Tiɑngong Kɑiwu: Modern Life and the History of Technology

The Exploitation of the Works of Nature

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

《現實祕境》第二階段:「雙束現實」國際論壇

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

《自然之外的海洋》國際聯展

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

2017一年講堂:歷史與身體、網絡與社會

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

#2-1
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.

#2-2
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.

#2-3
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.)

Lecture by Huang Sun-Quan: Multitude: Till We Have Faces!—The Images of Social Movements in Asia

praxis-school_諸眾之貌_web1_710px

Praxis School is the thematic lecture series to be hosted by TheCube Project Space in 2016. Inviting experienced professionals, we organize the lecture series into systematic courses/workshops in which the lecturers will dilate upon the subjects and thoughts they seek to share with the participants.

The first series will be delivered by Huang Sun-Quan, a renowned social activist and cultural researcher, with “Multitude: Till We Have Faces!” as the theme that runs through this series. Based on his long-term research and practice in social movements, along with the content of Multitude.asia (i.e. an image database of social movements in Asia established by him and his team), Huang will deliver a series of three-hour lectures on a monthly basis and give the participants a contextual and systematic understanding of contemporary social movements in Asia. This series is scheduled for each month of 2016, during which the participants will be requested to discuss the associated readings and organize a thematic exhibition collectively in collaboration with the lecturer. It is not only an intellectual activity but also a collective creative project.

About The Theme of the Lecture Series

By Huang Sun-Quan

Innumerable terms such as people, public, crowd, mass, multitude, and class have been created to describe social gatherings. Intellectuals and populists have shown as much enthusiasm as the top-down power deployments have done in applying these terms. Thanks to the advances in network technologies, these terms have appeared on various communications media and have been increasingly referring to the exactly opposite affairs that fall in line with the preferences of elites, minorities, and the bourgeoisie. Today, we attempt to redefine the meanings of these terms. However, our purpose is not so much to give these terms rigid definitions as to interpret them variously until they take on diverse appearances. Invoking the metaphor of plants, we are looking for the seeds of social dynamics rather than its flowers.

Nevertheless, what we advocate is by no means an individualistic strategy for radically changing the world, since the idea that “I will keep moving forward against all odds” represents an intricate hybridization of the neoliberalist morality and the priority over scientific R&D. Instead, we examine the questions as to how a group acquires knowledge and promotes practice through self-learning and how it develops the autonomy and ability of mobilization through its connections and interaction with other groups. Treating Asia as the point of departure, we plan to build up an archive of group interaction in the lecture series, and thereby explore the diverse appearances of multitude.

Topics and Schedule

# 1
The Trilogy of Empire: Empire, Multitude, and Commonwealth  (Part I)
2-5 p.m., 23 January 2016 (Sat.)

A new type of empire has risen. Different from the Second Hundred Years’ War fought between Great Britain and France throughout the eighteenth century and the American global hegemony after the Second World War, the empire referred to in this lecture is a new form of sovereignty that restructures the subjectivity of the world and individuals. This lecture will collate the contemporary global politics and the resistant subjective agents therein by reference to Empire / Multitude / Commonwealth, the trilogy co-authored by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri.

# 2
The Trilogy of Empire: Empire, Multitude, and Commonwealth (Part II)
2-5 p.m., 20 February 2016 (Sat.)

# 3
Neo-liberalism and Neo-imperialism
2-5 p.m., 2 April 2016 (Sat.)

Neo-liberalism and Neo-imperialism are two sides of the same coin. We will learn the force principale of global political and economic structures by reading two books written by David Harvey. Instead of regarding the globalized space as a predetermined outcome, we must contemplate the globalized production in terms of spatial production. Since space is no vessel, its status quo is not directly dictated by (economic and political) globalization. Rather, space per se is the dominant factor behind the redistribution of global capital. Only by closely investigating the process of spatial production can we transform the claim of “all things in their being are good for something” into the action plan for reclamation. Given the dual-structure of Neo-liberalism and Neo-imperialism involved, we should transform the space of anti-globalization into an alternative one of counter-globalization.

