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〈在「人類紀」以活動影像為據點重整「辯證結構」〉/ 黎肖嫻

《新美術》2017年2月第38期,中國美術學院學報,中國杭州。核心期刊 CSSCI / CN:33-1068/J

essay written in Chinese: “Moving Image as a tactical location to restore ‘dialectical structures’ in the Anthropocene,” in special issue on the Anthropocene, Journal of the National Academy of Art(Core Journals CSSCI / CN: 33-1068/J) no. 38, Feb 2017, 118-131, the China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, / Linda C.H. Lai


*a special issue devoted to the Anthropocene, edited by Dr. Yuk HUI [...]

**The research for this paper was fully supported by a grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (Project No. CityU 11404614 "Where Else to Look," a published essay that integrates media archaeology as a research method with Critical Theory concern to interrogate the ethical dimension of moving image practice in contemporary society.

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this essay assumes a critical perspective to shed light on "actions to take" in moving image creation in the larger context of machine-controlled society, asserting the importance of ontological theories of media, the arts and the artist, and the need to re-phrase related ontological questions, alongside the radical changes digitality has brought to moving image practices and society at large. The essay embodies my multiple subject positions, as at once artist, historian, curator and researcher, to show how practice and social engagement are integral to theoretical work. Whereas the "anthropocene" describes a world in which thoughts, sentiments, levels of affect and aesthetic domain in general are massive homogenized upon marketing logic on a global scale, this essay asks what stake-holders can do as individuals, and if stake-holders in the image culture must also consider themselves (re-)grounders, to assert critical input on human-machine co-agency. The discussion of dialectical structures primarily draws from Walter Benjamin's notion of montage and history as visuality, and evolves into questions of practice beyond aesthetic pursuits through my use of Deleuze and late director Raul Ruiz, among others.


I wrote this essay from my subject positions as a media culture historian, an art educator with a Critical Theory orientation, and as an artist. My strategic location is the moving images and all connected tissues and networks, institutional and techno, specific knowledge domains, existential instincts, personal callings, aspirations and desires, doubts and questions of survival, and the dialectical relations of these different planes and moments. My investigation is rooted in historical knowledge and the sensibilities of media archaeology. My critical review of media and cultural histories asks what kind of ontology of moving images we should advance to tackle the Anthropocene. A “pharmacological” view (Stiegler) as my point of departure requires me not only to return to issues of ontology, but also to apply interdisciplinary thinking to reform my tactics of practice. In this sense, I am not just a stake-holder in media history, art education and art practices, but also a (re-)grounder who would focuses on change and transformation as the ultimate objective of theoretical pursuit. One may call this the “bifurcation” of theory and history, which is the structuring principle of this essay, a form of conceptual maintenance. With the insight of media archaeologies, my scope of investigation reaches back to precedents of specific artistic mediums and looks forward at their antecedents in the process of historical evolvement. There is also the need to think beyond specific mediums, but to think of them as technics, that is, the extension of our senses in the form of new tools which, subsequently, re-shape our perceptual experience and consciousness of the world. In response to all this, I argue and assert that historiography has a critical role to play as much science and philosophy do, especially in envisioning what kind of a future we anticipate. Moving images, in this context, must first of all be thought of as something beyond an isolated history of entertainment or a set language of expression. In this essay, moving images are not just the matter of a medium or that of creative practices: it is the locus of homogenization of thoughts and sentiments or, in Stiegler’s terms, a locus of “proletarianization,” that is, the depravation of the working population’s ability’s ability and right to produce knowledge. The core warning of the “anthropocene,” therefore, calls for the (re-)distribution of knowledge. This essay attends to micro-processes of how tools structure our knowledge to our lifeworld, thus calling for the restoring of dialectical structures, and what to do.

