Throughout history, both in the west and in the east, philosophers and scientists talked about water: from being the origin of life to benevolences toward all others. They all respect water. We started to talk about media art through water in 2015 by using Laozi's "the greatest virtue is like water" as the main theme of the first episode. By comparing electronic media to characteristics of water and by extending the discussion on maker culture in doing more good. In this second episode, continuing through the character of water, we channel the penetrating power and capacitance of water into the traits of media arts. In Sushi’s A Reply to Xie Minshi, “It is akin to the floating of cloud and flowing of water, it started without a solid body. But they go where they should go and stop whenever they have to stop.” The floating of cloud and flowing water never stops and cannot be restrained. Everything disappear easily without a trace, just like the world’s visible and invisible data. Not only we use the floating of cloud as an allegory of data, we also use the flowing water as an emblem of the quality of media art; letting the work into the life of the audience and spreading the invisible influence out into the world.
It had been half a year since the last episode of Microwave International New Media Arts Festival. Continuing the fluidity of the electronic arts and using non site-specific performances to let the art intervenes the life of the audience. This episode will showcase the different possibilities of the arts of data mapping. The relationship between data and daily life has been proven to be important and widespread. Everyone is upset by numbers: height, weight, money in the bank, weather, humidity, real estate market and stock market. All of which affects the emotions of the common people. Data lies inside much of the space, tangible and intangible, influences our life without our knowledge. Italian artist Paolo Cirio’s Street Ghost find images of people on Google Map, colour print them lifesize and paste them back on the street. His work shows the problem of copyright and privacy in the the age of internet, and the conflict in the rights to distribute data. Local artist Bryan Chung based his work on human brain wave. Through the collection of audience’s brain wave in their meditation, his work contains and show collective thoughts. There are data that we should learn more about that is not originate from personal nor commercial activities. This must includes a much discussed issue: radiation. Local art group XCEED’s Radianscape visualize the real-time data published by international organization Safecast. It turns the invisible into both visible and audible, which makes us inescapable. In Akousmaflore, the French duo Scenocosme, Grégory Lasserre & Anaïs met den Ancxt uses plants as a touch interface to show the invisible static changes within them and enable human and plants compose music together. We are at a time when ‘smart’ is everywhere; human and machine is inseparable. Japanese artist Kimura Masa’s Musical Mechanical instruments reshape emtional space. Between the all mechanical performance on the unmanned stage and the performance by human and mechanical performer, emotional tension is created through artificial intelligence. As an extension of electronic medium, the American duo Cuppetelli & Mendoza connects body, sound and visualization in their work Transposition to shorten the distance between the action of the audience and reaction.
It is not an easy feat to stay active for 20 years, Since it establishment in 1996, Microwave International New Media Arts Festival has been discussing different world and social issue through the lens of new media art. This year we use the unstoppable movement of the cloud and water as an analogy to our on-going mission in all different forms.
We should believe that
While it is not easy to stay active as the cloud and water, technology and science should aim to bring us the greatest virtue.