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讲座︱理论热:艺术、技术、流行文化

2019-04-24 18:46:13 来源: ARTFORUM中文网 作者:艺术论坛


理论热:艺术、技术、流行文化
ARTFORUM中文网 × 泰康空间

4月27日,ARTFORUM中文网将与泰康空间共同推出一场为期一天的讨论,分为上下午两部分,从大家最熟悉的刘慈欣和中国科幻说起,探讨最近几年技术“理论热”与现下艺术创作和策展实践之间的关系。为此,除了每场的主题演讲嘉宾之外,我们还邀请了年轻新锐学者和近期活跃在相关理论领域的策展人,他们将从各自的工作经验出发,围绕“艺术、技术、流行文化”展开深度对话。

2011-2012年,中国艺术界出现过一次“理论热”[1],当时“席卷”整个艺术圈的话题人物还是ABRZ(阿甘本、巴迪欧、朗西埃和齐泽克),线上争论的平台还是微博和论坛。六七年间,微信取代微博成为社交媒体霸主,另一波理论热潮也已经冲击到岸,这一次,技术成为主角。进入二十一世纪以来,迅速变化的技术现实及其在全球范围产生的影响催生了对(西方)现代性的新一轮反思。人类纪、新实在论、后人类、后自然、加速主义……无论这些名词在其各自哲学理论领域具体指代和政治目标为何,在越来越短的翻译时差下,它们开始频繁被国内艺术家、策展人、艺评人引用和谈论。然而,这其中必经的转换我们不能忽视:在典型的“西方冲击”下被卷入现代化进程的中国经过整个二十世纪的动荡,如今变成新自由主义全球资本市场上的重要参与者——面对如此现实,上述有关技术的思辨对于今天的艺术创作究竟意味着什么?是只需在精神上跟随的话语潮流,还是新的题材库和方法论,或是具有启发意义的提示线索?如果全球化时代的危机要求全球化的应对方案,“人类纪”、“前先祖”等等在空间和时间上都堪称行星规模的宏大视角是否真的能够帮助我们打开一条走出现代性种种困局的道路?技术何以构成新的斗争场域,或者为我们提供重新书写世界历史的突破口?
 
如果是标准的时光机故事,重写历史就等于改变未来。而在专门负责描写未来图景的领域里,2015年,中国科幻作家刘慈欣凭借《三体》获得“雨果奖”最佳长篇故事奖,一时间,科幻小说从类型文学突然变成了主流讨论热点。去年年底,根据刘慈欣同名小说改编的国产科幻大片《流浪地球》累计票房超过40亿人民币,成为现象级神作的同时,也在网上引发了蔚为壮观的争论。故事里是星辰大海、浩瀚宇宙,严肃评论却多在谈冷战、文革、第三世界、(中国)历史经验,网络争吵则是“战狼”、“工业党”、“小粉红”等现实标签之间的竞争。刘慈欣作品显然已经超出科幻固有领域,成为某种流行文化现象,自然而然也出现了不少针对该现象的“意识形态批判”。但除了将其作为文化批评对象以外,我们是否还能从刘慈欣现象中发现其他思考资源?毕竟,一直以来,当代艺术从流行文化中汲取的营养与它从前卫理论中得到的一样多。
 
[1]《艺术界》杂志,“理论热”专题,2012年4月号.

全天日程

2019年4月27日
上午场:11:00-12:30

11:00
主题演讲:人工智能时代的艺术作品

演讲人:李广益
 
瓦尔特·本雅明曾在《机械复制时代的艺术作品》一文中认为,机械复制技术的应用消解了古典艺术的距离感和唯一性,导致了“灵晕”(aura)的消失。当我们进入人工智能时代,“深度学习”的机械复制所带来的,是“灵晕”的彻底消失,还是一种全新的硅基或碳硅二元的“灵晕”?在当代中国的科幻小说中,我们或许能窥见艺术的未来。
 
李广益,加州大学洛杉矶分校文学博士,重庆大学人文社会科学高等研究院副教授。研究方向主要包括中国现当代文学、中国思想史、科幻文学与文化、乌托邦文学与思想,编著《中国科幻文学再出发》(2016)、《<三体>的X种读法》(2017),译著《乌托邦之概念》(2018)。