# 4
A Companion to Marx’s Capital by David Harvey
2-5 p.m., 30 April 2016 (Sat.)

Karl Marx’s stimulating idea is an invaluable source of reference for us to acquire the knowledge of analyzing current global and local predicaments as well as the content of the previous two lectures, whereby we achieve liberation. Reading Das Kapital: Kritik der politischen Ökonomie may be a daunting challenge. However, we can grasp the essence of the key chapters (particularly those in the first volume) of Das Kapital and map globalization with minimal effort by reading David Harvey’s A Companion to Marx’s Capital.

# 5
Social Movements in Hong Kong: Media, the Arts and Action Plans
2-5 p.m., 28 May 2016 (Sat.)

Founded in Hong Kong, 2004, Hong Kong In-Media (http://www.inmediahk.net) has engaged in a riotous profusion of social movements such as the protests during the WTO Hong Kong Ministerial Conference (2005), the preservation campaign of Star Ferry and Queen’s Piers (2006-2007), the Choi Yuen Village event and the Occupy Central movement (2009), the campaign against the Northeast New Territories Development Plan (2011), and the Hong Kong dockworkers strike (2012). It has become a base for social mobilization in Hong Kong and a platform for opinion exchange. Meanwhile, it gradually re-orientates itself from an antagonist of mainstream media to a professional electronic media platform.

# 6
Investigating the Social Movements in Taiwan since the 1990s
2-5 p.m., 25 June 2016 (Sat.)

Taiwan’s economy hummed along to its peak growth rate in the 1990s. New urban social movements emerged out of opposition to the state-capital liaisons in development-oriented cities. They galvanized people into collective actions, forged people’s project identities, and mounted the resistance against bourgeois dreams of avarice. By virtue of theoretical perspectives and field studies, this lecture reviews contemporary urban environment and cultural governance in Taiwan as a direct consequence of many social movements such as the Snails without Shells movement, the Anti-Green Bulldozer movement, the Treasure Hill anti-relocation movement, the sex workers’ rights movement, the movement of preserving Lo-Sheng Sanatorium and Hospital.

# 7
The Tent Theatre and the Art Occupy Movement in Japan
2-5 p.m., 30 July 2016 (Sat.)

Daizo Sakurai’s tent theatre is a great cultural legacy of the student movement in Japan from the 1960s. It appropriated the form of theatre to make political noise and mount resistance. The theatre has never received any subsidy from governments and enterprises. By virtue of his unique way of working, Daizo Sakurai created an autonomous system of theatre and performance in Japan, Taiwan and Beijing, a system that wields profound and far-reaching influence on the next generation of intellectuals.

# 8
After the Gwangju Uprising: The Wild Chrysanthemums, People’s Daily and the Left-wing Artists
2-5 p.m., 27 August 2016 (Sat.)

Paik Nak-Chung’s ideas about overcoming the crisis of division system and creating the 2013 regime serve as a critical entry point for us to understand the social movements in South Korea. This lecture introduces three cases, namely the Wild Chrysanthemums (the most iconic band in South Korea’s democratization process, formed after the Gwangju Uprising in the 1980s), People’s Daily (the first crowd-founding newspaper in the history of South Korea), and the artworks created by left-wing artists, for the purpose of identifying the approaches of South Korean cultural practice after democratization.

# 9
Two Leftist Bookstores: Tangshan in Taiwan and Pirate ISBN in Malaysia 
2-5 p.m., 1 October 2016 (Sat.)

Tangshan bookstore run by Chen Long-Hao and Pirate ISBN by Zhang Yong-Xin (transliteration) have respectively cultivated a new generation of students with leftist thoughts. Over the past three decades, the two bookstores started up by piracy and self-publishing, and then re-orientated themselves to supporting the publishing of less-profit seeking social thoughts series. The young people who benefited from them are now becoming the ideological backbone of both societies.

# 10
The People’s Science Movement in India
2-5 p.m., 29 October 2016 (Sat.)

A number of nuclear scientists who studied abroad in the Soviet Union gave up their high-paying jobs as researchers and devoted all their energies to the anti-illiteracy campaign in India. They redefined science by editing textbooks, staging dramas, performing music, and organizing workshops. Science is a tool for people to acquire knowledge. Literacy refers not only to the ability of reading and writing but also to that of problem-solving. Nowadays, ten thousands of volunteers engage in the movement and millions of people benefit from it.

# 11
Wrap up / Exhibition Planning
2-5 p.m., 26 November 2016 (Sat.)

Each participant is required to submit a thematic report, sharing his/her case study on pivotal social movements or artistic practice in contemporary Asia, so as to formulate a proposal concerning the arrangement of the exhibition on Asian multitude through reciprocal learning and discussion.

