Interview with Tzu Huan Lin, Vital Capacities resident artist

A video still from Tzu Huan Lin’s Let Me Inside You – a horse with 3 heads flies through the sky, 3 disembodied hands holding mobile phones are also in the sky. The sky is blue with white lines flowing through it.
A video still from Tzu Huan Lin’s Let Me Inside You – a horse with 3 heads flies through the sky, 3 disembodied hands holding mobile phones are also in the sky. The sky is blue with white lines flowing through it.
Tzu-Huan Lin, Let Me Inside You (We Are Not Two, We Are One), 2020 (video still)

Jamie Wyld (Vital Capacities’ director): Thanks for being part of the Vital Capacities residency programme! Can you say a little about yourself and your work, perhaps in relation to what you’re thinking about doing during the residency?

Hello Jamie,

My name is Tzu-Huan Lin, I am a Taiwanese immigrant artist who lives and works in Brooklyn. I’ve been here in United State for 11 years. I’ve been working on all kind of subjects that’s from my life, such as the different perspective of desire, rule of socialization, the authenticity of art and they all being explored under the frame of internet. I am currently working on immigrants because I felt it’s time and I started to feel there’s something I can talk about. I’ve been working on this idea on and off for the past two years and during the residency, I will keep work on these ideas try to condense these “bubbles” into a more solid-state. Besides my research and work in progress, I will also run a workshop that will allow the audience to participate in my work in progress.

JW: One of the aims of Vital Capacities is to create an accessible site (so more people can use it) – how do you think this will be an opportunity to develop your way of working?

It will be a solid period. As I mentioned above, I’ve been working on and off on this project. Because there’s not enough motivation to push me to spend more time in it, also I was unwilling to work on this subject. It took a while for me to think of myself as an immigrant, I’ve always uncertain about my identity in United State, (So does how people pronounce my name they can’t do it and it’s not clear should I forced them to pronounce correctly). I also like the idea of Stateless, like a lotus floating anywhere but with the roots to grow. Perhaps it is because I am starting to feel eager to leave United State that I have finally put down these past days, and my United States citizen status.

Thus, this opportunity to participate in Vital Capacities gives me time to breathe, in and out, clearly document my art practice.

JW: What would you like to achieve through the residency? Is there a particular project you’ll be focusing on?

This project is called “Point Nemo”, I am expecting to finish my research and the story writing, so I can start to shoot it in June. Also, develop the workshop so this will be a unique workshop that I can keep playing with it in the future. 

JW: How do you see the next few weeks unfolding? Where would you like it to take you?

Busy, busy, busy, I will try to post as much as possible and the Virtual YouTuber video will also be fun. I don’t know where this will go but I am excited about what I can do and what can be done.

Visit Tzu Huan’s studio space on Vital Capacities to learn more about what he’s working on.

May’s residency programme is delivered in partnership with British Council and National Culture and Arts Foundation (Taiwan).

Vital Capacities is an accessible, purpose-built, online residency space that supports artists’ practice while engaging audiences with their work.

Vital Capacities has been created by videoclub in consultation with artists, digital inclusion specialist, Sarah Pickthall and website designer, Oli Pyle.

Supported by Arts Council England, British Council and National Culture and Arts Foundation (Taiwan).

 

Interview wth Katarzyna Perlak, Vital Capacities resident artist

A figure stands reflected in front of a large mirror, showing the person from the waist up. They wear a rose-pink satin negligee, pink fur bra, fishnet vest and shiny black elbow length gloves. They have long pale pink hair and have pink mirrored futuristic sunglasses on. A black fishnet is wrapped tight over their face. The room they are in looks luxurious, with a decorative cream frame to the mirror, and long white and pink drapes against the wall in background. The image is taken from artists film, Broken Hearts Hotel by Katarzyna Perlak.
A figure stands reflected in front of a large mirror, showing the person from the waist up. They wear a rose-pink satin negligee, pink fur bra, fishnet vest and shiny black elbow length gloves. They have long pale pink hair and have pink mirrored futuristic sunglasses on. A black fishnet is wrapped tight over their face. The room they are in looks luxurious, with a decorative cream frame to the mirror, and long white and pink drapes against the wall in background. The image is taken from artists film, Broken Hearts Hotel by Katarzyna Perlak.
Katarzyna Perlak, Broken Hearts Hotel, 2021 (video still)

Jamie Wyld (Vital Capacities’ director): Thanks for being part of the Vital Capacities residency programme! Can you say a little about yourself and your work, perhaps in relation to what you are thinking about doing during the residency?

My practice engages moving image, performance, sound, installation and textiles and explores the intersection of politics and feelings, tackling perceptibly static subjects such as history, nationalism and power, through affect, desire and collective memory – informed by my own experience as a queer woman and immigrant to the UK from Eastern Europe.  I am interested in the capacity of art to move us through our shared vulnerabilities and enable us to problematise how history is written and traditions represented.

JW: One of the aims of Vital Capacities is to create an accessible site (so more people can use it) – how do you think this will be an opportunity to develop your way of working?

It will be opportunity to think through way of presentations that I use in my moving image work, as well as presenting my work online.

JW: What would you like to achieve through the residency? Is there a particular project you’ll be focusing on?

During the residency period I will be developing the production, planning and researching for a new image work, which will re-tell British folklore stories from an Eastern European migrant viewpoint. Apart from learning about producing moving image work in using cinematic tools and way of production, I will research British and Eastern European costumes and masks, which would play an important part of the choreography and visual structure of the work. I am interested in their role as storytelling vehicles, shaped by the intersection of collective memories, personal histories and socio-political visual codes.

JW: How do you see the next few weeks unfolding? Where would you like it to take you?

I will divide the time between research, which will inform the future scrip formation, and planning out the work necessary to take off the production off the ground, talking to a costume designer, producer and DOP.

Visit Katarzyna’s studio space on Vital Capacities to learn more about what she’s working on.

May’s residency programme is delivered in partnership with British Council and National Culture and Arts Foundation (Taiwan).