Taking a dialectical materialist approach to cinema history, on the one hand, I examine the longue duree (Braudel) - the long history of desires that precipitates the birth of the medium and, on the other hand, examine the zone of the in-between, between this epoch and the next, between dream and awakening that moving images occupy, following Walter Benjamin’s practice. In the process of my essay, I raise once again the place of art in society and history, especially its place in an epoch of systematic and full control (Deleuze) of our audio-visual culture, what we may call mnemonic machinization. I end my essay by proposing possible moves as a “pharmacological” response.


我以媒體文化歷史研究者、以「批判理論」為依歸的藝術教育家和藝術家的三重身份寫這篇文章。我的據點是活動影像及其掀動的各種機構、科技文化、被劃分的知識領域和個人存在的欲望、感召、夢想、質疑以至如何活的問題的對流辯證關係。在這個涉及歷史知識和考古觸覺的思辨過程中,我從歷史的思考出發去問我們需要怎樣的影像本體論。用「藥學」再出發檢視「活動影像」這個核心,需要跨界思維、本體論的重探、具體的實踐。我以有份於「打造」和「再打造」藝術基礎的持分者(grounder and re-grounder of art) 的本位出發作出建議,履行批判理論對「變」和「轉化」的堅持。這篇文章背後的組織其實是一種歷史和理論上的分支(bifurcation),總覺從人文學科的角度去回應人類紀,離不開理念上的維修。因此要說明活動影像的實踐,需要作結網的功夫。媒體考古的角度把我引到前影像的時空調配,引到感官思維模式的進化,想到歷史寫作(而不一定是科學或哲學)其實也在重整我們如何想像人的未來。再回到影像,發現活動影像已經不光是媒體或創作的事,而是思維的矮化壓平,又或是日常生活的微細卻深刻的改動。貝爾納·斯蒂格勒對“人類紀”的警告的核心是知識的分配 ,在他的“工人階級化”的論述中最清楚的表達。本文的重點離不開活動影像從作為新意識的出現到被全盤工具化這歷史過程重點時刻在那裡,以至複取那些“維護”影像新意識論而出現過的理念和實踐例子,再整合我的“反去知識化”策略,強調影像創作的重要性,也強調光是創作本身是不夠的。 針對操控性及市場化的視聽記憶系統,我提倡策略性的 (tactically) 投入「微過程」(attention to micro-processes) - 社會的、科技發展的、經濟的、文化的、建制管治的、感觀經驗的、智性的、藝術創作的、本土的、全球的… , 重新注入已淡化或毀壞了的「辯證結構」(to restore dialectical structures),持續地「活化」,不管是在分散坐落各處未必形成網路的那一個群體裡,只要她們接觸到某些現成或快將冒現的資源,科技也好,有參考性的組織模式也好,又或是體制內供應的資金、機會,又或個人的才情和確信,論述的建構,就行動起來,不管可延續多久。這是抒演或演述式行動 (performativity) 的智慧,即維持創造意義的迴圈不斷運行更新。(Butler,270)。並沒有完美的出路,祇有一次再一次的推、張開,穿過矛盾,握住手裡的資源不住前行。這是面對“人類紀”的修護(maintenance)的一面。 在「器官學」的宏觀地圖上,活動影像往往處於「中間地帶」,在夢與夢醒之間 ,在一個世代與下一個時代之間,在消費主義市場經濟活動和以進步思想為自身的藝術創造性活動之間,在表述與知識之間,是操控,也是翻新的所在處。…唯物辯證的歷史視野出發再往微「處」看,對活動影像的渴望,早在「電影」被命名之前已存活在生命世界中,推動著我們如何模塑身邊的器物。這個「媒體考古學」給我們的定位,如何豐富了我們對資料、數位化時代的影像操控的理解?「藝術」宣導動手製作,維護生產知識,與生活知識連結。這本是「藝術」於科技化社會中的獨特性,是「工人階級化」的逆流。但媒體化、數位化的「藝術」現今帶來的又是甚麼?它的藥學作用是怎樣的狀況?


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