As mankind continues to progress through time, technology also progresses, pushed along by the natural path of evolution, and aided by the complexity and severity of human’s existential challenges. When human gains the power of creativity and innovation through the invention of tools and devices, and learn to control technology in the process, we overcome the limits placed on us by the laws of nature. The more we are exposed to new technologies, the more we need to understand technology’s impact on man’s self-understanding and our understanding of culture. Art takes up this task and reminds people of both opportunity and risk.
Installation & Video
In 2018, Hyundai Motor and the Austrian media art group Ars Electronica co-organized the exhibit Future Humanity – Our Shared Planet, and this year marks the second year of their collaboration. This year’s theme, Human (un)limited, follows the practice from last year in China, South Korea, and Russia, to show that the artists around the word are not only helping build a better life today, but also improving living conditions for tomorrow. The series of contemporary art exhibits held simultaneously in Hyundai Motorstudios in Beijing, Seoul, and Moscow explore the same curatorial subject, but each presents a unique appearance thanks to gender balancing and local artist integration efforts, so that viewers observe first-hand the effect of technology on regional culture, as well as the inspiration that culture provides to technology.
Human (un)limited_Beijing exhibition, jointly curated by Ars Electronica and the Central Academy of Fine Arts, will open to the public on November 19th at the Hyundai Motorstudio in 798. The exhibit features pieces from artists and institutions around the world, including Refik Anadol (Turkey / USA), Maja Smrekar (Slovenia), Aroussiak Gabrielian (USA), Alison Hirsch (USA), Hu Shuai (China), Zhang Yuyang (China), Youyang Song (South Korea), Ars Electronica Futurelab (Austria), Bjørn Karmann and Tore Knudsen (Denmark), and the MIT Media Lab (USA). The exhibit tells a story about the humanity’s weaknesses and strengths, the limits that we encounter as individuals and as a society, and how we seek to push out and overcome them.
Aroussiak Gabrielian, Alison Hirsch
Aroussiak Gabrielian, lead investigator/designer: foreground design agency
Alison Hirsch, collaborator: foreground design agency
Grant Calderwood, consultant: micro-greens research
Irene Tortora, consultant: fashion design
Chris Behr, consultant: Rome Sustainable Food Project
Photography by altrospaziiophotography.com
Internet of Everything: All Connections
Installation & Video
The Internet of Everything (IoE) connects man, process, data, and objects, to make the interconnected networks more relevant and useful. How does technology and art combine to forge a better future for mankind? Gabrielian and Hirsch’s Posthuman Habitats and Hu Shuai’s Internet of Everything: All Networks both attempt to answer this question from different perspectives. The former uses a wearable landscape that attracts and integrates animals and insects to enrich and expand its ecosystem to provide sustenance to the wearer. The body system enjoys a symbiotic relationship with plant life to turn “humans” into a part of a larger ecosystem. The latter connects man, animals, plants, bacteria, the environment, and objects to the greater network; each component is affected and affects the others simultaneously, to create a closed-loop chain reaction and a circulating structure. Humans are shown alongside other lifeforms without special treatment, in this piece that attempts to construct a diorama of the future world.
Bjørn Karmann, Tore Knudsen
Bjørn Karmann, Tore Knudsen
Ars Electronica Futurelab
Ars Electronica / Martin Hieslmair
Multiple pieces reflect human-machine interaction, which is closely linked to our daily lives. Bjørn Karmann and Tore Knudsen’s Project Alias turns the smart speaker Alias into a parasite that may be trained through an easy-to-use app into a smart in-home assistant. Ars Electronica Futurelab’s ShadowGAN asks the viewer to walk straight up to the piece, in order to identify the viewer’s outline using an algorithm trained on pictures of mountain ranges. The AI has fed numerous photos of mountain ranges and mountainous terrain, and uses a cGAN network to interpret everything it sees.
INTERESTING WORLD—INSTALLATION 2
VFRAME development is currently supported by a grant from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
Fei Jun’s interactive piece Interesting World, which was shown in the Venice Biennale’s China wing this year, is like Adam Harvey’s VFRAME (Visual Forensics and Metadata Extraction) in that they both annotate images; but they are different in that the former is connected in real time to participants from around the world, while the latter is a computer-aided visual toolkit for human-rights researchers and journalists that bridges the gap between state-of-the-art research and their practical need to process large-scale video or image databases.
The Normalizing Machine
The Normalizing Machine by Mushon Zer-Aviv.
Software developed by Dan Stavy and Eran Weissenstern with additional help from Ingo Randolf using OpenFrameworks. Supported by Shenkar College, Print Screen Festival, Ars Electronica Festival.
Photography by vog.photo
Martin Honzik, Director of Ars Electronica Festival, Prix, and Exhibitions, Ars Electronica, says: “Human Limitations — Limited Humanity thus revolves around this existential field of tension that has to be kept permanently and carefully in balance. Human (un)limited tells a story about humanity and its striving for realization and identity in a world it increasingly shapes and influences. We shed light on the status of our relationship to the world and address the connections and relationships formed by humanity with all their consequences. The exhibition gives a hint to the next adaptions of humanity and what being human could imply in the future.”
Leon Baauw, Marcha Schagen
*STARTS Prize Nomination 2017
Photography by Suzanne Waijers & Roza Schous
Wonhong Cho, Hyundai Motor CMO and Executive Vice President, speaks of the unique opportunities presented when art meets technology: “Hyundai Motor Company believes that the value of art lies in its understanding and respect for humanity. In its unique expression of humanity, art embraces diverse opinions and values. Art is also based on progressive thinking. We believe that transforming people’s lives for the better in the age of the fourth industrial revolution, will be possible when our understanding of humanity through the inclusive and progressive ethos of art is combined with the right technology.”
3M special stickers
Hyundai Motor aims to become a lifestyle brand built on technology. In order to bolster our presence in Beijing’s hub of arts and culture, the 798 Art district, Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing will showcase a new mural on its large exterior wall painted by David Huang. Titled Beijing Promenade, the mural will feature hybrid flying cars and floating islands hovering above gigantic figures from various walks of life, stepping over highways and into lines of vehicles surrounding the 798 Art District, with the iconic skyline of Beijing in the background. We hope Huang’s depiction of the capital, with its likeable humor and semi-futuristic cityscape, will resonate with the many young visitors to 798 Art District, catching their attention as they walk along one of the main thoroughfares, becoming a backdrop for selfies, and ultimately enticing more of them to visit the space’s exhibitions and programs. The mural will be unveiled on November 19th, 2019.
Art is one of the most important lifestyle influencers, and Hyundai Motor has explored new opportunities to study and experiment in new fields, thanks to its collaboration with different art institutions, including the Tate Modern, LACMA, and the MMCA, to hold exhibits, build labs, and film documentaries, which has also helped the company build its brand among potential customers and society at large. Hyundai Motor and Ars Electronica’s recent collaborative relationship further reflects its “new collaborative culture”, which is strengthened and deepened through these three exhibits. While the two sides are trying to solve the same problems from different perspectives, they both look together and self-critically at a joint future. In this future, the two entities both search for their roles and responsibilities, to identify new challenges and actions to make the world a better place.
Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing
Between HUMANE LIMITS and LIMITATIONS of HUMANITY
Curator | Martin Honzik, Fei Jun
Venue | Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing
E-1, 798 Road, 798 Art Zone, Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, 100015, Beijing, P.R. China