Linda Lai / Levitated Potentiality 2: software writing, soliloquy & magic 《移形换步》之2 – 機器書寫、喃喃自語、變戲法

Linda Lai / Levitated Potentiality 2: software writing, soliloquy & magic 《移形换步》之2 – 機器書寫、喃喃自語、變戲法

Linda Chiu-han Lai 黎肖嫻

Linda Chiu-han Lai 黎肖嫻

發表於: 03 Oct 2019

Floating Projects presents: Levitated Potentiality 2, 2019 Hong Kong 移形换步 2019 organized by Linda C.H. Lai 黎肖嫻 |「據點」演繹」 |「據點」在城中。[announcement…]


**a show in 3 rooms at the FLAME Festival HK and Video Art Fair, 4-6 October 2019 | OVOLO Hotel 801-803


Video art in Hong Kong has growingly been presented as gallery objects, phenomenally structured as continuous looping, that is, a temporal structure that highlights recurrence, highlighting often a strong design sense over cinema.


This program, “Levitated Potentiality 2019,” gathers video works that connect with the experimental tradition, highlighting the narrative intricacy of the very process of an image discourse unfolding in time. Though marked by a deliberate beginning and an end, each of these works also follows a method called “concrete videos,” which highlights, on the one hand, the autonomy of the individual shots from adjacent shots and, on the other, the independence between sight and sound. The result is an experimental state that magnifies the dynamism of sight and sound we often overlooked as we get stuck with looking for the story. Visitors are therefore encouraged to be liberated in looking at images freely. Whereas design emphasis of many gallery-based moving images encourages a passive gaze for visual patterns, the works in this program activate the visitors’ curiosity: each image fragment is pointing to something familiar from our daily life yet defamiliarized.


From another point of view, these video objects are no pure videos. In varied ways, they can be thought of as poems, paintings, a mechanized eye, day-dreaming, software writing, sculpture and essays.


Most works have appeared in individual programs  in the past three years or grown out of the Floating Projects and the Writing Machine Collective.


(Linda Lai 2 October 2019)


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Room 01 | software writing 機器書寫


Hector Rodriguez 羅海德: Within the Walls 圍城私語 (2017)
(based on Alfred Hitchcock’s Number Seventeen, 1932)
11m05s / 2017 / 16:9 / sound / Colour


Within the walls of an enclosed space, identities become unstable. Figure becomes ground, the body becomes its shadow, and the self becomes other. Characters blend into and emerge out of the enveloping architecture. Strangers gather and perhaps crimes are committed. This video is a collage of isolated moments from Alfred Hitchcock’s crime drama Number Seventeen (1932). A custom algorithm transforms each frame into a semi-abstract configuration of colored lines. This approach plays with and subverts figuration and narrative. The work can be seen as a combination of experimental rotoscope animation and found footage cinema.



Hector Rodriguez 羅海德: The Uncertainty Principle: Rain 不確定理論:雨 (2018)
(based on Wong Kar-wai’s The Grand Master, 2013)


The Uncertainty Principle: Rain was made by identifying rain streaks in the opening sequence of Wong Kar-Wai’s film The Grandmaster. The Gabor filters helped to detect visual frequencies corresponding to vertical edges on the image. Most other details in the sequence were removed.



Hector Rodriguez 羅海德: The Uncertainty Principle: M/G 不確定理論:M/G (2018) 
(Based on Mizoguchi Kenji’s The 47 Ronin, 1941)


The Uncertainty Principle: M/G applies a set of Gabor filters to every frame in a sequence from the Japanese film The 47 Ronin, made in 1941 by Mizoguchi Kenji. The filters are designed to respond to different kinds of edges (horizontal, vertical, diagonal) in an image. The application of these filters to Mizoguchi’s work foregrounds this director’s assertively geometric compositions.



Hector Rodriguez 羅海德: Cinematic Hyperobject: the Man from London 電影超體:倫敦來客 (2019)
(Based on Bela Tarr’s The Man from London, 2007)


A film is typically experienced as a temporal flow or stream of images. But a film can also be understood spatially. Every frame is a selection from a set or “space” of possible images. The temporal and spatial aspects are both essential constituents of cinema. The term “hyperobject” in this context highlights, first of all, this twofold aspect of cinema, and secondly, the high-dimensional nature of the space of any movie, or a group of movies. This project employs methods from manifold learning, a family of unsupervised machine learning algorithms used for dimensionality reduction, to visualize films as hyperobjects.


The visualization used here allows the viewer to experience a movie both as a temporal stream of images and as a spatial object. The temporal flow of the movie can be seen as a “walk” within this spatial object.

