Aki Inomata, Why Not Hand Over a ‘Shelter’ to Hermit Crabs? series, 2009–16

Week 4 will be excursion week for all MEDA subjects. We are off to see New Romance: Art and the Posthuman, and Telling Tales: Excursions in Narrative Forms at the Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as Julian Rosefeldt’s Manifesto in the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

It has also come to my attention that there are some interesting exhibitions and events at the Powerhouse Museum at Ultimo that may of interest. In addition to Sydney Science Festival (11 – 21 August) that has many associated events with an art/ science flavour including: Continue reading

Welcome to MEDA Spring 2016

Moon Kyungwon EL FIN DEL MUNDO 2012 2-channel digital video, HD, colour, sound 13:35 minutes

A warm welcome back to all MEDA students to Spring session 2016.

In this Spring session, MEDA102: Computational Media, MEDA202: System, Play and Interaction (Electronic Arts), and MEDA302: Media Arts Projects, are on offer at the Digital Media Centre, Innovation Campus. You can find out the time-table of the subjects here.

During this session, MEDA classes will go on excursions to three exhibitions: New Romance: Art and the Post-human at the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Julian Rosefeldt’s Manifesto and Seven Artists from the John Kaldor Family Collection at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. 

Subject outlines and assessment details are available from this site (as well as from Moodle). As in previous years, links to lectures, workshop notes, reference materials, student works and more will be housed on here on MEDAdada – accessible via the menu on the right. All subjects will also have related Moodle sites.

If you have any questions regarding meda subjects (enrolment, requirement, content etc.), please contact Jo Law.

Appropriating new technologies to serve an aesthetic exploration

One of the oft-presented definitions of media art is as the appropriation of (often new) technologies to serve an aesthetic intent that is unrelated to the original design.

Many media artists have explored / experimented with 3D printer technology. But the below video must be one of the most genuinely interesting I have seen. Instead of understanding 3D printers as machines that produce physical forms, this work appropriates the physical mechanism of a 3D printer (a ‘head’ that can move along the X Y Z axes) to sort rocks!

Notice that the machine has a very dominant sonic presence. Whilst sound itself plays little to no role in printed 3D forms (unless one is printing out a 3D musical instrument, of course), this work recognises that 3D printers and their mechanisms introduce a whole array of sonic artefacts into our everyday life experiences.

Similarly, the work expresses the pervasive presence of a highly organised grid system. In this case this grid system is used to classify pebbles. But one might imagine how 3D printers create forms which are inherently subscribed to cartesian grid systems, simply because their provenance explicitly depends on it.

Some biases of contemporary digital media explained

“If you’re an app, how do you keep people hooked? Turn yourself into a slot machine.”

1*BNOfmUQ2nTRVPVe0CHx7ewThis article is well worth a read. It explains, from the view of an insider (a Google design ‘ethicist’), how the digital media we take for granted is heavily loaded with biases. Some of those biases are consciously designed (usually to serve a commercial interest) and some of those biases are accidental.



Media Arts and Politics

Some of you may know about the current political situation of Hong Kong with Occupy Central and the Umbrella Movement making international headlines at the end of 2014. Before the city ceased to be a British Colony and its sovereignty returned to China, it was written into the city’s Basic Law that all systems Hong Kong will remain unchanged for 50 years (from 1997). This has been interpreted as a kind of ‘expiry date’ and has been a continuous source of contention in the territory.

This media art work 2047 Countdown shown on the ICC tower since Tuesday 17th May (after ISEA’s Open Sky project opened on Monday night). The artwork was exhibited to deliberately coincide with the visit of Zhang Dejian (a top official from Beijing) to the city. Read more about the controversial artwork here.

How can media artworks effectively address current politics?


ISEA 2016 Cultural R>evolution

[Don Ritter, Burning Too, 2016]

The year 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution in China – an event that set the course of history in profound ways.The 22nd International Symposium of Electronic Arts held in Hong Kong marks this occasion by naming its main theme: cultural revolution. The conference theme explores electronic media’s capacity ‘to always create new while returning to the old’. It proposes that media art can imagine alternative futures of ‘cultural revolution’ that emerges from the junction between art and technology.

The exhibition Cultural R>evolution is held in different conference venues. Many works are exhibited in the Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre at the City University of Hong Kong. Su Ballard and I spent some time today to go through the nine floors of the building to find the installed works. Here’s a rough guide of some of the works. Continue reading

ISEA conference opens

The ISEA conference opened today at the City University of Hong Kong. In the afternoon sessions were delivered at the Centre of Creative Media.

The centre was designed by Daniel Libeskind and completed in 2011. The ISEA2016 Hong Kong 香港 Cultural R>evolution Juried Exhibition is installed throughout the building’s 9 floors and opened tonight. The artworks and their installation in the spaces engaged with a number of different technologies as well as the interior architecture of the space.

Gail Priest, whom many of you will remember from her guest lectures in MEDA101, is amongst the artists selected to exhibit. Below is her work Sounding the Future installed in the gallery.

Continue reading

ISEA 2016 Open Sky at ICC

The Open Sky exhibition officially opened  as part of ISEA tonight. The opening was held at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum, where a clear view of ICC building can be seen from across the Harbour.

Open Sky offers the 108-storey ICC’s LED screen as a space of showing media artworks. The 484 metre building is situated in West Kowloon (on top of the Kowloon MTR Train Station). The artworks shown in ISEA’s program were submitted through an open call and selected by a jury.

The School of Creative Media at the City University of Hong Kong previously provided an opportunity for a selection of student works to be shown. Documentation of these screenings were included in the opening.

Unlike projection mapping technologies used at events such as Vivid in Sydney, the programmable LED screen of ICC is part of the building. Some of the large LED screens on high rises in the Central district of Hong Kong are retrofitted on part of their facades, while ICC’s 77,000 square metre screen was designed as part of its architecture. This screen has only white light allowing works to use white (all on), grey (half on), and black (off). In other words, this screen has in actual fact a very low resolution. Artist such as Jim Campbell use this limitation to create his custom low resolution work Eternal Recurrence while Tatsuo Miyajima produced Time Waterfall extending his works using digital numbers.

Below is a documentation of the work Fly High – Time Flies by Laurent Mignonneau and Christa Sommerer shown as part of ISEA, as seen from onboard a ferry crossing the Victoria Harbour from the Central District to Tsim Sha Shui.