# 12
Wrap up / Exhibition Planning
2-5 p.m., 7 January 2017 (Sat.)

Participants clarify the concrete content and the division of labor for the exhibition, and thereby transform their one-year reading and studying into actual curatorial practice.

Lee Kit’s solo exhibition “The more I ignore you, the closer you get.”

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This exhibition, titled “The more I ignore you, the closer you get.” started on view from 18 February until 9 April, 2017. Lee Kit has been active in the international art scene, and also represented Hong Kong at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. In recent years, he has not only shuttled between Hong Kong and Taipei but also frequently travelled for his exhibitions around Asia, North America and Europe. Lee tends to project the indescribable spiritual dimension of our quotidian existence to the exhibition venues with paintings, texts and images based on the dialogues that embody his personal attributes and implicit political struggle for survival. His artworks always leave the spectators with a feeling of empathy for his deep sentiments and acumen.

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Towards Mysterious Realities

現實秘境

Sponsored by the 2015 Production Grants to Independent Curators in Visual Arts of National Culture and Arts Foundation of Taiwan, co-organized by TheCube Project Space and TKG Foundation for Arts & Culture, and curated by Amy Cheng, the exhibition Towards Mysterious Realities will open on December 10, 2016 at TKG+ in Taipei.
The curatorial context of this exhibition aims to encourage profound reflection on Asia’s relationship to the world. Focused on the postwar experiences, this exhibition provides a point of departure where viewers are invited to see the world through the lens of Asia, which allows for a closer investigation of quotidian experiences and social spaces, thereby constructing different angles to approach the realities of today’s global landscape.

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Artist Workshop|Artificial (sonic) Sweeteners – by Bani Haykal

bani_personal photo

BANI Haykal, one of the thirteen participant artists of the exhibition Towards Mysterious Realities, is currently having his 3-week residency in Taipei. On 3rd of December, his workshop Artificial (sonic) Sweeteners (or how much calories we have stuffed into our subconscious so far) will be held at TheCube Project Space from 7 to 9:30pm, a group of 25 people will be invited to join in.

The participants of the workshop will need to register online before Dec. 2.

About the Workshop

artificial (sonic) sweeteners
or how much calories we have stuffed into our subconscious so far

In the 1950s, sound engineer Charles Douglass invented The Laff Box, a tape-based analogue synthesizer which expanded his conception of the laugh track used for television sitcoms. The laugh track, also known as “sweeteners”, is still a prominent ingredient in television today, primarily used to emphasise / prompt a response from both a live studio audience and home viewers.

artificial (sonic) sweeteners is a project which seeks to create a public repository of canned laughter and applause as a method of addressing the roles and privileges of being an audience / observer for various political shifts such as state surveillance and cultural diplomacy. For the workshop, participants will be involved in creating a list which consists of instructions for laughter and applause, followed by a recording session to document the list being performed. The recordings will be uploaded online and made public.

About the Artist

BANI Haykal (b. 1985) experiments with text and music. As a soloist, he works primarily with acoustic instruments, both traditional and/or hacked, and his studies revolve around narratives, structured improvisation and spoken word. He is a member of OFFCUFF and b-quartet. An Associate Artist with The Substation, Haykal has collaborated, exhibited, performed and toured internationally, as an artist and a musician, participating in festivals including Media/Art Kitchen (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Japan), da:ns Festival and The M1 Fringe Festival (Singapore) among others. Haykal was also a member of the Singaporean avant rock band The Observatory, with whom he has toured Norway (2012) and Italy (2013). Haykal was a recipient for the Young Artists’ Award (2013) and has been selected for the 2015 President’s Young Talents.

Zheng Bo: Weed Party II + Toad Commons

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Invited by TheCube Project Space, Chinese artist Zheng Bo has spent multiple periods in Taipei working as an artist in residence since the summer of 2015. On September 3, 2016, Zheng will present Weed Party II + Toad Commons at TheCube Project Space and the nearby Toad Mountain.

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Working-Through: Vandy Rattana and His Ditched Footages

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TheCube Project Space is pleased to present Cambodian artist Vandy Rattana’s first solo exhibition in Taiwan, titled Working-Through: Vandy Rattana and His Ditched Footages, curated by Fang-Tze Hsu.

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