China’s new media

[2009/02/03 01:01 | 分类: Articles | by lizhenhua ]
China’s new media
By Li Zhenhua


In the exhibition of garage art in 1991, Zhang Peili pioneered. Likewise, in the project named Phenomenon and Video: Exhibition of China’s Videotaping Art, engineered by Wu Meichun and Qiu Zhijie, a great deal of videotaping artists came forth, who later had an impact on the nucleus of Chinese artists. The neo-media movement developed later still adhered to this principal clue and still many artists were working on videotaping, among whom Zhang Peili, Wu Meichun and Qiu Zhijie successively grew to be professors of media art in Art Institution of China. Due to this development, it’s necessary to make a description on the drastic changes from the past to present, and on current status of new media.


Cultural imaginations in the East and the West 1999
Qiu Zhijie's

In a modern art exhibition named Beijing in London in the year of 1999, Qiu Zhijie exhibited his work that he completed through a simple computer program of PPT. With the help of a computer program that represents office culture, he produced a work brimming with imagination on western culture and with the contrast between the eastern and western culture. He is looking for a philosophical issue in his endless pursuit of clues, which might be related to Qiu Zhijie’s further study on philosophy in Beijing. However, the elementary computer program of PPT is usually used in companies to present their business projects, because the interactivity is a multithreading logical course rather than mongline. Visitor’s participation often results in different logistic thinking directions, whose result and process usually provide an inescapable environment for those with certain presupposition. And this environment could prove the foundation and examples of the thinking pattern. Different people might receive the same result, but they must rely on their respective subconscious and philosophic foundation to find the differences. First, the work is not artists’ simple way of posing a question, but rather, it’s a multi-threading philosophical issue with the help of computer’s multi-media means. The work takes advantage of the conflict between the eastern culture and western culture to lead the audiences to a direction, while those who are restricted in this direction would be shadowed by this clue and unable to perceive the social issues in a deeper sense and could not see the human deficiency in rationality. Thus, this piece of work is unique in the sociality of the current society and from the angle of an artist, and there is no alternative to its interactivity. It is an entirely interactive work of new media and totally different from the early multi-screen video facilities, which presents things from more than one angle. But the interactivity that new media stresses is an irreplaceable process of transforming from folk techniques to a medium that artists care about.


The first exhibition of sound 2000
Shi Qing, Zhang Hui and Wang Wei

This exhibition is an experiment where artists employ sound as a sort of creation approach.

Spoken Language Stage by Shi Qing began to employ a spot interactive facility through a sensor. Various video clips, sculptures, lights compose a spot. The changes caused by audiences’ motion help to realize the multi-layer exhibition content induced by audiences. The relation between interactivities and sound is the sound of baby carriages and all the other sounds from our childhood. Artists brings the audiences the feeling of being on the verge of breaking out through a random interactive means, like a time machine enters into the artist’s heart. This piece of work is as important as the videotaping art in the Exhibition of Garage Art in the past. Its complicated implementation method and its multi-material spelling remains unmatched.

Lost Voice by Zhang Hui leads the audiences to listen through a blurry sound, and sets an invisible stage behind the acoustic enclosure by a wall that could not be overstepped. The humidifier under the acoustic enclosure continuously sends out misty smog and the passage into the exhibition becomes the stage of this works. In the other corner are a clock and some camlet. Intentionally or unintentionally, the decoration seems to be two opposing stages within a theatre. The invisible stage is brimmed with desires and illusions. This piece of work could be perceived as early spot art where no person participated for its sense of space and the special meaning. The artist completes it with the audiences’ lingering and listening.

The sound in Wang Wei’s <75kilograms and 3.2 cubic meters> has two sources. One is the cracking sound of the works itself and the sound of treading on the sand while the audiences are entering the exhibition sites, so that the audiences could find their own position while experiencing the noisy environment and the appreciating the subtle works. The tiny motions of the continuously cracking artists in the video and the audiences in the narrow exhibition sites compose the makers and participants of the interactive sound. The static watching status has undergone a fundamental change. Artists began to focus their attention on mastering the audiences’ participation in the works and the psychological status of the spot creation.

