My digital installation art reflects the Buddhist notion of 諸行無常 (shogyo-mujyo). This is a complex notion which speaks to the impermanence and entropy that is inherent in the world around us and draws on thermodynamics. Shogyo-mujyo also suggests that through things are perpetually in flux, they also work in unison. In my work, I intend to express my interpretation of 諸行無常 and entropy: as soon as each living form has a mature shape, degradation starts and an entropic outcome arrives as an inescapable and inexorable fate. I also apply the analogon, a term which French philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) coined when distinguishing “between the matter of a picture as a thing and the matter of a picture as an image or representation of something” (Chaplin 129). My work explores his concept in the digital age.
I am interested in the contrast between digital technology, which is sustainable based on quasi-unlimited energy resource, and ephemeral and vulnerable human bodies. Digital images, which do not have a corporeal presence in the traditional sense and are believed impervious to decay and can appear as sounds and lights through a device. On the other hand, corporeal bodies, which grow and possess adaptable functions to environments, follow the fate of an inexorable destruction. The process of degradation in human bodies illuminates a life although a transition of the states between order and disorder or construction and decline may not be noticeable. Accordingly, I have been exploring relationships between the immortal property of digital media and the mortal nature of organic life.
I intend to make individual visitors of my installation ponder the distinction between the two by intentionally obscuring the contrast by creating an illusionary space. After a while, the visitors will notice the distinction between digital images, physical objects, and themselves in the space, while they will find the connection between them. I deliberately set all devices in the space to encourage the visitors to see the digital images as an extension of their actions. The digital images then operate as a trace or memory which prompts the visitors to recollect their experiences. I am interested in the trace as art that induces the visitors to create their personal story between themselves and what they see in my installation. Perceiving a moment when the audience of my work becomes a part of the installation motivates me to explore the complex distinction and relationship between digital images, physical objects, and human bodies.
Chaplin, Adrienne Dengerink. “Phenomenology: Merleau-Ponty and Sartre.” The Routledge Companion to Aesthetics. Third Ed. Berys Gaut and Dominic Lopes. Oxon: Routledge, 2013. 126-136. Print.