INTRO

This is a video still of my work 'The Afterlife of Rosy Leavers', in which my animated self with red hair and red glasses falls into the spiral of a virtual space.
Video still of ‘The Afterlife of Rosy Leavers’, 14 min 35 sec, 2017

Hi, I’m Angela Su, welcome to my studio.

As an artist from Hong Kong, having an artist studio is a luxury. The virtual studio space is really exciting as I have a chance to showcase not only the finished work but also the research process.

For this residency I will explore the sandbox video game Minecraft as a creative tool that blurs the boundary between the digital and physical worlds. In the Research tab, you will find posts about how the protests in Hong Kong and gaming interact, influence and shape each other — on one hand, street protests borrowed strategies from video games, and on the other hand, banners and slogans appeared on games such as Minecraft and Animal Crossing. I will explore the different ways to engage in digital activism by posting a series of case studies.

Angela

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Undetermined

The symbol that represents the mathematical concept of ‘undetermined’ from the Dutil-Dumas message.
This is an aerial view of the symbol of 'undetermined'. It is seen at the bottom of the image, with a long road ahead of it. The sun is rising and the image is in warm saturated colours. 2 cows are playing on top of the symbol. Cattle Depot is on the left of the symbol, the glass grid is on the right.
The symbol of ‘undetermined’ outside the virtual space of Cattle Depot.

UNDETERMINED: not authoritatively decided or settled (Oxford English Dictionary)

Example sentence:
The future is undetermined!

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Division

The symbol that represents the physical concept of ‘Division’ from the Dutil-Dumas message.
The symbol of 'division' built with 'Polished Blackstone Slab' is in the foreground. A cow stands on the left side of the symbol while the other stands on the right. They confront and stare at each other.
The symbol of ‘Division’ outside the virtual space of Cattle Depot.

DIVISION: a disagreement or difference in opinion, way of life, etc., especially between members of a society or an organization (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary)

Example sentence:
Online users see social media as both a cause of and solution for societal division.

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Negation

The symbol that represents the physical concept of ‘Negation’ from the Dutil-Dumas message.
The symbol of 'negation' built with 'Polished Blackstone Slab' is seen against a setting sun in a red sky. Cattle Depot is tinted in red. A cow is in the far background watching the sunset behind the glass grid.
The symbol of ‘Negation’ outside the virtual space of Cattle Depot.

NEGATION: the exact opposite of something; the act of causing something not to exist or to become its opposite (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary)

Example sentence:
This political system was the negation of democracy.

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POWER

The symbol that represents the physical concept of ‘Power’ from the Dutil-Dumas message.
A giant panda sits on the symbol of 'power' built with black 'Polished Blackstone Slab' outside Cattle Depot. The panda is eating green bamboo greedily. A few cows can be seen scattered in the background around the other symbols, oblivious of the panda. Cattle Depot is on the left of the symbol, the glass grid structure is on the right.
The symbol of ‘Power’ outside the virtual space of Cattle Depot. A giant panda is sitting on the symbol and devouring bamboo.

POWER: political control of a country or an area (Oxford Learner’s Dictionary)

Example sentence:
The present regime has been in power for more than 70 years.

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Charge

The symbol that represents the physical concept of ‘Charge’ from the Dutil-Dumas message.
A peaceful herd of cows gather near the symbol of 'charge'. This is a top aerial view. The black sign is seen on grey concrete ground. On the top left corner of the image are some brown granite and a metal fence, hinting that Cattle Depot is on the left side of the image.
The symbol of ‘Charge’ outside the virtual space of Cattle Depot. A peaceful herd of cows gather near the symbol.

CHARGE: an official claim made by the police that somebody has committed a crime (Cambridge Dictionary)

Example sentence:
• Peaceful protesters were charged with rioting.

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Mass

The symbol that represents the physical concept of ‘Mass’ from the Dutil-Dumas message.
It's daytime. A paranoid cow stares at my camera in the foreground. Behind the cow is the symbol of 'mass' built with 'Polished Blackstone Slab' on the road outside the virtual space of Cattle Depot. Two more signs can be seen further in the background. There are other cows wandering around. The glass grid structure is on the right side of the image.
The symbol of ‘Mass’ outside the virtual space of Cattle Depot. A paranoid cow is staring at my camera.