Screen and Rite by Wang Jianwei, respectively in 2001 and 2003.
In a short period of ten years, new media drama has evolved from videotaping art. Included in the category of artists’ creation, the new media drama still takes the form of new media-drama, in that the drama is short of interactivity. But we could say for sure that the artists apply this form to create some works that greets new media. The triple settings of the plots and the interrelations among them help to demonstrate the artists’ doubt of the truth of history, the unscrambling history and angle of construction. The ever-changing stages and relations behind the curtain cooperate with lights, projections, shadowgraphs and spot shooting, which contributes to a new visual works. With this works, the plot that dramatists and drama directors rely upon has grown up to be the highest-quality and most forceful new type—new media drama. Later, this works had an impact on the creation in China’s drama community. Artist Wang Jianwei’s experiment and trial on new media drama has led to changes in China’s drama and taste on drama.

8GG-[Baguge]’s interactive spot-in 2003 and 2005
8GG [Baguge] became the experiment conductor of networks interactive media. From the initial participation to the spot performance, they cooperated with various aritsts and musicians and finally designed an interactivity for Wang Jianwei’s new media drama and create a general feeling of spot feeling. The interactive spot applied softwares designed by the artists themselves. Besides, they utilized software-physical principle controlled video excecution, which is in accordance with the need of music, musicians and the spot, and is controlled through the use of keyboard and mouse. The spot used to be operated only through hardware and purely VJ software. But now, artists such as Baguge begin to employ the pictures and portable videos in life and the self-composed programs, so that the spot video art whose rhythm is controlled by artists begins to take form. In this form, the sound within the video has replaced DJ. The spot, where sound is unscrambled and reverted, has become a unique way of Gaguge’s creation.

***
Video art has other derivations, but basically, it falls into two categories: single-screen and multi-screen facilities. From the two categories, it’s not difficult to find out that a drastic change has taken place from Nam-June Paik to Mathew Barney. Several decades’ change in Europe and in the U.S. seems to be an instant of several decades in China. From the way of categorization, we could find out that the rise of China’s media reflects the  possibility that techniques help to achieve freedom. The innovation of techniques helps artists to create works with this more common means. These techniques, at the mean time, have an impact on the thinking patterns of artists. Softwares and hardwares should be updated continuously and new aesthetical thinkings should be tried once and again. New media and artists maintain a relationship of growing together.

New media do not mean that artists have utilized new media and techniques. Rather, in the social development brought about by techniques, artists find an easily expressed synonym for this special category of art. New media cover almost all the practical techniques and social phenomena related to the media and agent, for instance, video art and video facilities that entered public sight along with 8MM. Thanks to the popularization of social application, the later interactive media/networks paved the road for art creation. Currently, the variety of design-related software and hardware has brought more and more technological support and human resources for new media’s creation. The area of art creation, which more people are engaged in, has been contained in the development process of modern art. Art has become a black hole that admits all possibilities. For instance, when the modern art concerns geography, human culture, science and technology, robot, physics, chemistry and anatomy, will some new unprecedented phenomena appear in the modern art? Is the taste in the past dead in the new era? In the controversy among human, soul, religion, machine and AI, what does human nature rely on to keep living? Is the difference itself a necessity of human nature? When the difference is spread out through media and the art contains everything, and when we appreciate Josef Beuys’s remarks that “every one is an artist” and Andy Warhole’s presentation of “fashion dominates everything” from another perspective, will the two seemingly totally different theories overlap in the modern culture? New media is always an issue for part of us while those matters that we could know but could not explain are really new, because they might be invisible at all. New media may also be a relative concept.