11:50
实验室作为惊奇发生器

发言人:魏颖
 
实验室是现代科技的重要产物之一,这一空间被视为充满未知的黑匣子。布鲁诺·拉图尔在《实验室生活》中试图用人类学的方法研究实验室的建构,此书也成为科技与社会研究(STS)的奠基作之一。实验室是否只是简单地将自然置于其中进行祛魅,导致神秘学等领域大幅消褪,成为人文艺术等创造性领域的对立者?事实并不如此简单。讲者的研究项目——“实验室作为惊奇发生器”,试图阐释实验室与艺术人文的一种新型关系。该项目不仅指涉现代实验室,也将从早期科学史/艺术史中回溯“实验室”的定义。首期研究将调查全球设有艺术驻地项目的著名实验室,来叙述艺术史的另一种可能性视角,以及从由此衍生的诸多话题,例如艺术家与科学家的合作模式、“大科学” 背景下的政策制定、科学在流行文化中的位置等。
 
魏颖是一位策展人、研究者。现为中央美术学院科技艺术研究员, 也是“泛生物艺术工作室” (PBS)的创始人。她近期的研究及兴趣方向包括:生物艺术、后人类语境下的科技艺术、科技与社会研究(STS)、科学史与艺术的融合等。

12:10
海洋,作为影像与网络

发言人:杨北辰

海洋是一种媒介。其将隔绝的大陆连接起来,并经由架设在表层或深层的不同通道传递着物质、能量及信息,这些通道构建的网络如今已是全球尺度不可分割的一部分。海平面上的航路,深海的石油管道与光缆,以及遍布的钻井平台,这些人造物与各类海洋中原有的物质生命形式共同创造出了某种新的生态系统。与此同时,关于争端、灾异或神秘的意象亦持存着:地缘政治,资本战争,大规模污染抑或难民危机,海洋同样意味着终止与不可控,“利维坦”在此更新了自身的可怖。凯勒·伊斯特林曾谈及新自由主义经济幻想中的“无摩擦之海”,将其想象为平滑与无摩擦的实体,然而在平滑的表面下却富含着高强度的摩擦与复杂的媒介地貌。在此次发言中,我将通过艺术家的实践来探讨海洋在当下的多重面目,并试图勾勒出作为网络的海洋的影像状态。
 
杨北辰,当代艺术与电影研究者,策展人。先后毕业于法国巴黎第十大学与北京电影学院,以论文《作为档案的电影》(Film as Archive)获得电影历史与理论博士学位;并作为资深编辑在ARTFORUM中文网工作多年;现任教于中央戏剧学院,并担任新世纪当代艺术基金会特约研究员。他长期致力于当代艺术与电影研究之间的跨领域工作,曾发起并策划多项运动-影像的展览与放映活动,目前主要从事当代运动-影像理论、媒体考古学与新物质主义方面的研究。

2019年4月27日
下午场:14:30-17:30

14:30
主题演讲:技术化时代的艺术、传媒与社会:先锋艺术与工具理性

演讲人:吴靖
 
在本雅明的论述中,由于机械复制技术的介入,现代艺术的先锋性在于其促进社会民主化的潜在力量。而在20世纪工业社会的历史中,电子媒介、社会科学与商业文化的发展,同时催生了将科技与艺术应用到社会管理与控制领域的大规模实践。这些实践在数字媒介时代更加深度地发展,我们可以从电子与数码科技的诸多案例中管窥这些实践的社会意图,以及反思社会如何回应和改造这些实践。
 
吴靖,爱荷华大学传播研究系传播学硕士、博士,北京大学新闻与传播学院教授。主要研究领域为批判媒体与文化研究,传播与媒介技术的社会理论,新媒介技术的社会使用与文化分析,视觉文化等。目前,吴靖的研究主要侧重于奇观文化与新媒介技术的社会想象与社会使用。
 
