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The Proto-ocean for Co-consciousness

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Post date:2022-11-22

Updates:2022-11-22

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The Proto-ocean for Co-consciousness
Event Time
Tue. - Sun. 10:00~18:00
Event Location
NO.39, Chang-An West Road, Datong Dist., Taipei City Taiwan, R.O.C
Scientists generally believe that the earliest consciousness in the biosphere emerged from the proto-ocean of the Earth. This body of water condensed from the water vapor in the atmosphere not only changed the atmospheric composition and Earth’s environment before the formation of life took place, but also protected and gave birth to the earliest consciousness. One can therefore say that it was because of the proto-ocean that everything came into existence.

“Consciousness” in Mandarin means “the summation of different psychological processes, including one’s perceptions of and thoughts about the world.” In English, “consciousness” is the combination “con-” (meaning together, jointly), “sci-” (meaning know), and “-ous” (meaning a lot). This exhibition builds upon and aims to expand these meanings. The title – The Proto-ocean for Co-consciousness, can be understood as the formation, coexistence, or inter-permeation of two or more consciousness, which results in the perceptive ability different from that of an individual. Such ability or experience might have been overlooked in a long time and have disappeared; so, it can also be seen as an innate ability waiting to be awakened. Consequently, the various artistic routes featured in this exhibition all serve as an invitation to spectators for experiencing or re-activating this way of perception or understanding. In other words, art serves as a method to “bring about the co-consciousness” in this exhibition.

Similar to astrology, natural science, big data, and algorithm – whether one living in the contemporary era believes in them or not – the appearance of these knowledge systems or technics provides (or provided) people with a set of epistemological skills to connect oneself with the entire cosmos, nature, or human society. The routes adopted by contemporary artists, in the same way, constitute a vast “new proto-ocean” that creates, nurtures, and protects the emerging consciousness. Unlike what scientists believe to be the origin of the earliest consciousness, however, the consciousness emerged from this new proto-ocean in this exhibition relies more deeply on the technics of interaction and the exchange of information among separate consciousness, which constitutes the foundation of the “co-consciousness.”

Therefore, in order to explore and expand the state of co-consciousness and perceptive experiences in the largest scale, the artworks featured in this exhibition involve an extensive range of topics, including “consciousness and corporeality,” “the living and the dead,” “human beings and divine existences,” “non-human species and information,” and “human society and technical artifacts.” In addition, the artworks also reflect on several related questions: “What are the ‘technics’ that bring about the co-consciousness?” “How do such ‘technics’ evolve with the development of technology?” and “What is the political implication of these technics?” Through such reflection, the artworks display the reflexivity and criticality inherent to contemporary art. I believe that, in this proto-ocean formed by the joint presence of artistic creation and spectators, what will emerge is not simply a new state of consciousness and perceptive ability, but instead an allegorical space formed in this process, which mirrors and reflects the relations, technics, and politics in contemporary society.

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