November 2: Soojin Lee

For the next colloquium, held on November 2nd, 2018 (Friday), we are very pleased to welcome Korean Professor Soojin Lee, who will give a talk on the topic “Art and Creativity in the Era of Artificial Intelligence”.
The talk will start at 4:00 pm in M6094 Future Cinema Studio.

Date: November 2 (Friday)
Time: 4:00 pm
Venue: M6094 Future Cinema Studio, Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, 18 Tat Hong Avenue, Kowloon Tong

Topic: Art and Creativity in the Era of Artificial Intelligence – Models, Transformations and Contextualization 

Abstract:

My research over the past 6 years has focused on the visual and cinematographic representation of robots, A.I. and post-humans. I’ve been looked carefully cultural codes and filmic codes, also principles and structures of various artistic productions.
Nowadays I examine A.I. projects such as Sunspring written by Benjamin of New York Technology University and The Next Rembrandt project of Delf Technology University, etc. Various experiments on A.I. Art (or Computational Creativity) are taking place in many fields, the results are evolving surprisingly and rapidly. This presentation concerns this current needs to redefine the concept of creativity in the digital paradigm shift.
First, I will briefly introduce the principles of A.I. Art through the art project based on A.I. technology and we examine the concept of the algorithm. In fact, media art researchers explain that algorithms do not only appear in digital media and A.I. technology.
I want to look through shortly the history of Literature, Installation and Algorithmic Art to understand how algorithms can be understood from a Humanities studies’ point of view. Furthermore, we will think about how the creativity in the era of A.I. should be defined. I will introduce one example <Life Writer> of artists Laurent Mignonneau and Christa Sommerer as a new type of production in which algorithms are introduced.

Biography:

Soojin Lee (born 1974) is a professor in the Department of Cultural Contents and Management at Inha University in Korea, and PhD of French literature at Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis University. Specialty is the Semiotics of Cinema.

She is also a member of the research team of the project Technohumanities of Inha.
Her publications include A Reading of IM Kwon-Taek’s film (2005, in France), Beyond Pictures (2013, in Korea), Transhumanities (2013, in Korea), SF, Possibility of humans and machines (2017, in Korea). And the Korean translations of Christian Metz’s books: The Essay on Signification in Cinema I, II (2011) and The Imaginary Signifier (2009).

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November 23: Alexey Marfin

For the next colloquium, held on November 23, 2018 (Friday), we are very pleased to welcome filmmaker and creative director Alexey Marfin, who will give a talk on the topic The Neon-Lit Streets of Cinema”.

The talk will start at 4:00 pm in M6094 Future Cinema Studio.

Date: 23 November 2018 (Friday)

Time: 4:00 pm

Venue: M6094 Future Cinema Studio, Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, 18 Tat Hong Avenue, Kowloon Tong

Topic: The Neon-Lit Streets of Cinema

Abstract:

What does ‘the future’ look like?

You could be forgiven for thinking of a dense neon-lit cityscape, a cross-breed of Shibuya and Kowloon Walled City, during a perpetual rainy night. But why do we have these associations? This particular vision of ‘the future’ appeared in 1980s movies because that was the rise of Japan as a superpower, during the personal electronics boom, when we walked around with Sony Walkmans, and neon signs illuminated streets across the world. Today we find ourselves in a very different society, with different hopes and fears – Japan as a rising superpower has given way to India or China, and even neon lights have been mostly replaced with LED ones – but these 1980s science-fiction cities still persist in our collective consciousness; once again confirmed in recent Hollywood blockbusters. The cities of cinema are mirrors of society at the time when they were written, but they also leave a tremendous cultural legacy for decades, shaping how we see our own world.

