Border of Science, and Science on the Border
Speaker: Hung Kuang-Chi
Venue: C-Lab (No.177, Sec. 1, Jianguo S. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City)
Systematically reviewing the concept of border in Science and Technology Studies, the lecturer attempts to establish the argument that, in face of the nearly borderless circulation of ideas and goods nowadays, we require not only guidelines for transdisciplinary cooperation, but also the “border studies” based on detailed history and ethnography.
* This session is held in collaboration with the Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab.

2019/2/23 Sat. 2-5pm
❚  Traveling Science, and Science on a Journey
Speaker: Hung Kuang-Chi
Venue: C-Lab (No.177, Sec. 1, Jianguo S. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City)
Evidenced by the occidental research trends over the past decade, the Studies in History of Science took a decisive turn that researchers no longer confine their views to scientific knowledge production sites such as laboratories, museums and fields, but direct their focus towards addressing the question as to how scientific knowledge “travels.” This lecture will expound how recent researchers of Science and Technology Studies deal with the “travel” of science and orientate their research toward “global history of science” or “beyond post-colonialism and post-positivism.”
* This session is held in collaboration with the Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab.

2019/3/30 Sat.
❚  Difference Inn/Generation Tired
Speakers: Huang Sun-Quan, Ilya Li
Venue: TBA
The world is nothing short of a difference inn where everyone appears radically different from the others–this island requires listening no more, and it becomes wanting in shared language. At this difference inn, everyone lives in differences. What count as media and art under the circumstances? Are culture and art the tools for broadcasting oneself and making one’s voice heard, or they are adopted to engage with others and encourage dialogues? Treating the artistic and social reflections as the point of departure, this lecture will discuss the keywords regarding survival and life, including space, medium, technology, and instrument.

About the Lecturers

❚  Huang Sun-Quan
Huang Sun-Quan is an artivist engaging in architecture, media, social movements, and art. He is currently an assistant professor at the Graduate Institute of Interdisciplinary Art, National Kaohsiung Normal University, and a visiting professor at the School of Intermedia Art, China Academy of Art. His research interests include architecture and urbanism, culture and media, social mobilization, and interdisciplinary arts. He was a visiting fellow at the Lingnan University, Hong Kong (2004-2005) as well as the former editor-in-chief of POTS Weekly. In 1997, he organized the first anti-gentrification movement in Taiwan under the slogan “Against City Government’s Bulldozers.” He was also active in several social and media reform movements in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

❚  Li Shang-Jen
Li Shang-Jen earned his Ph.D. from the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, Imperial College, University of London, and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine. He is now a research fellow at the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica.

❚  Liu Yan
Liu Yan earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Architecture, Technische Universität München. She is a member of the SUSTech (Southern University of Science and Technology) Society of Fellows in Liberal Arts. Her research interests include the history of wood-framed buildings, the history of building technology, architectural archeology, and architectural anthropology.

❚  Hsieh Ying-chun
In his socially engaged work Hsieh has been helping people rebuild their homes since the devastating earthquake in Taiwan 1999, when his reconstruction project for the Thao people gained him international recognition. Hsieh organized the reconstruction of housing and communities in disaster-struck areas while faced with two challenges: to build houses within an extremely tight budget (25%-50% of the market price) and to base the projects on the notion of sustainable construction, green building, cultural preservation and creation of local employment opportunities. Hsieh has played a key role in rebuilding communities for Taiwan’s Indigenous peoples. In more recent years, Hsieh has continued to help people build their own houses, from the remote villages of China to the sufferers of the South East Asian Tsunami.

Hsieh represented Taiwan in the Venice Architecture Biennale 2006 and Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art 2009. The Curry Stone Design Prize 2011 was awarded to Hsieh to champion the designer as a force of social change building more than 3,000 homes with local people in natural disaster zones in Taiwan and Mainland China.

❚  Manray Hsu
Manray Hsu is an independent curator and critic. His intellectual work focuses on cultural conditions of globalization, the relationship between aesthetics and politics, and geopolitical situations of contemporary art. Manray Hsu has curated exhibitions include Wayward Economy  (2005, Taipei); Liverpool Biennial (2006, co-consulted/curated with Gerardo Mosquera); Naked Life (2006, Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art); Taipei Biennial  (2000, co-curated with Jerome Sans; 2008 co-curated with Vasif Kortun, Taipei Fine Arts Museum); Forum Biennial of Taiwanese Contemporary Art (2010, TCAC); Autostrada Biennale (2017, Kosovo); The South – An Art of Asking and Listening (2017, Kaohsiung Museum Of Fine Arts). Manray Hsu often engages in collective work on workshop, conference and publication in Europe, America, Asia and Australia.

