(Shanghai, Oct. 10th) On the afternoon of Oct. 10th, 2012, Professor Roy Ascott, DeTao Master of Technoetic Arts, gave a lecture at Shanghai Institute of Visual Art. He won a burst of applause and enthusiastic cheers when he entered Room 107 of Yifei Building. At the invitation of SIVA College of New Media Art, College of Performing Arts and College of Design, he made this special trip for the lecture entitled Syncretic Cybernetics: Art in the Time of Change. Mr. Guo Dakang, Party Chief of SIVA College of New Media Art, Professor Hu Jieming , Vice Dean and a famous expert in new media, Ms. Zhang Ping, Director of Department of Further Education, School of Design, and executive and faculty members of College of Design and College of Performing Arts attended the lecture.
The audience was amazed by the striking pictures created and demonstrated by Professor Ascott like Gaia. He talked in detail about truly innovative ideas of incorporating variable art and high-tech, shedding light on several key words, like new media, the second world, interactive interface, electrochemistry, the electronic generation, electronic immigrant, virtual world, intelligent, spatial switching, multiple selves, fusion, out-of-body experience, digitization, etc. In-depth understanding of these words represented the highlight of his wisdom, making the topic and implication of the lecture better known to the audience.
Professor Ascott also shared his definition of art. According to him, art was about scrutinizing the reality from a particular perspective and demonstrating rules with works. An excellent artist was capable of interdisciplinary learning and incorporating knowledge. He should also be well-read, innovative in thinking and able to apply reasoning, theory, analysis and social application in every area. The professor sent a gracious invitation to students and teachers in the audience, whoever interested, to participate in the production of his work Mobile Avatar. According to him, this production was adapted from one of China’s four literary classics Pilgrimage to the West and would be put on display during this year’s Shanghai Biennale.
During the Q&A session, students had candid and heated discussions with the professor, covering embodiments and applications blended in art, proving the existence of soul in the laboratories in Spain, the relationship between online art and public art, etc.
After the lecture, Professor Ascott was invited for further discussion by Professor Hu Jieming, Vice Dean of College of New Media Art. In a conference room on the second floor of CCIC Building, they had insightful talks about the education of new media art and its developing trend.
Professor Roy Ascott is an internationally recognized pioneer in new media art and an innovation theorist. He is active in interactive multimedia art both as an artist and theorist. He unprecedentedly introduced cybernetics and telecommunications into the creation of multimedia art, which had a significant impact on the development of multimedia arts in the UK and Europe. He was committed to the research into the impact of digital and remote communication network on consciousness.
He developed the application of Internet in art and thus became a leader in the telematic technology of art application. He participated in a number of exhibitions throughout the world, including Venice Biennale of Architecture, V2 Exhibition, Milan Triennale, Brazil Mercosul Biennial, the European Media Arts Festival, 2010 Incheon International Digital Art Festival in South Korea, and the exhibition of Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. He advised on art councils, media centers and festivals in Europe, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, South Korea and the USA and served as consultant for UNESCO. In 2012, he joined DeTao. As one of the most outstanding artists and theorists in new media, he would be promoting research in Chinese art, science, technology and consciousness.