Vital Capacities is an accessible, purpose-built, online residency space that supports artists’ practice while engaging audiences with their work.

Vital Capacities has been created by videoclub in consultation with artists, digital inclusion specialist, Sarah Pickthall and website designer, Oli Pyle.

Supported by Arts Council England, British Council and National Culture and Arts Foundation (Taiwan).

 

Interview with Vishal Kumaraswamy, Vital Capacities resident artist

Three digitised figures appear from a digital background. The background waves of digital data, in pink and green, all on a black background. The figures are also waves of data, two are in electric blue and green, the other an off white colour.
Three digitised figures appear from a digital background. The background waves of digital data, in pink and green, all on a black background. The figures are also waves of data, two are in electric blue and green, the other an off white colour.
Vishal Kumaraswamy, Swaayattate, 2020 (video still)

Jamie Wyld (videoclub & Vital Capacities’ director): Thanks for being part of the Vital Capacities residency programme! Can you say a little about yourself and your work?

Vishal Kumaraswamy: Hi, my name is Vishal Kumaraswamy I’m a Bangalore based Artist & Filmmaker. Within my practice, I work across AI, text, video, sound and performance and I look for points of convergence between Caste, Race & Technology. My works a by weaving speculative narratives & counter-mythologies in multiple Indian languages around themes of Artificial Intelligence, Gender & Labour.

JW: One of the aims of Vital Capacities is to create an accessible site (so more people can use it) – how do you think this will be an opportunity to develop your way of working?

VK: Within my practice, I am constantly looking for ways to reduce the multiple layers of accessibility barriers that surround contemporary art. I’m grateful to be part of Vital Capacities where notions of accessibility are considered at the outset and not as an afterthought. I’m hoping to learn about the practical ways in which I can make my works, process and thinking accessible and understand ways to make these considerations empathetically and implement them across the multiple forms I work in.

JW: What would you like to achieve through the residency? Is there a particular project you’ll be focusing on?

VK: For the last 2 years, I’ve been engaged in developing a theoretical and critical framework that draws from social justice principles, critical race theory & anti-caste literature. I’m doing this to investigate if artistic practice can become ‘pedagogical tools’ to communities of colour that are excluded from regular access to critical discourse around contemporary art & technology. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to try to illustrate how this comes through as I bring in my ongoing experiments with AI based image generation, volumetric filmmaking and sonic narratives.

JW: How do you see the next few weeks unfolding? Where would you like it to take you?

VK: At the moment I am looking at what kind of conversations are happening around data, technology and AI particularly the perceptive notion of these terms in relation to their technological explanations. I’d like to look into how I can translate some of my thoughts around these concerns while also situating it within the context of racialised and casteised experiences. There are multiple intersectional threads to work through, I’m keen to see which of them I can trace and locate.

Visit Vishal’s studio space on Vital Capacities to learn more about what he’s working on.

May’s residency programme is delivered in partnership with British Council and National Culture and Arts Foundation (Taiwan).

Vital Capacities is an accessible, purpose-built, online residency space that supports artists’ practice while engaging audiences with their work.

Vital Capacities has been created by videoclub in consultation with artists, digital inclusion specialist, Sarah Pickthall and website designer, Oli Pyle.

Supported by Arts Council England, British Council and National Culture and Arts Foundation (Taiwan).

 

 

New international resident artists on Vital Capacities

Artists’ work from top left, clockwise: Katarzyna Perlak, Vishal Kumaraswamy and Tzu Huan Lin

We will be delivering our third residency programme on Vital Capacities – bringing together artists from UK/Poland, India and Taiwan, which will take place throughout May 2021. Artists will be experimenting with ideas, developing new projects and sharing work with audiences. The artists are:

Vishal Kumaraswamy

Vishal Kumaraswamy is a new media artist and filmmaker currently based in Bangalore, India. Working across text, video, sound, performance and creative programming, Vishal engages with notions of digital dissent and activism, the state of consumer access technology in relation to Artificial Intelligence and questions of agency through the lens of caste.

Tzu Huan Lin

Tzu Huan Lin is a moving image artist working with short video, feature film, and animation. His work adapts to connect different stories to address the subject that he experiences in the digital era. Drawing on a wide variety of sources, including mythology, historical events, science theory, pseudo-documentary, and abstract narrative works. Tzu Huan is based between Taipei and New York. His residency is generously supported by the British Council Connection through Culture Grants.

Katarzyna Perlak

Katarzyna Perlak is a London-based visual artist, whose practice employs video, performance, sound, textiles and installation. Perlak’s work is driven by politics and feelings; examines queer subjectivities, migration and potentiality of affect as a tool for registering and archiving both present continuous and past historical moments.

Residencies will launch on 1 May – to follow what the artists are up to join the mailing list and follow them on: vitalcapacities.com

May’s residency programme is delivered in partnership with British Council and National Culture and Arts Foundation (Taiwan).

Vital Capacities is an accessible, purpose-built digital residency space, that supports artists’ practice while engaging audiences with their work.

Vital Capacities has been created by videoclub in consultation with artists, digital inclusion specialist, Sarah Pickthall and website designer, Oli Pyle.

Supported by Arts Council England, British Council and National Culture and Arts Foundation (Taiwan).

VisionMix: Loss & Transience 2 – watch films

VisionMix: Loss & Transience 2 film programme

Featuring the following work:

Ranbir Singh KalekaMan with Cockerel, 2004 (5:42 mins)
Ranbir Singh KalekaForest, 2007 (11 mins)
Avijit Mukul KishoreThe Garden of Forgotten Snow, 2017 (30 mins)
MochuWake, 2008 (13:44 mins)
Ranu MukherjeeHome and the World, 2015 (5 mins)
Gigi ScariaNo Parallels, 2010 (6:42 mins)
Gigi ScariaPolitical Realism, 2009 (3:35 mins)

For information about the programme, films and filmmakers, click here.

