Conceptual Discourse | VISION | Founding Statement


Floating Projects, Survival Re-envisioned: spatial occupation, re-producing social relations and the economy of contribution

| Linda Chiu-han Lai (Founder and Project Experimenter of the Floating Projects, Hong Kong)


A sketch of Floating Projects as a collective, by Winnie Yan, presented at Asia Art Archive's Collective School event, early December 2022


Beginning as a project to protect and advance personal dreams in artistic pursuits, the Floating Projects Collective (FPC, 「句點」, 2010) has evolved from a group of 4 into a collective with 20 additional members in 2015, and its activities renamed Floating Projects (FP「據點。句點」, literally “occupation point, that's it.”). FP takes on a spatial turn by occupying an 1800-square-foot industrial unit in a fading industrial district, Wong Chuk Hang (WCH 黃竹坑), on the southern part of Hong Kong Island, where the increase of disused and vacant flats forces their owners to open up to atypical manufacturing usage. The spatial turn has fuelled our imagination and soon evolves into a series of experiments around a central question: what can we artists do with an empty unit in an industrial building with institutionally and physically defined constraints? How does what we do connect to the premise that art is by definition a form of radical thinking, thus an indispensable force in nourishing our humanness? At the point when FP inserted itself into WCH, the district was already the home for several commercial galleries in addition to two new boutique hotels on top of various independent art spaces and artist’s studios. The rent FP is now paying could have been 30% less a year earlier. The question of art is the question of space in a milieu when art and design are heavily appropriated to be the supporting pillars of what is known as “creative economy,” an aggressive agent for gentrification, the flip side of which reads the problematic transformation of urban surfaces.


FP is not only an experiment, but it seeks to be experimental, in the sense that it strives to re-open up many known normal artistic practices to assert that questions of art must be understood also as those of non-artistic nature. Issues of how to keep making art, and of how to scramble for resources to sustain survival, become a new series of questions. Can artists working with different artistic media work together, and how about artists of different generations and expertise training? Who is the artist – only those who received formal studio art education in an art school? Are there modes to publish and share art other than the white cube model? How does a collective accommodate individual aspirations and desires? What possible modes of survival and sustainability are there beyond the commercial versus charity support binary structure? 


Rooted in the concerns of Critical Theory, FP’s production of space (Henri Lefebvre) is considered the impetus for the reproduction of social relations. FP asks: how do we sustain the progressive posture of art, preserve art’s non-conforming and implicitly anti-establishment character in the age of gentrification, when art increasingly becomes a decoration, or a kind of added value? These questions all point to the need to re-imagine and re-invent a different sort of creative economy, called “the space of creativity.” (Hui Yuk, DOXA) At this point, FP is answering to the demand of a relevant model – one that (re-)generates singularity(of the individuals) and promotes new collectivity , or the enactment of co-individuation. (Gilbert Simondon, Bernard Stiegler) What does it mean to be an artist in a hyper-capitalist digital age in which our feelings and temporal being are the main targets of moderation and control through broad-scale commodification of art and design (Georg Lukács, Bernard Stiegler) in the name of urban progress through gentrification (Hui)? As many government-initiated local projects highlight heritage re-enlivening and/or are implicitly imbued with a social work concern or rhetoric, what does FP as a collective conceive to be the new relations between the politics of art, de-proletarianization (the regaining of one’s place in knowing and in producing new knowledge), and the practice of love and care?


In the short period of seven months, a few signature event series have emerged to be place-holders of individual desires and the practice of care for others (Stiegler, Alain Badiou). Step by step by trial and error, we are reaching our goals through a few emergent signature activities. The <WCH Assemblage> (Wong Chuk Hang Assemblage) series is our regular gleaning and re-purposing of dumped material to form object-based art installation and object performance. <Work-in-progress Inspection> allows members to produce art, to stage and publish their works, to turn work processes into a necessary part of art pieces to be studied. <Spatial Pressure Calibration> connects with <WCH Assemblage> to turn the installed works into a stage of playful objects, integrated with improvised sound-making and semi-choreographed performances. <Floating Teatime> is our on-line writing platform, where writing connects what’s artistic to other modes of enquiry, bridging the personal and the collective. With the open framework of <Floating Events>, we promote all members to keep our doors always open with tasks, events and moments of exchange growing out of their own talents and specialties, from exhibiting their works, conducting curatorial experiments, to running working series and discussion groups, all occurring on an open-to-all indoor production site furnished with a charity café with a free wi-fi reading environment. With this last component, we encourage person-to-person conversations and the importance of taking time to read. We have been a growing a library and digital archive to promote the culture of documentation – as many of us are media artists. In a few months, we have already collected over 100 pieces of videography by local young artists.


FP is not just an organization, but itself an art project that interrogates questions of space and being. As an experiment, it is bound to “failure” as normal, weakness and imperfection as integral to the collective, and “conflict” as the drive for problem-solving and moving forward. Benevolence is not a set principle, and surely not a dogma, but the consequences of our being together. To choose to love, one also admits the possibility of falling out of love. … Re-orientation of art is central to the re-orientation of everyday life, and vice versa which must begin with spatial re-orientation, and the production of (artistic) social relation through the production of space.

