From Vector Horse to Vector World——The Concept and Reflection of "Words and Objects" in YIiri’S Horse Farm

1. Representation of virtual and real "words" and "objects"

When new media artist Zhang Junyi was studying in France, his creative thinking has turned between "games" and "events", about those objects that may be lost, or the ever-circling situation between the infinite and the ephemeral. The development of the creative form of "Yiri Racecourse" in 2022 can be traced back to the artist's thinking on how to display works of art in parallel time and space from 2019 to 2022.

In 2019, when Zhang Junyi participated in "Youth Contemporary-Unfinished Past Progressive", he proposed the plan of "It's Very Simple and I Will", inviting seven Taiwanese contemporary artists to participate in the shooting, and they explained to each other the production process of each other's works. . After that, she tried to reveal the fluid relationship between artists, works of art and viewers from different perspectives and stages of development. In 2020, Zhang Junyi curated the exhibition "To Martian Anthropologists" at the New Taipei Cultural Center. She cites the assumption in art critic Thierry De Duve's 1989 book "In the Name of Art - An Archaeology for a Modernity" (Note 1), inviting viewers to use Mars Art from a human perspective. During the epidemic period, she started to use the "web page" as the exhibition venue, proposed the "online-based, physical-assisted" display mode, and invited 15 domestic and foreign artists to exhibit. This project presents two virtual and real spaces where works are stored, and questions the relationship between text, imagination, concept, action, and the relationship between virtual and real, and discusses the form of "words" and "objects", such as his collaborative "Words" and "things". A low-key work - A Tribute to Blecher". (Note 2)

Following the concept of virtual and real exhibitions in the exhibition "To Martian Anthropologists", the artist looks back and faces the aesthetic nature and preservation of video art, and through the different existence of "online" and "offline" space, and cross-examination. The dialogue between image and concept proposes several contemporary science and technology and humanities issues. These topics will be presented in the 2021 "Iri Horse Farm" solo exhibition in the form of "conceptual exhibition" through the cross dialogue between vision and concept. First of all, "Yiri Racecourse" is based on the merry-go-round music box, the galloping horses in continuous photography by British photographer Eadweard MUYBRIDGE, as well as the Trojan horses and Internet images in the Taiwan Toy Museum. Secondly, the artist uses these elements such as image generation and semantic translation to form an artistic horse field deployed by images, paintings and sculptures, and place them in two virtual and real fields, online and offline, respectively. Furthermore, the artist provides viewers with a variety of viewing and thinking. For example, will online exhibitions replace physical exhibitions? Will NFTs become the new mainstream of art trading? Can the generated objects of NFT also be taken out and enlarged to become a kind of shadow wall painting? Words and objects, shapes and shadows, whether there are different cognitions and experiences in the "sense" and "knowledge" of artistic observation.

2. Exploration of Theory and Time View

How to reproduce or describe the "contemporary" image of a certain life-the image concept of "horse" is the first aesthetic thinking provided by "Iri Horse Farm". The horse on the line starts from the process of contemporary life. In this way, the artist expresses a state of deposit in the contemporary online community. We seem to be domesticated, codified, commanded horses. In today's common graphic "SVG" format (Scalable Vector Graphics), it is supported by numbers, codes, and images. In the four-frame view of the web page, while we retain a specific digital identity, we may also retain our own internal movement laws, imagining that we are ready to go in the "domesticated kennel". We can also be a cyclical horse, lonesome in a race to the self. These scalable vector graphics form a constant and passive existence. The offline scene, on the other hand, returns to the subject of art, that is, through the representation and description of images, paintings and sculptures, do these “horses” still involve the dialectic of “a white horse is not a horse”?

How to face the concept of "things" again with "contemporary vocabulary" is the second direction of aesthetic thinking provided by "Iri Horse Farm". Gongsun Long's "white horse is not a horse" involves the stipulation of the "image" and "hue" of objects. Different concepts have different results, so that "white horse" and "horse" have become inseparable. From a philosophical perspective, the philosophy of "a white horse is not a horse" creates a logical contradiction between common sense and rational judgment. Zhang Junyi's "Carroso" video installation series, from the colorful carousel in 2014 to the silhouette animation from "Mybridge's Horse" in 2021, is personally viewed, not just on the subject of "contemporaneity". Rather, the artist re-examines a classic subject related to image and semantics with "contemporary vocabulary". This idea is related to the Greek term "Eidos", which means "theory" of form, essence, type.