About the speaker

Alexey is a filmmaker and creative director, interested in life in contemporary cities. Many of his projects explore internet culture, and identity in the digital age. With a professional background in visual effects and an academic background in architecture, he brings a unique and visually rich approach to filmmaking, combining storytelling with world-design. Alexey’s work is linked to his academic research at SCI-Arc in Los Angeles, where he co-founded the MA Fiction & Entertainment program in 2015. The work of the program explores speculative fiction and critical design, through filmmaking and new media. The studio works with collaborators from Framestore, the Sundance Institute, Disney Imagineering, Netflix, Digital Domain, and more. Alexey has taught and lectured worldwide, including the Royal College of Art, Princeton University, and UCLA.

November 20: Tanya Toft

For the next colloquium, held on November 20, 2018 (Tuesday), we are very pleased to welcome researcher and curator Dr. Tanya Toft Ag, who will give a talk on the topic “Urban Media Art & Change (Expanded Reality)”.
The talk will start at 4:00 pm in M6094 Future Cinema Studio.

Date: 2O November 2018 (Tuesday)

Time: 4:00 pm

Venue: M6094 Future Cinema Studio, Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, 18 Tat Hong Avenue, Kowloon Tong

Topic: Urban Media Art & Change (Expanded Reality)

Abstract:

We face a task with art today – especially art that evolves in contingency with our urban media and communicative existence (urban media art) – which is to figure out what we want from it. In our current ‘aesthetic regime’, art is freed from specific rules, hierarchies, subject matter and genres (Jacques Rancière), and increasingly floating free of historical determination, conceptual definition and critical judgement (Hal Foster). In this horizontal artistic domain, since art is not what it used to be, rather than ‘what art is’ we can question ‘what art does’ (Susa Pop et al.). This leads to questions of how art is implicated with creating a sense of difference or change in the world, a perspective that has been raised by many art movements historically and that feeds recent initiatives of bringing art into labs and conversations of science, biology, architecture, and urban development.

While art has traditionally operated in a symbolic, representational layer, dealing with representational issues and a ‘crisis of perception’, the real perceptual challenges today are however mechanisms of an expanded reality: a reality shaping with digital media, data aggregation and algorithmic operations cuing our human behaviors, structures of thinking and neurological evolution. With these, today’s data culture industries change the world by targeting our neurosensory systems – contributing to what neuroscientists have named a ‘cognitive crisis’. These mechanisms are radically changing what art – art that want’s to ‘do’ and create change in the world – is up against.

In other words: global urban environments are changing, and that changes the urban context for art and art’s forms and inquiries. This situation urges us to re-evaluate art’s role in the urban context as well as how we research, produce, curate, critique and further discourse around art. How can we seize the expanding routes of art that evolve very fast with media aesthetics, that take forms and idioms we cannot ground in one disciplinary discourse, or in perspective of conditions of previous times? What do we want from art – when implicated with how things change?

Biography:

Dr. Tanya Toft Ag is a curator, researcher, writer and lecturer examining trajectories of media art(s) and urban change. She holds a Master of Arts in Media Studies from The New School, and a Master of Arts in Modern Culture with specialization in Urbanity and Aesthetics from Copenhagen University. In 2017 she gained her doctoral degree from Copenhagen University with a critical perspective on urban media art as temporal, contemporary matter in perspective of conditions of intensity, intelligence and immersion in urban media aesthetics. She has taken up visiting scholarships at Columbia University, The New School and Konstfack – University of Arts, Crafts and Design (CuratorLab). In 2018-2020 she is a research fellow at the School of Creative Media at City University of Hong Kong. She has presented her work at international conferences worldwide and held keynotes at Elektronika Festival 2018 in Belo Horizonte, Live the City 2016 in Bangkok, and City Link Conference 2015 in Copenhagen.
Her curatorial practice evolves with media art and media architecture in urban environments, as curator of the Screen City Biennial 2017 (Stavanger) and head of the biennial’s artistic research program, and associated with the Streaming Museum (NYC) since 2011 and Verve Cultural/SP Urban Digital Festival (São Paulo) since 2012. Independent exhibitions include Voyage to the Virtual (Scandinavia House, NYC, 2015) and Here All Alone (Copenhagen, 2015). She is chair and member of various conference and gallery boards (Media Art Histories – RE:SOUND 2019, Media Architecture Biennale 2018, Human-Computer Interaction Conference (HCI) 2017 and 2018, Open Sky Gallery 2015-2016). She is editor of Digital Dynamics in Nordic Contemporary Art (Intellect, 2018/2019) and co-editor of What Urban Media Art Can Do – Why, When, Where, and How? (av edition, 2016). In 2017 she co-initiated the globally networked Urban Media Art Academy.
More info on http://www.tanyatoft.com