(January 2016) (re-edited December 2022)

KEYWORDS: Art experimentation / production of space / contributory organization / de-proletarianization / active re-ownership of one’s skill / contributor-consumer / positive externalities / co-individuation / contention for terminology


**More recent discourses: 

Ars Electronica 2021 .09 / "Art in the Cloud: Linda Lai: Floating Projects and participatory art" (online feature)

Linda Lai / One kind of Report: FP: what ‘participatory art’ can be, 24 November 2021 [Art Notes] [Seriously speaking]

FPC members / Let me see if I can put it in words: between FP 1.0 and FP 2.0, 21 September 2018 [Art Notes] [Personally Speaking]


《據點空間壓力測試 0.05》: 勤力勇者 Floating Projects: Spatial Pressure Calibration 0.05: “Hardworking Burning Challengers,” January 2016, Wong Chuk Hang



「據點。句點」,存續再構想,空間的挪用,重塑社會關係及「共籌經濟」黎肖嫻 (「據點。句點」創辦人與項目實驗者) |中譯:黎偉亮


理念論述 | 起步、願景 

這個創立於2010年的團體 (FPC, 「句點」) ,最初只得四名成員,數年間不斷演化,今天,我們已是一個擁有二十多名成員的藝術團體,並重新命名為「據點。句點」-- 字面意思是「盤據點,就這樣」。回想最初,目標很單純,只是試圖保護及促進藝術追求這個個人夢想。轉變來了,是空間的變化 – 我們進駐了香港島南區一個1800平方呎的廠廈單位,緣起於製造業式微,大量工業區單位閒置,業主們唯有開發其它另類用途。大環境帶來契機,空間轉變給我們的想像注入動力,一連串的實驗項目發生了,它們卻都以一個問題為中心 – 在一個法制及實際用途上皆受約束的單位裏,作為藝術家,我們可以幹些甚麼?既然藝術定義上含括進步和拔根的思維,不可或缺地滋養著我們的人生,那麼,我們應怎樣把空間與藝術聯繫起來?早於我們進駐之前,這區的另類用途發展已百花齊放: 兩間精品酒店、數個商業畫廊/藝廊以及無數獨立的藝術空間與工作室,租金水漲船高,與去年相比又增加了三成。這個城市將藝術及設計硬生生規劃為「創意經濟」的支柱,結果是對「士紳化」追求的形成;另一方面,藝術家卻面對公共空間不斷萎縮的煩惱。明乎此,自然能理解藝術家的問題其實就是環境空間的問題。




建基於批判理論,「據點。句點」的「空間生產」(Henri Lefebvre 列斐伏爾)就是體現社會關係再生的原動力。我們會問:應怎樣維持藝術創作的進境?在這高端時代,當藝術日益淪為一種裝飾品及附加價值,我們應怎樣維持藝術的非整合性及保留其暗藏的反䢖制特質?這些所有間題皆指向不同型式創意經濟的重新構思與塑造,稱為「創造力的空間」(許煜,DOXA) 。依據這論點,「據點」嘗試為相應模式的訴求提供答案 – 創造/再創造奇特的點子(個人的) ,提升新的集體性又或是共同個性化的設定(Gilbert Simondon 西蒙東, Bernard Stiegler斯蒂格勒) 。以城市高端化發展的名義(Hui) ,大規模商品化操控了藝術與設計(Georg Lukacs 盧卡奇, 斯蒂格勒) ,作為以體現情感及時空存在感為中度目標的藝術家,置身於這個超資本主義數碼年代,究竟有何意義?我們的政府發起了很多標榜文化遺產再活化的項目,實際上是希望向公眾隱晦地灌輸一個關注社會工作的印象,甚或是純粹的巧言令色,面對這情況,「據點」作為一個藝術團體應怎樣構想我們與藝術政治、去無產階級化(重新認知這地方及產生新的學問) 以及實踐愛與關懷之間的關係?


短短的七個月過去了,我們已舉辦了數個可圈可點的活動,呈現了這裏個人願望與關懷他人的實踐(斯蒂格勒,Alain Badiou 巴迪欧),透過以下的項目逐步實現我們的目標。《黃竹坑聚疊》定期在區內撿拾棄置物再用,在「據點」藝術工場內重新堆疊,以裝置藝術方式展現。《句點定期發表》是定期的展覽活動,陳示的是過程也是成果。《空間壓力測試》以「玩物」為中軸,讓聚疊得來的東西構成基本舞臺,引發各式各樣的即興或半即興的聲音影像和肢體表演。《據點一杯茶》是我們的網上寫作平台,論藝術不分類型界別,或微聲淡談生活,或大聲說理,一首小詩,論社會文化論做人論藝術的發展論時下的困惑。《據點打開門》的協共個人化的框架下,每個成員依據各自專長,創作、展出作品、稿策展的實驗、搞工作坊、發起討論議題,全賴一個完全開放的室內空間。這裏設置了咖啡吧並提供wi-fi服務,志在鼓勵人與人之間的溝通與對話,心靜、到位就找本書來翻翻看。我們的成員多是媒體藝術家,為了提升「資料庫」文化,一個收藏錄像和媒體藝術的數碼檔案庫書正默默的不斷增長。









據點眾人:「總有一點想法:“據點。句點” 1.0 與 2.0 之間」,2018 年9月21日 (據點一杯茶:【藝文談暢】【私物語】


Members of the Floating Projects Collective at JCCAC L3-06D
Floating Projects Collective 2023