❚  Hung Kuang-Chi
Hung Kuang-Chi earned his Ph.D. from the Department of the History of Science, Harvard University, with specialization in environmental history, biogeography, and evolutionary biology. He carried on his postdoctoral research at the Arnold Arboretum, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Needham Research Institute. Currently he teaches as an assistant professor in the Department of Geography, National Taiwan University.

❚  Shih-Chieh Ilya Li
A transdisciplinary thinker and activist. Graduated from the Department of Psychology, National Taiwan University and earning his master’s degree from the Department of Ethnic Relations and Cultures, National Dong Hwa University. Treating “witnessing” as the entry point, Li’s thesis primarily addressed the drastic changes of human society ensued from the profound impacts of innovative technologies, arguing that online media make the “impossible witnessing” beyond our society possible. He introduced and reconstructed in his thesis a new “alterity”, not only discussing the awareness of contemporary citizen-users from the poetic and humanistic aspects, but also examining the possibility of the network science. He is the founding program manager of Open Source Software Foundry in Academia Sinica, and used to be the program office project manager of Taiwan e-Learning and Digital Archives Program and an executive consultant on international cooperation. He was enrolled in the doctoral program at the Institute of Sociology, National Tsing-Hua University (2007-2012). Li has devoted himself specifically to the field of digital culture development. His has been occupied with several positions, including a start-up company of social media data analysis (since 2015), the CEO of Honghua Foundation for Environmental Protection and Digital Future (since 2016), and a guest researcher at the Institute of Network Society, China Academy of Art (since 2015). As an artist, he participant in group exhibition, Towards Mysterious Realities. (2016, TKG+)

Reality in its Double Bind

TheCube Project Space is honored to present the symposium Reality in its Double Bind: Emotional Signifiers in the Undercurrents of History in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Curated by Hsu Fang-Tze, this three-day symposium marks the second phase of the curatorial project Towards Mysterious Realities, launched in Taipei, 2016.

Reality in its Double Bind perpetuates the kernel issue addressed by the 2016 exhibition Towards Mysterious Realities in Taipei——rethinking the relations among Asian countries and that between Asia and the world by reexamining the Cold-War experiences and its legacies. Gathering scholars, artists and curators from Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan, the symposium revolves around the unseen interconnectivities between memories of recent past driven by various socio-political events in the postwar Asia. With an emphasis on reframing our shared predicaments in contemporary realities of the social, historical, and cultural undercurrents, the discussions attempt to broaden the horizon of certain pre-defined categorizations, and, by doing so, to invite different perspectives converging.

Speakers Thum Ping-Tjin, Malaysian scholar Ngoi Guat-Peng, and Simon Soon to deliver keynote speeches. Artists Hsu Chia-Wei, Li Shih-Chieh (Ilya) from Taiwan and Au Sow-Yee from Malaysia will give presentations on their art projects, while Malaysian cultural researchers Lee Weng-Choy and Show Ying-Xin, Singaporean curator Lim Qin-Yi, and Taiwanese curator Amy Cheng will join as the discussants. Besides, this symposium will be accompanied by a screening of the film People Power Bombshell: A Diary of Vietnam Rose (2016) directed by the renown Philippine independent film maker John Torres.

This symposium is made possible with the generous support from the Ilham Gallery, Kuala Lumpur. Reality in its Double Bind: Emotional Signifiers in the Undercurrents of History is hosted in collaboration with the Rumah Attap Library & Collective and the Lostgens’ Contemporary Art Space.

The symposium is made possible, in part, with the generous support from Ilham Gallery and collaborated with Lostgens’ contemporary art space and Rumah Attap Library & Collective.

Support

ILHAM GALLERY
ILHAM is a public art gallery committed to supporting the development, understanding and enjoyment of Malaysian modern and contemporary art within a regional and global context.
ILHAM aims to appeal to a diverse audience and serve as a resource for those who are engaged in the arts and those for whom art is a new experience.
Through our exhibitions and public programmes, we seek to bring people into closer contact with the art, the artists and their ideas.

Partner

Lostgens’ contemporary art space
Lostgens’ Contemporary Art Space was established in 2004 by a group of artists. This self-managed experimental space aims to encourage originality, creativity, individuality, as well as to promote contemporary arts and community art project. It provides an alternative space for budding innovative exhibitions and performances. More than just a place that brings together artists, it also provides a platform for a dynamic growth of multi-layered artistic culture.

