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Creation/Research Support
Neg-geography:Toward Practice of Geo-art

The earth’s core is an unreachable inner world. No matter how we stretch our imagination of a “habitable interior,” we’re still unable to see through the boundary of that geological stratum (both the images and data involve the issues of representation, conversion and storage, whether we observe it with or without machines). However, as the foundation for geological formation, the thermal energy of the earth’s core has influenced human beings’ mental state and physical senses. Our research shows that people heard the warnings about the possible eruption of the Tatun Volcanoes on the news several times a year in the 2010s. In face of the extensive media coverage of related doomsday scenarios, we find it imperative to reassess the relationship between humanity and geography apart from our imagination of the “destruction of Taipei” with trepidation. On the other hand, when entropy reigns supreme, global warming and sea ice melting may destabilize the motion of the earth’s tectonic plates. In this case, the islands in the Ring of Fire, including Taiwan, have co-constructed a tension-charged space for the existence of species/non-species with us in the tug-of-war between these two forces. Therefore, “neg-geography” is tantamount to a test site for geographical practice and negentropy presumption. In addition to examining local sci-fi narratives and imagination about the earth’s core, it addresses the question as to how the island’s material foundation (e.g., its geography, geotherm, strata, volcanoes, fault zones, and plate subduction boundaries) engages artistic practice in a close dialogue with geology, modernology, media ecology, historiography, and natural geography. Furthermore, it treats geology as a sort of cultural heritage and tries to clarify its relation to cultural practice, so as to cognitively reassess the raisons d’être of human beings and things with a rich body of geographical knowledge. Hence we need to build an expedition team to explore how geography and geology push the limits of our perception and artistic creation. During this period of nearly six months, we will weave a network of actions through different narrative interfaces and by reference to volcanic eruption potential lines, geothermal zones, fault lines, urban archeology, non-disaster-related documentary theaters, transdisciplinary talks, image co-creation, and location-based writing, thereby opening up rhizomized horizons—an action plan that switches our perspective, advances our knowledge, and brings us back to earth. By doing so, we can contemplate how the residents in Taipei (as a “volcanic city”) dwell in the geographical ecology constituted by the Tatun Volcanoes.


HSU Po-Yen, LU Chun-Cha, LU Guan-Hong, LIANG Ting-Yu

The artist group formed by LIANG Ting-Yu, HSU Po-Yen, LU Chun-Cha, and LU Guan-Hong launched the “Engineering of Volcano Detonating” in 2016. After carrying out a series of smoke rising projects in the Yangmingshan National Park, they engaged in the artistic creation concerning the relations between the city and volcanoes in 2017. Applying the image of volcanoes in the media coverage throughout the 2010s, they investigated the demonization of volcanoes by mass media and the othering of nature by the city. From 2018 to 2019, they undertook the project titled “Flaming Mountains,” a concatenation of corporeal intervention and field surveys into volcanic craters. They’ve paid continuous attention to the relations among volcanoes, cities and human beings. Their recent performances and works included “Flaming Mountains” (Air-drop Taiwan Forum, [email protected], 2018) and “Engineering of Volcano Detonating” (URS27M, 2016), as well as those presented at the 10th International Symposium on Media and Environment (Fu Jen Catholic University, 2019), the Conference on Environment and the World (National Kaohsiung Normal University, 2019), and the Annual Meeting of the Geographical Society of China—“The Advancement and Application of Geography” (National Kaohsiung Normal University, 2018).