Read full description in exhibition proceedings

Video documentation: COMING SOON

The Writing Machine Collective edition 4 (exhibition) - "Computational Thinking in Existing Art Forms," Jan 14-30, 2011, Hong Kong

Interactive, networked installation

Linda LAI

What’s in common between scribes copying manuscripts in the medieval age and female workers in garment factories in Hong Kong in the 1960s? Look for the scattered individual stations of their invisible assembly line. Intervene. Your casual input would endow upon an automated system new authorship and moments of play.

...Scriptoriuim, literally 'a place for writing', purposefully integrates installation art, collage/decollage, code-writing (computational algorithm), critical investigation of textual production (cultural studies) and media art -- to playfully engage with the 'sociology of texts' (Don McKenzie, 1960s and 1970s) and the history of the books (Robert Darnton and Roger Chartier, 1980s and 1990s).

The variety of activities the normal visitors would engage in this work range from book-making, narrative construction (story-making), script design/invention, typographic fixing, and the tracing of original writing on a “palimpsestic” surface. Employing traditional terms in printing and publishing, the work flow can be understood analogically as follows:
Sourcing from the codex --> Punching --> Scripting --> Compositing --> Authoring àPreparing the exemplar --> Stereotyping --> Printing --> Recovering

The work flow, made possible only with visitors’ participation, is hidden from the Scriptorium, but scattered around the WMCe4 exhibition venue, and disintegrated into independent graphic and writing events. [read full synopsis & artist's statement...]

Technical Artist / Gary NG
Scribes / Doris POON, WONG chun-hoi, Frank LAM
Coordinator for manuscript production: Jolene MOK

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藏經樓
黎肖嫻

藏經樓抄寫員與香港車衣女工,為什麼他們的「耕耘」總是要「默默」地進行?觀眾隨緣介入各個步驟,《藏經樓》(又名繕寫室〉,令鬱悶的文字生產線轉化成一連串目的未明的遊戲。

...工廠女工和抄寫員的生產流程叫人想起電腦的運算法則:顛倒任何步驟,就會有完全不同的結果,又或者令最後的出品成為難以預料的東西。

於是,我想到在這作品中走兩極,一方面強化工序流程的機械自動化,同時要活化生產線每一站的獨立性和創造力,也把參與者的活動化為遊戲。

《藏經樓》(又名〈繕寫室〉),在展覽場所設置了一條隱藏的生產線,生產線的每一站自由散落於場中,仿如互不相干。參與者透過既定的界面,獨力完成線上的一個工作。而生產的流程與成品則在另一個貌似獨立的空間呈現出來。我的《藏經樓》不單收藏,也生產;不但保存過去,也以過去為批判現在的起步。

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技术协力 / 伍紀穎
抄写员 / 潘韵怡、黄镇海、林杰恒
缮写协调 / 莫颂灵