Panel – Somatic Archaeologies

The panel Somatic Archaeologies consists of three talks: Reading an Invisible Scene through the Experience of its Temperature, The Embodied Image, the Image Embodied and Digital Performance in 21st Century Taiwan: Huang Yi & KUKA, a New Form of Sino-Corporeality

Reading an Invisible Scene through the Experience of its Temperature

Bright light has much the same effect as ice (2012) is a project that explores the myth of renowned Hong Kong photographer Pun Lun, who was reputed to have captured the never-before-seen snowy scenes of Hong Kong in 1893. Based on the texts from 1893 describing the exceptionally cold weather, a freezing silver coin of Hong Kong, minted in the same year, and connected to a hidden refrigeration system, was juxtaposed with the original photographic productions by Pun Lun. When the silver coin-button was pressed and the freezing cold temperature was sensed at the audience’s fingertips, the light boxes opposite would be turned off and the engraved texton top would be visible for reading. This project addresses the indexicality of artifacts and photographic images, and their physical reference to audience’s sensory experience, their tactile and visual perceptionof a poetic intervention.

LEUNG CHI WO, co-founder of Para/Site Art Space, is Associate Professor of the School of Creative Media at the City University of Hong Kong. His site-specific project was featured in the first Hong Kong pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2001. His works have been exhibited in major international museums and institutions including Tate Modern in London, NRW Forum in Dusseldorf, Museuda Imagem e do Som in São Paulo and biennales in Shanghai, Gwangju and Manchester, among others. He had his first survey exhibition at OCT ContemporaryArt Terminal in Shenzhen in 2015.



The Embodied Image, the Image Embodied

A reciprocal dialogue between image and sensation canemerge through a heightened somatic sense. The role of the artist is in how to materialise, make visible this relationship, allowing the spectator to enter into a shared experience. This experience can transcend a specificity of place, of culture, creating a parallel felt recollection, reminiscence of the viewer to emerge. In this talk, I will unpick the making of my work signs of a nest that began with an accumulation of photographic images taken on my arrival in Singapore, focusing on intimate details of various HDB (public housing). The piece revolves around a sense of place, of bodily ‘nesting’, questioning the virtual and its everyday usage. It takes the form of an installation, a democratic composition equally orchestrating still and moving image, object, sound, and absence/presence of the performing body. The choices are anchored in an embodied dialogue, a honed somatic sense of noticing. Through the useof the images in relation to body, space, and time, the viewer is encouraged to participate in this sensorial dialogue, coming at once from a precise place, but at the same time inducing a wandering of personal associations, rooted from my initial experiences with Singaporean culture.

SUSAN SENTLER is a dance artist/maker working as choreographer, teacher, researcher, director and performer. She served as Senior Lecturer with Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance for 18 years and has taught globally in the field of dance for over 30 years. Susan has presented at numerous conferencesand symposiums in Europe, USA and Asia, such as CORD and Dance and Somatic Practices Conference/Coventry University. Her practice is multidisciplinary, with adistinct focus on site specific/gallery/museum contexts creating ‘responses’ to specific visual art works and exhibitions as well as durational installations using the body, objects,sound, moving and still image. Her work has been exhibited and performed in the UK, USA, Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Ireland and Singapore. In 2013 Susan earned a Masters in Creative Practice, professional practice pathway, awarded by Trinity Laban in collaboration with Independent Dance in London/UK. Currently she is a Lecturer of Dance at LASALLE College of the Arts.



Phallophone: A Physical Manifestation of the Trans-Visual/ Aural Experience in Performance

Much research has been done on the link of musical performance and the audience’s understanding of a musical experience. E-luthier Dirk Stromberg has been exploring this interaction and recently (2015) created a new instrument, the Phallophone. The Phallophone was developed to be a versatile and instrument free of genre with a diverse voice. In its application by its creator, the instrument tries to demystify avant-garde and experimental music by having a “clear transparent, intuitive control metamorphosis with a clear audio-visual link” (Cedric Spindler). This performative presentation, and accompanying short paper, explores how intuitive musical interactionwith the instrument’s gestural nature and sonic language creates a sculpture/instrument, which invokes curiosity while also projecting a believable and concrete audience experience.

DIRK JOHAN STROMBERG is an American music technologist,composer and improviser. His body of work explores dynamic interaction between performer,technology and performance practice. Designing both hardware and software has led to the development of network based audio cards, embedded hardware, and e-instruments. He has thrice worked on Art Creation Funds supported by the National Arts Council, Singapore – a major arts development grant. Dirk has been an artist in residence at a numbe rof Institutions in the US, Europe and Asia. He has been invited to present his work as a composer and technologist at a number of international conferences and festivals.



Digital Performance in 21st Century Taiwan: Huang Yi & KUKA, a New Form of Sino-Corporeality

This presentation looks into the rise of digital performing art in Taiwan through the lens of Huang Yi. As a child of the dotcom generation, Huang often incorporates elements from videography, digital arts, and even mechanics in his choreography. This thirty-something dancer/choreographer/videographer has won various recognitions both at home and abroad. Huang Yi & KUKA, his duet with an industrial robot, received the top prize from the 2012 Third Annual Taipei Digital Arts Awards. Later grants allowed him to expand the piece into a full-length program of the same title in 2015, including two additional dancers from his Huang Yi Studio+. Through Huang Yi’s career, I lookat the ecology of digital performance in twenty-first century Taiwan within the Sinophone performing arts context, analyse his duet with his anthropomorphic digital double, as well as at an alternate model for multi-talented artists who experiment with innovation in technology, but do so on their own as culturpreneurs, independently of big established dance companies.

DR. LIN YATIN is Associate Professor at the Graduate Institute of Dance and Chairperson of the Cultural and Creative Industries MA at the Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA). As a dance historian/critic, her book Sino-Corporealities Contemporary Choreographies from Taipei, Hong Kong, and New York has been published by TNUA Press, and hasc ontributed writings to anthologies including: Identity and Diversity:Celebrating Dance in Taiwan, the Routledge Dance Studies Reader (2nd Ed.), Danses et identite: de Bombay a Tokyo, and Dialogues in Dance Discourse. She has presented papers at International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR), The Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS), Performance Studies International (PSi), and World Dance Alliance (WDA). Former co-chair of the Taishin Arts Award Final Jury, she also served on the SDHS Board of Directors and is current President of the Taiwan Dance Research Society (TDRS).