Congress theme for 2018 AICA International Congress Taiwan:Art Criticism in the Age of Virtuality and Democracy
⓪ Chi-Ming Lin, and the scientific committee of AICA Taiwan
Based on observations of important tendencies in the actual world, we would like to address some key issues concerning the role of art criticism related to these new developments.
Firstly, the virtual is not the opposite of reality but rather an increasing part of our reality. Presently, communities, social relations, everyday life, the body, and even biological life are in the processes of mass virtualization. Life itself has been supposed as an algorithm, AI as a brain without body, while space-time’s relationship is virtualized in VR technology. A virtual enterprise need no longer convene its employees onsite, but rather can delegate work to be done remotely, thus re-articulating the time-space relationship of its workers.
Secondly, if we make an observation of a longer duration, there seems to be an unquestionable expansion of democracy which can be confirmed by the democratic transitions beginning in the mid-1970s, which span from Latin America to Taiwan and South Korea, through the end of the cold war, and to following transitions in Eastern Europe, the Color Revolution and the Umbrella Movement in Hong-Kong in the fall of 2014. Nevertheless in more recent years, the phenomenon of the retreat of democracy can also be observed in the uprising of the populism worldwide.
Moreover, these two tendencies may be related. The Congress Theme “Art Criticism in the age of Virtuality and Democracy” has two sub-themes:
1. Art criticism in the age of virtuality
2. Art discourse facing challenged democracy
1. “Art criticism in the age of virtuality” will address the situation in which the rapid pace of development in computer and media technologies is creating new working environments and new possibilities for art, each with their own particular problematics. How does this process affect the description, interpretation and evaluation of contemporary art? More precisely, does art criticism develop new methodology and new languages concerning its analysis and new problematics in its debates? What does it mean for art and art criticism that new media reaches crowds of new readers around the world, often “for free”?
2. “Art discourse facing challenged democracy” will discuss the following questions: how is art discourse constitutive of the collective representations and imaginary of democracy? In the situation of democracy under challenge, how are these social-political phenomena reflected in new developments of censorship and self-censorship, or post-truth? For new problems brought out by transitional justice, what kind of function can art discourse play?
AICA Taiwan would like to express our special thanks of gratitude to all 35 of the contributors for submitting their impressive works, and the President of AICA International-Lisbeth Rebollo Gonçalves, Honorary President- Jacques Leenhardt, Secretary General-Allthorpe-Guyton Marjorie, Treasurer-Mathilde Roman, and Office Assistant- Nathalie Rousselle for their great help. This book would not have been possible without the financial or the organizational support of the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Education of Taiwan(R.O.C). Also, we appreciate the kind support from Taipei City Government, Taipei Fine Art Museum, National Taipei University of Education:
Department of Arts and Design, Critical and Curatorial Studies of Contemporary Art at NTUE, Museum of NTUE, Department of Music. Special thanks to the sponsorships from the private association-Xue Xue Foundation, Taishin Holdings and Foundation for Arts and Culture, Cathay Century Insurance, Egret Foundation, and Bonyu Ltd.
We are grateful to both jury panels for “AICA Prize for Distinguished Contribution for Art Criticism” and “AICA Incentive Award for Young Art Critics”: Hsiang-Lin Lai, Kuang-Yi Chen, Po-Shin Chiang, Ya-Chun Chin, Tzu-Chieh Chien, Ching-Wen Chang, Yang YEUNG, Nhung WALSH, Chien-Mei LIU, Jeannine TANG, Damian Smith, and Mariko Takeuchi. Also special thanks to AICA Taiwan Preparatory Committee and the Scientific Committee-Hai-Ming Huang, Hsien-Hung Yang, Shui-Peng Cheng, Chau-Hsin Chen, Ching-Wen Chang, LI-Fu Chen, Lin-Yen Tsai, Mu-Ching Wu, Pei-Ni Hsieh, Chi-Hsiang Chen, Yi-Hua Wu, Hung-Yi Chen, Man-Ray Hsu, Hong-John Lin, Sheng-Hua Zheng, Chih-Yung Chiu, Wen-Hao Huang. Furthermore, We thank the President of AICA Taiwan and the editor in chief of this book, Chi-Min Lin along with the editing working team-Tien-Han Chang, Shih-Ting Wang, Cheng-Hao Liou, E-Fahn Wang, Shih-Hsuan Chou, and Sean Gaffney- for their efforts.