Ranbir Singh Kaleka – Man with Cockerel, 2004

 

Ranbir Singh Kaleka – Forest, 2007

 

Avijit Mukul Kishore – The Garden of Forgotten Snow, 2017

 

Mochu – Wake, 2008 (15 mins)

 

Ranu Mukherjee – Home and the World, 2015

 

Gigi Scaria – No Parallels, 2010

 

Gigi Scaria – Political Realism, 2009

 

Curated by Lucia Imaz King and Rashmi Sawhney for VisionMix.

Supported by University of Brighton.

VisionMix: Loss & Transience 2 – film programme and artists

Bright cut up patterns float in space, rich oranges, reds, blues, yellow - in the front is a patchy area of deep lime green.

VisionMix: Loss & Transience 2

Loss & Transience 2 brings together the work of five contemporary artists/filmmakers who are living and working in India today, and artists of Indian heritage based internationally. 

Watch the films now, click here.

The films are linked by their protagonists’ state of transience at key moments within the films providing numerous insights into how day-to-day realities are being catalysed to affect change, but also to reflect on present political and environmental concerns. Collectively the films are examples of rendering new worlds through improvisation which cannot exist ‘in the real world’; an approach that is re-constructive and playful; allowing for adaptation to the challenges of the environment whilst critically questioning our role within it.

The programme is curated by VisionMix‘s curators, Lucía Imaz King and Rashmi Sawhney, and presented in collaboration with videoclub.

Loss & Transience 2 coincides with an exhibition at Hong-gah Museum in Taipei.

Programme of online talks

A curators and artist’s talk – about this programme – will take place on 20 March 2021, click here for details.

A 2nd talk will take place about the exhibition at Hong-gah Museum on 27 March 2021, click here for details.

Artists and film programme (showing 19 – 27 March: watch here)

Ranbir Singh KalekaMan with Cockerel, 2004 (5:42 mins)
Ranbir Singh KalekaForest, 2007 (11 mins)
Avijit Mukul KishoreThe Garden of Forgotten Snow, 2017 (30 mins)
MochuWake, 2008 (13:44 mins)
Ranu MukherjeeHome and the World, 2015 (5 mins)
Gigi ScariaNo Parallels, 2010 (6:42 mins)
Gigi ScariaPolitical Realism, 2009 (3:35 mins)

 

Ranbir Singh Kaleka, Man with Cockerel, 2004

This looping film operates by creating unexpected ellipses of time in the image of a man who stands, half submerged in water, holding a cockerel in his arms. The cockerel repeatedly escapes his grasp and flies out of shot, reappearing only to be captured again. The composition of the film frame (in black and white) resembles a moving painting in which particular elements of the image are singled out to be distorted, or to subvert our expectations of how the sound and the image relate to one another. The man departs from our view whilst, illogically, his reflection remains attached to the water’s surface.

Time is reversed when a heron enters, and then walks backward out of the scene. The sound track does not offer the meditative calm that would ‘fit’ this lake-side scene. Instead, we hear a clatter of mechanical and industrial sounds that displace our viewing. Kaleka’s video-artwork indicates how precarious the moment is, in which we subject an image to our interpretation, but it highlights too how precarious the role of the artist is when faced with creating a new reality in an artwork. Man with Cockerel is an “allegory on the tantalizing grasp of desire” which continually eludes us, as the art critic, Geeta Kapur observes.

Ranbir Singh Kaleka, Forest, 2007

In this work, a library of books stands improbably in a clearing in the forest, symbolising ‘a library of knowledge.’ A lion enters, becoming the guardian of this knowledge but also, representing a mythical, other-worldly creature of the imaginary. The lion is driven away as the library is set on fire. Finally, a young lion returns to the city that emerges from the ashes of the scene. Flowers rise from the burnt ground.

In this visionary and poetic video artwork the ‘hidden atrocities’ that take place in this animated painting are suggested rather than explained. It becomes a statement about a collective destruction of the environment, and of generational knowledge and wisdom passed through centuries and across cultures for which we must all atone.

Biography – Ranbir Singh Kaleka

Ranbir Singh Kaleka is a leading Indian contemporary artist who trained at the Punjab University, Chandigarh and at the Royal College of Art (London). He initially established himself as a painter depicting every-day scenes from Indian life that are infused with mythical, oneiric and visionary reality. From the 2000s onwards he became a well-recognised pioneer of video and moving image, contributing substantially to the generations that followed him.

A key body of his early video works explore how the temporality that exists in painting (as an art form) can be captured and transposed into the medium of cinema, including the convention of ‘video loops’. This led to a series of works in which he projected slowly animated film images on top of canvases that were already painted on with a ‘ghost image’. This technique creates a moment of realisation and focus around how moving image and painting interrelate, both in one’s perception of the image, and art historically.

The concept of memory, and the poetics of place are also key to Kaleka’s video artworks. Several of his installations have investigated the demise of displaced people and environmental concerns. Examples of this are, House of Opaque Water (2010), which explores the experience of a survivor of a flood in the Bangladesh Sundarban marsh region, and Crossings (2005), which references the migration history of Sikh communities from the Punjab to other regions of India. A recent key exhibition of Kaleka was titled, Tah-Satah, curated by Ashish Rajadhyaksha. Kaleka currently lives and works in New Delhi.

Avijit Mukul Kishore, The Garden of Forgotten Snow, 2017

The Garden of Forgotten Snow looks at the art practice of Nilima Sheikh and her engagement with the multiple histories, literary references and artistic traditions of Kashmir. The film comes out of two decades of engagement between the artist and the filmmaker.

Sheikh is an eminent artist who studied painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda, India. She belongs to the Narrative-Figurative tradition of painting that broke away from the prevalent trend of Modernist Abstraction in the early 1980s, to focus on subjects that were local, personal, dealing with gender and feminism. Sheikh has a long association with Kashmir, a land of beauty and luxury, unfortunately known in recent times for its history of separatist strife and conflict. 