Rumah Attap Library & Collective
Founded by Amateur, In Between Cultura and Au Sow Yee Studio in 2017, Rumah Attap Library & Collective is a space for reading, discussion, publication, workshops and forums. Researchers, artists and the public are also able to exchange books and thoughts related to cultural studies, arts, literature, philosophy and social sciences.

 

THE OCEAN AFTER NATURE

The Ocean After Nature considers the ocean as a site reflecting the ecological, cultural, political, and economic realities of a globalized world through the work of twenty artists and collectives. These internationally established and emerging artists explore new ways of representing the seascape as a means to identify and critique the various interrelated and chaotic systems of power, such as land-sea divides, the circulation of people and goods, and the vulnerabilities of our ecosystems.

Read online>>

2017 Praxis School: History and Body, Network and Society

2017 Praxis School: History and Body, Network and Society

The 2017 Praxis School invites four social practitioners/cultural researchers to serve as the lecturers in three thematic sessions. Po-Wei Chen, the founding leader of the former Black Hand Nakasi – Workers’ Band, leads the first session Body, Space and Memory (incl. three workshops), followed by The Historical Context in the Cold-War Structure (incl. three lectures) that small-theater director and cultural critic Mo-Lin Wang curated as the second. Organized by cultural researcher Sun-Quan Huang and Internet activist Shih-Chieh Ilya Li, the third session Network and Society (incl. six lectures/workshops) is scheduled for launch in the second half of 2017.

Guiding the participants to read, discuss and collaborate, the total of twelve lectures/workshops encourage the former to treat their personal experiences as the point of departure, setting out on an intellectual journey across history, corporeality and collective consciousness with the contemporary experiences of survival as the vehicle in the age of cyber-space and cyber-community.

Session 1: Body, Space and Memory
Lecturer: Po-Wei Chen

Retrieving History and Memory from Bodily and Spatial Perceptions
The memory of repression, whether self-imposed or not, may come flooding back, and the social disciplines of all stripes constitute an influential force in shaping our bodies. Our bodies, senses and memories are ineluctably affected by a combination of political, economic and social factors, which is why we possess distorted perceptions or tend to turn our back on the happenings in the world. Some people are in the know on such distortion, while others have never been aware of it.

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Workshop 1: Returning to the Body
Date: 25th Mar., 2017
Participants in this workshop are required to chronicle their own physical and mental histories and then revisit their bodies under the lecturer’s guidance.

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Workshop 2: Rebuilding the Spatial Awareness
Date: 22nd Apr., 2017
Participants in this workshop are required to collectively address the following questions: what have you done, what role did you play, and what kind of person were you in what set of circumstances? Is there another “you” absent here yet present in another space-time? How does that space-time look like? What kinds of ambient sounds, colors, bodies and languages come along with it?

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Workshop 3: Retrieving Memory and History
Date: 27th May., 2017
Revolving around the theme “Empathy with History: Re-establishing the Space-Body-Mind Connections,” this workshop not only guides the participants to contemplate what happened to them in the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, but also helps them engage in creative collaboration under an interest-driven grouping system.

▌Session 2: The Historical Context of the Cold-War Structure
Lecturer: Mo-Lin Wang
In conversation with Jow-Jiun Gong, Sun-Quan Huang, and Chieh-Jen Chen

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Lecture 1: Anciant Times
Lecturer: Mo-Lin Wang
Discussant: Jow-Jiun Gong
Date: 29th Jul.,2017
The Cold War is a vision of anti-communist strategy in which people explained and analyzed world affairs by assuming who annexed whom. As a country divided from the People’s Republic China, the Republic of China has echoed down the Chinese grand history on the island Taiwan in the form of geographical imagery since the dawn of the Cold War and the imposition of martial law. For example, a large number of its urban streets were named after the toponyms in the Mainland China. However, the grand history is not as influential as it was intended to be in shaping Taiwanese people’s quotidian routine.

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Lecture 2:
Betrayal
Lecturer: Mo-Lin Wang
Discussant: Sun-Quan Huang
Date: 26th Aug., 2017
“The people” is essentially a term coined together with the community. By way of comparison, the community is a political edifice much more independent and archaic than the citizenship produced by the state apparatus. In fact, the community can sustain itself through the perpetuation of popular cultures even after the formation of the modern state system. Being regarded as the pre-state history by the community, beliefs and fiestas are as worthy of respect as the allegiance pledged to the state. In addition, the people need a sense of reality that perfectly blends mythology with cultural contexts.

