Where Else to Look? - On the Expandability of Screen Practices in Hong Kong and its Possible Future

Project: Research

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This research project is about rarely studied screen practices in Hong Kong, including lens-less moving image, multiple screen narrative, immersive environments, interactive systems, moving-image archives, projections and found footage as performance. These activities constitute the rich field of contemporary screen practices in HK, which can be grouped under the term “Expanded Cinema” (EC). Existing accounts of “HK cinema” has long been confined to commercial exhibitions. They have simplified the actual field of cultural production and rendered many on-going activities absent, invisible, or unworthy for discussion. The history of cinema is in ways that of technological experiment. As the dawn of the digital age has seen the relationship between technology and the end-user/viewer of a work transformed, we must acknowledge the need for a more sophisticated understanding of the technological apparatus hidden behind artworks. Media art’s demand on art history is to have a better understanding of how technology forms the core aesthetics of art by opening up the “black box”. (Rodriguez, n.d.) Although EC is not a new concept, the footprints and doings of our own HK-EC and the public resources already deployed are yet to be traced. The sidelined EC activities contain critical fa cts of local artistic practices, institutional mentalities, continuities and disruptions within fields of cultural production, and desires embodied in our visual culture. As a researcher of art/media history and a practicing new media artist, I will write these long overdue stories to offer a fuller view of HK Cinema.This project will strive for detailed knowledge about the technical workings of mediation inside the “black box” to shed light on the social-cultural dimension of our screen culture. A key contribution of this project to local history and media/art scholarship lies in its method “media archaeology.” “Expanded Cinema” refers to moving image practices that cross over with other existing art forms with transformed reception apparatuses. Media archaeology facilitates the unraveling of these aspects as it, by definition, attends to the multiple technological lineages that cut through a medium, and the many linkages a work may have with non-technological aspects of everyday living. This project will chart key local players and works, describe digital components to a non-technological audience, and turn individual media works into multi-lateral stories – object-based, personal-biographical, locational, experimental, technical, cultural-historical and discursive – to venture beyond textual or semantic analysis of their works into the material and technological realities of creation.


Project number9042111
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/10/1426/09/18

    Research areas

  • media archeology,expanded and future cinema,Hong Kong screen practices,Hong Kong media art,