MASS: affecting or involving a large number of people or things (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary)

Example sentence:
Mass surveillance of private communication concerns us all.

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Force

The symbol that represents the physical concept of ‘Force’ from the Dutil-Dumas message.
The Dutil-Dumas symbol of 'force' is built with dark grey 'Polished Blackstone Slab' on the main road outside the virtual space of Cattle Depot. The image shows a night scene with street lights in the background. The front entrance of Cattle Depot is on the left. A panda bear is checking out the newly built sign on a starry night, to see if there's anything suspicious.
The symbol of ‘Force’ outside the virtual space of Cattle Depot. Panda is checking out the sign to see if there’s anything suspicious.

FORCE: violent physical action used to obtain or achieve something (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary)

Example sentence:
• The government has relied on brute force to respond to public discontent.

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10 November 2020

A message from Minecraft that says my character Rosy Leavers fell out of the world and died.
Rosy fell into void on 10 November 2020 and died.

In trying to free the animals and save them from falling into the void, Rosy died in the first week of her residency in Cattle Depot.

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The virtual site of Cattle Depot Artist Village in Minecraft

Photograph showing the entrance to Cattle Depot in Hong Kong. The entrance is an archway inside a red brick building on two storeys, with two smaller outbuildings either side. The roofs of the buildings are covered in a dark rough tile, which is in parts covered in a red moss. Behind the buildings are tenement buildings, each approximately 10 storeys high; the one on the left is pale blue and grey, the central one is cream with orange stripes running beneath the windows, and the one on the right is pale salmon-orange/pink. The sky is overcast, pale grey-blue.
The physical space of Cattle Depot Artist Village in Hong Kong

Cattle Depot Artist Village was originally used as a slaughterhouse from 1908 to 1999. It was renovated and developed into an artist village in 2001. It is now home to around 20 art groups including the media art organisation Videotage.

For its first digital residency program, Videotage recreated in one-to-one scale the virtual site of Cattle Depot in the sandbox game Minecraft.

Screenshot of the virtual site of Cattle Depot in Minecraft. Buildings in digital red brick showing the Cattle Depot, with grey roof tiles and trees in the courtyard at the centre. 
Behind the Cattle Depot is a small park with trees. And to the left of Cattle Depot is another red brick building with a dark green roof. Buildings a re a mixture of one and two storeys in height.
A grid structure was built in the sky above the site by the previous resident artist. This forms a matrix against the blue sky.
Screenshot of the virtual site of Cattle Depot in Minecraft

I downloaded Minecraft today and got into the realm of Cattle Depot. What you see here is the aerial view of the site. The glass grid structure was build by the previous resident artist. I basically wandered around, tried to get familiar with all the keyboard commands, broke a gate by accident but managed to find a very hidden passageway that led me to the top of the grid.

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Cosmic Call

For this residency, I want to create a series of symbols from the Dutil-Dumas message as an intervention in a virtual art space. The work will reference a previous work Cosmic Call. (An audio description of the visuals in the trailer is available)

One minute trailer of Cosmic Call
Audio description of the images in the trailer
Installation view of Cosmic Call with a flatscreena and two cube monitors. The seats are designed based on a code from the Dutil-Dumas Message
Installation view of Cosmic Call at Tai Kwun, Hong Kong

Cosmic Call is a work commissioned by Wellcome Collection in 2018

The main video weaves together facts and fiction to create an alternative understanding of epidemics. Cosmic Call resists the dominant narrative of a disease outbreak – a formulaic plot of a detective story about disease emergence and eventually the triumph of western medical science – and suggests multiple belief systems in which science is only one of many ways to understand communicable diseases. It points to the danger of reducing all knowledge to scientific terms while addressing issues that are pertinent to Hong Kong, which is characterised by its high population density and mobility – conditions that make Hong Kong extremely vulnerable to disease outbreaks.

In the video, an interstellar message (the Dutil-Dumas message) was sent by extra-terrestrial life forms that warned human beings of epidemics caused by passing comets. Information about the Dutil-Dumas message can be found on the RESEARCH section of the website.

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