“Hello, world” is the theme of this very first TAxT and a symbol of the marriage between art and technology; the start of endless interdisciplinary collaboration in the years to come. “Hello, world” is a snapshot in time that collapses “the beginning” and “the future”, like an ice core that records the history of technology art from its humble beginnings to the unknown future. In both macro and micro ways, the event aims to represent the diversified views and typology of technology art in its most primitive forms and future development.
The subtitle “(hello, world)” is inspired by the most basic programming language known to every beginner programmer. It signifies an entry into the digital world and a warm welcome to the first TAxT. Techno art goes hand in hand with strategies for technology development. Marrying the two is one of the most important goals that countries around the world strive for. It also serves to tesfity how technology has been created, innovated and reflected upon. Taoyuan City is blessed with abundant culture, art, and favourable industrial prowess, topped off with the new policy Asia Silicon Valley Development Agency and Smart City. Like layers of dark soil rich in technology, eco-friendly design, culture, and entertainment, Taoyuan’s fine qualities create a fertile ground for making amazing technology art that culminates in the City’s first technology art festival—The Taoyuan Art x Technology Festival (TAxT).
The program ranges from sound installation, image documentation, virtual reality, mechanical devices, interactive devices, to digital graffiti, smart city, lighting installation, collaborative art, and interdisciplinary performances, totalling thirty pieces of art work, four performances, and ten workshops and lectures.
Sound installation features sound labs, retrospective art, and soundscapes made by Hong Kong’s vinyl record player. On the one hand, the installations include a throwback to the works of American sound artist Tristan Perich—the classic and simplistic 1-bit symphonic music produced on single chips, the 8 Bit Mixtape single-unit synthesizer by Swiss artist Marc Dusseiller Dusjagr, and a reinvention of the work of Erkki Kurenniemi, trailblazer of the techno music instrument popular in the 60s and human-machine interfaced music. Also on display are White Fungus, a magazine dedicated to alternative Taiwanese sound art and image documentation, Chun-Kun Wang’s interactive sound machines and instruments and a large scale sound installation exploring different possibilities of sound, made by Soundwatch Studio, cofounded by Fujui Wang and Lu Yi. There will be workshops featuring noises and sounds generated by humans and objects. Visitors can expect to “relearn” the listening experience. On the other hand, works of Pei-Wen Liu , Tobias Hoffmann, Wang-Jing Lee, and Sam-Seng-Hiàn-Gē are true embodiments that blend belief, land and music into one, paving the way for a new future for the sound art scene in Taiwan.
The event showcases a line of amazing art works that include Kimchi & Chips’s sixteen-meter long analogue screen showing poetic light and shadow image made of 483 solid scanning lines, the immersive experience with artist Ya-Lun Tao’s augmented time and space; Hong Kong artist Keith Lam’s virtual sculpture inviting public participation; Pure Do’s use of light and time to create a narrative piece; Yi-Ting Tsai’s lonely-looking slow-motion toy car, Akibo’s fanciful robot-carrying galaxy cruiser; Hsien-Yu Cheng’s attempt to collect the quality and quantity of life and a ruthless game on the play station; Yi-Yeh Wu ’s attempt to materialize email’s speed of transmission via various media; German artist Aram Bartholl’s phubbing zone dedicated to head bending and phone checking activities; Hong Kong artist Alan Kwan’s unmanned black paraglider; Dimension Plus’ white umbrella for social movement; Kai-Yu Kamm’s digital production in ceramic printing; and German artist Christian Faubel’s crystal robot workshops. An extraordinary line up of projects and installation all go towards diversifying TAxT.
As for show performances, Brazilian VJ Suave uses a tricycle to project childish imagination onto the streets of Taoyuan. This well-equipped vehicle enables art performance on the go, bringing fun and joy to all. Italian new media group Fuse* introduces their latest work Dökk (darkness)_Eva’s Journey. Eva the dancer tries to connect with the outside world against a background of continuous digital landscape. She wears many physical and motion sensors, whose data generated go on to dictate the images of the landscapes. The data is also fed to social networks that also influence the visual effect of the performances in return. Sam-Seng-Hiàn-Gē puts on a hybrid repertoire featuring electronic music mixed with elements of Taiwanese temple music and an interdisciplinary media performance. Ponga’s Unicorn of Evolution and Ethics likens the eternity of the souls to a unicorn. The work depicts the evolution of this mythical creature and explores its authenticity. The unicorn becomes a spiritual symbol of longing. The performance consists of techno music in the form of Morse code and hand-drawn light projections, translated from a collection of longing whispers made by ordinary folks.
On top of all the amazing works on display, TAxT has a more important mission to facilitate public dialogue and participation for all. We look forward to seeing you at the Taoyuan Art x Technology Festival in October 2017.