Biography – Avijit Mukul Kishore

Avijit Mukul Kishore is a filmmaker based in Mumbai. He studied cinematography at Film and Television Institute of India, Pune and holds a bachelor’s degree in History from Hindu College, University of Delhi. He works in documentary films and inter-disciplinary moving-image practices, both film-based and digital. He frequently collaborates with other visual artists, architects and academics on video and film-based works. He is involved in cinema pedagogy as a lecturer, writer and curator of film programmes. His works have been shown at Documenta 14, Chicago Architecture Biennial, Pinakothek-Moderne Munich, Kochi-Muziris Biennale and Dhaka Art Summit in addition to international film festivals including CPH Dox, Sheffield Docfest, Dok-Leipzig, Documenta Madrid and various academic and cultural spaces.

Mochu, Wake, 2008 

A remote village in the desert, inhabited by fleeting humans, guarded by a dreaming puppet. Flies buzz around a crashed time-machine. Noise particles infest thought and emotions. Guided by birds, dead and alive, a man discovers the time-machine’s flight recorder, and the memory of the village flows out.

Biography – Mochu

Mochu works with video and text arranged as installations, lectures and publications. Techno-scientific fictions feature prominently in his practice, often overlapping with instances or figures drawn from art history and philosophy. Recent projects have explored mad geologies, psychedelic subcultures and Indian Modernist painting. Mochu is a recipient of the Edith-Russ-Haus grant for Media Art 2020 and his practice has previously been supported by Ashkal Alwan, India Foundation for the Arts and The Sarai Programme. Exhibitions include 9th Asia-Pacific Triennial, Sharjah Biennial 13, 4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Alserkal Avenue, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and Transmediale BWPWAP. He is currently based in Delhi and Istanbul.

Ranu Mukherjee, Home and the World, 2015

Home and the World takes as it’s starting point the corridor scene from the filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s 1984 cinematic adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore’s 1916 novel Ghare Baire (‘The Home and the World”), in which the female protagonist passes through from domestic chambers, to enter the civic life of a nascent post-colonial India. Mukherjee’s film depicts the colonial corridor architecture falling apart and being replaced by bamboo scaffolding; a hallmark of contemporary Mumbai and the capitalist economies of the early 21st century. A woman sweeps up the debris, creating a transition between eras. In each, an identical series of female figures walks forwards, some protesting violence against women. The figures represent complex intersections between modernization and the ongoing social struggles and resilience of women. Home and the World is composed and animated from photographic, digital and painted imagery. Its slow deliberate rhythm is built through overlaying distinct types of motion.

Biography – Ranu Mukherjee

Ranu Mukherjee makes hybrid work in moving image, painting and installation to build new imaginative capacities. She is guided by the forces of ecology and non-human agency, diaspora and migration, motherhood and transnational feminisms – drawing inspiration from the histories of collage, feminist science fiction and Indian mythological prints.

Mukherjee has produced commissioned projects for the San Jose Museum of Art, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Asian Art Museum, the de Young Museum, the 2019 Karachi Biennale, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the San Francisco Arts Commission. Current awards include a Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant, a Lucas Visual Arts Fellowship and an 18th Street Arts Center Residency. Mukherjee is represented by Gallery Wendi Norris.

Gigi Scaria, No Parallels, 2010

No Parallels has two frames running parallel to each other. The frame on the left side features archival images of Mahatma Gandhi, including images of his personal moments; being surrounded by people, leading political movements, and also the lonely moments of meditation and silence.

These images have been constructed as flip cards and appear one after the other. The final image that appears on the screen is a hundred rupee note with the image of Gandhi.

The frame on the right side has images of Mao Zedong. This too displays selected archival images of important moments in Mao’s life. There is an attempt to trace similar kind of images from the life of both leaders. For example, the long march of Mao is shown parallel to the salt march of Gandhi. The final image on the right side of the projection has a hundred Yuan Chinese currency with the image of Mao.

It is an attempt to understand the psyche of two nations through their historical narratives. These two personalities have contributed their best to create the modern India and modern China. In terms of historical time, personal values, political philosophy and the impact on the people of their country M.K. Gandhi and Mao Zedong stand in two different poles. These historical icons, when placed next to each other certainly create a serious discourse on the project of nation building and its impact on contemporary psyche.

Gigi Scaria, Political Realism, 2009 

This video artwork deals with the regime shift and the cycles of change of an era. Within the last thirty years, a drastic change has taken place in the realms of politics, economics and culture. Suddenly the world looks different for many, including for old and new generations.

Ideologies and resistance systems which were actively propagated by the different power structures lost its grip due to the advent of a new humanity. At the same time, it also left us with doubt about how to reconstruct a new ‘moral code’; a big question of its survival in the immediate future. Political Realism brings this confusion to every single home and recollects the memory of the past to analyze the impermanence of all great power structures of the present, as well as many more yet to come.

Biography – Gigi Scaria

Born in 1973, Kothanalloor, Kerala, Gigi Scaria completed his Master’s degree in painting from Jamia Millia University. His work draws the viewer’s attention towards the painful truths of migrancy and displacement and the paradigms of development through his intense investigation of urban topographies and modern city structures. He is also concerned with the intended and unintended consequences of these developments for urban residents and the communities that make up, and divide them. Issues of alienation and unsettlement reverberate within the labyrinthine buildings of his canvases and the uncanny structures of his sculptures and installations. “Gigi’s particular position is to investigate how city structures, social constructs, and the view of location is translated in social prejudice and class attitude,” says art critic Gayatri Sinha. His recent exhibitions include BRUISED: Art action and ecology in Asia (2019) at RMIT University Gallery, Melbourne, Australia (2019); 

Fotofest Biennial Contemporary Photographic & New Media Art, Huston, Texas, USA (2018); ‘Iconic Interruptions, Selected works by Gigi Scaria, 2007-2015’, Frederic Jameson Gallery, USA (2017); Dwelling Pluralities, a collateral event of Kochi Muziris Biennale, Kochi, India (2016); Time, Site & Lore, Denmark (2016). Gigi Scaria lives and works in New Delhi.

