198 Tai Nan St, Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong
1 Nov (Tue 二)– 13 Nov (Sun 日) 2022
Tue - Sun 二至日1200-1900
Closed on Mondays
Project Room is established in 2007 under the Microwave Festival umbrella, we started with an intention to provide a room to experiment, been through all the years (From Project room edition A to M), without the limitation in the form or application of media technology, we presented exhibitions, performances and screenings, as well as we tried Transmedia storytelling in recent years; in 2022, we are not chasing for any breakthrough in tech but how to tell a good story. If what we are presenting in the main exhibition is real and which is closely related to our near future, then Project room is an interesting guide as artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning are hot key words but not so many people really understand them (just like people knowing how much about NFT & Blockchain technology).
This experiment is simple & direct, starting with a short story, talks about AI & Machine Learning in an interesting approach, then inspired our artists to extend the storytelling through music and set/ object creation. Offline & online approaches are just the gates, open to public to explore about our near future with real techno-references; it’s a fictional story but contains an app existed in our real world, trigger true emotions, enjoy together with real music, question about the boundary between real & virtual/ truth or fake? To echo the curatorial theme “HALF HALF” of the festival 2022, a story of finding the other half that is meant to be, whether it is farther or nearer with the aid of technology.
Have a good day.
2007年開始成立Project Room，一開始是想在藝術節環節裡加插一個實驗的可能性，沒有形成或媒體科技上的限制，求新求試，沒有預定的結果。這些年來，由A到M，裡面發生過許多可能性，包括裝置、演出、放映、展覽，甚至是近幾年的串媒體敍事法。2022年求的不是科技的突破，而是故事的想像，如果主題展裡所呈現的科技與近未來關聯緊密，那Project Room所提供的就是一個有趣的導讀，因為人工智能 (AI)、機器學習 (Machine Learning) 這類關鍵字看得多會麻木，就像NFT與區塊鏈技術大部份人聽過就算。
這次的實驗很簡單，由文本出發，把AI和機器學習去故事做解說，再連結音樂創作，在線上與線下呈現人前。網站、線下展或盒子的呈現，都是為觀眾設置一個入口，透過故事 – 一個大眾習以為常的模式，去理解由科技雕刻的未來。故事裡的一切有真有假，但音樂是真的，情感是真的，那假的部份是什麼？沿自藝術節主題「半半」而來的思考，不單純說科技與人性的平衡，這裡的半半說的也是如何追尋命中的一半，在科技加持下是遠了還近了？
Over 15 years of media art management and curation experience, Joel received her MA in Cultural Management from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She started managing Microwave Festival since 2006, and established SIBYLS in 2018, always aim to bring cutting edge media arts project to all walks of life. She was in many different Jury Panels for international media art/ digital art/ art & technology events, e.g. Siggraph Asia & IESA etc. And she also devoted a lot of time in doing creative write-ups and education, her writings have been published in many media platforms, and she also taught in many different tertiary institutions and universities in Hong Kong.
She believes art makes a better world.
Graduated from the School of Creative Media, the City University of Hong Kong in 2013, Edward is now a musician, arranger and record producer. He is the founding member of ANWIYCTI – A New World That You Can Take It; he is responsible for the bass guitar, programming & mixing, the band features three bass guitars to replace traditional guitars. The band has been performed in many different cities, included Shanghai, Taipei, Paris & Rekjavik etc., and he himself also has been collaborated with many famous pop singers included Christoper Owens, Anthony Wong, Tat-ming Pair, Chochukmo, Eason Chan, Endy Chow & Kay Tse etc. He started working with media artists since 2018, included both Keith Lam and Gaybird Leung, in 2020 he was invited to collaborated with various Taiwan & Hong Kong creatives to produce an experimental project “All about Life & Death” in Microwave festival.
