06 An interview with Wayne Liu about his experience about city, his old negatives as utopia and creek.

This is the second episode of a series interview with my immigrant friends. Each of each contains different content but in the meantime similar in a way. The total run time of each video is around an hour. Feel free to treat it as a podcast or background music and discover the surprise moment in it.

There was a part Wayne talked about Utopia, to be precise, what is Utopia. He sort of thinks it through during the interview about the definition of it. He said: “Imagine something beyond reach, a critic of presence lack of whatever.” Utopia is something that can’t be materialized. When the paradox of the meaning appeared in his mind, it confused him for a bit then shortly he realized that is exactly what utopia means. The moment or that part perfectly presents the idea of utopia. Also, he talked about his idea about immigrants, which is complicated. That tells it all… I couldn’t quote what he said individually, it’s like extracting a single drip from a stream. But if look it as a whole thing it becomes a surface that can be clear sometimes, reflective things and some moist illusion. You can see the fish and the world under it but you won’t feel the chill until you jump in it.

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05 Creating Utopia with Church bell, plaza, latitude, forest and wolf from Daniela Stubbs-Leví

This is a series interview with my immigrant friends. Each of each contains different content but in the meantime similar in a way. The total run time of each video is around an hour. Feel free to treat it as a podcast or background music and discover the surprise moment in it.

Daniela Stubbs-Levi is a Peruvian artist, poet, and musician based in New York City. She received her BA in Graphic Arts from Toulouse Lautrec in Lima Peru, and later a BFA in Visual Arts from the University Paris VIII in France. Stubbs-Leví was born in Berlin, raised in Lima, studied in Paris, and currently lives in New York. Her sense of displacement informs her work and leads her to embrace and delve into the relativism implied in the act of remembering: memory is not a fixed device but more likely an ever-changing frame with which we measure reality. She is interested in dissecting music as sound — a pivot balancing between language and meaning— and notations for their use in different contexts that explore the nature of time and its connection to emotion. She uses mediums such as video, photography, sound, drawing, and writing as individual voices that coexist giving each one space for dialogue.


During the interview, she mentioned something that’s haunted my mind. She mentioned Anne Carson’s lecture about stillness which talks about immigrants as a quote because we are the quote without context. Anne Carson references the Antigone by Sophocles, how Antigone was put in the dark cave(Tomb) and became a metic that changes her status to be an immigrant, someone in between. Antigone was pulled out of the status neither alive nor dead, she was foreign to both of them. Giorgio Agamben also said, “to cite is to pull it out of the customary meaning but refused to let it settle to the new meaning”.

I like how Daniela introduced what she did was finding or be something in between. I had a friend like that too, who’s no long in U.S. but that had me thought about the feeling of hesitation and how powerful it could be.

In my research I was looking into lies, something not real nor fake, because all the lie you told was already in the memory and they might become real during the time it was told. Talk with Daniela remind me of different aspect of my lies, but to put them back into the context of my creation will erase the unsubstituted status. In that sense, I am the King Creon and I let my project or my immigrant status dry as Antigone at the cave. I quote it all the time because I couldn’t think it through…

Many thanks.

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04 Installation ideas before the story

The way I create videos is straightforward. I do the video, create the story, shooting, editing then done. I deal with the installation later if there’s any. But this time I am doing this differently, I tried to picture what the installation will be.

A Installation shot of Hypothesis Atlas and Voyager at the second floor. It's dark circular space with rotating light in the middle.
Installation shot of Hypothesis Atlas and Voyager

Back in January 2020, I was working on “Hypothesis Atlas and Voyager” at Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan. The space I was exhibited was very unique, a circular space with two floors. The first floor was just a black box space but the second floor has a big hole to the first floor in the middle of the space and the wall has an altar-ish look, not to mention the floor was all wooden floor.

A picture of installation shot of Hypothesis Atlas and Voyager to demonstrate what Altar-ish wall means.
Installation shot of Hypothesis Atlas and Voyager (Altar-ish wall space *I added the black curtain)
Rough sketch of how I think video's relation with time. Two drawing here, on the top left is a movie theater with indicated how time is moving. Bottom right is video work on the wall and audience walk horizontally, time move the same way.
My notes of thinking relations of video, time and space.