Inspired by Plato's theory of forms and Aristotle's theory of universals, "Eidos" has become a contemporary pronoun used by software companies and video game development studios. It points out that Theory of Forms is a hypothetical world of two worlds. The physical world in which man lives is not the only world, nor the world in which truth resides. Above this world, there is a rational world that cannot be perceived by ordinary senses. In terms of concept, Zhang Junyi's online exhibition area also proposes the true nature of things in such a rational world. These horses are the rational forms of horses in the rational world, which are composed of basic codes and image concepts. As for its offline exhibition area, it proposes an artistic horse that imitates, reproduces and develops. Through the simulation of painting and sculpture, and the reflection on the essence of art, they involve the concept of horses, the rationality of horses, and the imitation of rationality of horses. Reading from this perspective, Zhang Junyi's creations are not aimed at narrative, and even video works are mostly concerned with the discussion of the nature of video media and the existence of the field.

If the problem consciousness of painting is based on the study of color, line and plane space, the problem consciousness of video and video media mostly occurs at the perception level of time continuity and speed. Taking "horse" as an image example of the concept of rationality, the concept of speed and the question of time and life caused by "horse" can be regarded as the third direction of aesthetic thinking provided by the artist. The discussion itself of the "view of time" is an assumption with the origin of the world and the attitude of belief. The Jewish-Christian worldview is a momentary still world in duration. Aristotle's worldview is an infinite stationary world in duration. The world of the historical view of fate is a cyclical change, with a sense of the seasons where prosperity and decline alternate. As for Darwin's evolutionary view world, it is strung together by a linear time axis of gradual evolution. Generally speaking, those who take new media and technological art as avant-garde concepts have many futuristic beliefs. Under the tool theory, it is believed that the development of art must follow the technological life model. However, Zhang Junyi, who has repeatedly put forward the theory of constant cycle in his video works, his "modularization" and "time view" tend to be a form of return without beginning and end. Therefore, it also leaves some traces of suspense of the artist facing the time of life.

3. Juxtaposition imagination of different dimension space

Continuing his interest in the relationship between games and events, the artist not only continued to explore the relationship between artistic language and image, the temporality and spatiality of video aesthetics, but also responded to the exhibition presentation problem of contemporary art with a new technological ecology. . In the 2021 "Iri Racecourse" site, the video installation "Carrosol, ±1" is a vertical juxtaposition of the liquid TV, making it a part of the work from a medium function, and endows it with a picture frame concept . At the scene, the live video installation of "Carroso" itself becomes a flat, three-dimensional object like a music box. It is not only a video, but also an object; it is the cycle of time, and it is also a bounded dynamic space.

The merry-go-round music box and Muybridge's silhouette galloping horse both refer to the temporality of the return state. The fourth direction of aesthetic thinking it provides is also related to the handling of static and dynamic time in artistic creation. The horse that was transformed from the form of "Carroso" to "The Horse of Muybridge" is a silhouette form of the horse from the online "Rotation", which naturally pays homage to "Mybridge". (Note 3) Muybridge is famous for using multiple cameras to photograph moving objects, and his "Muybridge's Horse" became an important visual experiment in leading the space of static images to the space of dynamic images. This revolutionary technique has influenced generations of artists, including Francis Bacon's Three Studies for a Portrait of Freud, Marcel Duchamp's Woman Descending a Staircase, Jasper Johns' challenge of typical two-dimensional painting concepts The Four-Faced Mark, and even the creative concept of contemporary painter Cy Twombly and video artist Douglas Gordon. In response to the relationship between image and movement, Tomboli started from purely graphic marks and developed a meta-text, with abbreviations, numbers, hatches, cycles and the simplest pictographs, through continuous movement processes, such as smearing and wiping, and Complete the screen. In response to the relationship between time and speed, Gordon's video installations can be frozen, or the intensity of the cinematographic imagery can be accelerated or slowed down, emphasizing the relationship between memory and time.