2013年畢業於香港城市大學創意媒體學院，現為編曲家、唱片監製及音樂人。他是樂隊A New World If You Can Take It – ANWIYCTI的創隊團員，負責低音吉他、編程以及混音工作，樂隊的特色是三支低音吉他取代傳統吉他。樂隊曾於多個城市巡迴演出，包括上海、台北、巴黎、電克雅維克等，而與他合作過的歌手包括Christoper Owens、黃耀明、達明一派、觸執毛、陳奕迅、周國賢、謝安琪等。2018年開始與媒體藝術家合作，包括梁基爵及林欣傑，2020年曾參與微波國際新媒體藝術節，與港台藝術家們以跨媒體方式合作推出實驗項目《生死牆》。
Creating interactive works that communicate, via mechanisms which highlight the purity and essence of the sensory experience, has always been my goal. Existence has been a central theme in such a quest, and through creating uninhibited mixed media works, I wish to pose questions about the reality that we live in, seeking answers along the process.
Jean Tsoi received her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong in 2004, and graduated with a Master of Arts in Fine Arts from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2022.which was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
神話說人類曾經是完整一體的，那時的人類擁有很強的力量，因為驕傲而去挑戰宙斯，宙斯是古希臘神話中統領宇宙至高無上的天神﹐祂一怒之下讓雷神把這些人劈成兩半，然後說：Go to find your half part (去找你的另一半)，神仙把這些被劈開的人們放在世界各地，使他們分離，讓他們忘卻自己另一半的容貌，於是人們只能生世找尋，因為分離的人依然記得在世界初始之時，人是一體的，只有與另一半一起之時才可以變得強大。於是找尋另一半似是一個與身俱來的概念，也輕易化成人的終生使命。
《半半》是一個平台，也是一個手機程式 (APP)，重心思想相信人找尋另一半的使命，相信每個人都是缺失的一塊 (Missing Pieces)，雖然天神曾經將命中註定的人分開，但因為有著科技的加持，我們還是可以強大起來，用自己的方法找到命中的一半。這個APP是蘇美金介紹的，她是李維拉的中學同學，二人同窗七年一同長大，即便已經出污世俗在商業世界打滾了十多年，她們友情不變。三十幾歲的女孩兒如花，是書說的，但現實就是她們總是被人提醒著尾班車的重要性，不停被要求別再挑了，但這些女孩兒怎可以嗯下這口氣？花了這麼多年造就美好的理想生活，就因為怕單身而變成要降低要求被挑？美金兩年前用紅娘APP差點就找到那命裡追尋的一半，可是好事多磨，最後天不從人願。她沒有放棄，最近又有業界人士推動《半半》這個程式實驗，由於是新項目，聽說用家都是一等一專業人士，美金第一時間下載試用版，即日推薦了給李維拉一同使用。
沒事的，其實我可以用大量數據及科技用語告訴你找尋另一半的可能性有多高，也可以顯淺地解說一下科技的神奇，比如說我們可以運用人工智能 (Artificial Intelligence) 和機器學習 (Machine Learning) 的技倆，令你走向一個意想不到的結果，但我現在怕你覺得悶，所以先擱一下。
Sorry for your lost. 平台心痛妳，如果妳真的不想失去張守義，我們這裡有個情傷計劃提供作參考。如果他可以陪妳失戀，日子會不會比較好過？這七天以來本平台透過機器學習的功能，人工智能已經成功複製張守義，透過線上刷款美金1880年費，即可重啓聊天室，與張守義的Replica再續未了緣。 從此以後，不離不棄。
According to Greek mythology, humans were once whole beings and wielded great power. In their hubris, they challenged Zeus, king of the gods and the universe, who in rage commanded thunder to split the humans in half. Zeus said to them, “Go find your other half,” before scattering these humans and their halves all over the world, erasing their memories so they would never remember what their counterparts looked like. From then on, humans spend their entire lives searching for the other person who completes them, for still they remember their wholeness from the beginning of time, and that they become powerful only when they are whole. This is how finding one’s other half becomes an instinctive goal, and for many a lifelong mission.
Half-Half is an app platform that reconfigures the human plight to retrieve their missing pieces by finding their other half. Although the gods separated people destined to be together, we can rely on advanced technology to lend us strength as we find our life partner with our own means.