 

Curated by Lucia Imaz King and Rashmi Sawhney for VisionMix.

Supported by University of Brighton.

VisionMix: Loss & Transience 2 – curators and artist’s talk

Webinar: Curators and artist’s talk – VisionMix: Loss & Transience 2

The talk took place on 20 March 2021.

Loss & Transience curators (VisionMix), Lucía Imaz King and Rashmi Sawhney introduce the exhibition with videoclub director, Jamie Wyld. Followed byartists, Gigi Scaria and Mochu talking about their work.

Find out more about the Loss & Transience programme, artists and films.

A second talk takes place with Hong-gah Museum on 27 March 21, see here for details.

Supported by University of Brighton.

VisionMix: Loss & Transience – curators and artists’ talk hosted by Hong-Gah Museum

Avijit Mukul Kishore, The Garden of Forgotten Snow, 2017 (film still, courtesy of the artist)

Artists and curators’ talk delivered by Hong-Gah Museum

Date: Saturday 27 March

Time: 11:00 – 12:30 (UK), 16:30 – 18:00 (India) and 19:00 – 20:30 (Taiwan)

Link: for talk with Hong-Gah Museum

Join for an introduction to the exhibition, Loss & Transience, with Zoe Yeh (Director, Hong-Gah Museum), Lucía Imaz King & Rashmi Sawhney. Followed by a talk between filmmakers Avijit Mukul Kishore and visual artist, Nilima Sheikh about their collaboration on the film, Garden of Forgotten Snow, and Nilima Sheikh’s painting practice.

Find out more about the Loss & Transience programme, artists and films.

A curators and artist’s talk takes place on 20 March 21, see here for details.

Supported by University of Brighton.

Both Sides Now 6: Viral Futures films – part 2: Body/Politics

VIRAL FUTURES – Part 2: Body/Politics film programme

The programme can be watched in two ways – the full programme (all five films, 44 mins) can be watched in the first video, or you can choose to watch individual films below.

For information about the programme, click here. And to learn more about the filmmakers and their films, click here.

Viral Futures, part 2 – full programme

Featuring the following work:

Adrian Garcia Gomez – Primavera, 2020 (5 mins)

John Walter – A Virus Walks Into a Bar, 2018 (20 mins)

白雙全 Pak Sheung Chuen – Breathing in a House, 2006 (6:14 mins)

蔡琪玟 Cattin Tsai – Memes 2020, 2020 (3:18 mins)

陳品陶 Chen Pin Tao – Temple of Physiotology, 2019 (8:46 mins)

 

Adrian Garcia Gomez – Primavera, 2020 (5 mins)

 

John Walter – A Virus Walks Into a Bar, 2018 (20 mins)

 

白雙全 Pak Sheung Chuen – Breathing in a House, 2006 (6:14 mins)

 

蔡琪玟 Cattin Tsai – Memes 2020, 2020 (3:18 mins)

 

陳品陶 Chen Pin Tao – Temple of Physiotology, 2019 (8:46 mins)

 

     

Arts Council England funding logo (Lottery)

Both Sides Now 6: Viral Futures – film programme (part 1)

VIRAL FUTURES – Technology / Politics film programme

For information about the programme, filmmakers and films, click here.

徐世琪 Angela Su – Cosmic Call (2019)

 

Bob Bicknell-Knight – There are already 35 server farms on Mars. It is the perfect temperature. (2017)

 

陸揚 Lu Yang – Cancer Baby (2014)

 

Laura O’Neill – AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN (WHY I FEEL SICK WHEN I WAKE UP)  (2018)

 

Clifford Sage – Buddha Geometry Brain Toy (2017)

 

     

Arts Council England funding logo (Lottery)     

Artists – Both Sides Now 6: Viral Futures

Chen Pin Tao, Temple of Physiotology, 2019 (video still, courtesy of the artist)

videoclub and Videotage (Hong Kong) are excited to present Both Sides Now 6: Viral Futures, the latest edition of our long-term annual project. This edition aims to reflect on life with/after COVID-19 and explores how viruses continually affect our present and future. With events including digital residencies, physical and online screenings, and talks from November 2020 to February 2021.

For details and links to the programmes: Both Sides Now 6: Viral Futures

Artists in the programme are: Adrian Garcia Gomez, Angela Su, Bob Bicknell-Knight, Cattin Tsai, Chen Pin Tao, Clifford Sage, John Walter, Laura O’Neill, Lu Yang and Pak Sheung Chuen.

Artists and programme of films

徐世琪 Angela Su – Cosmic Call (2019)

Angela Su’s Cosmic Call sees the virus as a cephalopod spreading its tentacles across astronomy, borders, and archives. Cosmic Call was commissioned by the Wellcome Trust for the Contagious Cities project in early 2019, the timing of which only seems prescient now with COVID-19. Cosmic Call proposes an alternative to the western medicine-centric outbreak narrative of epidemics, and explores the cosmological and extra-terrestrial origin of infections and diseases based on a review of ancient manuscripts and a critique of Chinese medicine. The video ends with the artist injecting herself with different kinds of virus and bacteria, thereby becoming one-and-multitude with the viral paradoxes, an origin story and an end-game scenario at once.

Angela Su’s biography

Angela Su received a degree in biochemistry in Canada before pursuing visual arts. Su’s works investigate the perception and imagery of the body, through metamorphosis, hybridity and transformation. Through her performance-based works such as The Hartford Girl and Other Stories (2012) , she investigates the tension of the artist’s dualistic state of being when under physical endangerment or distress. Cosmic Call (commissioned by Wellcome Collection in 2018) and The Afterlife of Rosy Leavers (2017) include drawings, videos, performative and installation works that explore the interrelations between our state of being and the advancement of technology. Central to these projects are video essays that weave together fiction and facts. Archival photographs, prints and film footages are systematically used by the artist to create a realm that oscillates between reality and fantasy. With focus on the history of medical science, her works challenge the dominant belief systems and contemplate the impact of technology on the past, present and future.