2006

新媒体中国
文:李振华

邱志杰提醒我实际录像艺术的出现应该是在1989年,其中有颜磊的《踪迹》,张培力的《30X30》180分钟,1991年正式出现在展览,并以录像艺术命名的作品是出现在车库艺术展上张培力的《洗鸡》180分钟,同样在1996年之间由吴美纯和邱志杰策划的《现象与影像:中国录像艺术展》上涌现了一批录像艺术家,后来影响到整个中国的艺术中坚,后来发展的中国新媒体运动也没有脱离这个主线,依旧有很多艺术家从事着录像艺术的创作,而张培力与吴美纯、邱志杰也相继成为中国美术学院的多媒体艺术教授,也正是这样的发展,有必要叙述过去到现在的变化,还有新媒体在中国的现状。

中西方文化想象-1999
邱志杰《西方》
1999年伦敦的《北京在伦敦》的当代艺术展览上邱志杰的作品通过电脑的简单程序PPT制作的作品,利用了代表着办公室文化的软件制作了一个充满了对西方想象和东西方文化冲突的采访和对比,在不断的追寻线索中找寻一个有哲学性逻辑的问题,这可能和邱志杰在北京进修哲学有关,而PPT这个基本的软件一般是作为公司之间展示商业计划一样,因为其互动性不是单线式的逻辑方式,而是多线性的,通过参观者的参与造成的不同的逻辑思维指引的结果和过程,往往给有一定预设思维的人提供一个无法逃离的圈子,在这个圈子之中可以证明,这种思维的根据和例证,但是如果是不同的人看到的结果有雷同,但是不同之处要靠自己的潜意识和哲学基础了,首先这个作品不是艺术家简单的提出问题的方式,而是借助电脑的媒体手段实现的多线程哲学问题,利用简单的东西方文化冲突这个主题将人引到一个方向,而局限与这个方向的人将被这个线索所遮蔽,不能看到更深层次的社会问题,和人逻辑合理性的缺陷,所以这个作品在其当代社会的社会性和艺术家的角度是非常独特的,其互动性是不可以被取代的,属于完全的互动新媒体作品,和早期的多屏录像装置有着本质的区别,一种还是通过多个视角的呈现,而新媒体的所强调的互动性却是不可替代的一个由民间的技术转换成被艺术家关注的媒介的一个过程。

第一个声音的展览《声音》-2000
石青、张慧、王卫
这个展览是艺术家开始使用声音作为一种创作的方式的实验。
石青的作品《口语阶段》实现了一个通过感应器实施的现场互动装置,其中有几个不同的录像片段和雕塑、灯光构成的一个现场通过观众走动带来的变化,在展览空间之中实现了由观众引发的展览的多层次内容,这个互动与声音的关系是一些童年记忆中的小童车的声音、童年回忆中的各种声音,艺术家通过一个随机的互动方式带给参观者一触即发的感受,如同时光机器进入艺术家的童年时间。这个作品如同当年《车库》展上出现的录像艺术一样的重要,至今其复杂的实施方法和多种材质的拼合方式都没有被超越。
张慧的作品《失去的声音》通过含混不清的声音,引导观众的倾听,通过一个黑色的不可逾越的墙,将一个不可见的舞台设置在音箱的后面,音箱下面的加湿器不断的有飘渺的烟雾出来,进入展览的通道成为这个作品的场,另外的一边的角落是一个时钟和一堆羽绒,有意无意见的设置如同一个剧场的正反两个舞台,那个不可见的舞台充满了欲望和想象,这个作品可以说是早期的没有人的现场艺术,因为其空间感和场所的特定意味,利用观众的徘徊和倾听来完成的作品。
王卫的作品《75公斤与3.2立方米》的声音来自两个方面,一个是作品本身的冲撞声和观众进入展场所发出踩石子的声音,使看展览的观众开始体验嘈杂的环境声音和在细微的作品的声音之中找到观看和参与之间的位置,在视频中不断冲撞的艺术家在狭小的空间内的动作和在这个展览空间中的观众一起成为互动的声音制作者和参与实施者,从录像艺术开始的静态观看状态已经发生了根本的变化,艺术家开始强调现场的参与性和观众参与到作品之中和作品的现场创作部分的心理状态的把握。