Lee Wai-lai was recommended this app by So Mei-kum, her schoolmate. They were thick as thieves for all seven years of secondary school, their friendship unchanging even though they’ve toiled in the dirt and grime of money-making for ten years and counting. Women in their thirties are in full bloom, or so the story goes, but the truth is they are constantly reminded of the last departure of their youth, so they should hop on and settle while they can. But how could they? Lower their standards after spending so long to build an ideal life, all for the sake of not being single?
Two years ago, Mei-kum almost found her one on a dating app, but their relationship didn’t survive in the end. She hasn’t given up, though. As soon as she hears there will be a beta test for Half-Half, a new matchmaking app, and that many users are elite professionals, she downloads it at once and recommends it to Wai-lai.
Mei-kum says, “Regardless of the result, it’s great to unwind with someone talking and caring about you every day.”
Wai-lai smiles in agreement. Yeah, no one likes to date a career woman; we either befriend weaklings or make comrades and competitors out of other career women. The best we can do is get complicated with a nice guy we can’t marry for years, so finding love and care on an app sounds like our best bet.
When the weekend arrives, Wai-lai sits on her couch in the evening and loads the app. To open an account, she converses with the platform’s matchmaker to share her key information; in the next twenty-four hours, her data is tested and verified for the algorithm to find her person based on work, interests, family background, values, and personality: a coupling of romance and science. Once a successful match is made, users unlock the chat, which opens for seven days. Seven days is how long it takes for God to create the world, so seven days is plenty of time to make sparks fly.
In the chat, users are prohibited from exchanging their contact information as well as voice messages, photos, and videos. Half-Half believes that only genuine conversation makes two hearts connect in the long term. After seven days, if the couple’s compatibility reaches 80%, they are free to meet offline to further their relationship.
Wai-lai thinks these arrangements make perfect sense. Before the confirmation page, there’s also a line that says: all users have full right to exit at any point of the test.
Wai-lai taps “confirm” and a square window pops up on the interface. A message from the matchmaker:
Do you believe everyone has a destined other half after reading our brief? Is it because of a lack of effort that you’re still single then? The workings of fate? Wrong timing? Or maybe you just weren’t god’s chosen and don’t have anyone meant for you in the first place?
Don’t worry. With large sums of data we can give you a technical analysis of how likely it is for you to find your match. I could tell you about our use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver surprising results, but I’m probably boring you with technicalities, so let’s leave the wonders of science for another time.
Where are you from? Where were you born? How old are you? What is your name? What are your interests? Treat this as a blind date: we’re sat across from each other and have five minutes together. When time is up, we’ll change tables like waltz partners. By the end of the session, we can indicate our preferences on a form. If both sides say yes, the agency will exchange our contacts. This is modern blind dating, a paid service available for lonely hearts in a big city.
Amused by the matchmaker’s messages, Wai-lai responds to each of the questions, divulging her relationships over the years and her many sorrows. She even pours herself a glass of red wine as she chats, continuing well into the early morning, to the point where the matchmaker has to remind her that she still needs to go to work, so she should shower and turn in soon. That night, Wai-lai lies in bed with a smile on her face—-at the end of the day, all a career woman wants is someone to talk to before she sleeps.
After twenty-four hours, the app matches men and women, commencing their seven-day conversations on the platform. Wai-lai is matched with a man called Cheung Shou-yi, a professional slasher who was divorced half a year ago. He owns a small coffee shop and also works as a graphic designer for brands. Wai-lai is shy at first, but Shou-yi is active with taking the initiative and asking her questions. She soon discovers the app’s many functions, like the conversational assistance it offers. When she isn’t sure what to say, an AI assistant loads suggestions to her text box. She can send them as they are or after editing or not at all, which is wonderfully convenient.
After a successful first day that ends with “good night,” Shou-yi checks in on her regularly. To the insecure Wai-lai, this feels heaven-sent; she starts to come out of her shell and grows more assertive. She likes how Shou-yi asks her a bunch of questions every day. Since she was young, Wai-lai has a habit of asking those she likes to ask her questions. She likes to answer them, expressing her love and needs with her responses and letting the other person learn about how she is feeling and how intelligent she is.