In recent years, Angela began to explore science fiction as her creative medium. In 2013, she published an artist novel Berty, and in 2017, a science fiction anthology Dark Fluid where she uses science fiction as a tool for social justice.

She has participated in “Sala10” (Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico, 2020); “Meditations in an Emergency” (Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2020); “Contagious Cities” (Commissioned work by Wellcome Trust, at Tai Kwun, Hong Kong, 2019); “Woven” (curated section of Frieze London, 2019); “Artists’ Film International” (Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2019); “Pro(s)thesis” (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria, 2017); “The 2nd CAFAM Biennale: The Invisible Hand” (CAFA Art Museum, China, 2014); “17th Biennale of Sydney” (Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia, 2010).

Bob Bicknell-Knight – There are already 35 server farms on Mars. It is the perfect temperature. (2017)

There are already 35 server farms on Mars. It is the perfect temperature is a looping film that explores ideas of digital escapism in the post-truth era. The piece utilises found footage taken from YouTube, a video sharing platform, accompanied by a voice actor commissioned through Fiverr, an online marketplace commonly used by corporations for adverts, reading a speculative script considering how our lives are becomingly increasingly digitalised. Groups are are now seen as a commodity, a new form of currency akin to Bitcoin or Litecoin, enabling the creation of a safety net around our physical bodies that thrives on simulating fear surrounded by fake news, letting our digital selves run wild and free with the help of VR and future technologies.

Bob Bicknell-Knight’s biography:

Bob Bicknell-Knight (b. Suffolk, UK) is a London based artist, curator and writer, working in several mediums including installation, sculpture, video, and digital media. His work is influenced by surveillance capitalism and responds to the hyper consumerism of the internet. Utopia, dystopia, automation, surveillance and digitization of the self are some of the themes that arise through his critical examination of contemporary technologies.

Bicknell-Knight is also the founder and director of isthisit?, a predominantly online platform for contemporary art, exhibiting over 800 artists since its creation in May 2016.

Selected solo and duo exhibitions include Pickers at Industra, Brno (2021), Bit Rot at Broadway Gallery, Letchworth (2020), The Big Four, duo show with Rosa-Maria Nuutinen at Harlesden High Street, London (2019), Wellness, Ltd., duo show with Erin Mitchell at Galerie Manque, New York (2019), State of Affairs at Salon 75, Copenhagen (2019), CACOTOPIA 02 at Annka Kultys Gallery, London (2018) and Sunrise Prelude at Dollspace, London (2017).

Bicknell-Knight has spoken on panel discussions and given artist talks at Contemporary Calgary, Canada (2020), Tate Modern, London (2019), University of Cambridge, Cambridge (2019), Camberwell College of Arts, London (2019) and Goldsmiths, University of London, London (2018).

A brightly coloured videogame graphic of imagined cancer cells - 3 cells smile out at the viewer, 2 smaller on the left and right flanks of a central pink, yellow and green cell, the 2 on the outisde are purple. They look a little like fat octopuses. They are on a green globe. Above in pale acid green in bubble capital letters it says 'cancer baby'.

陸揚 Lu Yang – Cancer Baby (2014)

Using videogame animation, Lu Yang has metamorphosed cancer cells into animated characters in dazzling colours. The beguiling beauty of the characters, typical of Lu Yang’s artistic approach, forefronts the irony and cruelty of the real world that must be navigated.

Lu Yang’s biography

Lu Yang (b. Shanghai, China) is a multi-media artist based in Shanghai. Mortality, androgyny, hysteria,  existentialism and spiritual neurology feed Lu’s jarring and at times morbid fantasies. Also taking  inspiration and resources from Anime, gaming and Sci-fi subcultures, Lu explores his fantasies through  mediums including 3D animation, immersive video game installation, holographic, live performances,  virtual reality, and computer programming. Lu has collaborated with scientists, psychologists, performers,  designers, experimental composers, Pop Music producers, robotics labs, and celebrities throughout his  practice. 

Lu Yang has held exhibitions at UCCA (Beijing), MWoods (Beijing), Cc Foundation (Shanghai), Spiral  (Tokyo), Fukuoka Museum of Asian Art (Fukuoka, Japan), Société (Berlin), MOCA Cleveland (Cleveland,  Ohio). He has participated in several international biennials and triennials such as 2012 & 2018 Shanghai  Biennial, 2018 Athens Biennale, 2016 Liverpool Biennial, 2016 International Digital Art Biennale  (Montreal), Chinese Pavilion of the 56th Venice Biennale, and 2014 Fukuoka Triennial. In 2019, Lu  became the 8th BMW Art Journey winner and started the Yang Digital Incarnation project.

Laura O’Neill – AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN (WHY I FEEL SICK WHEN I WAKE UP)  (2018)

Hard times for beings of the sensitive kind, tentacles groping for new attachments to be made.

In this short animation, a lone character (myself) crosses Europe during a degenerated mid-apocalyptic Brexit delirium (2018). Where things, data, people and other species move around, with greater or lesser difficulty – because they want to, need to, or ‘just do so’; navigation rather than position becomes key to identity across a horizontal plane of possibilities. Spatiality through virtual movement and labour; dust covered words reappear into a tangled stare and somehow we cannot go back again. Laced with a personal narrative about family and life during the last few years.

Laura O’Neill’s biography

Laura O’Neill (b.1990, Wigan, UK) is always making something; sometimes animations, sometimes AR filters, sometimes sound, sometimes sculptures, sometimes video games, sometimes she works with others and sometimes she works for other people. Her recent commission, Rise is a WW2 Memorial for the Memory of the Crew Lost in Action, due to be unveiled in 2021 in Almere, NL. Selected screenings include: ICA, London; Home, Manchester; Spike Island, Bristol; CCA, Glasgow; Hiroshima International Animation Festival, Japan; Tramway, Glasgow and Centro De Cultura Digital, Mexico D.F. O’Neills work is included in private collections and public collections including De Rechtbank, Amsterdam and the Gemeente Almere, NL.