汪建伟《屏风》《仪式》-2001-2003
在短短的10年之间,从录像艺术已经发展出了新媒体戏剧,作为艺术家创作的范畴,这里的新媒体戏剧还只是新媒体+戏剧,因为这个戏剧并没有互动性,但是可以说是艺术家借助这个戏剧+新媒体的方式创作了一个向新媒体致敬的作品,其中剧情结构的三重设置和相互之间的关系,通过对历史真实性的质疑到解构历史、建构的角度展现了视觉艺术家,而剧作家或者戏剧导演所赖以支撑的剧情,而是通过不断变化的几层舞台、幕后的关系,通过灯光、投影、皮影、现场拍摄等手段达成的一个视觉作品,成为中国新媒体作品中最有质量和力量的新种类——新媒体戏剧,而后这个作品影响到了中国的戏剧界的创作,新媒体戏剧由艺术家汪建伟开始的尝试和实验,导致了中国戏剧和对戏剧审美的变化。

八股歌的互动现场-2003-2005
八股歌作为网络互动媒介的实验者,开始参与到现场演出的实验之中,通过与不同的艺术家和音乐家的合作,最终为汪建伟的新媒体戏剧设计互动和现场视觉的总体感觉,互动现场通过艺术家自己设计的软件和利用键盘、鼠标操作的根据音乐或者艺术家和现场需要,用软件和物理原理操纵的对视频的执行方式,从以前通过硬件设备或者单纯的VJ软件操作的现场,到艺术家如八股歌利用生活场景中图片、移动影像利用自我编写程序和艺术家操控节奏的现场视觉艺术开始形成,并通过视觉自身的声音逐渐取代DJ的作品,在这里声音被视频所解读还原的现场成了八股歌创作的独特方式。

录像艺术还有其他的转型,但是基本上只分类成单屏影像和多屏录像装置的两大类别,而这两个大类之中我们不难看到从白南准到MATHEW BARNNY的变化,欧洲和美国经历了几十年的变化在中国不过是十几年的瞬间,从分类方法上可以看到中国媒体的兴起折射了技术成就自由的可能,通过技术手段的更新,艺术家开始通过这一更加大众的手段创作,技术的手段同时影响到艺术家的思维方式,通过改善创作的软件和物理硬件与不断尝试的美学/科学/哲学之间的思考,新媒体艺术和艺术家是共同成长的关系。

*新媒体-并不是艺术家使用了新的媒介和技术,而是在技术带来的社会文化发展中,为这个特殊类型的艺术范畴找到一个易于表达的带名词。新媒体包括几乎所有的与媒体、媒介有关的实际的技术和社会现象,如录像艺术/录像装置等是伴随着8毫米摄影机一起进入公众的视界的,而后来的互动媒体/网络媒体更加是因为社会应用的普及,为艺术创作铺平了道路,到现在更多的与设计有关的软件和硬件的丰富,为新媒体的创作带来更加广泛的技术和人力资源上的丰富。更多的人从事着非艺术创作的领域在被当代艺术发展进程所涵盖,艺术已经成为一个吸纳各种可能的实验场,如当代艺术所涉及的地理/人文/科学/机器人/物理/化学/解刨等等门类的时候,是否新的人类前所未见的事情会出现在当代艺术之中?!而以前的审美是否已经被颠覆在这个全新的时代?在人/灵魂/宗教/机器/AI等等争论之中的人性是靠什么来依存,是否差异性本身就是人性的必然,当差异性真正通过媒体的方式被传播的时候,当艺术已经无所不包的时候,是否从另外的角度理解的博依斯的人人都是艺术家,和ANDY WALHOLE所呈现的流行文化/拷贝文化的时候,两个看似完全不同的理论在当代文化中重合的时候。新媒体永远是对部分人而言的,为我们所知晓的不能解释的现象才是新的,因为可能这根本就不可见,而新媒体也只能是相对的。
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