The 6th Guangzhou Triennial 2018
Guangdong Museum of Art
2018 年 12 月 21 日 – 2019 年 3 月 10 日
Dec 21,2018 – March 10, 2019
Chief director: WANG Shaoqiang
Curators: Angelique Spaninks, ZHANG Ga, Philipp Ziegler
Triennial Archive Exhibition
Curator: WANG Shaoqiang
As We May Think: Feedforward
“Consider a future device … in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory.”
1945 年夏天，美国工程师范内瓦·布什（Vannevar Bush）在波士顿的《大西洋月刊》（The Atlantic）杂志上发表了一篇题为《诚如所思》(As We May Think)的文章，设想了一种如上所述的通用通信设备，预示了信息社会的到来。在过去的四分之三个世纪里，一个有远见卓识的人所思考的景观，已超越时空的界限，成为一种新的世界秩序。在这新的秩序中，曾经假想的“扩展存储器”（Memex）不仅化身为强大的现实，而且加速发展为一个遍布全球、相互连接的机器网膜。它们在全球范围内的运行，引发了前所未有的变革，从而永久地改变了当代之工作和娱乐，政治、经济和文化的概念，甚或生命本身的意义。在摩尔定律没有放缓迹象的今天，技术依然日新月异地突破界限，加之人类纪不可阻挡的侵蚀，人类智慧所能想象的，以及人类还可能希冀的幻想亟待一种超越人类自身能力的思考，正如文化理论家维兰·傅拉瑟（Vilém Flusser）曾经提醒的那样“人类的想象力与化学之丰富的想象力相比微不足道”。说到这里，人们可能会用神经网络代替傅拉瑟所指的化学。当存在变得无常，而变化才是永恒之时，一种新的现实就会降临于并无定数的未来。
In the summer of 1945, the American engineer Vannevar Bush published an essay in the Boston based journal The Atlantic. Titled “As We May Think,” the paper imagined a universal communications apparatus, which anticipated the advent of an information society. Over the last three-quarters of a century, what was then thought about by an insightful individual, who was able to think beyond the limits of his time, has materialized itself as a new world order in which the once dreamed-up Memex has not only taken on a much more powerful incarnation but also evolved, multiplied and accelerated into a pervasive, all-encompassing membrane of connected machines that operate on a planetary scale, giving rise to the unprecedented transformations that have forever redefined contemporary notions of work and play, politics and economics, culture, or life as a whole. Today with Moore’s law seeing no sign of slowing down and technological breakthroughs accelerating each passing day, along with the irrevocable encroachment of the Anthropocene, what can yet be thought of by human ingenuity and what is yet to be imagined through human fantasy demand a thinking beyond the very capacity of human herself as the cultural theorist Vilém Flusser once implicated “The imagination of human authors is nothing compared to the fertile imagination of chemistry,” here one might well substitute neural networks for the Flusserian chemistry. As existence has become aleatory and liminal at its core when change remains the only constant, a new reality descends in which future looms large with no certain destiny.
Titled As We May Think, Feedforward, extending this seminal text’s far-reaching ramifications into the artistic domain as a way to reflect on the trajectories of technological advances and their reverberations throughout the social sphere over the past decades, the 6th edition of Guangzhou Triennial seeks to address the multiple implications engendered by such a technologically constructed time-space - in the real and through the virtual - by examining creative endeavors both from geographical purviews and from cosmic prospects in responding to the challenges and opportunities at stake and to think, once again, through a new alliance of visions by humans and nonhumans alike, machines and flesh with equal footing, organic and inorganic hand in hand, an alternative outlook for a new possibility of ecology whereby a retooled humanism may thrive in a Parliament of Things (to borrow a term from Bruno Latour) in symbiosis and reciprocity.
The Triennial Theme Exhibition is organized in three parts each addressing a particular focus in question. Together they weave a web of interconnected entry points and exits, underlining a network of facticity and speculations that encapsulate the world as we know it now through imaginative impulse, and as we may think it once again by an unfettered vision to grasp a fleeting future.
Inside the Stack: Art in the Digital
Curator: Philipp Ziegler
“叠加: 数字中的艺术”将吸引世界各地艺术家来关注数字日益增长的影响力及其对社会的影响。该部份展览将以数字技术、互联网和社交网络的新视角进行展示，同时考察受数字影响的当今艺术实践的虚拟和实体表现。20年前，全球数字化存储信息量首次超过模拟信息储存量，“数字时代”已经改变了我们的思维、行为和感受。我们日常生活中的所有领域，我们的感知和知识生产如今都受制于到数字化影响。因此，数字是“全球网络化社会中占据主导地位的文化技术，生物圈和信息圈在其中互相渗透、互相影响。”（威贝尔）参展艺术家通过作品表达了对数字化的各种观点，他们的作品因而是“先验的”。“叠加: 数字中的艺术”借鉴了 ZKM 长期以来参与媒体艺术和数字技术的经验，特别是不久前举行的ZKM“混合体、开放代码和信息圈”展览所展出的内容。
Artists from around the world are dealing with the growing presence of the digital and its impact on society. As we may think will show new perspectives on digital technologies, the Internet and social networks and examine both the virtual and physical manifestations of today's artistic practice fundamentally influenced by the digital. The "digital age" has changed our thinking, acting and feeling rapidly since its appearance less than twenty years ago; when the global amount of digitally stored information surpassed that of analog for the first time. All areas of our everyday life, our perception and knowledge production are digitally engendered today. The digital is therefore today the predominant cultural technique in our "globally networked society, in which the biosphere and infosphere permeate and condition each other" (Peter Weibel). In their works, the artists brought together for this part of the Triennial take different perspectives on the digital that underlies their works as an "a priori". Employing Benjamin Bratton’s concept of "the Stack" as a symbolic as well as a structural framework, Inside the Stack: Art in the Digital raises the very fundamental question of the digital as a new type of reality which reshapes contemporary experiences, and artists’ creative responses towards this reality.
