The video art programme of the Asian Art Biennial
Phantas.ma/polis, is the new location for the video art programme of the biennial, “Looking Back to the Future”. Using the time-based annotation, timeline views and edit features of Pad.ma, Phantas.ma/polis showcases the participating artists’ videos along with extended commentaries by the curator, artists and critics. Over the duration of the biennial, Phantas.ma/polis will evolve to bring the artworks in conversation with each other through both formal and interpretative recombinations of the featured works.
The title Phantasmapolis is a newly coined Greek word comprising “phantasma” (phantom) and “polis” (city-state) inspired by Phantasmagoria, an English sci-fi novel by architect Wang Dahong. Treating “Asian futurisms” as its main theme, the 2021 Asian Art Biennial “Phantasmapolis” seeks to review Asia’s past and present from the perspective of science fiction.
Curated by Anushka Rajendran, “Phantasmapolis: Looking back to the future” considers alterities and futurisms whose traces endure in our present—often inherited from the past—that were denied existence, or threatened by various dominant apparatuses of power. A series of moving image works articulate their concerns in the grammatical premise determined by the future-past tense, excavating the cyclical nature of time and latencies residing in the interstices of time as experienced in the contemporary.
The artworks present in this exhibition, even as they maintain scepticism towards techno-fetishistic, development-philic, heteronormative, non-inclusive paradigms for the future, propelled in the interest of capital and by the anaemic premise inscribed by the idea of progress, they do not deny the possibility of reorienting civilizational creativity and resilience towards reconsiderations.
The online platform that hosts this exhibition conceptualized and drawn from Pad.ma proposes alternative ways of deepening the connectivity and democratic possibilities that can exist vis-à-vis the internet towards ethical digital infrastructures to engage intimately with art.
Anushka Rajendran is a curator and art writer based in New Delhi. She is the curator for the Prameya Art Foundation (PRAF), a non-profit arts organization based in New Delhi committed to approaches that enable audience-thinking for contemporary art in India. She is also the Festival Curator of the 2021 edition of Colomboscope and was assistant curator for Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018. As a research scholar, Anushka is completing her PhD in Visual Studies at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her research traces how the notion of ‘public’ has acquired alternative significance to contemporary Indian art. Her previous MPhil research focused on the adoption of installation art by artists in India in the early 1990s to address collective and personal trauma. For her curatorial practice, she has been awarded fellowships that supported residencies with Fundación Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Madrid; Aomori Contemporary Art Center, Aomori, Japan; the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), New York (by Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation); and Theertha International Artists’ Collective, Colombo.
安努舒卡．拉堅德蘭，現居於新德里的獨立策展人、藝術評論者。曾為2018年柯欽雙年展（Kochi Biennale）之助理策展人，同時也是現任普拉美亞藝術基金會（Prameya Art Foundation） 策展人，這是個非營利的藝術組織，致力作為印度當代藝術與觀眾之橋樑。Anushka現正於印度新德里國立尼赫魯大學（Jawaharlal Nehru University）研讀視覺研究博士學位，她的研究領域包括：追溯2004年迄今當代印度藝術中公共意義的轉變，以及1990年代初期印度藝術家如何透過繪畫、雕塑回應個人及集體的創傷。安努舒卡曾於日本青森當代藝術中心、紐約國際工作室策展計畫（簡稱ISCP）及哥倫波等地駐村。2021年將擔任斯里蘭卡哥倫坡三年展（Colomboscope）之共同策展人。
Pad.ma is an artist-run online archive of densely text-annotated video material, primarily footage and not finished films contributed by filmmakers, artists and cultural workers. It was set up in 2008 as a collaboration between CAMP, 0x2620, the Alternative Law Forum and Majlis. Pad.ma (and her allied projects) remain at the forefront of radical and future-oriented thinking and engagement with both material and theory of digital archives.
CAMP is a collaborative studio founded in Bombay in 2007. It has been producing fundamental new work in film and video, electronic media, and public art forms, in a practice characterised by a hand-dirtying, non-alienated relation to technology. From their home base in Mumbai, they co-host the online archives Pad.ma and indiancine.ma and run a rooftop cinema for the past 14 years.
Founded in 2010 in Berlin, 0x2620 is an artist-run agency for the advancement of the international exchange of information, and usually operates at the intersections of art, politics and technology. Its activities include extensive research on intellectual property and piracy, the development of open-source software tools and web applications, and the production of both technological and social infrastructure for the collaborative creation, maintenance and use of relatively large data sets.
Pad.ma 公眾存取數位媒體檔案庫（Public Access Digital Media Archive ，簡稱Pad.ma）是一個為密集文字標注影片素材所設立的線上檔案庫。其營運團隊成員皆為藝術家，彙整內容主要為電影創作者、藝術家、文化工作者提供的影片資料帶和未完成的影片。2008年正式上線的Pad.ma為CAMP、0x2620、另類法律論壇、Majlis共同合作而成。Pad.ma（與其他相關計畫）激進、以未來為導向的思考模式多年來始終如一，並積極投入數位檔案的素材與理論的研究。
Yang Yu-Chiao is a researcher on oral literature, narratology and folktale poetics, and is also a narrator of Taiwanese folktales in the oral tradition. Yu-Chiao also created several performances drawing from storytelling, poetry, writing actions, and experimental sounds with artists working with different media including digital, film, and classical music since 2017. Yu-Chiao has published several works including a series of tales that demonstrate characters in oracle bone script.
Chen Wan-Yin is an art critic and a writer. She is currently a Ph.D. researcher on media aesthetics and East Asian contemporary art at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She previously worked as an editor of Artist Magazine (Taipei) from 2014 to 2017 and since 2015, she has also been working as a scriptwriter with video artist Hsu Che-Yu.
楊雨樵，喜歡散步，喜歡樹的屍骨。專職為口頭傳統民間譚的言說藝術表演者與獨立撰稿人，並從事口傳文學、戲劇與電影的敘事學、故事詩學與比較故事學研究。除開設「世界民間譚」展演式講座外，2017 年開始以言說藝術表演者身份，和聲音、影像領域的藝術家合作，發展如《聲熔質變——Anamorphosis & Anatexis》的實驗性系列演出至今。出版過數本以甲骨文為對象的文學創作，其他文章散見於紙本刊物與網路平台。
Nobuo Takamori, Ho Yu-Kuan, Ye Renyu and Liao Chia-Cheng, Karen Menezes.
The video art programme of the Asian Art Biennial is organized by National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, supervised by the Ministry of Culture, and is co-organized by the Cultural Taiwan Foundation and in partnership with SEA Plateau.