November 13 at 4pm Stephanie Teng

For this colloquium, held on November 13, 2018 (Tuesday), we are very pleased to welcome photographer Stephanie Teng, who will give a talk on the topic “Honesty and ethics in art”.
The talk will start at 4:00 pm in M6094 Future Cinema Studio.

Date: 13 November 2018 (Tuesday)
Time: 4:00 pm
Venue: M6094 Future Cinema Studio, Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, 18 Tat Hong Avenue, Kowloon Tong

Topic: Honesty and ethics in photography

Abstract:

In the digital and political climate we’re in, honesty and ethics have never been more paramount. The industry has never been more crowded with photographers and content creators. So how can we remain honest and stay true to who we are in terms of aesthetic and building relationships? Is it possible to balance making a living while also pursuing making art?

Biography:

Stephanie Teng is a commercial photographer by trade and a documentary photographer at heart. From fashion, lifestyle to still life photography – she believes in the power of versatility and having transferable skills across different genres of the visual arts. Her creative vision is shaped by her passion for creating compelling visual narratives that challenge convention and inspire action.

Since embarking on her freelance journey in 2015, she has worked with: GQ Japan, Conde Nast Traveler, Pacific Place Magazine, IC Magazine, The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Swire Hotels & Restaurants, Design Anthology, #Legend, The Press Room Group, Grana, Clockenflap and more.

October 23, 2018 colloquium at 4pm: Jonathan Jay Lee

For the fourth colloquium of the semester, held on October 23, 2018 (Tuesday), we are very pleased to welcome Taiwanese-American artist Jonathan Jay Lee, who will give a talk on the topic Journey of becoming an artist”.

The talk will start at 4:00 pm in M6094 Future Cinema Studio.

Date: 23 October 2018 (Tuesday)

Time: 4:00 pm

Venue: M6094 Future Cinema Studio, Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, 18 Tat Hong Avenue, Kowloon Tong

Topic: Journey of becoming an artist

Abstract:

Jonathan Jay Lee will share his experience as an artist and engage the students in a discussion about what does it mean to become an artist today.

About the speaker

Based in Hong Kong, Taiwanese-American born Jonathan Jay Lee graduated with Departmental Honors in Illustration from Parsons School of Design with a style described as a mix between Eastern and Western styles of art.

He is an award-winning illustrator and has been published by Marvel Comics and Heavy Metal Magazine. His clients have included HSBC, San Miguel, Red Bull, WeSC, Omega Watches, Infiniti, Lamborghini, Black Sheep Restaurants and Superga. He has been awarded with an Excellence in Advertising from the GCIA, ’40 under 40 Top Young Design Talent’ from Perspective Magazine, and has exhibited internationally from Tokyo to NYC.

He also teaches courses as a Professor of Illustration and Sequential Art at Savannah College of Art and Design at the Hong Kong campus.

September 12 at 4pm: Pr. Mark D’Inverno

For the third colloquium of the semester, held on September 12, 2018 (Wednesday), we will welcome Pr. Mark D’Inverno from Goldsmiths, University of London, UK, who will give a talk on the topic The Future of Creativity

The talk will start at 4:00 pm in M6094 Future Cinema Studio.

