The annual event CREATORS OPEN STUDIOS makes a comeback online during the pandemic from August 21 to 29. Using the Gather Town platform, visitors log-in to enter the retro sci-fi style “CREATORS Space Station” where they can communicate with artists-in-residence and view their works in progress. During this nine-day event, there will also be lectures, workshops, and performances.
The CREATORS Creation/Research Support Program of C-LAB is now entering its fourth year. The seven artists and groups selected this year include LI Yi-Fan, HUA Yi-Hsin, WANG Shih-Wei, CHU Chun-Teng + HUANG Ai-Lun + Susan HUANG, ExiStone Workgang, Engineering of Volcano Detonating, and CREATORS Sound-Off: Up-and-Coming Creators Residency Program participant William KUO. Starting in March this year, they began six- to nine-month residencies at C-LAB, developing cultural experimental projects in the fields of contemporary art, anthropology, geography, ecology, community reengineering, acoustics, musical composition, animation, and virtual reality.
Every year, C-LAB holds the CREATORS OPEN STUDIOS to invite the public into the workspaces of its artists-in-residence. Project exhibitions, lectures, and project sharing take place, providing the opportunity to see the ongoing projects and the artists and cultural workers’ state of creation. On the other hand, through face-to-face exchanges, creators receive feedback which helps them develop their projects. Over the past few years, this event has included a market, plays, and games, becoming part of C-LAB’s regular summer program.
This year, the COVID-19 epidemic has posed a huge challenge to the preparations for live events. To break through the limitations, C-LAB is moving the annual CREATORS OPEN STUDIOS online as Tshui-Lo̍h! – CREATORS ONLINE OPEN STUDIOS, which takes places over nine days involving two weekends.
This event is to be held on Gather Town, a popular video conferencing platform created in the style of early role-playing video games. The public is invited to enter and explore the virtual “CREATORS Space Station,” within which seven studios, “Replicant Maze,” “Stardust Lounge,” and “Conference Hall” are arranged. Visitors can view multimedia project exhibitions in the studios, which include text, images, and video and sound clips. In addition, a series of “Unboxing Shorts” features interviews with the artists-in-residence about the concepts and inspiration behind their projects, the impacts of the pandemic, and the ups and downs of a slashie lifestyle.
One highlight is the [email protected]herTown online group event taking place on Saturday, August 21. From 11:00 to 18:00, the seven artists and groups in residence will be available to talk with visitors online about their projects and to share thoughts and ideas. In the “CREATORS Program Consultation Room,” a C-LAB curator answers questions about the CREATORS Creation/Research Support Program.
An interesting feature of the Gather Town platform is that when two people approach one another, their cameras and microphones automatically turn on to imitate real-life perception of space and interactions. This also enables the activities of CREATORS ONLINE OPEN STUDIOS to approach the level of physical interactivity.
In addition to exploring the “CREATORS Space Station,” visitors can enjoy the lecture “Off-Screen Field Reports” in the “Conference Hall” from 14:00to 16:00. ExiStone Workgang, Engineering of Volcano Detonating, and CHU Chun-Teng + HUANG Ai-Lun + Susan HUANG have been working in three different places around Taiwan, namely Magang fishing village, islands off the Northeast Coast, and Shezi Island. Here, they share their field study experiences.
From August 22, the CREATORS team presents a number of programs. For example, participants in LI Yi-Fan’s “Machinimaaaaa! - Unreal Engine Workshop” create animations with game engines, making use of facial expression recognition and motion capture techniques, as well as virtual cameras. For the project Sound Fusion in Confusion, composer HUA Yi-Hsin performs the first musical work based on “auditory illusion.” Moreover, for the “Neg-geography Talk Series,” Engineering of Volcano Detonating has invited LEE Chao-Shing to share his research on submarine volcanoes in the waters off northern Taiwan.