Veeeky (Wei-Chia Wu)

BIOGRAPHY & STATEMENT

Within the concept of the Internet of Things, algorithms, the cyborg concept, the post-human era and bionic art, the work of Wei-Chia Wu (Veeeky) revolves around the reflections on the modern information and technological society: sounds, image, scenic emotion and flexible space between the actor and the spectator, as well as the empathy produced by the narration of the interior voice and the signs in contemporary society. Her process of taking sound and image samples to experiment with them knows no limits or borders. her working tools are new technologies, the product of contemporary society, and she constantly experiments with them: among other things she uses open code software for 3D modelling, computer-generated imagery (CGI), to achieve the transformation of acoustic signals into mechanical physical movements or images.

The technology is not only a means but is also based on understanding through the sociological analysis of current society. This creative content includes the internet, the movement of fragmented information, gender, channels, globalisation, return to the local, etc.; it shows a model of a colourful and lively world emerging from the utopia, dystopia or non-utopia of a near future. Her main objective is to make the spectator reflect on possible life projects in contemporary society.

In this world, where reality and virtuality are gradually mixed, Wu, as an independent artist, moves through cultural scenarios from around the world, participating in different exhibitions and actions, while striking up conversations with local artists that are mutually motivating. In 2017 Wu created Sustainable Data with the curator Yi Lee: a project which takes a deeper look into the internet and technology- They hope that more artists will be able to take place and that their coming together will produce new and interesting dimensions. In 2019 she had a solo exhibition in the NON Berlin and in March of the same year in the Hybrid art fair in Madrid. In 2018 she exhibited her animation/video-installation in Barcelona following her Homesession residency. Her new media works have also been exhibited in art spaces (NON Berlin, The Cave Gallery, Homesession, Long March Space) and music festivals (MONA FOMA, Sonar, Le Guess Who, Sydney Festival, Concrete Grass Festival). They have also been the subject of reports in different media (MAEKAN, Boiler Room, Red Bull Music Academy, Uncanny, VICE).

INTERVIEW

First of all, please briefly describe your project with Homesession. Did the idea arise during the residency or did you go with a project or pre-project in mind?
In October I began a series of works based on sketches I had made in September through the creation of ·D models or movement capture. The result is a 5-minute video which narrates an imagined near future, but setting out from a theoretical foundation and based on viable technologies where the spectators can imagine themselves in the space between gender and technology. In the video I investigate the image of gender created by geographical differences, taking as the base the aesthetic differences in Spain (Europe) and Taiwan (Chinese culture) and take them to the new appearance of gender/aesthetic created under the influence of globalisation and internet. Under the concept of the Internet of Things, algorithms, the cyborg concept, the post-human era and through audio-visual experiences, I investigate the mutual relationships between image, sound and interpretation as possibilities of different media.

“An imagined near future, but setting out from a theoretical foundation and based on viable technologies where the spectators can imagine themselves in the space between gender and technology.”

In the specific context of your residency with Homesession, how far did the context influence the way you carried out the project?
During my residency I spoke to different local curators and artists who told me that, perhaps due to economic and political changes in recent years, there is an increasing number of young artists who move to Barcelona to become involved with the scene here and form small communities here. Danilo Piolo suggested that I should visit the artists at the Hangar.org residencies and so in the second week of my Homesession residency I went to the T.E.A.M. Lab (Technology, Engineering, Art, Music) for new media. The coordinator of Hangar, Lluís Nacenta told me that this was the twentieth anniversary of the institution and that they carried out many activities including an open studio every Thursday, residency programmes for local and international artists, competitions and collaborations with European and international art festivals (by chance a musician I had worked with previously had been the coordinator of tone of these events organised in Japan). Hangar works hard to stimulate the cultural network and help young artists to access the artistic environment.

In mid-September, Art Nou in collaboration with Homesession held a talk about music and body politics involving the platforms of art and sociology with Higo mental and Ikram Bouloum Sakkali. The topics were precisely what interests me. Talking, we discovered that after globalisation we shared the same concerns about music and art, and Bouloum and I discussed questions of gender, music and art.

Following this meeting I used the image of Bouloum to create the 3D character that i had sketched, thereby opening up an enriching discussion about roles. This was a completely unplanned incorporation into my project.

In depth research/trying out/a break: Which of these applies best to describe your residency and why?
Contact with Spanish cultural networks and local artists has been the greatest help for my work. Having accumulated experience creating and doing performance for a time, I think it is necessary to have these open, varies and impacting experiences to restructure and expand yourself: taking the cultural signs that you accumulate to other contexts and exchange creative formulae and topics of interest.

Specifically, has there been continuity in the line of research or the project you showed with Homesession?
As I see it, apart from personal development, being an artist is also being an organism that forms part of society and it is only by having this scenario in which we can interact and move around that we can create a local fabric and form a sustainable and lasting fabric. All artistic movements throughout the history of contemporary art have been formed though this kind of network. This is the process of development of the ‘I’ and the social link with artists – something that I also consider one of the artist’s tasks.

I am concerned for the way in which we use modern technology and how we express ourselves through it as well as the social dynamics underlying it. Since Spain passed through the vanguards, surrealism and cubism, among other artistic movements, in Barcelona there is great flexibility in terms of artistic expression and research. Thanks to my residency with Homesession I have been able to take a deeper look at the artistic community in Barcelona involved in new media and to talk to local artists about their work and expression. In response to the directions of my research: the relation between music, video, action and installation, if we consider dramatic art as am organic timeline, how can we make interactions, descriptions and conversations between the four elements an experience of profound connections? Setting out with this question in 2018 my work was mainly expressed through installation, video and performance. Spatial barriers and geographical aesthetic differences which, under the influence of globalisation and the internet, are broken down towards the manifestation of the non-territorial, bring with them new opportunities for considering gender.

How important is it to you to show your work in another country?
I am not an artist that spends long periods creating in residencies. i spend most of my time abroad for exhibitions. For me the most important thing when you arrive in an unknown place is, of course, the local social network, because much of the information is contained in secrecy in the human brain and cannot be found on internet, even though at first glance it may seem unlimited.

¿Crees que esta residencia tuvo un impacto, directo o indirecto, sobre tu carrera artística y en que medida?
One of the experiences that most affects me is the uncertainty that you feel when taking samples of images of people and landscape in situ and using them in local media.

During the creative process you often have to reject options in a process that constantly seems “broken” as you progress towards that crucial moment of deciding on the physical space of a work. The so-called “open” border which, due to the space between the sky and the earth, will change in different cultural rules which are unrelated. So, if we observe the reflection of this artificial frame in a mirror we will discover that the models can be seen one way or another. Even in the current time in which we find ourselves we continue to function in this very basic way as humans made of flesh and blood.

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