 Date: 12 Sep 2018 (Wednesday)

Time: 4:00 pm

Venue: M6094 Future Cinema Studio, Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, 18 Tat Hong Avenue, Kowloon Tong

Topic: The Future of Creativity

Abstract:

There is a constant buzz around the word creativity. Reference to it has spread prolifically since the 1950s within and beyond academia, associated with novelty, value, imagination and innovation. What could be wrong with that?

We argue its use has become so ubiquitous across academia, marketing, politics and every -day as to mean no more than which we approve of.

So in this talk I’ll challenge the extensive and expansive use of this term and propose an alternative terminology that regains a meaning and currency for human activity that we wish to teach in universities.

So we consider “creative activity” as an alternative to “creativity”, and through the lenses of recent research and teaching innovation at Goldsmiths, look to answer the following key questions:

  1. What is human creative activity?
  2. What pedagogy should we use for teaching creative activity?
  3. How should we reframe AI research to inspire human creative activity?

I will aim to answer these questions from the perspective of being a musician, a lecturer, and an AI researcher.

About the speaker

Professor Mark d’Inverno holds an MA in Mathematics and an MSc in Computation from the University of Oxford and a PhD from University College London entitled “Agents, Agency and Autonomy”. He has been a Professor of Computer Science at Goldsmiths for over 10 years, leading large research projects across artificial intelligence, art, music and education and published over 200 peer-reviewed articles including several books such as Computers and Creativity.

He currently holds the position of Pro-Warden International (one of the 3 Vice Presidents) at Goldsmiths, University of London and was the Pro-Warden for Research and Enterprise between 2012 and 2016. He was the Head of the Computing Department between 2007 and 2011, which pioneered interdisciplinary research and new programmes – such as Digital Arts Computing, Music Computing and Creative Computing – at the interface of technology and creative practice.

He is a critically acclaimed jazz pianist in the UK and over 30 years has led a variety of successful bands in a range of different musical genres such as the Mark d’Inverno Quintet.

About Goldsmiths

Goldsmiths is one of the world’s leading institutions for the Creative Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and is currently in the top 50 institutions in the world for a range of subjects including performing arts, art and design, media, anthropology and sociology. It has a rich heritage of producing alumni that have had a significant and lasting impact on the UK’s Creative Industries with alumni including Mary Quant, Steve McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Anthony Gormley, Adrian Sutton, James Blake and Damien Hirst.

 

September 11th at 4pm: change of date

For the second colloquium of the semester, held on September 11, 2018 (Tuesday), we will welcome researcher Dr. Franziska Bruckner who will give a talk on the topic Stops in Motion – Animation as Meta-cinematographic Concept” 

The talk will start at 4:00 pm in M6094 Future Cinema Studio.

Date: 11 Sep 2018 (Tuesday)

Time: 4:00 pm

Venue: M6094 Future Cinema Studio, Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, 18 Tat Hong Avenue, Kowloon Tong

Topic: Stops in Motion – Animation as Meta-cinematographic Concept

Abstract:

Stop-motion is an animation technique, in which objects are shifted in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of photos are projected as a continuous sequence. In filmic contexts stop-motion reaches a specific potential of expression, but already includes historically grown aspects of intermediality by combining artistic spheres like photography, music, fine arts, theatre or puppetry. More comprehensive ideas of animation are featured from several theorists, such as Lev Manovich (1995), Alan Cholodenko (1991) or Suzanne Buchan (2013), which also emphasize the variety of manual, mechanical and conceptual possibilities of stop-motion beyond the medium film.

The lecture “Stops in Motion” focuses on an expanded notion of stop-motion, its potential before, in, and beyond its filmic boundaries and aims to explore a brief history of this aesthetically diverse animation technique. Beginning with precinematic devices, the lecture outlines important steps of stop-motion in film history and explores innovative prospects since its digitalization. This not only includes possibilities of established stop-motion software, but also focuses on opportunities in virtual and augmented reality applications. As stop-motion vitalizes objects in a visible fragmented way, it is an ideal concept for investigating new understandings of cinematic perception. Viewed from this perspective, stop-motion functions not anymore as a technique but as a “meta-cinematographic” concept and becomes a tool to fragment and recompose the world.

