In 2020, 16 research and creative projects were carried out at the Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (C-LAB) on topics of narrative, space, performance, agriculture, online public opinions, media criticism, genetic modification, soundscape collection, historical archives, geographical research, and cultural exchange. These projects resulted from open calls for the CREATORS Creation/Research Residency & Support Program and Taiwan Sound Lab’s Sound-Off Program last year and have been undergoing their own stages of development. Through exhibition, live performance and events, Signals: CREATORS 2020–21 assembles and presents the current progress of these 16 projects.
Although most of the exhibitors are artists, their work during the program was not necessarily for the purpose of exhibition or performance. Most of the time, they were more like adventurists seeking innovative possibilities in the gaps between different disciplines and habitual thinking. These programs also continuously redefine C-LAB’s imagination toward culture experimentation and will ultimately mark the presence of this very place.
The “artist’s studio” that is traditionally considered the primary scene of artistic activities is now imbued with a new laboratory construct and even plugged into the concept of an incubator or accelerator for innovative start-ups. As a mechanism of presentation, the “exhibition” is an embodiment of the cultural system’s longing for transparency—it is what makes projects evaluable and measurable. Cultural practices are thus anchored in regulations and become transparent in the gaze of the system, thereby transforming into an item of evaluation of national competitiveness. However, at the other end, independent cultural producers are cornered in a loop of devising projects, working on applications, executions, documentations, work-in-progress reports, and final reports, and waiting for final payments. Yet, the life cycle of every project extends far beyond such working process; what upholds these projects is enthusiasm for the concerned topics with a much wider time span. Such truly grand ambitions are difficult or impossible to deliver in a “final” report.
Just as all endeavors and adventures require certain privacies, the best moment of a project might be the instant before it is presented to the public. Signals attempts to delve into the projects in their current phases with exhibits ranging from questions, drafts, research records, and raw materials to prototypes and semi-artworks. Compared to conventional “works,” these exhibits are undoubtedly much more similar to creative documentations that are produced in the processes of practice, as they herald “what the next step could be after imagination?” As a progress report of last year’s CREATORS program, Signals is, to a certain extent, also a semi-exhibition—or at least an implicit proposal of an exhibition—that selectively and modestly unveils the cryptic contents of the 16 projects.
(Text | Yu Wei)
Signals: CREATORS 2020–21
Date｜February 19, 2021- March 14, 2021
Venue｜Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab – Art Space III
Opening Hours｜Open 11:00-18:00, Tuesday-Sunday
*Feb. 19: Only opens during the opening activity
*Open during holidays (including March 1), closes on March 2
Artists｜Engineering of Volcano Detonating, Her Lab Space, Libera Work-Gang, Gang-a Tsui Theater, WU Ping-Sheng, TM Li, Walking Grass Agriculture, SHIH Yi-Shan, HSU Che-Yu/ CHEN Wan-Yin, CHEN Chih-Chien, HUANG Ling-Hsuan, HUANG Wei, HUANG Po-Chih, HUANG Ding-Yun, Lab of the Distant Relatives, LO Yi-Chun
Supervisor｜Ministry of Culture
Organizer｜Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (C-LAB)