Preface / Dean Richard Allen 序言 / 院長艾朗宏教授

Recently a work of “AI Art” was sold for a very high price at Christie’s in New York. While for some it was a shock and for others just a publicity stunt, it suggested to many that machines have the potential to colonize the final redoubt of the human: creativity. But of course, mimicking handmade art is scarcely what is at stake in the field of art and technology. For decades, human beings have been using computers to create art. As this ground-breaking exhibition reminds us, as early as 1969 China-born artist Tsai Wen-ying was creating cybernetic art, and his solo debut in Hong Kong in 1979 marked the city’s first exposure to how new technologies and art might come together. Since then, as our technologies have evolved, so has our capacity to creatively re-imagine the relationship between art and technology.

Under the inspired direction of Dr. Linda Lai, winner last year of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council Artist of the Year Award in Media Art, Algorithmic Art showcases the practices of young artists who are breaking new boundaries in the practice of computational art. They are responding to the writings of pre-eminent Taiwan-born Sci-Fi writer Professor Chang Shi-kuo, aligning  ancient Chinese conceptions of the physical world with our own via altered visual perception in virtual reality  exploring the relationship between art and physical processes, and more. Lai seeks to stage a dialogue between past and present and, in the process, construct a new history of media art, one that is centered not in the US or Europe but in Hong Kong and the broader Asian region.

Our relationship to computational technology is a fraught one. We not only think machines will take over the making of art, we tell ourselves stories about machines taking over the world. To be sure, computers have awesome powers, but while we have a lot to be concerned about, we are also blinded by technology into thinking our machines are something they are not. Through her judicious selection and curation of these artworks, Lai seeks to open our eyes, to challenge our beliefs about computation and machine learning, to disclose the contents of the black box and allow us to understand the creative possibilities of technology anew.

Welcome to Algorithmic Art! And if you enjoy the exhibition please come to the conference which accompanies it at the School of Creative Media, City University, entitled, Art Machines: International Symposium on Computational Art from Jan 4th to 7th, which will stage a series of encounters between scholars and artists over four days.

Richard Allen

Dean, the School of Creative Media, City University
Director, Art Machines: International Symposium on Computational Media Art

 

最近,有一幅「人工智能藝術品」在紐約佳士得拍賣行賣得極高價錢,有人對此感到驚訝,也有另一些人認為只是宣傳技倆,但對很多人來說,這代表機器有潛質攻佔人類最後一個壁壘:創意。但當然,模仿手工藝術並不是藝術和科技之間的關鍵議題,幾十年來,人類都一直使用電腦創作藝術品。這個突破性的展覽正好提醒我們,早在1969年,生於中國的藝術家蔡文穎,就已經開始創作動感藝術,他於1979年在香港舉辦的首次個人展覽,標誌著可<能是這城市第一次接觸到新科技和藝術的結合。從那時起,隨著科技的不斷發展,我們創意地重新思考藝術與科技之間聯繫的能力也大大提高。

在去年香港藝術發局藝術家年獎(媒體藝術)得主黎肖嫻博士的創意領導下,《演算藝術》展示了本地一地藝術家在電腦藝術領域突破新界限的實踐。他們回應台灣出生的科幻作家張系國教授的寫作,聯繫中國古代與現今對物理世界的概念,利用虛擬現實改變視覺感知的方法,探索藝術與物理過程之間的關係與及其他方面。黎博士尋求過去和現在之間的對話,並在這過程中構建一個新的媒體藝術史,這藝術史不是以美國或歐洲為中心,而是紮根於香港和亞洲地區。

我們與電腦科技的關係非常緊張,我們不僅認為機器將取代人類製作藝術,還創作許多有關雄霸全世界的故事。雖然電腦擁有的強大功能,有很值得我們關注的地方,但同時我們也被科技誤導,對機器作出過小過大或有誤差的想像。通過精心挑選這些作品與及整個展覽的明智策劃,黎博士試圖打開我們的眼界、挑戰我們對電腦和機器學習的固有觀念,揭示隱藏在黑匣子的內容,讓我們重新理解科技的創造性。

歡迎來到《演算藝術 》!若你喜歡這個展覽,請參加1月4-7日在城市大學創意媒體學院舉辦的「藝術儀:電算藝術國際論壇」。這個為期四天的活動,提供一個學者與藝術家之間交流的寶貴機會。

艾朗宏
城市大學創意媒體學院院長
藝術儀:電算媒體藝術國際研討會總監