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Affect Machine: Self-healing in the Post-Capitalist Era

 

 

“Affect” and “machine” appear to be antithetical; yet, it is through this opposition that self-healing can be achieved. While the era of post-capitalism has seen overproduction in all fields, the explosion of information has left us with a fragmented sense of time. What’s more, subjectivity has been suspended, and our connection with the outer world has dwindled. Anxiety prevails even before a real crisis arises. This exhibition primarily addresses this crisis of subjectivity, but it also explores how the boundary between human and machine has become increasingly blurred. This phenomenon cannot be solely ascribed to industrialization nor to the disciplined nature of society but rather to the fact that the body and the digital environment have evolved to a state of interdependency. Affect and machines co-exist in the practices of the artists in this exhibition. The performative installations and drawing machines of Rebecca Horn imitate the sensorial and affective activities of human beings. Cam Xanh’s concrete poetry explores the visual similarities between biological and informational coding. Chen Chen Yu’s meditation machine vacillates between subject and spectacle. Chen Hui-Chiao, Olafur Eliasson, John Akomfrah, Chu Hao Pei and Lee Chang Ming have created installations that strike a balance between immersive affective environment and rational narratives. The analogy and dialogue between body and machine perhaps already presage the interaction between art and society in the post-pandemic world. Through immersive artworks, we explore the development of affect from the perspective of media art history, including body art, multi-media installation, anthropological approaches to the environment, theatrical works, and religious and folk culture. Among the eight sets of performance and digital artworks, seven are appearing for the first time in Taipei, and two are new commissions. The exhibition aims to instigate sensorial experiences with aspects of self-healing. Here, self-healing does not refer to restoration of the original state but rather to how we purify and train our senses. It will direct the audience to imagine the exhibition as an ensemble of healing machines. In the process of negotiating with various mediums, viewers can practice self-pacifying and the releasing of tension.

 

 

 

  • Rebecca Horn
    Rebecca Horn (born in Germany in 1944) works across a wide variety of media including film, performance, installation, photography and sculpture, which explore themes such as perception, philosophy, and communication. The employment of such wide ranging interests as science and alchemy, the rational...
  • Chen Hui-Chiao
    Chen Hui-Chiao (b. 1964, Danshui) is one of the founders of independent art space IT PARK. Her major medium of creation is installation, inspired by themes in astrology, mysticism, or literature. In contrast, her creative process is based on rational and meticulous plan, and the nuanced beauty is co...
  • Chen Chen Yu
    Chen Chen Yu (b. 1984) lives and works in Taipei, is a multimedia artist whose works look into the landscapes under the construction of digital industrialization and globalization of capital, and the inter-activities between human, commodity, and image. Working with moving images, objects, and insta...
  • Cam Xanh
    Cam Xanh is the pseudonym of conceptual artist Tran Thanh Ha (b.1977, Vietnam). Translated as Green Orange from Vietnamese, it is one of the many playful departures that characterize her work. Her works are often based on texts and poetry, or developed from her previous performances. They take on ma...
  • John Akomfrah
    John Akomfrah (b. 1957) is a British artist and filmmaker whose works are characterised by investigations into memory, post-colonialism, temporality, and aesthetics, and often explore the experiences of migrant diasporas globally. Akomfrah was a founding member of the influential Black Audio Film Co...
  • Olafur Eliasson
    The works of artist Olafur Eliasson (Iceland/Denmark, b.1967) explore the relevance of art in the world at large. Since 1997, his wide-ranging solo shows – featuring installations, paintings, sculptures, photography, and film – have appeared in major museums around the globe. In 2003, he...
  • Lee Chang Ming
    Lee Chang Ming is a Singaporean artist and photographer interested in themes of intimacy, gender, environment and the everyday. His practice contemplates the subjective act of looking and the photographic medium as a process, exploring ideas of optics and haptics primarily through lens based work an...
  • Chu Hao Pei
    Chu Hao Pei (b.1990, Singapore) is a visual artist whose works are primarily influenced by his long-standing interest in the interrelations between culture and the environment. Chu’s practice explores the shifting physical, sociological and emotional connections with our natural and urban land...
  • Yu-Chieh Li

      Yu-Chieh Li is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual Studies at Lingnan University. She has held research positions at UNSW Art and Design, Tate Research Centre: Asia, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Li’s research engages with aesthetics of performance art ...
  • Gladys Lin

      Gladys Lin is an independent art consultant. She has two decades of experience with international contemporary art market and served as Director Asia of Sean Kelly Gallery, New York and Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai. Since 2008, Lin has contributed to the display and programming of international ar...