Loading Events

Art x Technology: (De)Coding New Media Art

Aug 24, 2022
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Wed, 24 Aug 2022, 6–7pm
Zoom ID: 845 7582 3119
Passcode: 128910
Direct link

Jeffrey Shaw, Gary Zhexi Zhang, moderated by Kelly Ma (Deputy Director, Para Site)


In our current time, we have become accustomed to having our small handheld devices help us control our lives, while the super computers in Alan Turing’s time was the size of a house. We have certainly come a long way, where technology advancements have allowed us easier access to the state of the art inventions. Art has also been closely responding to what has become available, as exemplified by the early video artists, who were all very conscious of this new medium’s meanings and capabilities. Many of their pioneering thoughts have also predicted what we have now, including the ‘information superhighway’ coined by Nam June Paik. In the 1980s and 1990s, artists also experimented with net art, and graphic designer and computer scientist John Maeda’s codes became part of the Museum of Modern Art’s collection, many of them interactive. Artists’ curiosity and innovation in testing the conceptual limits of technology have brought us some of the humorous and provocative pieces of art that we have seen thus far. In today’s conversation, two artists who are both educators and from two different generations will share their encounters with these mediums, how their work and understanding have evolved, and where we might be going from here.

About the speakers

Jeffrey Shaw

Jeffrey Shaw has been a leading figure in new media art since the 1960s. He has pioneered and set benchmarks for the creative use of digital media technologies in the fields of virtual and augmented reality, immersive visualisation environments, digital cultural heritage, and interactive narrative. Besides his innovative artworks, he has organised numerous media art exhibitions such as the touring exhibition ‘Future Cinema’(2002–2004) and ‘WYSIWYG’ (2019). Currently Shaw is the Chair Professor of the Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University, and a Visiting Professor at Central Academy of Fine Arts Beijing and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne. At City University of Hong Kong, he was Director of the Centre for Applied Computing and Interactive Media (2016–2021) and Dean of the School of Creative Media (2009–2016). He was the co-founding director of the University of New South Wales Australia iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research (2003) and founding director of the ZKM Institute for Visual Media Karlsruhe, Germany (1991–2002). Shaw is the recipient of awards including International Association for Computing Machinery’s Special interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement in Digital Art (2020) and Ars Electronica Golden Nica for Visionary Pioneer of Media Art (2015).


Gary Zhexi Zhang

Gary Zhexi Zhang is an artist and writer. His recent projects explore financial fictions, anomalistic temporalities, and catastrophe. A recent body of work, Cycle 25, documented the boundaries between speculative belief and the material world, through the histories of natural disaster, fraudulent sovereignties, and cosmic economies. With Somerset House, he recently made a radio documentary about financial astrology. As a researcher at the intersection of technology, ecology, and institutional design, he has held fellowships at the Berggruen Institute in Los Angeles, and Sakiya in Ramallah. He is a co-founder of design studio Foreign Objects, which was incubated at NEW INC in New York and received the Mozilla Creative Media Award. He has written for various publications and taught art and design at Goldsmith’s College in London and Parsons School of Design in New York. His published works include Against Reduction: Designing a Human Future with Machines (MIT Press, 2021), Incomputable Earth (Bloomsbury, forthcoming), and Catastrophe Time! (MIT/Strange Attractor Press, also editor, forthcoming).

Headline Sponsor