I was thinking about the relation between the viewer and space, when the viewer walks in it, they traveled to see each altar and what’s inside. My original idea was to install objects that related to the video on the first floor and serving as a chronological exhibition. Thus when the audience walks they will become the time.

It's a bad draft of the installation of Hypothesis Atlas and Voyager. It's just text and line to imply what audience will serve as time when they walk in it and the objects on the wall will served as events.
Notes for the installation of Hypothesis Atlas and Voyager. Audiences as time and walk through each events.

I kept this idea in mind and picked it up recently. My idea for this project was to shoot ten scenes, each scene represents a year, then it will be my past ten years. Those scenes will all be similar with two actors walking and chatting from right to left, talking about different things while they are walking. Each scene will sit around two minutes that make the total length to be 20 mins. The audience will walk with the actors from the first screen to the last scene, when the actor walks to the end of the left the screen will keep playing the scene without actors. This work will take a long space to exhibit, but it can alternatively be exhibited on one screen with ten scenes one after one, it just won’t be that cool…
I do not intend to show the notes of each scene, instead, I will just post my notes and researches that related to it. Perhaps at some point, I will have it display as a more clear story and post it as one post.

Pencil drawing of two scene on top and ten small scene below, it's an diagram to show the idea of what the installation will be.
My ugly diagram for Point Nemo

References book “Atlas of Emotion: Journeys in Art, Architecture, and Film” by Giuliana Bruno, Publisher: Verso, 2018

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01 Some key readings of my Utopia research in the history.

Utopia- Sir Thomas More 1516

This is an image of the book cover of Sir Thomas More's Utopia. It's an island surrounded by water with several settlements in the center and a ship in the bottom.
Book cover of Sir Thomas More’s Utopia

The New Atlantis – Francis Bacon 1626

The book cover of The New Atlantis by Sir Francis Bacon. It has tiny image of an island surrounded by the sea and the settlement in the center with several human holding high tech objects (relevantly high tech for the time 1626, something like phone or so...)
Book cover of
Sir Francis Bacon’s The New Atlantis

Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe 1719

An image of first edition of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe in 1719, there's no illustration only text that introduce the book. It says The Life and Strange Suprizing  adventures of Robinson Crusol of Tork, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un-inhabited island on the coast of America, near the mouth of the great river of Oroonoques. Having been caft on shore by shipwreck, where in all the men perifhed but himself. With an account how he was at laft as frankly delivered by PYRATES.
First edition of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe in 1719

Around 17~19 century ppl move from Euro to USA (740m population vs 800000 population). The term immigration was coined in the 17th century.

Then, Utopia experiment in USA in the 20 century, architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Paolo Soleri, Acrosanti

Vendredi ou les Limbes du Pacifique (Friday) – Michel Tournier, 1967

Internet as Utopia from Expanded Education For The Paperless Society- Nam Jun Pak, 1968 *link to NJP’s future prediction

/////////// (・∀・)

Each 100 years, artists try to create work that shakes the world and reflects it’s time. Combining reality and fiction to picture something that is there and yet to be discovered or can’t be pictured.

In the seventeenth century, knowledge is power, the science and technologic jump and progress Scientific revolution change how people see the world. Then the Age of Enlightenment and Age of Reason came, they dare to know. By the end of the eighteenth century the idea of Utopia no longer restricted to space, it shifted it to time, the future, which is more accessible than the unknown territories. The distance that makes possible the critique of reality remains.

If time is the fourth dimension. If the three-dimensional space of Utopia does not exist, then perhaps how we map the future will concern its history.



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What’s Happening Artist? Vital Capacities artist studio preface 線上駐村藝術家做什麼?

Hello, my name is Tzu-Huan Lin. Welcome to my studio!

I am a Taiwanese artist living and working in Brooklyn so please bear with my English. In my studio you will find my research, work in progress and my Vtuber. Many times during artist talk people ask me about how I create video work? Does the narrative(story) come first or the image itself? It’s like a chicken and egg question for me, I like to see things Janus faced. Standing in the cross road makes me able to see the destination so I can make some detours on the way.

Continue reading “00 INTRO”

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