Friday, September 24, 2010

798 Art District, The Creators Project

by Cori
When I went to the 798 Art District in Beijing, I originally intended
to see what Beijing's contemporary art scene was like. However,
without even realizing it I became drawn into the several Creators
Project exhibits that were also going on. Rather than interacting and
responding to contemporary social, political, or economic situations,
the artworks presented in the Project interacted with technology and
digital culture. The piece by Teddy Lo, called Positive Void, for
instance used a special LED screen that displayed images you could
only see while moving your eyes. This way of looking at an artwork
almost seems backwards; usually you look at an artwork slowly,
absorbing the visual information, whereas with this piece you could
only get flashes of the images, as if seeing something out of the
corner of your eye. Requiring the active participation of the
audience, whether it be moving your eyes or body or providing a camera
flash, many of the Creators Project exhibits bordered on games. A
piece by DSP called [Z]ink allowed the audience to use a plastic box
to draw 3-D lines on a screen. Not only did the computer trace the
person's movements left, right, up, and down, it also detected depth,
so the participant could move in all directions and see the results.
It seems as though a lot of digital art and media is leaning towards
game-like experiences that involve audience participation. Although it
makes for an interesting experience, I wouldn't say they were all
successful. Teddy Lo's piece was very successful I thought. It not
only provided a strange and hypnotic experience, but it made me think
about how we perceive visual information. DSP's piece on the other
hand was interesting, but I couldn't understand its significance since
3-D tracking is already being implemented in many technologies,
including gaming consoles that are widely used around the globe. Also,
the interaction aspect of the piece wasn't unique or interesting.
Perhaps some information or preface could have shed some light on what
exactly was going on.

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