15:20
从“终极乌托邦”到“宇宙中的人”——全球化与《三体》的乌托邦性质

发言人:杨宸
 
尽管如今《三体》已被纳入到各种阐释框架中,但却少有人注意到《三体》作为一个非“乌托邦文本”的乌托邦性质。在对科幻文类的反向追溯中,莫尔的《乌托邦》构成一个很关键的“起点”,而这一文本又联系着新航路开辟/全球化的历史事实,这提示了乌托邦、科幻与全球化的密切关联。由此反观,全球化可为讨论《三体》这一科幻文本的乌托邦性质提供一重要视角。在此视角下,我们能发现刘慈欣如何在文本内建构出了他的“终极乌托邦”,又如何从这一想象中召唤出了“宇宙中的人”,而此二者构成的“宇宙-人类”装置又如何导向了均质全球化想象。这一想象在哈拉维式“克苏鲁纪”的映照下,恰恰显示出了其面对全球化时的“中国”式期待与焦虑。
 
杨宸,北京大学中文系比较文学与世界文学博士在读,关注八十年代文学、科幻、电影研究等领域。
 
15:40
戏里与戏外的技术理性问题

发言人:傅正
 
也许对于技术理性的评判是科幻文学永恒的话题。电影《流浪地球》热映以来,好评之声固然不绝于耳,批判抨击者亦不乏见。争论的关键之一是这部影片是怎么思考技术理性问题的?电影与原著在这个问题上又有什么差别?此外还有人担忧:中国电影工业会不会因此而盲目追赶美国好莱坞的技术手段,而忘掉了对人类伦理价值的根本思考?应当说,对于技术理性的讨论既存在于戏里,也存在于戏外。所谓“戏里”,即电影和原著分别对技术理性抱有何种态度?所谓“戏外”,即好莱坞技术模式对于未来的中国科幻电影道路意味着什么?
 
傅正,北京师范大学历史学博士,清华大学人文与社会科学高等研究所博士后。主要研究方向为中国近代思想史、中国近代政治史、西方政治思想史。曾在《近代史研究》、《开放时代》、《文化纵横》等刊物发表专业论文数篇,并有专著《古今之变——蜀学今文学与近代革命》。
 
16:00
集体讨论与问答

全体嘉宾
回应人:陈玺安(策展人,长征计划研究员)
主持人:杜可柯(ARTFORUM中文网主编)
        李佳(泰康空间高级策展人)

 

Theory Fever:
Art, Technology, Popular Culture

Artforum X Taikang Space

Artforum.com.cn and Taikang Space are pleased to present “Theory Fever: Art, Technology, Popular Culture”, a one-day symposium starting out first from the widely popular writings of Liu Cixin to explore the technological “theory fever” of the past few years and its connections with recent artistic creation and curatorial practice in China.

In 2011 and 2012, the Chinese art world birthed its first instance of “theory fever” [1]. At that time sweeping through the entire art world as topics of discussion were “ABRZ” — Agamben, Badiou, Rancière, and Žižek, and the platforms for online debate were still Weibo and forums. In the space of 6 or 7 years, WeChat has replaced Weibo as the overlord of social media, and another wave of theory fever is breaking against the shore, this time with technology as the protagonist. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the rapidly changing technological reality and its impact on a global scale have brought forth a new round of reflection on the (Western) modernity. The Anthropocene, Neo-Realism, Post-Humanism, Post-Nature, Accelerationism… regardless of the specific connotations and political aims of these terms in their respective philosophical and theoretical fields, they are starting to be frequently used and discussed by domestic artists, curators, and art critics, with translations into Chinese being completed faster than ever. However, we cannot ignore the unavoidable transformations within this process: after going through a typical “shock” of Westernization and being drawn into the modernization program, China has been embroiled in the upheaval of the 20th century, and turned into a key player in Neoliberalism’s global capitalist market— facing this reality, what exactly do the above-mentioned technologies and their speculations mean for artistic creation today? Is this just a trend of new buzzwords that people follow only in spirit, a new arsenal of themes and methodology, or new clues with great potential to inspire? If the crises of the global era require globalized plans in response, can viewing the “Anthropocene” and “Ancestral” through space and time on a grand planetary scale really help us open up a path out of modernity and all its problems? How does technology constitute a new field of struggle, or present us with a breakthrough to rewrite world history?

