Technological advancement gives rise to multi-sensorial experiences in the public sphere that are geared towards the spectacular – gigantic LCD screens that are plastered over buildings and public address systems that blast advertising slogans in every direction. These new experiences go beyond mere sights and sounds - on the surface, they attract, fascinate and excite; on another level, they re-define patterns of social interaction and shape the activities that take place in the public domain.
Site:Seeing is a new media art exhibition that features two artists, one from Hong Kong and one from Singapore. Each presents a new media art project that seeks to examine the relationship between public spaces and the city’s inhabitants and visitors, as well as to subvert the usual experience of physical sensorial bombardment that comes with experiencing a city’s key attractions.
Sonic Encounter is a sound installation by Zulkifle Mahmod and was commissioned by The Arts House for Poetics of Space as part of Spotlight Singapore in Moscow in June 2008. The work re-presents the multi-religious and multi-cultural environment of Singapore to a non-local audience. By weaving through a cluster of rounded shells of upside-down street lamps of Singapore, these ‘tourist’ or ‘visitors’ can experience the intimate and varying soundscapes of the city that grows increasingly electronic and systematic.
In order to further explore the concept of “attraction”, Hong Kong artist, Kingsley Ng, has been investigating the contradiction between man’s ideas of “possession” and “appreciation” that revolve around the Hong Kong Harbour, an "attraction" to many for over a hundred years. The work titled Record: Light from +22° 16’ 14” +114° 08’ 48” keeps the focus on the impossible activity of capturing the stunning night view of the harbour. Flashes of light from visitors taking pictures from the Victoria Peak of the harbor are etched into a 12-inch disk. Played on a modern version of the Gramophone, we can experience the enchanting visuals and sounds that interpret the symphony of these random bursts of light.
Site:Seeing is presented as part of October Contemporary, an annual month-long platform inaugurated in 2007 to promote contemporary visual art and artists in Hong Kong. The city’s leading art spaces and institutions unite under one theme for a month long celebration of contemporary art, offering diverse perspectives within a clearly defined curatorial framework. The theme Attr/Action has been chosen for October Contemporary 2008, its notion alluding, among other things, to the phenomenon of cultural or tourist attractions, and the way in which these are used to market the images of cities and nations.
Site:Seeing continues until 23 November 2008.