A Lecture by Chien-Hung Huang
Date: December 4 2018, Tuesday
Technology has played a dominating role in the process of democratization during 80s and 90s. However, the digitization of industries and neoliberal economic models submerged the world in a fragmented reality as crises and disasters became part of our daily scene. What came afterwards was the disappearance of the middle class, rapid growth of a low-income population, the commodification of non-material labor, bourgeoisie’s intensive investment in land that has ushered in a booty capitalism throughout the globe, the exploitation of labor hours, etc. The excessive manipulation of the economy and material market has not only widened the gap between the rich and the poor, but also created a sense of “deprivation” in all corners of the world. It is precisely due to this widespread feeling of being deprived that “justice”, in the modern or symbolic sense has been severely criticized and discounted. However, at the same time, a stronger need for “justice” in its realistic sense has surfaced for another section of population. The paradox that lies in some people’s need to negate justice and others’ need to embrace it has led justice away from being a symbolic “choice” and turned it into a more practical “calculation”.
After post-colonial discourses flourished during the 90s and the early 2000s, the focus has been shifted towards the global development of the technological society following the examination of social and economic structure in the study of globalization. How could we escape from the cybernetic calculation? And how could we preserve or construct ourselves during the automation of society? From many artists’ re-observation and study of societies in their creations that connect their own life experience and other people’s development, it becomes clear that technology, economy and politics have forcibly influenced cultural development throughout past few centuries. The range of this influence encompasses modern countries, international network, diverse culture and technological and capital revolution. Using their works and installations, the artists have pointed out the imperceptible aspects that people need to face, shoulder and comprehend. In politics, the imperceptible aspects refer to those that have not been promised with any definite forms but have already been happening for the co-existence defined by the bio-political perspective, which will be where “future justice” lies.
Chien-Hung Huang is an Associate Professor at the Taipei National University of Arts in the Institute of Trans- disciplinary Art. He has published numerous books, including COQ (2009), An Independent Discourse (2010), Trans Plex Agenda (2011), EMU (2012) and Smile of Montage (2013). Huang is also a film critic and a critic of contemporary art and the spectacle. He has translated books by G. Deleuze, J. Baudrillard and J. Rancière. Since 2007, he has been also working as a curator. Huang has curated shows such as Ex.ception(2007), S-HOMO at K’s Art (2009), POST.O at Taipei MoCA (2009), Look by the cinema in OCAT Shenzhen (2010), TRANS-PLex and Solarium (2011), Chim.Pom’sBeautiful World and Crush on EMU (2012), Schizophrenia Taiwan 2.0 (2013) and Post Movement (2014), Dicordant Harmony (2015-2016), Trans- Archiving(2017), Trans-Justice: Paracolonial@technology(2018).
* This lecture is carried out within the scope of The Village Project / Istanbul.