Linda C. Zhang (PhD, Berkeley, 2022) is an assistant professor of film in the Art; Media Studies program at Fulbright University Vietnam. She is currently completing a book project titled “Technological Futures: Animated Media in Socialist China,” which offers new understandings of the media history surrounding modern Chinese animation, visual culture, and popular science texts from the early Maoist era. Her work has appeared in academic and popular publications including Journal of Chinese Cinemas, the Association for Chinese Animation Studies, and RadiiChina, with more work forthcoming at Rutgers University Press.
▌ 講座摘要 Description
Elizabeth Grosz has previously argued that virtual space acts as a gendered fantasy of control, nondifference, laborless pleasure, and disembodied self-containment. Such virtual spaces operating on these fantasies can also be imagined towards a teleological, dystopic end. This presentation examines such an end in Lawrence Lek’s installation of Nøtel 无店 (2016-) and recent installation in the 2023 “Game Society” exhibit at MMCA Seoul. I propose that the video game installation of the virtual hotel fantasizes an existence of globalized disembodiment, marked by the isolation exigencies of the covid-21 pandemic. Through a combination of architectural visualization and gamification for exploring the virtual hotel, Nøtel encourages the user/gamer/visitor to interact with a space tirelessly, from a first-person perspective operated solely by AI and without any human staff. Together, the spaces of the hotel lobby, the hotel bar and VIP lounge, and even the hospital wing project a speculative future to where crises in urban development, environment, public health, and technology could potentially lead—akin to what Lek gestured towards with previously Sinofuturism (1839-2016 AD) (2016). This presentation finds that the space in Nøtel further disorients the position of the body through its particular articulation of the virtual, asking how one maps a bodily position onto the external world—or if the body is still relevant? I trace this disconnection between the body and its environment to what Fredric Jameson calls “postmodern hyperspace.” Considering Jameson’s approach to the futurism in the postmodern space, I turn to the use of space in Huang Jianxin’s 1986 film, Dislocation 错位, as a cinematic example preceding Nøtel’s imagination of disembodied futures. Within Dislocation, the distortion of the work place and bureaucratic structure, coinciding with the reflective and dark surfaces of the protagonist’s home in the film, combined with the rebellion by artificial intelligence designed for automatic labor, anticipate much of the disembodiment and disjunction in a Sinofuturistic space. The talk will conclude on questions asking about how we may distinguish the postmodern from the posthuman in environmental and architectural expression.
▌ 主辦單位 Organizer：國立陽明交通大學社會與文化研究所 Institute of Social Research and Cultural Studies, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung Universit