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Creation/Research Support
Toolkit of Madness

This project deals with the aesthetics of digital visual media and explores matters related to the instrumentality and media of visual images through game engines while broadening the possibilities and methodology of visual media. The game engines are used to develop the artist’s visual toolkit and to experiment with the dynamics of how an artist applies tools to creation.

In 1968, the inventor of the computer mouse, Douglas Engelbart, posed a few questions to the audience at an influential conference: Do the tools of intellectual workers affect the efficiency of their knowledge production? Does an author with a pen essentially differ from an author with a typewriter in terms of the type of writing? Would a computer with graphical user interface (GUI) change how knowledge is produced? Fifty years have passed, and the answers are now self-evident. The text editors on our computers have become the bearers of our communication, writing, and knowledge, and the instrumental concepts of copy and paste, hyperlinking, and search engines have influenced not only how knowledge is produced but also how we think. Consequently, this project asks whether aesthetic logics will change along with the evolution of visual tools.

The project has two stages: research and development. In the research stage, it will trace back how images have been created with game engines since the 1990s, from the machinima created with Quake in the early years to the live streaming of role playing using VRChat and Grand Theft Auto V. In the development stage, the project will refer to the visual logics of these game images and construct a toolkit for visual production. With it, the creator will be able to receive the real-time feedback of the images and thus create images that are more intuitive, improvisational, and even wild.


LI Yi- Fan

Employing forms of sculpture, painting, and projection, Li Yi-Fan transforms his work into a fantastic narrative object lying fragmented in the exhibition venue, a work bearing more than a passing resemblance to the detritus of bitter struggles. By observing these shattered remnants, viewers may glimpse the psychedelic space-time through which the artist has travelled—to wit, the emergence and disillusionment of desires.

Li formulated a meta-narrative concept by skillfully applying technological media, such as projection mapping, so his work seemingly hesitates to move across the threshold of narratives and is thus mired in a state of continuing preparation. This “preparation” is rife with the frolic, wrestling, and torture between the artist and the media he uses. Not until one or the other party collapses does the work rise from the decaying corpse, and then the narratives quietly unfold. In this sense, what we see in Li’s work is not simply the narrative flow but also the ambiguous dimension acquired from the entanglements between his life stories and the media he has adopted. In this dimension, time stops elapsing, Mercury is in retrograde motion, and all spoken words make no sense because they are blended with one another.