Biography:

Dr. Franziska Bruckner (Salzburg, 1981) is senior researcher and head of the research group Media Creation at the St. Poelten University of Applied Sciences. She is co-coordinator of the AG Animation within the German-speaking Society for Media Studies and board member of ASIFA Austria. From 2009 to 2013 she was a university assistant at the department of theater-, film- and media studies in Vienna. From 2013 to 2017 she worked as lecturer for animation theory and practice at the University of Vienna, University of Tuebingen and University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria.

More on:

http://franziska-bruckner.com

 

First colloquium: September 5 at 4pm with Ryohei Nakatsu & Naoko Tosa

For our first colloquium, held on 05 Sep 2018 (Wednesday), we will have Adjunct Professor, Kyoto University &Former Professor, National University of Singapore Ryohei Nakatsu and artist Naoko Tosa to give a joined talk on the topic “What Kind of Change Would We Face in the 21st Century?” followed by “Invisible Beauty 福”
The talk will be started at 4:00 pm in M6094 Future Cinema Studio.

Date: 05 Sep 2018 (Wednesday)
Time: 4:00 pm
Venue: M6094 Future Cinema Studio, Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, 18 Tat Hong Avenue, Kowloon Tong

First topic: What Kind of Change Would We Face in the 21st Century?
Speaker: Ryohei Nakatsu

Abstract:
As AI and Information Technology are advancing rapidly, it is expected that the technological singularity would come around 2045 when the capability of AI would surpass all aspect of human intelligence. In the basis of this hypothesis, there is the Western belief initiated by Plato that logical thinking is the basis of human intelligence. We have believed that this belief should be the guiding principle even in the 21st century. However, recently several new phenomena such as the election of Trump to the US president and Brexit occur that conflict with this principle and therefore could not be expected by most people. What is happening? This is a very important question to think and decide the future direction of Singapore as well as Japan. I will talk about this in my presentation.

About the Speaker:
Ryohei Nakatsu received the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electronic engineering from Kyoto University in 1969, 1971 and 1982 respectively. After joining NTT in 1971, he mainly worked on speech recognition technology. In 1994, he joined ATR (Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute) as Director of ATR Media Integration & Communications Research Laboratories. In 2002 he became Professor at School of Science and Technology, Kwansei Gakuin University. Since March 2008 until December 2014 he was Professor at National University of Singapore (NUS) and Director of Interactive & Digital Media Institute (IDMI) at NUS. Now he is serving as Adjunct Professor at Kyoto University Design School. His research interests include interactive media, entertainment technologies and communication robot/agent. He received in 1996 the best paper award from the IEEE International Conference on Multimedia, in 1999, 2000 and 2001, the best paper awards from Virtual Reality Society of Japan, and in 2000 the best paper award from Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence. Also, he received in 2010 IEEE Kansai Section medal, in 2011 IEEE Virtual Reality Service Award and in 2012 IFIP TC14 Contribution Award. He is a fellow of the IEEE since 2001 and a life fellow since 2014. Also, he is a fellow of the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers Japan (IEICE-J) since 2001 and Virtual Reality Society of Japan since 2012. Also, he is a honorary member of Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence.

For more information on Ryohei Nakatsu and future colloquium sessions, please visit https://sm2703.wordpress.com/

Second topic: Invisible Beauty 福
Speaker: Naoko Tosa

Abstract:
Whitestone Gallery Hong Kong is pleased to present an exhibition of works by Japanese artist Naoto Tosa. A pioneering media artist, Tosa is internationally renowned for her use of cutting-edge technology to produce works that channel traditional Japanese culture. Curated by Junji Ito, the exhibition showcases innovative media works from series such as ‘Sound of Ikebana’, ‘Genesis’ and ‘Space Flower’ as well as a new series entitled ‘Four Gods’. These works will be presented alongside a selection of her digital photographs. The show combines art and science to capture the invisible beauty of the world we live in.

