[interview]

閃電瞬間,進入想像的裂縫:謝佑承、王中原 《高壓電》

黃怜穎,打開空總,2020

In Split Second Lightning Break out the Crevices of Imagination
High Voltage by HSIEH Yu-Cheng and WANG Chung-Yuan

HUANG Lin-Yin, Open Clab, 2020








位處 C-LAB 園區東側,曾作為加油站的 4 公尺高建築物,南側立面還看得見「嚴 禁煙火」紅色字樣,是一窺過往建物用途 的線索。2020 年 9 月,由謝佑承、王中 原所創作的一道 8 公尺高閃電攀附矗立在 此,以不鏽鋼架構出有機造形,白日之下, 鏡面表層映照著四周環境,視覺效果消弭 了裝置本體與環境間的界線;當夜晚來臨,模擬閃電的光軌裝置啟動,不定時的短暫 閃現,使得眼前景象明暗交錯,每回閃現 都是帶動思考的瞬間。

畢業於臺北藝術大學新媒體藝術系的謝佑承 與王中原,過去常以「光」作為創作主軸。 謝佑承認為:「回到最初,影像其實是由『光』 組成的:什麼樣的光會造成什麼樣的影像, 我探索材料,也觸及『怎麼觀看』這件事。」 而王中原則喜歡關注人與非人物種之間的交 會:「思考人應該用什麼樣的角度去應對自 然,以及未來人要怎麼跟環境共存,是我滿 有興趣的議題。」此回在 C-LAB 一起創作大 型裝置,所面對的戶外場域特性和量體,讓 兩人經歷許多細節上現實與想像間的拉扯。
In the east side of C-LAB is a 4-meter high structure which served as a gas station. A sign in red reads“Light No Fires”, still visible on its southern wall and offering a clue of its past. As of September 2020, an 8-meter tall lightning bolt by HSIEH Yu- Cheng and WANG Chung-Yuan stands at this location. Made from stainless steel, the piece's organic shape is burnished to a mirror finish that reflects its surrounding environment during the day, concealing actual borders between installation and its environment. At night, the light rails flash sporadically in imitation of real lightning. The effect result in an interplay of light and darkness in the surroundings, igniting a moment of contemplation with every flash.

HSIEH Yu-Cheng and WANG Chung-Yuan were classmates at the Department of New Media Art, Taipei National University of the Arts. “Light” has always been a creative focus in the former's work. “At its essence, ‘light’ is what makes images, and each particular kind of light generates a corresponding type of imagery,”says Hsieh. “As I explore materials, it brings up the question of ‘how one sees’.” On the other hand, WANG Chung-Yuan prefers to focus on interactions between human and non-human lifeforms. “I think about what kind of stance a person would take when dealing with nature,” says Wang, “and also how humans must co- exist with the environment in the future. These are issues that greatly interest me.” While co- creating the large-scale installation for C-LAB, the many details to be reckoned with prompted much push-and-pull between reality and imagination between the two artists.






電力與光的探索緣起

對於兩人科技藝術的求學背景而言,「電從哪裡來」指向非常基礎的探問,有了電,才有後面各種可能性的展開。謝佑承 2019 年於 臺南蕭壠文化園區駐村期間,因踏查當地所發現的電力物件「礙子」,一種古老耐高壓電的絕緣體,啟發他以電力系統為索引,深入隱之於無形的電力與科技、現代化社會間的縫隙,以此連結起日本作家谷崎潤一郎於 《陰翳禮讚》所描述:電燈的發明雖照亮了夜晚,但是否也抹煞了陰翳之處?

模擬古老且巨大的光能量

延續對於電力與光的探索,謝佑承邀約甫從英國畢業返臺的王中原合作,兩人討論起熟悉且巨大的光能量,王中原提到:「閃電就 是光最原始的其中一種型態。」兩人覺得有意思的關鍵,在於閃電是具有古老和永恆時間感的自然現象,本身就是一種光的影像, 何不嘗試在空總戶外製造如閃電般的「介入」,謝佑承形容:「突然一閃光,讓眼睛經歷瞬間懷疑眼前有什麼的狀態,光沒了,空間又回到原本的樣子。」閃現的時間差裂縫啟動感官經驗,拉出一道想像的時空。

