[ISEA2016] Artists Statement: Linda Lai & Floating Projects Collective — Object-Subjectivities

Artists Statement

Satellite Event: No References: A Revisit of Hong Kong Video and Media Art from 1985

In 2010 Lai founded the Floating Projects Collective, which currently consists of about 20 members engaging in experimental art production. The Collective participated in Lai’s Object-Subjectivities (2016), a new work with installation and performance components based on Object-activity (1989) and LOOK: Object-activity (2006). In July 1989, one month after the June-Fourth Tiananmen massacre, an improvised performance was staged by artists including Choi Yan-chi, Leung Ping-kwan, Mui Cheuk-yin, Yau Ching and others. The performance was reconstructed by Lai in 2006 and once again on 21 May 2016; for Lai, each rendition has a different conceptual, pictorial and formal focus. She writes:
While LOOK: Object-activity suggested a time and mind at ease, Object-Subjectivities in 2016 asserts the therapeutic power of communication via doing things together. The principle of “collective co-individuation” manifests itself in a play with objects – each performer follows his/her own self-made routines to create a meditative space that also invites sharing and exchange.  [source: artradarjournal.com/2016/07/06/no-references-9-hong-kong-video-and-new-media-artists-part-1/]

Object-Subjectivities: FPC performing at No References
The performance “Object-Subjectivities” (OS), performed by 10 Floating Projects members, annotates Linda Lai’s wall installation of the same title. OS dialogues with “Object-Activities” in 1989 and “LOOK: Object-activity” in 2006. OS is a series of structured improvisations in 3 acts with a coda. Cleansing with water is the overall metaphor. The 1989 performance “Object-Activities” was a cross-disciplinary modernist art experiment. Performed in July after the June-Fourth massacre, it was a “mourning” event. The 2016 performance “Object-Subjectivities” asserts the therapeutic power of “doing things together.” The principle of “collective co-individuation” manifests itself in a play with objects. Each performer follows his/her own self-made “algorithmic” routines.
The resultant performance is a meditative space that also invites sharing and exchange.

Act One: ”automation, emergence, artificial intelligence, programmed democracy”
Act Two: ”hardworking algorithms”
Act Three: ”collective co-individuation”
Coda: ”relentless remembering”

Total performance time: about 40 minutes

Concept/structure: Linda LAI; Producer: WONG Chun-hoi; Water closet (design): WONG Chun-hoi, Wing CHEUK; Chinese text: LAI Wai-leung; Performers: Linda LAI (live automatic writing), WONG Chun-hoi, Andio LAI, WONG Fuk-kuen, Hugo YEUNG, Fiona LEE, Kenji WONG, Anna CHIM, DING Cheuk-laam, and CHEUK Wing-nam.

  • Academic, artist, curator and art historian Linda Lai is another forerunner of Hong Kong video and new media. Working at the intersections of video, new media, performance and cultural history, Lai’s transdisciplinary practice takes on questions of micro- and meta-narrativity in experimental historiography through various forms of video and installation. Her works have been shown in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Paris, London, New York City and beyond, and she is currently Associate Professor in Intermediate art and Critical theory at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong. [source: artradarjournal.com/2016/07/06/no-references-9-hong-kong-video-and-new-media-artists-part-1/]
  • Founded in 2010 and reinvented in 2015 by artist and art professor Linda C.H. Lai with a dozen of emerging artists, the Floating Projects (FP) occupied a 170m2 artistic production site in Wong Chuk Hang industrial area to answer the question: what can artists do with an empty unit in an industrial building with institutionally and physically defined constraints, and how do artists survive beyond the commercial gallery system and a public funds-dependent charity model? In August 2018, the Floating Projects Collective (FPC) moved into a new re-purposed industrial building in Shek Kip Mei’s JCCAC to drive a new phase FP 2.0, which remains a site of collaborative-individuated art experiments after an interdisciplinary and intermedia principle, and itself an art project that interrogates questions of space and being. The collective has grown from 12 to 17 members. We uphold rigorous mutual critique, and an approach to art-making that views a work as always in-progress with generative potentials. We persist in being a place where artists of varied generations could work together, meet in conversations and write about what we do. floatingprojectscollective.net