“Post-media Ecologies in Asia” Conference

Location: Beijing Normal University

Date: July 13–15, 2019

Co-organized by: Post-Media Research Network (PMRN); Center for Digital Content & Creative Media, Beijing Normal University; Department of Digital Media, School of Arts and Communication, Beijing Normal University

On-screen De-image and Off-screen Digital by Yangyu Zhang, on

Today we are witnessing the incremental refinement of on-screen images through media and video installations in museums, trending films that are shot in 4K and even 8K, and advertisements and music videos whose production are on par with cinema industry. Meanwhile, other image players are deliberately avoiding/resisting this pursue of excellence with a sense of irony and cynicism (a strategy similar to nineties low tech artists) by either turning to the unattractiveness of images thus switch image to the secondary position to the narrative, for example Wong Ping and Lu Yang, or completely dislodging images in media works and retrieving the power of language, such as Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries. On the other hand, there are also practices, for example those of artist Aaajiao, that download, or transmit, the digital images as 3D installations to the real world, while maintaining certain digital features within the objects such as algorithmic deductions. These practices are on one hand individual tactics to survive and thrive in the post media era, on the other hand by taking technology as the playground, these works are a response to the grand narrative oriented by technological development and better-off life, de-stabilizing such romantic vision towards the further and calling for the (re)notice of here and now.

Ecosickness and Media Art Narratives in Japan by Stephen Sarrazin, on

Working from Heather Houser’s insights into the biological and intellectual impact of environmental crises on human beings, and how this led to a literature of sickness, we can address the issue of how similar themes might find an expression within Japanese contemporary art, and perhaps more importantly, within an ecology of the contemporary art system in Japan.

In 2018, both the Marcel Duchamp prize in France and the Turner prize in the UK have been attributed to media/moving image artists. From the digital nature of the works to a controlled and monitored form of distribution, their legitimacy is attained through materialization inside a physical space (a gallery, a museum). In best case examples, such as the recent work of Philippe Parreno, the narrative of a harmonious and healthy system sees itself corroborated by thinkers such as Vinciane Despret and Emanuele Coccia (at the Vuiton Foundation in Paris).

How healthy and harmonious is the system in Japan? How does it think: what is in the foreground (from architecture to gushing mapping, from rhizomatiks to teamlab) and what pretends to be in the margins (chim pom) and what is truly in the forest and unseen (politics/race/ethnicity). How tangibly present can the latter hope to become in Japan, or do the woes of media art in Japan actually constitute the narrative?

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