Tosa’s 1985 video artwork, entitled ‘An Expression’, features sound she generated using a light sensor which read the brightness of a TV monitor. It broke new ground for video artwork and was acquired by MOMA New York. Tosa’s most celebrated creation, ‘Sound of Ikebana’ (Ikebana, 生け花, means flower arrangement in Japanese) is an extension of this previous work. She passes sound vibrations through coloured fluids like paints and oils and captures the mesmerising movement of colours via high-speed camera. The organic, elegant movements are displayed in colours and textures carefully selected according to cultural and historical colour iconography. ‘Sound of Ikebana’ was projected on the exterior wall of Art Science Museum in Singapore in 2014 and on large screens in Times Square, New York in 2017 in partnership with the Japan Society Gallery and Time Square Arts.

While maintaining her Japanese aesthetics, Tosa explores the origin of all life with ‘Genesis’. By capturing the movement and interaction of Japanese ink and dry ice bubbles inside a highly viscous fluid, she re-creates the fluctuating but alluring moment of creation itself. The artist explains it is a “hyper-natural form of art” that is too complicated to grasp and can only be captured using a high-speed camera.

Tosa’s ‘Space Flower’ series is an homage to Rimpa, a historical school of Japanese painting founded in Kyoto in the 17th century. Dramatic composition, luxurious use of precious substances like gold and pearls and backgrounds of gold leaf are common features of Rimpa. The ‘Space Flower’ series combines references from Rimpa painting even though the subject matter is drawn from subjects ranging from Japanese Oiran (a traditional courtesan) to jungles in space. Two works from the series, ‘Thunder God’ and ‘Wind God’ are Tosa’s homage to Sotatsu Tawaraya’s famous piece ‘Wind God and Thunder God.’

Tosa’s latest series of work, ‘Four Gods’ focuses on four mythological creatures from Chinese constellations, the Blue Dragon, Red Phoenix, Blue Turtle and White Tiger. The four creatures each represent a direction, a season, and also elements of life such as wood, fire, metal and water. The creatures are culturally important in China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam, and are portrayed as guardians of the people in ancient relics found throughout the region and in Feng shui. The concept of ‘Four Gods’ emerged in Tosa’s digital artwork at the Yeosu Marine Expo (Korea) in 2012 and was later honoured by the Expo committee.

This is the first time the artist will introduce a new series of works in a gallery space. Whitestone Gallery Hong Kong will transform itself into a multimedia environment for this exhibition, with high-tech equipment generously provided by TELMIC Corp allowing Tosa’s work to be experienced in the most dynamic manner possible. Tosa Naoko: Invisible Beauty 福, will be on view from 4 August to 2 September 2018.

About Naoko Tosa
Naoko Tosa is an internationally renowned Japanese media artist. After receiving PhD from the University of Tokyo, she was artist fellow at the Centre for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT from 2002 to 2004. Currently she is a professor at Kyoto University. Her artworks have been focusing the expression of Japanese tradition and culture utilizing technology. She exhibited her artworks at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the New York Metropolitan Art Museum, ARS Electronica, etc. In 1997, the L’Oreal Grand Prix awarded her art and science first prize. In 2012 she exhibited her artwork on LED screen of 250mx30m at Yeosu Expo in Korea. She has been appointed by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan as a Japan Cultural Envoy 2016. Museum Collection: The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The National Museum of Art, Osaka/Japan, The Museum of Modern Art, Toyama/Japan, Nagoya City Art Museum, Nagoya/Japan, and Takamatsu City Museum of Art, Takamatsu/Japan