In a standard time machine story, rewriting history is tantamount with changing the future. And in the field dedicated to description of the future, in 2015 Chinese science fiction writer Liu Cixin won the Hugo Award for Best Novel with his book The Three-Body Problem. In a moment, science fiction changed from a niche literary genre to a hot topic in mainstream cultural discussions. At the end of last year, the domestically-made science fiction film The Wandering Earth, based on Liu’s novel of the same name, made more than 4 billion RMB at the box office, a phenomenal success. At the same time, it also ignited spectacular debate on the Internet. Though the story is set in the starry sea of the constellations, the vast universe, the serious commentary online was actually mostly about the Cold War, the Cultural Revolution, the Third World, and (Chinese) historical experience. Arguments online were between different groups — “Wolf Warriors” (militaristic nationalists), the “Industrial Party” (pro-technology and industry) and "Little Pinks” (nationalist youth). Liu Cixin's works have obviously gone past the inherent context of science fiction, and become a type of phenomenon in popular culture, which naturally has had many “ideological critiques” directed against it. But apart from using it as an object of cultural criticism, are there further intellectual resources we can gain from the phenomenon of Liu Cixin and his work? After all, from the beginning contemporary art has gained as much of its sustenance from popular culture as from avant-garde theory.

[1] LEAP Magazine, “Theory Fever” issue, April 2012.

Full Program

April 27 2019
Morning Session: 11:00-12:30

11:00
Keynote Lecture: The Work of Art in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Speaker: Li Guangyi

In his essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”, Walter Benjamin put forward his belief that the usage of technologies of mechanical reproduction caused the disappearance of the feelings of distance and uniqueness present in classical art, leading to the vanishing of “aura.” At the moment when we are entering the age of Artificial Intelligence, will the mechanical reproduction brought by “Deep Learning” lead to the complete disappearance of “aura”, or a new form of silicon/carbon-silicon-based “aura”? In contemporary Chinese science fiction, we may be able to get a glimpse of the future of art.

Li Guangyi holds a Ph.D from UCLA, and is associate professor at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, Chongqing University. His research interests include modern and contemporary Chinese literature, Chinese intellectual history, science fiction literature and culture, and utopian literature and thought. He edited Chinese Science Fiction: A New Start (2016), Readings of The Three Body Problem (2017), and translated Ruth Levitas’ The Concept of Utopia (2018).

11:50
Lab as the Generator of Surprises

Speaker: Jo Wei

The laboratory is one of the most important products of modern technology, yet this space is seen as somewhere full of mysterious black boxes of unknown functions. In Laboratory Life, Bruno Latour attempted to use the methods of anthropology to research the construction of the laboratory, and the book has become foundational for Science and Technology Studies (STS). Is the laboratory not simply removing the magic from nature, leading to a major decrease in occultism and related realms, and becoming the opposite of the humanities, art and other creative fields? The reality is not so simple. The speaker's research project, “Lab as Generator of Surprises”, attempts to explain a new type of relationship between the laboratory and arts and humanities. This project is not only concerned with modern laboratories, but also looks back to the early definition of the laboratory in the history of science and art history. The first phase of the project will examine famous international laboratories with artist residency programs to illustrate another possible perspective on art history and the many other topics that may be derived from it, such as models for collaboration between artists and scientists, the formulation of “Big Science” policy, the position of science in popular culture, and more.
 
Jo Wei is a curator and researcher. She is currently a researcher on Art, Science and Technology(AST) at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, as well as the founder of the Pan Bio Art Studio (PBS). Her recent work and research interests include: bio art, AST in the post-human context, research on STS, the integration of the history of science and art, and more.

12:10
Ocean as Moving-Image and Network
Speaker: Yang Beichen

The ocean is a medium. It connects separated continents, and through different channels built on the surface or in the deep it delivers materials, energy, and information. The networks constructed through these channels are now an integral part of the world's functioning on a global scale. Shipping routes on the surface of the sea, deep sea oil pipelines and fiber optic cables, and oil rigs everywhere, these man-made artifacts and every conceivable type of original matter/life form from the ocean together create a new type of ecosystem. At the same time, images of conflict, disaster, and mystery still persist: through geopolitics, capitalist warfare, large-scale pollution, and refugee crises, the sea also denotes termination and uncontrollability. Here, the “Leviathan” has updated its own horror. Keller Easterling has talked about the “frictionless sea” in Neoliberal economic fantasies, imagining it as a smooth and frictionless entity, yet under the smooth surface it is rich in extremely strong friction and a complicated landscape of mediums. In this speech, I will explore the ocean’s multiple aspects today through the practice of the artists, and try to outline the state of the image of the ocean as network.