Clifford Sage / recsund – Buddha Geometry Brain Toy (2017)

In Buddha Geometry Brain Toy we see ProDance® navigate a small array of passages in a vast wasteland. He is accompanied by his long lost fear, the Xenomorph. But instead of running from Xenomorph, he moves to confront his fear. The planet he’s on is riddled with an abundance of multidimensional tools. One being a rudimentary teleportation centre created by a past human race. A technology that allows one to teleport beyond the speed of light, and in the process saves and formats the body and soul.

Clifford Sage’s biography

Clifford Sage is a CGI moving image artist based in London. Often working with animation and virtual world building, Sage explores audio interaction and non-linear storytelling through game engines. Since graduating in Visual Communications from the Royal College of Art in 2010, Sage has collaborated and worked with many artists over the years, recently with Iain Ball, Lawrence Lek, Lee Gamble, Sidsel Hansen, Candice Lin, and has appeared on the cover of Wire magazine as part of Quantum Natives. Recent projects include Tuner, which has been exhibited and performed at Somerset House Studios, London (2018), Club Adriatico, Ravenna, IT (2018) and LEV Festival, ES (2019).

Adrian Garcia Gomez – Primavera (2020)

Primavera is a frenetic experimental animation that documents the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests as they intersect in springtime Brooklyn.  Shot during isolation on a phone, the video explores the effects of imposed distance on touch and intimacy, the proximity of an invisible virus and invisible deaths and the revolt against the racist, corrupt systems that commodify, exploit and render their most vulnerable citizens disposable.  The video also parallels the current uprisings with the queer liberation movement which began as a riot at Stonewall and was led in large part by trans people of colour who still experience violence at disproportionate rates.

Adrian Garcia Gomez’ biography

Adrian Garcia Gomez is an interdisciplinary artist working in film/video, photography and illustration.  His artwork, which is largely autobiographical and often performative, explores the intersections of race, immigration, gender, spirituality and sexuality.  His short experimental films, photographs and drawings have exhibited around the world.  He currently lives and works in Brooklyn.

John Walter – A Virus Walks Into a Bar (2018)

Capsids are the protein shells of a virus, which act to protect, cloak and deliver the virus to its host, and ultimately to enable the infection to spread.

A Virus Walks Into A Bar (2018) is John Walter’s most ambitious film to date. It narrates the life cycle of an HIV particle as if it were set somewhere between Coronation Street, Twin Peaks and The Teletubbies. The characters include an anthropomorphized capsid, along with other key proteins, co-factors such as CPSF6 and the targeted cell nucleus, depicted by the barmaid surrounded by regulars (the cytoplasm). The high-definition video image contrasts with the handmade quality of the costumes, all produced by Walter, who also wrote, directed, co-edited and designed the sound for the film.

A Virus Walks Into A Bar was co-commissioned by Southwark Park Galleries London and HOME Manchester – supported by a Large Arts Award from Wellcome and Arts Council England Grants for the Arts as part of Walter’s large-scale project CAPSID, created in collaboration with Towers Lab, UCL and project-managed by SMART, Aberdeen.

John Walter’s biography

John Walter is a London-based artist working across a diverse range of media including painting, performance, moving image, installation and curating. He is currently artist-in-residence at Kavli Institute for Nanosciences at TU Delft, The Netherlands.

Previous collaborations with scientists (CAPSID, 2018 and Alien Sex Club, 2015) have informed his current interest in viruses of the mind and take an increasingly Darwinist view of human production informed by Dawkins’ notion of the meme as a unit of cultural replication equivalent to the gene in biology. He was awarded the 2016 Hayward Curatorial Open for Shonky: The Aesthetics of Awkwardness.

Recent exhibitions include: Lockdown Tarot (Plymouth Art Weekender, 2020); Queer Algorithms (Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland, 2020); Co-Factors (Suttie Arts Space, Aberdeen, 2020); Brexit Gothic (DKUK, 2019); Crep Suzette – A Shoe Show (with Bert McLean, LUVA, 2019); The Fourth Wall (Look Again Festival Aberdeen, 2019); Booze Guitar (Matt’s Gallery, 2018); CAPSID (CGP and HOME, 2018); Somewhere in Between (Wellcome Collection, 2018); Coming Out: Sexuality Gender and Identity (Walker Art Gallery, 2017). Wellcome and Arts Council England have supported his work. The Arts Council Collection and The Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool have collected his work.

白雙全 Pak Sheung Chuen – Breathing in a House (2006)

I live in a small house, Breathing, Until I use up all the air in the whole house.

One night I slept on my own bed, staring at the ceiling, thinking of nothing, but indistinctly heard my own breathing, and I suddenly asked myself, ‘How long does it take to breathe in all the air of this room?’. This is how this work was conceived. And then there came a chance to realize this idea at the Busan Biennial in Korea. I rented an apartment (6.7m x 2.7m x 2.2m, as small as an apartment in Hong Kong! ) in Busan. I lived in this small apartment as usual, but I collected the air I breathed with transparent plastic bags until the whole apartment was filled with these plastic bags with my own breathing. The whole process took 10 days. It felt like part of my life belonged to this apartment.

Pak Sheung Chuen’s biography

Pak Sheung Chuen was born in 1977. He lives and works in Hong Kong. He obtained his B.A. degree in Fine Arts and Theology from Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2002. One of the most promising conceptual and performance artists working today, Pak’s practice often deals with and reflects upon the contradicting absurdness and ordinariness of everyday life in a poetic and humorous nature, thus creating a critical yet poignant sentiment for its viewers. His works were published in a local newspaper Ming Pao almost weekly 2003-2019.

蔡琪玟 Cattin Tsai – Memes 2020 (2020)

Memes 2020 is a work Cattin made during the pandemic, in which she applied a post-internet approach to creating a metaphor for this pandemic situation where human beings are confined to limited spaces. Large transparent blue tubes, like the blood vessels inside the human body, are connected and intertwined. These giant ties appear frequently in Cattin’s work like the branches of trees. Just as we construct the world while being entangled by the construction, in Cattin’s work, there is a sense of black humor. Beneath the glacier, the ocean hosts countless comfortable beds, where the pigs staying on these hospital beds mechanically repeat a few movements, surrounded by countless computer screens.

