Art has always followed closely the development of technology. Writing instruments are equivalent to painting and calligraphy tools; paper became an inexpensive alternative to silk and parchment when it comes to drawing, painting, and printing; the earliest surviving photographs witnessed the inclusion of painterly intuition with composition; and it is said that on the day Sony Portapak was delivered to the U.S. in 1965, Nam Jun Paik bought the first consumer video camera and started making video art. In this series of monthly talks moderated by Para Site deputy director Kelly Ma, artists, scholars, and innovative individuals from around the world are invited to contemplate the crossroads of art and technology.
In the last three decades, the Internet has thoroughly transformed the way humans communicate with each other, and following the trajectory of social media, from the earliest personal homepage to TikTok, its various iterations have provided a platform where one can easily package oneself for a particular audience. What started out as an extension of an adolescent’s bedroom (or college dorm room) for self-expression has also been quickly picked up by businesses and public figures to expand their influence and interaction with their audience, and influencers have in turn established an actual profession. In the first session of the Art x Technology series, theatre scholar Dan Poston and artist Yu Cheng-Ta will share the mystifying nature of performance and its relation to identity through the lens of social media.