[email protected] was founded by artist Huang Wen-Hao in 1995. It observes and develops all the potential forms of artistic practices and explores the unidentified situation caused by digital culture. With the two-fold identity of an objective evaluator and an active participant, [email protected] ventures into every possible discipline of contemporary arts and actively develop itself into an institution which obtains both concepts and implementing skills.
Based on its fervent exploration on using digital tools, [email protected] has been driven by its relentless quest to push the possibility of “online video archive.” After their previous initiative to contextualize nearly a hundred documentation footages on “avant-garde theatre” of the 90s, [email protected] has now furthered its attempt to archiving “Body” and “Physical Movements,” and deriving the corresponding “metadata.” This initiative is expected to provide the viewers with an understanding framework beyond primary information such as “What/Who/When/Where/Why,” and while constructing the vocabularies available for the critics, hopefully, it will allow more room for discourses and critiques for nonverbal performing arts.
This digital archiving project revolves around three sections of the physical performance in Shapde5.5, a solo dance work by Shou-Yuo Liu in 2014. These three sections are to be construed as more than Liu’s accumulation and crystallization of “physical performance” for the past 30 years, but a representation of the artist’s innate and true consciousness from the inside out, as well as the thoughts of relationship between “objects” in the spectrum of the body, the material and the immaterial. The relations that are dealt with range from body and movement, body and nudity, costume, objects (props), sounds, consciousness, time, space, and so on. The digital archiving also includes three pieces of improvisations—the very starting point where Liu’s solo dance pieces unfolded.
In 2018, Archive or Alive: Digital Archiving Development of a Solo Dance by Shou-Yuo Liu was carried out under the aforementioned attempt.
Meanwhile, we hope that, in contemporary times, archive serves more than the purpose of conserving objects but also keeping alive the artistic energy residing within itself. Whether it is to be viewed as performance or probed as research materials, the immersive and dynamic viewing experience offered by “panoramic image”, along with “VR headset,” definitely challenges the conventional way of perception given by linear narratives set in two-dimensional and third-person perspective videos. The project is undoubtedly a bold initiative to structure “physical performance” and “panoramic images of multiple viewing perspectives” into the framework of the production relations between “documentation and screening.” This dynamic perception system is established amidst performance, audio-visual content, and critiques. And, it is about the documentation of and discourse on the body, the improvisation and spiritual trance state of the performer, and the authenticity and representation of the documentation.