Ivy Lin 連美嬌
Curator of vA! (Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre)

NEW LANGUAGE OF ART

The aesthetics and use of expressions in the era of contemporary art change over time. Media applications in art are no longer limited to one pure form or one single medium. As media art has become more widely used by artists, so the manifestations of cross-media and multimedia have become a matter of course. Media refers to the materials and methods that artists apply in the discourse of art, and, as Clement Greenberg described, all media have their own medium specificity, which he saw in the idea of art for art’s sake that elevates the uniqueness of a medium to its purest form. In terms of media art, medium specificity brings to mind the application of and experimentation with science and technology, whose possibilities for artistic expression can easily be envisaged. After decades of a constantly expanding media culture, which now encompasses aspects such as moving images and the Internet, media art has taken up an important position in the life, culture and art of the contemporary world. Under the prevailing and growing influence of media culture, the practice of media art is strongly interrelated with the practice of contemporary art and has gained widespread recognition. Media art has gradually become a newly acknowledged language of art.

The transitional, hybrid and multidisciplinary nature of media art has made it a variable parameter for the cultivation of art, bringing unlimited possibilities and resources for artistic expression. The new media arts pioneer Roy Ascott said there are five phases that have to be gone through with media art: connection, immersion, interaction, transformation and emergence. Viewers first have to connect with, become immersed in (not detached from a distance) and finally interact with the installation, a process that will subsequently lead to the transformation of the viewers’ consciousness of the work and eventually lead to the emergence of new images, relationships, thinking and experience. As with advanced science and technology, media art creates and allows new forms of art. Consequently, visual art breaks free from the constraints of two or three-dimensional boundaries and is able to play with the flow of time and space, thus transforming structures, broadening the possibilities in art, and contributing to the new experience and value of art.

In the expanding territories of media art today, artists can experiment with and realise their creative thoughts in order to generate different visual and sensational impacts. The ideologies of art develop their own thought systems in their own times. The emergence of new media is reshaping the social, economic and cultural aspects of the world we live in today, primarily by establishing new forms of social relationships between people around the globe, and it has exerted a major influence on all spheres of people’s lives in the last couple of decades. People nowadays are closely connected to digital media and heavily engaged with technology, moving images and online culture at work and in life. Inevitably, technology has entered the world of art. With new technology, media artists construct new art forms and contexts to derive creative products for modern times. It is essential for us to reflect on the significance of media art in the development of contemporary art, on how to cultivate aesthetic values and manifest cultural content, on ways to explore the possibilities and capacities of media art, while at the same time organising its aesthetic system and language in order to articulate its uniqueness and influence on the contemporary digital revolution.

vA! is working together with Videotage to cultivate exchanges by inviting established and emerging artists, such as Chen Tianzhou, Chen Wei, Double Fly Art Center, Hu Weiyi, Lu Yang and Sun Xun from the Mainland, and Carla Chan, Chris Cheung (h0nh1m) / XCEED, Tang Kwok-hin and Morgan Wong from Hong Kong, to examine how this new generation, born in the 1980s and 1990s, is finding their own ways of processing current techno-social realities. Addressing the constantly changing developments in contemporary art in the digital age, we aim to explore and push the boundaries of media – new media, cross-media and all other possible media and forms. We have therefore set out to explore the contemporary visual art practices of recent years by organising a variety of cultural exchange programmes and exhibitions, which are not only staged in Hong Kong, but also go on tour to other cities in the region and further afield. By presenting cutting edge media art exhibitions, we hope to spark a discussion about ideologies in media and art and about what kind of impact media as a new language of art exert on art practices today and in the future.

Ivy Lin
Curator of vA! (Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre)

新藝術語言

媒介促成了藝術品誕生。媒介指涉藝術家表達及傳遞自身意念的手法及方式,各類媒介均具其特定性。葛林伯格(Greenberg)認為媒介特定性(medium specificity)乃指向藝術的目的,致力於純化其媒介本身的特性,也就是說,作品是由媒介本身特有屬性所構成。隨着世代轉變,媒介不再單一化,尤其在當代藝術的領域,不局限於純媒介或單一媒介的呈現,美學觀念與表現手法亦不斷延伸及進化。隨着科技的發展及介入,藝術家引入新媒體作為中介物和觀眾溝通,媒體文化在藝術界近數十年不斷擴張,同時已不經不覺進入當代藝術及人文生活中﹔不難察覺以現代科技和媒體形式表現作品主題的藝術品比比皆是,且佔了相當重要的位置。媒體藝術與當代藝術實踐已變成密不可分,成了大眾耳熟能詳的新藝術語言。

媒體藝術最鮮明的特質為連結性與互動性。新媒體藝術的先驅羅伊‧阿斯科特(Roy Ascott)說:「新媒體藝術創作需要經過五個階段:連結、融入、互動、轉化、出現。透過連結,並全身融入其中(而非僅僅在遠距離觀看),與系統和他人產生互動,以致作品以及意識產生轉化,最後會出現全新的影像、關係、思維與經驗。」正因為能參與其中,經歷探索,感受才會深刻真摯。媒體藝術建基於對傳統媒介的認知,加上現今的科技、影像、互動媒材、數碼化技術和創作意念整合,視覺藝術不僅脫離了二、三維空間的創作界限,更能重組時空的流動、轉換的結構,拉闊藝術的形式,促成藝術的新體驗與價值。正因媒體藝術具有過渡性、混合與跨界的特性,它成為藝術實踐中一類甚具可塑性的媒介,為藝術表現力帶來無盡的可能和想像。

當今藝術家遊走於不斷擴張的媒體藝術領域,從實驗創作中實踐創作意念,為美學和感官帶來驚喜和衝擊。隨着時代遷移,藝術家的觀念和思考模式順時轉變,唯一不變的是重塑了當下社會生活、民生、經濟和文化面貌,讓我們與同地域的人建立嶄新的另類社交關係,大大影響了人文生活的特質。現今人們已慣於電子操控 - 工作與生活充斥着人工智能、影像、網絡;而藝術亦自然少不了科技的元素。媒體藝術家用新科技建構新藝術的形式及內容,衍生當代的創作產物。我們置身於數碼時代,應當反思媒體藝術在當代藝術發展的意義,如何培植媒體藝術審美觀、其文化內涵,以至釋出其龐大能量和可能性,同時梳理媒體藝術的美學系統及語言,以突顯其獨特性及意義。

香港視覺藝術中心聯同錄映太奇邀請新一代知名的內地及本地藝術家,有來自內地城市的陳天灼、陳維、雙飛藝術中心、胡為一、陸揚和孫遜,以及來自香港的陳好彩、張瀚謙、鄧國騫和黃榮法。透過展覽探討生於八、九十年代的新一代如何在科技社會現實中尋找新的藝術作業方式,對照其中異同。因應着數碼時代當代藝術的變奏,我們積極探討及推動藝術媒介的種種可能,如新媒體、跨媒介,以及任何藝術媒介及形式的潛能。近年,我們亦藉着在本地及多個境外城市舉辦不同的文化交流計劃和巡迴展覽探索當代藝術的實踐力量,希望為大家帶來具前瞻性的媒體藝術展覽,激發起大家對媒體與藝術之關係的討論,以及探討媒體於當下和將來對藝術實踐的影響及發展,成為嶄新的藝術語言。

連美嬌
香港視覺藝術中心館長