閃電當下,啟動思考

透過電腦控制光軌,連動主幹與不同位置, 模擬閃電的形狀,正面看不到的光,從不鏽鋼片邊緣的縫隙間接流露而出。光閃現的路徑記錄著從實到虛呈現之變化,彷彿也對應在兩位年輕藝術家首度挑戰戶外大型裝置的 心境轉換上。從選擇合適材質與克服環境,及時間預算有限的現實等問題,兩人深切體悟和在美術館白盒子所經歷的邏輯大不相同,戶外裝置得處理一定規模的量體,但同時需考量基地的環境條件與社區文化,因位處公共場所也成為這次創作裡謝佑承所思考:「公共藝術的『公共性』到底該如何實現?」

打開對共同生活空間的想像

除了直接被公眾看到,透過感官經驗參與, 這道閃電在 C-LAB 的場域裡,實驗的範圍邊界在哪?謝佑承從這次創作經驗體會到, 如果環境才是戶外創作的主體,創作者應該學著借力使力:「我認為公共性好像也是在挑戰公眾,對於一個共同生活的空間有何想法。」如謝佑承所言,閃光試圖啟動的除了細膩的感官經驗,也包含人們對於空總園區的想像。打開圍牆後的 C-LAB,迎入環境藝術計畫,開放的場域和資源支持孵化著青年藝術家的想像,激發城市居民與場域間的各種靈光閃現。
Initiations in the Exploration of Electricity and Light

For these two artists who come from an academic background in art technology, the question of “where electricity comes from” is a very fundamental inquiry. Different possibilities have been pursued since the advent of electricity. While taking part in a residency program at the Siao-Long Cultural Park in Tainan in 2019, Hsieh came upon an antique high voltage insulator in his site surveys. This discovery inspired him to explore the invisible world of electrical grid systems, doing deep dives to the nooks and crannies of electrical power technology and crevices of modern society. It invoked a musing by Tanizaki Junichiro in In Praise of Shadows, pondering if the advent of electric light, while brightening the nights, has also eradicated the place of the shadow.

Simulating an Ancient and Immense Source of Light Energy

Extending from explorations on electrical power and light, Hsieh invited Wang, who had just returned from studying abroad in the UK, to collaborate on the project. While discussing the familiar and mind-boggling intensity of light, Wang mentioned, “lightning is one of the most primal forms of light.” They then both realized that the lightning, an ancient and timeless natural phenomenon, is in itself an image of light, inspiring them to introduce some form of lightning in the outdoor spaces of C-LAB. In a statement made by Hsieh, “when a sudden flash of light is seen, it feels like something is unfolding before your eyes, but when the light recedes, the space goes back to how it was.” The flash is intended to spark a sensory experience, which would open up a crack in time, revealing an imagined space-time.

Thoughts Provoked by a Flash of Light

A computer operated light rail, emitting pulses at various places in changing sequences, simulates the effects of a lightning bolt. No light is seen directly, but escapes through the edge openings of a stainless-steel sheet. The pattern of the flashing light reflects the shifts from the actual to the simulated. Being the two artists' first attempt at making an 8-meter tall outdoor installation, practical considerations such as material selection, site conditions, time and budget constraints, led to the realization that a different set of logic is at play when dealing with outdoor installations. Compared to an art museum's controlled environment of a white box, scale is one difference. Environmental variables at the site and local community culture also plays a part. Because of the open public nature of the site, Hsieh also faced the question of “how to realize ‘publicness' in public art?”

Opening up Imagination Towards a Shared Living Space

In addition to being seen by the public, how should the parameters of the lightning bolt experiment at C-LAB be defined for this sensory experience? Hsieh realized from this creative experience if the setting becomes the core subject of outdoor art, the artist should work with available resources. “I see publicness as a form of challenge to the public. It confronts people's ideas of living in the collective space.” According to Hsieh, the lightning is designed to activate an intricate set of sensory experience, including people's imaginations towards the C-LAB spaces. After the perimeter wall was taken down, site-specific art projects have taken its place, and with the site and resources made available to young artists, they are encouraged to let their imaginations soar and to engage the imagination of urban neighbors through alternating flashes of ingenuity.












© 2012–2021 HSIEH Yu-Cheng.