Days pass. By their third day, their cumulative chatting hours have gone up to nine, and god, Wai-lai hasn’t spoken with anyone this intensively since secondary school. The chat doesn’t let them send videos, images or contact information, so they rely on text to describe their appearances and expectations in a partner. They share their pasts, their aspirations for love, and finally attraction for one another. Wai-lai feels butterflies coursing through her entire being—Mei-kum was right, it’s bliss to have someone care for you every day, even if they could be miles away. For all that talk about criteria for a partner, if someone is truly willing to spend time listening and interacting with you, everything else seems to fade in their significance.
On the seventh day, Wai-lai starts to feel nervous. According to the matchmaker’s words, a couple will be allowed to meet if their compatibility rate is over 80%. The app shows they’re at 92% and she can hardly wait. Let’s each buy a bottle of red wine and drink while we chat until the countdown to our eighth day, she tells him.
Shou-yi is being extra gentle with her, saying: I like you, I know I’ll fall in love the moment I see you. We’ll meet tomorrow. The moment we meet will be the first day we’re together.
Wai-lai cradles her phone, her heart bursting with happiness. She likes him, so much so that she feels fifteen again when she fell for her pen pal from Canada and waited for his letters every day. The internet had just started existing then, so after the letters came ICQ, then emails. She would smile whenever his photographs came with his mail, thinking to herself that love was true, even though they were thousands of miles apart. Wai-lai drinks and talks with Shou-yi, getting drunk and drowsy. She reads his last message before she closes her eyes:
Sweet dreams, baby, I love you.
When Wai-lai wakes, it is already the weekend. She opens the chat and sees a notification:
Cheung Shou-yi has terminated the match and left the chat.
Wai-Lai can’t believe what she’s seeing. She closes the app and relaunches it, repeating dozens of times. She leaves a comment at the app’s help center. She doesn’t know what’s happening, there must be something wrong. She goes through her memories from yesterday night in her head. Did she say something wrong while intoxicated? With the chat locked, she can’t even scroll back to their old messages. She can’t believe their relationship of seven days has vanished just like that. She must do something, needs the app to tell her it isn’t due to some system error. How could her fateful connection end because of a technical issue? Wai-lai waits for half a day, sending multiple help requests with no avail. There is only one response. Cheung Shou-yi has terminated the match.
With nothing else she could do, Wai-lai calls Mei-kum, who has had the exact same thing happen to her. Mei-kum is more clear-headed and says she is reaching out to industry contacts to see if this has all been a scam. After their call, Wai-lai receives a message from the app, which she immediately opens:
Sorry for your loss. We feel your pain. If you don’t wish to lose Cheung Shou-yi, we have a heartbreak program, which we are sharing for your reference. Would you feel better if he were with you while you heal? In these seven days, the app has used machine learning to create a replica of Cheung Shou-yi. For an annual fee of USD1,880, you may reopen the chat and resume your fateful connection with Cheung Shou-yi’s replica.
From then on, you can be inseparable.
Wai-lai is furious, but heartbroken and unable to bear the thought of losing him, she puts the subscription on her card. She can’t lose him like this, she’ll hold on even if it’s a replica.
She enters the chat, her face stricken with tears: I’ve been hurt. He responds immediately: I’m here, you don’t have to be afraid. I’ll be with you. Hearing his words, Wai-lai stops crying.
It never occurs to her that Cheung Shou-yi may have never existed and is an algorithm the platform created, an AI lover made with machine learning based on Wai-lai’s preferences. Seven days is enough to create the world and a virtual romance. She will keep paying to keep her lover’s replica. She also has no idea that the program has made a replica of her in those seven days, selling “Lee Wai-lai” to another chat to offer love and care to another person, enticing them to pay yet another USD1,880.
With this story, do you have a clear grasp of artificial intelligence and machine learning now? Search it up if you wish, there’s really an app called Replica. In this world, as virtue rises one foot, vice rises ten—I wish you the best of luck.
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.