Yang Beichen is a curator/researcher of film and contemporary art. He received his M.A. from University Paris Nanterre and his Ph.D. from the Beijing Film Academy with a dissertation titled “Film as Archive”. He has worked as senior editor at artforum.com.cn. for many years and currently teaches film and media theory at the Central Academy of Drama (Beijing). He is also a guest researcher at the New Century Art Foundation (Beijing). Yang has devoted himself to the interdisciplinary research between contemporary art and cinema through curatorial practices. His current research focuses on the theory of the contemporary moving-image, media archaeology, and the new materialism.

April 27 2019
Afternoon Session: 14:30 – 17:30

14:30
Keynote Lecture: Art, Media, and Society in the Age of Technological Change: Pioneering Art and Instrumental Rationality

Speaker: Wu Jing

In Benjamin's explanation, owing to the intervention of mechanical reproduction technology, modern art’s avant-garde nature lies in its potential to promote social democraticization. In the history of industrial society of the 20th century, the development of electronic media, social science, and business culture also gave birth to the large-scale practice of applying science, technology, and art, to the fields of social management and control. These practices have been more deeply developed in the digital media era, and we can observe the social intent of these practices in many cases from electronic and digital science and technology, while reflecting on how society responds to and transforms according to these practices.

Wu Jing obtained her Master’s and Ph.D. in Communications Studies from the University of Iowa, and is a professor at Peking University’s School of Journalism and Communication. Her central field of research is critical media and theory studies, the social theory of communication and media technology, the social uses of new media technology and cultural analysis, visual culture, and more. Currently, Wu Jing's research places special emphasis on the social imaginary and social use of the culture of the spectacle and new media technology.

15:20
From “Ultimate Utopia” to “People in the Universe”: Globalization and the Utopian Nature of The Three-Body Problem

Speaker: Yang Chen

Although The Three Body Problem has already been drawn into various interpretative frameworks, not many people have noticed the utopian nature of the text, as a non-“Utopian novel.” Tracing in reverse the lineage of science fiction, Moore's Utopia constitutes a key “starting point,” and this literary form is linked to historical facts around new routes of opening up/globalization, suggesting a close correlation between Utopia, science fiction, and globalization. From this point of view, globalization can provide an important perspective for discussing the utopian nature of The Three-Body Problem as a science fiction text. From this angle, we can find out how Liu Cixin constructed his “ultimate utopia” in the text, and how to summon the “people in the universe” from this imaginary, as well as how these two constitute the “cosmo-human” device and how this leads to a homogeneous global imagination. This imaginary, under a Haraway-style “Chthulucene”, precisely shows “Chinese” style expectations and anxiety in the face of globalization.

Yang Chen is a Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature and World Literature at the Chinese Department of Peking University. His areas of focus are 1980s literature, science fiction, and film studies.

15:40
Technological Rationality Problems Inside and Outside of Plot

Speaker: Fu Zheng
  
Perhaps the judgment of technical rationality is science fiction's eternal topic. Since the film The Wandering Earth opened in cinemas, the roar of praise has been endless, but there has also been no lack of critics. One of the key issues of the debate is how the film thinks about technical rationality. What is the difference between the film and the original novel on this point? Besides, there are still people concerned: will the Chinese film industry blindly rush to catch up with the technical methods of America’s Hollywood, and forget fundamental thinking about human ethical values? It should be said that the discussion of technical rationality exists both inside and outside of the film’s plot. What is “inside of the plot,” that is to say, what is the attitude of the film and the original novel towards technical rationality? What is “outside of the plot”, that is to say, what does the Hollywood technological model mean for the future path of Chinese science fiction movies?

Fu Zheng holds a Ph.D. from Beijing Normal University, and is a postdoctoral fellow at Tsinghua University’s Institute of Humanities and Social Science. Key research interests include the history of modern Chinese thought, modern Chinese political history, and the history of Western political thought. He has published several professional papers in publications such as “Modern Chinese History Studies”, “Open Times”, and “Beijing Cultural Review”, and has written a monograph on “Ancient-modern Transformation——Sichuan School and the Chinese Revolution”.

16:00
Group Discussion and Q&A:

All speakers
Respondents: Zian Chen (Curator, researcher at Long March Project)
Moderator:
Du Keke (Editor of artforum.com.cn.)
Li Jia (Senior curator of Taikang Space)

  

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