Then, Zhang Junyi's "Caro Sol, ±1", "Marquee", "Code Horse" of "Yiri Racecourse", in addition to the use of video, painting, sculpture, LED lights, the Internet and other media, these related speed , light and shadow, and the layout of the exhibition venue, what is it that it really cares about and wants to ask?

4. The shape and extension of the vector world

In the juxtaposition of online and offline exhibitions of "How to Show and Preserve the Reality of Things", the artist took "One day, I dreamed that I became a vector human being" as a breakthrough in the exhibition description. This imagination makes everything return to another artistic function outside of mimeticism—art as a self-projected sketch and silhouette. Here, the artist also provides the fifth behind-the-scenes thinking about politics and aesthetics—the time-space distance between "vector man" and "one-dimensional man". (Note 4)

In the 1960s, in response to the gradual "one-way" of people's behavior and thinking patterns, Marcuse proposed the concept of "Great Refusal" as a method of resisting total social control. In today's graphic world, "Vector Man" has no background, only sketches and silhouettes. The existence of "vector people" means the disappearance of the complex personality of individuals, and it also heralds the advent of an "AI human society" that is graphical and multi-dimensional. (Note 5) However, the artist did not aim to criticize this new world phenomenon. She used a way of artistic creation and planning, as well as a dialogue between the classics and the avant-garde, to simulate an image with the production and display of the "Vector Horse Farm". Contemporary transitional landscapes of the world.

"Yiri Racecourse" has become "a racecourse on a certain day of a certain year, a certain month". And when we know that the exhibition base of "Yiri" was formerly known as the Subaru car warehouse. This exhibition becomes a "smiling incident at the art base" under the artist's "language of games". Art originates from games, including associative games established by parody and programming system, which can be regarded as one of Zhang Junyi's important artistic expression dimensions. The above-mentioned viewing and thinking can also be said to be the artist's silhouette-style joke and performance on the aesthetic issues of modern and contemporary art. From vector horses to vector worlds, the frescoes of animals in the Grotte de Lascaux, France 15,000 years ago, and the perception of light and shadow of "cave people" commonly used in video aesthetics, will be summoned again in 2022. The distance between Plato's ancient cave and getting rid of physical limitations - the NFT art world as a digital asset is actually a convoluted relationship.


Note 1. The curator Zhang Junyi asked: "If there is no electricity, how can video artists who rely on electricity 'continue to make' their works?". See "Becoming a Martian Anthropologist—Breakthrough and Inspiration for "Mars Anthropologist" on the official website of the New Taipei City Arts and Culture Center.

Note 2. "Low-key Works - A Tribute to Blecher" is Eric. Online interactive responsive web work by Eric Watier and Zhang Junyi. Its "low profile" is another way of saying "digital". The work consists of translations of movements and objects from Breger's painting "Netherlands Proverbs". The online version is an online puzzle game for finding hidden objects. The sentences and parts of the picture in the work can be co-developed on the same picture, and the user can find the corresponding image in the actual picture through the sentences and pictures that appear in sequence.

Note 3. The "Zoopraxiscope" invented by Muybridge is a projector that can play moving images. It draws continuous images on the edge of a glass disc, and projects the images as the glass rotates. The image appears to be in motion.

Note 4. "One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society" (One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society) is a 1964 book by German-American philosopher Herbert Marcuse book. In the book, Marcuse criticizes the "developed industrial society" that integrates the individual into a society dominated by production and consumption through mass media, advertising, industrial management, and contemporary modes of thinking.

Note 5. From the point-line-surface concept, there are scalar, vector, matrix, and tensor relationships in the four ascending dimensions. Point-scalar (scalar), line-vector (vector), surface-matrix (matrix), volume-tensor (tensor). Therefore, it is assumed that "Vector Man" is a graphic and multi-dimensional image world.

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