将本杰明·布拉顿的“叠加”概念作为一个象征和结构框架，“叠加: 数字中的艺术”提出了将数字作为重塑当代经验的新型现实的基本问题，以及艺术家对这一现实的创造性反应。 “叠加: 数字中的艺术”将回顾迄今为止的计算机技术发展史，提出关于数字基础设施的深刻见解，展现数字对当代的渗透，预测未来数字技术发展的前景。
Inside the Stack: Art in the Digital will take a look back on the history of the development of computer technology until today, provide an insight into digital infrastructures and the penetration of the real with the digital in our present and give a speculative outlook on technological developments of the digital in the future.
Evolutions of Kin
Curator: Angelique Spaninks
对于人类和非人类来说，认为人类和非人类的生命是平等的这一想法将意味着什么？——去见证进化如何发生，在我们身上，我们周围，我们之上和之下，在纳米尺度和宇宙的尺度中，在过去和未来，但最重要的是在当前正在发生的进化过程中？ 对于数字和生物领域不断涌现和加速发展的技术而言，这些都是我们面临的基本哲学问题。有很多我想邀请来参加“同类演化”展览的艺术家都在做这样的事：观察和创造，研究和猜测可能存在的其他同类——人类和非人类。他们在询问将非人类纳入人类意味着什么，他们设计同类的演化，他们在生命的海洋中游弋，以时间为食，实现物种的杂交与分化。他们籍此创造了一种同类关系和“人类”的感觉，正如 Timothy Morton 在他最近的书中所说的那样，这使得他们自己和其他人无论好坏都能将世界团结一致。
What does it mean to consider life equal for humans and non-humans alike – to witness evolution in everything in and around us, above and below, on nanoscale and in the universe, in past and future but most of all in the present? These are fundamental philosophical questions raised in the face of our ever emerging and accelerating technologies, in the digital as well as in the biological. Many of the artists in ‘Evolutions of Kin’ are doing exactly this: seeing and creating, researching, imagining and speculating on what others there may be – human and nonhuman. They question what it means to be human by incorporating the nonhuman, they design evolutions of kin, they swim the oceans of life and feed on the compost of time as crossbred and diverged species. And by doing so they create a sense of kinship, of ‘humankind’, as Timothy Morton calls it in his latest book, which makes it possible, for themselves and others, for better and for worse, to embody solidarity with the world as a whole.
Evolutions of Kin takes technological invention and intervention to an ethical level of inquiry, extending subjectivity to the nonhuman life, advocating a shared origin and co-evolutional trajectory of humans and nonhumans and a new vision of life.
Machines Are Not Alone
Curator: ZHANG Ga
The world is machinic: not only does its function depend on network of machines but also the land, river, mountains, trees and animals, humans included, are machines of some sort when seen from an operational point of view or an abstract sense of the word because they are systems of interconnected biospheres, neural synapses, motor-sensor coordinates, psychosomatic attributes, social relationships and technical milieus imbricated, intertwined, transversal and reciprocal as intricate as the relationship between humans and thoughts, knowledge and freedom. Far from a mechanistic vision of dualism, this worldview of machines, apparatuses and devices is one that envisages a unity which endorses giving everything its due place as equally significant and worthy with respect and care.
The exhibition Machines Are Not Alone fitted with cloud machines, earth machines, and many other geoengineering and emotive devices and apparatuses, moved by transportation machines and custom machines and activated by exhibition machines, workshop machines and audience and participation machines will have a three-part journey to complete its global treading. It starts its ignition at Chronus Art Center in Shanghai in the summer of 2018, continues to Zagreb Contemporary Art Museum in winter, and finally culminates at the Guangzhou Museum of Art as a component of 6th Guangzhou Triennial. Each traveling iteration will root itself in the local milieu with a cosmic outlook and create interconnections with its immediate surroundings and umwelt logistically, ecologically and psychosocially as if a living act of the Three Ecologies. Together the trilogy maps out a machinic trajectory that transverses oceans and lands, places and sites; integrates climates and communities and adapts limitations and expansions for a resounding machinic chorus.
Machines Are Not Alone further extends the notion of subjectivity into the realm of nonlife and the object world, both cultural and natural, technology and psychic, proposing a radical rethinking of modernity, freedom and emancipation in a posthuman symbiosis.
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