Catting Tsai’s biography

Inspired by her curiosity and continuous exploration of the unknown, she attempts to use multiple dimensions to construct and express the virtual world in mind.

Like the tentacles of the cyber jellyfish that she had created, her work extends without limitation, including music, visual art and beyond…

陳品陶 Chen Pin Tao – Temple of Physiotology (2019)

Chen Pin Tao’s Physiotology series embodies an existential angst towards the nature of being. It puts forward propositions in which religion and conventional cultural establishments are questioned. In the video work Temple of Physiotology, both fact and fiction are obscured to create factish narratives. Through these narratives, an otherworldly space-time continuum is generated for the viewer to dwell and experience.

The work revolves around the historical Peruvian city of Chan-Chan as context. The recorded mythical and historical information of the context acts as seedlings for the development of fact-ish storylines. The narratives hints at themes of religion, fetishism, totemism, gender, nature, and the notion of being with an anti-natalist and nihilist perspective. Through a tribalistic ritual and trance-like visual experience, the work conveys discontents towards a mainstream creationist dogma, and the faulty construction of the human body.

Chen Pin Tao’s biography

Descendent of an esteemed violin maker and hailing from a lineage of master craftsmen, Tao’s refined objects and assemblages contain immense exotic, ethereal, and incorporeal allure, embedded within their exuberant complexity and virtuosity unraveling between both folk traditions and technological acceleration.  These objects are means to excavate alienated ancestral history through deep introspection, and are tools to overcome humanity’s inability to comprehend and preserve the sublime.

Reality is stranger than fiction.  Tao’s primary interest resides in the exploitation of the splits in reality, and the examination of object-oriented fetishism. In an accelerated and trance-like state induced by the fissures between contemporaneity, metaphysics, spirituality, and their metamorphosis, decadence, intense desires and asceticism, Tao creates ecstatic realities––or emergence––through the alchemy of objects and architecture, expanding the already rich ontological vocabulary of Chinese materialism.

Tao’s reality emergence devices (portals, thresholds, gargoyles) are means to manipulate objects bridging through the virtual (noumena) and reality (phenomena), allowing the qualia of objects to be extracted, mutually exhausted, and elevated. The language and ecological logic of these realities avoid conventional phenomenological grasp, producing semiotic slippage and inhabiting a withdrawn potentiality of space, object and imagery.

These spatial and symbolic dimensions are not merely vessels encapsulating entropic qualities, but individual ontological beings, complex enough to seek release from an established organization, to determine and generate a multiplicity of their own ontologies, and to manifest further enlivenment and cosmology, across volumetric, visceral, and physical scales. With the given structure of deeply ordered chaos, infinite malleability, permanence, impermanence, destruction, and rebirth, these ontologies contain infinite transformative potential.

 

For more information about Both Sides Now go to the website: both-sides-now.org

     

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Both Sides Now 6: Viral Futures – online exhibitions

videoclub and Videotage (Hong Kong) are excited to present Both Sides Now 6: Viral Futures, the latest edition of our long-term annual project. This edition aims to reflect on life with/after COVID-19 and explores how viruses continually affect our present and future. With events including digital residencies, physical and online screenings, and talks from November 2020 to February 2021.

Watch programme 2 now, between 22 – 28 February 21.

In August 2020, the science publication Nature announced, “COVID-19 is here to stay”, a prophetic declaration, and still relevant, even with the hope of vaccines.  We took this statement as inspiration for our thematic title of Viral Futures for the sixth edition of Both Sides Now. Through Both Sides Now 6 we explore notions of viral phenomena; from ideas and the ways in which they are transmitted to technology, reproduction and evolution. Both Sides Now 6 brings together work by 11 artists in a curated programme of film and video from across the globe.

We have two week-long exhibitions, curated by videoclub and Videotage. The two programmes represent two types of viral phenomena, that of the body (biological), and the technological, both combined with the endemic nature of politics. The two programmes are:

Technology/Politics : 25-31 January 2021 – ended

Featuring the following programme of work:

徐世琪 Angela SuCosmic Call (2019)

Bob Bicknell-KnightThere are already 35 server farms on Mars. It is the perfect temperature. (2017)

陸揚 Lu YangCancer Baby (2014)

Laura O’NeillAGAIN AGAIN AGAIN (WHY I FEEL SICK WHEN I WAKE UP)  (2018)

Clifford SageBuddha Geometry Brain Toy (2017)

Programme 1 has now finished. See below for details of part 2 exhibition.

Body/Politics : 22-28 February 2021 (opening 11am on 22 February)

Featuring the following programme of work:

Adrian Garcia GomezPrimavera (2020)

John WalterA Virus Walks Into a Bar (2018)

白雙全 Pak Sheung Chuen Breathing in a House (2006)

蔡琪玟 Cattin TsaiMemes 2020 (2020)

陳品陶 Chen Pin TaoTemple of Physiotology (2019)

Watch the programme now, between 22 – 28 February 21.

To find out more about the artists and read synopses of their work, go to this webpage.

 

Online residencies

As part of Both Sides Now 6, we had two resident artists, Clifford Sage and Angela Su, who participated in residencies in November 2020, and who are showing work as part of Vital Capacities now, in the Inside Your Body exhibition. Their residency studios and exhibition can be seen here: vitalcapacities.com.

Screening in Hong Kong

A live screening of the programme will take place in Hong Kong, date to be confirmed (due to Covid-19 restrictions). Go to this webpage for further details and to keep an eye on the date.

 

About Both Sides Now

Both Sides Now is a tactical programme partnership between Videotage (HK) and videoclub (UK). Which uses contemporary and historical film and video work to explore developments within the culture and society of Hong Kong, China, and the UK, and beyond.

     

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