[ISEA2016] Introduction: Olli Tapio Leino — Preface and Acknowledgements

Introductory Statement

The 22nd International Symposium on Electronic Art, ISEA2016, was held in Hong Kong from 16 to 22 May, 2016. The Symposium was co-organised by City University of Hong Kong’s School of Creative Media, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Design, Videotage, and, Microwave Festival. It featured a conference, a juried exhibition, performances, events in public space, an artist residency programme and exhibition, and satellite and parallel exhibitions and events. The conference consisted of two days of workshops at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University on 16 and 17 May, 2016, and four days of parallel sessions and keynotes at City University of Hong Kong from 18 to 21 May, 2016.

Contributions to ISEA2016 were solicited through an open call: authors and artists were invited to respond to a number of topics specified under the Symposium’s theme Cultural R>evolution. Each full paper, short paper, and panel discussion submission was reviewed in a double-blind peer review process by at least two members of the Symposium’s International Programme Committee. The final selection of contributions in full and short paper and panel discussion categories was made by the track chairs and the conference chairs based on the IPC members’ recommendations. The Conference programme of ISEA2016 featured also artist / work-in-progress talks, poster presentations, and institutional presentations, which were selected based on their relevance by the respective chairs outside the peer review process. Some submissions rejected from the juried exhibition and peer-reviewed full and short paper and panel discussion categories were accepted in the non-peer-reviewed categories. This volume contains the peer-reviewed full and short papers and panel discussions, and the abstracts of the poster presentations selected by conference chairs. The contributions in this volume are by no means an exhaustive representation of the response the ISEA2016 Call for Participation: the artworks in the ISEA2016 juried exhibition and in the Open Sky Gallery, the performances, and the events in public space are documented in the Exhibition Catalogue of ISEA2016.

The themes of ISEA2016, described in the next section, result from a process of collective authorship. While some of the themes rather straightforwardly reflect the specific interests of people involved, others were collectively deemed as warranted by the intellectual climate affecting the tone and mood of discussions about technology, art, culture, and society. To borrow a notion from Andrew Pickering, the ”dance of agency“ that led to the themes in ISEA2016 Call for Participation happened in places of work and leisure both online and offline between 2013 and 2015 with varying periods of intensity. It was a delightfully productive game of broken telephone, in which discussants faded in and out, brought along their associates, lost and re-gained interest, and planted seeds which later grew into previously unpredictable intellectual forms. Due to the obvious difficulty of attributing authorship of the themes in the Call for Participation, the listing of themes in the next section mentions the names of track chairs who oversaw the review of paper and panel submissions in their respective topic areas and made the acceptance recommendations to ensure a coherent and high-quality paper programme.

ISEA2016 would not have been possible without the institutional support from City University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Videotage, and Microwave. The sponsorship and other forms of support from a number of partners listed elsewhere in this volume was equally indispensable. ISEA2016 is greatly indebted to Prof. Richard Allen, the Dean of School of Creative Media at City University of Hong Kong, who ensured the School’s full support to the Symposium. I would like to thank the Artistic Director of ISEA2016, Prof. Jeffrey Shaw and the Co-Director, Prof. Cees de Bont, for bearing the responsibility and bridging together the inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional team behind ISEA2016. This volume was prepared before the Symposium and given to every registered delegate. Readying the diverse forms of intellectual biomass to fit between two covers already before the Symposium took a great deal of effort from everyone involved. I would like to express my gratitude to all the authors who responded to our call, to the IPC members — whose names are listed elsewhere in this volume — who diligently went through the submissions, and, to the accepted authors who toiled away at revisions within tight deadlines. Also to thank are the session chairs, moderators, and volunteers, without whom it would not have been possible to get together to transform the discursive currents in this volume into face-to-face conversations at the conference.

On behalf of the ISEA2016 conference team,

  • Dr. Olli Tapio Leino (Finland)ISEA2016 Symposium Director, Conference Chair. Assistant Professor, School of Creative Media City University of Hong Kong