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Lecture 3: Terror
Lecturer: Mo-Lin Wang
Discussant: Chieh-Jen Chen
Date: 30th Sep., 2017
Terror is an unreal sense of bodily existence that reflects the frisson of fear in the reality. Whether the body is situated in the real or unreal temporality, the corporeal consciousness of terror tends to solidify the linear, unified existence of human beings into statue-like subjects, making them freeze to the spot while their hearts stop beating, their skin glistens with sweat, and their pupils dilate. The spiritual experiences of terror have been unleashed from the physical body to the production of supernatural phantoms.

▌Session 3: Network and Society
Lecturers: Sun-Quan Huang and Shih-Chieh Ilya Li

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Lecture 1: The Theory of the Network Society
Lecturer: Sun-Quan Huang
Date: 24th Jun., 2017
Emerging from industrialization and urbanization, sociology experienced a paradigm shift after the wave of student movements in the 1960s. The Chicago School’s urban sociology was replaced by a new paradigm. The new urban sociology tends to oscillate between methodology and activism. After the second millennium, we are living in a highly intricate environment that we cannot conjure up its full picture through seeing part of it. We must reshape our understanding of sociology or reconstruct our theoretical framework towards the new society, which is known as the theory of the network society.

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Lecture 2: From Cultural Studies to Software Studies 2.0
Lecturer: Sun-Quan Huang
Date: 25th Jun., 2017
The paradigm of cultural studies in the 1970s has gradually prompted us to embrace the values of all stripes without noticing the market price of all commodities. We are adept at manipulating identities, values, sexual orientations, meanings and representations without knowing how to deal with the consequences brought by the actions such as “like,” “java,” “cookies,” and “share.” We know the authors of Imagined Communities and The Making of the English Working Class. However, we know very little about the creator of “Photoshop,” the developer of “1-click” (and obtained a patent as a result), the electronic sounds in our quotient existence (from the rings when we go in/out the door of a 7-Eleven convenience store to those emitted by elevator buttons), the video games that embody the world of our fantasies, and the big data that shape our future. We can do nothing but directly facing the paradigm shift from cultural studies to software studies.

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Lecture 3: Cities and Digitalization (Design)
Lecturer: Sun-Quan Huang
Date: 28th Oct., 2017
Lovers get along with each other through the transparency layer, while our expressions and sentiments rest on the abstraction layer of body and intellect. What lovers keep reticent about are their own black boxes. The transparency layer deals with things supposed to be transparent, the abstraction layer dictates ways of expression, and the black box governs lovers. Cities and digitalization stand in a similar relationship. We do what we are supposed to do in our everyday lives (the transparency layer: buying a house and a car, getting a job and married), and we habitually stand on the right-hand side of an escalator (the abstraction layer: we behave as good and law-abiding citizens). Yet who made us live like this in the cities? Is it possible for us to decode the black box of urban planning? They are the case examples for the theory of the network society and software studies.

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Workshop 1: The Expedition of the Rings—The Infrastructure of the Information Society

Lecturer: Shih-Chieh Ilya Li
Date: 25th Nov., 2017
What is Hackathon?
What is Open Source?
What is the Commons?
What is Protocol?
What is the difference between monitoring and control?
The self is inscribed, shaped and determined by the stratified technological objects in the society. How does this phenomenon relate to the principle of 3D printing technology?
In relation to the blockchain as a decentralized technology, what kind of brave new world should we construct, multiple-centered or non-centered?

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Workshop 2: Crossing the Rhine—Alchemy and Independent Research
Lecturer: Shih-Chieh Ilya Li
Date: 16th Dec., 2017
Participants in this workshop are required to establish specific problematique on issues concerning social media and artificial intelligence by reading classics, and to engage in debates with the foregoing knowledge system by developing the methodology of field study on the information society.

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Workshop 3: Experiment with the Exoskeleton—Think Like a Scientist
Lecturer: Shih-Chieh Ilya Li
Date: 27th Jan., 2018
Participants in this workshop will learn how to design practical small-scale experiments based on the subjects they are interested in, and thereby explicate the significance of humanities and social sciences. We expect to help the participants acquire practical literacy through the following research subjects:

  1. understanding the world from audio-visual programs
  2. visualization of machine learning
  3. blockchain

(The workshops 2 and 3 are organized in collaboration with the Hong-Hwa Foundation for Environmental Protection and Digital Future.)