Everyone has a
Lin Yutang, a master of Chinese culture, once wrote, “the best architecture is such when one is inside of it, he is unaware of where the nature ends and where art begins.” People congregate to gradually establish cities, soon drawing a boundary between urban areas and rural settlements. Space is planned for various functions and forms. Buildings are erected for people to make a living in there. Technology and science are sculpting people’s live with its inventing and intervening nature. As time goes by, leaving cultural traces behind in cities. Buildings carry the weight of time, crystallised an art witnessing the sun and the moon. The great creation of human beings where we live in, tangled with, then turns into cities and civilisation.
Microwave International New Media Arts Festival 2014 returns to our original settlements after exploring the possibilities for future habitats, mirroring life from the aspect of technology and science with a starting point from architecture, to contemplate on urban ecology. Video works Algorithmic Architecture and A Very Good City offer a key to the audience; the scenes of distorted streets and buildings in the former work suggests the dominating huge amount of data in people’s life when algorithm is right in trend, whereas in the latter one, the streets and space in our city captured by the camera play an distorted rhythm. What does it imply? And what does it attach to?
The scientific and technological intervention infuses a number of variables into the realm of architecture once the gate is widely opened. Buildings are no longer living space standing on the ground, instead they carry history, being examined and employed through spiritual and cultural perspectives and in the process of exploring multiple materials, structures and models. Goethe once said, “Architecture is the frozen music ; music is the flowing architecture…”, small-scale interactive installation HoloDecks utilises 3D printing and laser cutting technology, to combine music and augmented reality, and programmed an acoustic, visual, spatial scenes. When time, space and existence blend together, there creates a dialogue among the three works. The prototype of Fundamentals: Form-ContraForm creates space where viewers are immersed in to wander and experience, to fabricate the sense of infinity through materials and design, while at the same time subverts the concept itself. We all know everything is limited, from our resources, our life to our space. 「ADA」revolves around a blank space, like a 3D canvas, breaks through the conventional boundaries through a sphere floating in the space, allowing everyone to draw whatever they want to with this special pen. The interactive netting device of Hylozoic Series discusses the possibilities of living environments and echos the philosophic thought that every being has a life. Will future cities and architecture evolve into a second nature to embrace different forms of life?
Cities are built for human beings, the borders between which and villages are enforced by local policies. Art creations are referring to the laws of the nature and eco-balance in order to revert obstacles. Spatial installation Cell Cloud presents collaborative production, structured around native polygonal models, simulating similar models like beehives, birds migration, crystals, etc. Assembling digital fabrication technology and collaborative handcrafted strength to build brand-new spatial experience. Plant-in City goes back to the idea of contributing to the nature by investigating local ecological environment and technological developments, to spreading greens all over the city. Echoed by Urban Jungle , urban and rural areas are no longer separated in game screens whereas human beings disappear. Pick up a spot wherever Google can reach and let the forest takes over the land, triggering us to reflect on the important question: what do we cherish most when cities are left over with the nature and evacuated buildings constructed for and by human beings?
The exhibition is concluded by airy but powerful The tower of Babel. Multiple-layered communication is essential for a collectively constructed world in order to achieve a better future. “Living Architecture” is not a concept of a single building that can be erected in any city, but an aspiration, a study of life, city and culture. Last but not the least, we arrive at the conclusion, as uttered by Japanese contemporary architect Tadao Ando, “Architecture depends on the mind, and its second half comes from existence and spirit.”
God bless our city.