Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (C-LAB)’s FUTURE VISION LAB 2022 features experimental performances. It takes place from October 8 to December 4, with 15 programs and two lectures and workshops. The design concept of this year’s key visual is “ongoing vision,” conveying the characteristic of technology of broadening the future vision while reflecting on the recent upsurge in the AI program creating images from text descriptions. The designer has imagined all kinds of experimental performances based on dynamic identity, revealing new dimensions that technology has opened up for the arts.
Refining Technical Details and Upgrading the Immersive Audio-visual Experiential Space
Since 2020, C-LAB’s Technology Media Platform has promoted its experimental performance project FUTURE VISION LAB. Taking place inside a fully immersive audio-visual experiential space, known as the DOME, this semi-spherical structure measuring 12 meters in diameter is a stage for Taiwan’s young creators to present their works and explore the visual limits of technology media. Over the past two years, 28 works have been viewed by nearly 20000 people. This year marked its first travelling exhibition, becoming part of the 2022 Taiwan Lantern Festival in Kaohsiung. As this dome structure is movable, it provides easy access to the performances presented inside.
The development of FUTURE VISION LAB involves multiple and complex spherical surface projection techniques, such as correction, fusion, alignment, playback control, and image pre-production. This year, blackout material was developed in cooperation with local industry. This marks the first time that light-proof material is being used to cover the DOME’s thin membrane to reduce the impact of external light. It not only enables earlier and additional showtimes, but also elevates the image quality to achieve full 18K resolution and immersive and sensory effects. As a tradition, works of this year include invited and self-produced ones, as well as the ones selected through an open call process. A variety of creative content is planned to showcase the possibilities for exhibition and performance.
Working in Partnership to Explore Possibilities for Combining Technology and Art
Much effort has been made to develop partnerships for FUTURE VISION LAB, with continuing collaborations with domestic and international organizations dedicated to immersive audio-visual experiences to explore the possibilities for integrating technology and the arts. This year, through cloud computing, 5G high-speed Internet connection, and immersive performance platform, and in cooperation with the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (NTMOFA), Dimension Plus has curated reCONNECT 2022: BORDERLESS CANVAS, a dual site co-performance project. Multiple artists and art groups have been invited to perform at C-LAB in Taipei and NTMOFA’s U108 Space in Taichung during the same time period. Moreover, Warrick TSAI, FUTURE VISION LAB’s principal, has constructed a multi-person interactive system for audiences at both sites to carry out dialogue through a Web App. They can observe the flow of information, connect with artists, break through spatial restrictions, and take part in shared sensory experiences.
With assistance provided by the Bureau Français de Taipei, two VR works, -22.7°C and Ayahuasca – Kosmik Journey, by Diversion Cinema of France have their Taiwan Dome experience premiere. These VR works do not require headsets, providing a more inclusive viewing experience. This year’s opening performance is by ChillProduction, well known in Taiwan’s pop music and audio-visual art circles. In addition, SU Wei-Chia, choreographer for the HORSE performance art theater, has been invited to choreograph FreeSteps—Metamorphose, a creative project developed over many years and specially arranged for the DOME. Through the echoing of flesh, objects, and space, dynamic connections exclusive to the moment of viewing are constructed, along with the ever-changing textures formed from images. The Telling Tent is a technology arts interactive theater popular among families. Based on animal themes, the Institute of Fantastic Animals is an interactive performance for families, which combines technology and illustration. A self-produced program by the Technology Media Platform features a robotic arm provided by HIWIN Technologies Corp. and is a continuation of the creative work Re-Generative: moving(). It is presented in exhibition form and extends to the concepts of real-time adjustment of parameters by audiences in the rendering of images, adding precise movements by a robotic arm. Rendering parameters are dynamic, producing sensory experiences based on the constant evolution of images.
Discovering Creative Talent and Raising Awareness of Social and Environmental Issues
Entries for this project began to be submitted during an open call process last year, with eight domestic and international works selected. From their creative concepts and content descriptions, it can be observed that in addition to using visual vocabulary to interpret abstract perceptions, they attempt to raise awareness of social and environmental issues and to convey relevant messages to audiences. The 9Grid Design team, which produced the opening video last year, is presenting BURN, which transforms kinetic energy from physical movements of dancers and fluctuations in the acoustic field into visible particle fluctuations, with natural elements serving as the creative concepts for each section to explore the connections between people and nature. Hong Kong-based Jessica FU and Taiwanese sound creator Utingling have collaborated on Slit. Through elements in a physical space, such as dust, light, shadow, and particles, changes and karma are observed from a microscopic perspective. The creative team of Mexico-based Medusa Lab delves into the nature of the universe, using the characteristics of immersive audio-visual works to view the macroscopic and microscopic worlds in their work UNINVERSE.
Visual artist LEE Chen-An and music designer Daniel CHENG have adopted fractal algorithms in Enter the Cave: Dome to generate an intertwined network of caves. XTRUX and SHENG have jointly created INSIGHT based on the imagination of necromancy in folk beliefs, enabling audiences to feel as if they are immersed in a scene. Robert Chang Lun CHANG CHIEN has spent two and a half years on the Narstalgia art creation project, which explores Solastalgia of people in the Arctic caused by the environmental changes through endowing the narwhal with the symbolic meaning of death. Based on the folds and wrinkles evident in Taiwan’s mountains and rivers, CHEN Yu-Jung has developed Dynamic Boundary—Heterogeneous Convolution to lead audiences in experiencing scenes from nature that ever existed. Through visual effects, TAI Chi-Hsien’s Dystopia presents a real petrochemical factory and explores the responses to the conflicts and contradictions arising in the face of special interests.
Cultivating Creative Talent and Collaborations with Academia
To cultivate creative talent, C-LAB continues to collaborate with academia in the planning of the FUTURE VISION LAB DOME camp. This year, it is once again teaming up with the Department of New Media Art of Taipei National University of the Arts and the Department of Communications Design of Shih Chien University to present student works. Artist lectures and workshops are open to the public, including the opportunity to film scenes with a 360-degree panoramic camera and project them onto the DOME. Each weekend, starting October 8, FUTURE VISION LAB 2022 features a variety of works. All are welcome to participate in these all-new audio-visual experiences. For details, please visit the official C-LAB website (http://clab.org.tw/).
▍ FUTURE VISION LAB 2022
Date｜2022.10.08 (Sat.) － 12.04(Sun.)
Venue｜Art Space II Square
Supervisor｜the Ministry of Culture
Organizer｜Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (C-LAB)
Executor｜C-LAB Technology Media Platform
Sponsor｜Optoma Corporation, Bureau Français de Taipei, HIWIN Technologies Corp.
Co-organizer｜National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Dimension Plus, Telling Tent, the Department of Communications Design of Shih Chien University, the Department of New Media Art of Taipei National University of the Arts