This video clip represents an analysis of the first shot of the film The Man



Room 02 | Soliloquy 喃喃自語


Linda C.H. LAI 黎肖嫻: Micro Narratives: a Visual Poem 微敘事:詩變 (2017)
14m 49s / HD / aspect ratio 16:9 / color + b/w / stereo sound


“Micro Narratives” (MNs) is a visual poem using the artist’s personal audio-visual archive (1999-2017). Poetry, automatic writings, doodles, photography and video diaries (covering seven world cities and various Hong Kong districts) collide to form a network of varied texture and entiments, a concrete-yet-abstract mnemonic text, MNs call for refreshed attentiveness to a life world of micro processes. Our city’s hidden rhythms, minute movements, textures of the quotidian-material surfaces, nameless emotions and loose thoughts. No grand discourses, no calculated plot lines. Assertive presencing of labour, demolition and construction which underline the logic of progress.



Linda C.H. LAI 黎肖嫻: No Path But My Footprints 足疊無痕 (2010/2019)


…Memories, desires, histories and footprints of travels… leave nothing but visually textured traces of impermanence…

This work is an independent segment of a 30-minute work titled Floor Drama 2 (2010), made for floor projection. It contains images from my personal video diaries and image archive started many years ago. This 2-minute segment, titled No Path But My Footprints, is a singular moment of a walk I had in Seville. The 2-minute long take was reorganized to create a new experience of time. 



Linda C.H. LAI 黎肖嫻: Diaries: Dry Rain (1999/2017)


This is another of my single-take exercises, followed by a montage exercise that turns a single take into an enclosed world with no outside. My single-take exercises are thus performative works of me and the camera collaborating/writing on the spot, deploying instantaneous yet limited resources available.



Elaine WONG (Wong Suk-yin 黃淑賢): Days of Swimming in the Garden 遊園印記 (2019)
8m 53s / HD / aspect ratio 16:9 / color + b/w / stereo sound

Days of Swimming in the Garden is a world of physical and mental experience of being in the city. The work deterritorializes sound and images from signifying functions and figurative forms of travelling routines, and actualises a world that is to be sensed, experienced, and felt. The work explores the possibility to unfold the reality by expanding our range of senses beyond our naked perception




Elaine WONG (Wong Suk-yin 黃淑賢): Phantoms of 20C (2017)

This video depicts a haunting experience of a woman at her own home, Flat 20C. The work provides a journey from darkness and out of it, a mental condition of being tortured by phantoms, which slowly transforms into another state of mind.



Room 03 | Magic 變戲法


Winsome Dumalagan WONG 黃慧心: Vi-de-o_ver. 2 (2016)
6m31s / 2016 / color / 4:3 / sound

Having been to Cambodia volunteering for three times in the same school, from second year onwards, I lent out cameras for the children to capture their own life instead of me capturing their life from my perspective.


Marvin HAUCK: Day Rain (2019)
11m20s / 2019 / Sound / Colour

Half soaked in rainwater and running barefoot, I felt being part of the place more as if the rain connects me directly with the environment. Day Rain records a spectrum of perspectives I would not have obtained myself. It’s an ever-changing journey that continues from looking up to looking down, showing a wide range of locality and motions. 


Ryan CHAN (Chan Siu-lung 陳小龍): The Glimpse of Tin Shui Wai: A Transmedia Study of Robert Cahen (2015).

9m8s / 2015 / color + b/w / sound

This video alludes  to French film-maker, Robert Cahen’s “L’entr’aperçu” [“Glimpse”] (1980) and his adaptation of musique concrete to video art. Sounds without apparent originating sources restructure the visual elements elements drawn from travel, movement and transition around the cityscape. The work’s narrative body integrates personal memory flashes of Tin Shui Wai, a district in Hong Kong bordering Mainland China, with a surrealist touch.


Esther LAM (Lam Yuen-ching 林琬晴: Anatawadareni (2019)
5m6s / 2019 / Sound / Colour

Anatawadareni comprises of objects I fear since my childhood – the upper deck of a double-decker bus, elevator rides, rice, shrimps and lobsters. In the process of the work, I explore visually the origins of such fears. The work also plays out my mental struggles in dealing with these terrifying things.



Joris WU 胡文釗: Swim, in the Sea of Victoria (2019)
14m30s / 2019 / Sound / Colour

Driven by the desire to document my sentiments for HK, I resort to my personal dream experiences. I also seek shared imageries that give clues to HK’s collective unconscious. Swim is a visual poem evolving around the central imagery of swimming in the sea of Victoria. “…He fancies he is swimming, but in reality an unseen current sweeps him along,” Carl Jung wrote. (Psychology and Literature, 1994) In a dream narrative, I am absolutely free. Familiar symbols are challenged.


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