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Resensitizing to Light, Image, and Sound

By Rhizome

Based in Hong Kong since 1996, the Microwave International Arts Festival is a pioneering event devoted to new media in Asia. Each year the organization looks at the latest trends in the intersection of art and technology. Exploring the relationship between visuality, illumination, and audio, 2007's theme is 'Luminous Echo.' As the organizers have put it, 'in inspecting our flashing city that is Hong Kong, sound, light, and images are constantly coming at us from all directions, collectively attacking our senses.' The main exhibition brings together several international artists that have turned the gallery within the City Hall into a large, bright display room. Visitors are thus confronted with a new representation of the urban landscape and must reposition themselves as subjects in a postmodern world. Held at the Film Archive, a Project Room program acts as a platform to showcase new works. One of its most interesting projects is 'A la Chinoise + Site Specific,' curated by Sao Paulo-based curators Marcelo Rezende and Fernando Oliva. According to their statement, this initiative 'aims to investigate the political engagement born of the rapid expansion of our repertoire of images generated by the development of information technologies.' Inspired by filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard's movie 'La Chinoise,' that dealt with Maoism, 'A la Chinoise' is a video screening that elaborates on the crossing of contemporary imagery and the sense of nostalgia that defines our age. Informed by architect Rem Koolhaas' concept of 'Junkspace,' 'Site Specific' is a website that presents works on YouTube. Through November 18th, this is a must-see festival in which, as the organizers anticipate, 'the pleasure elicited by the audio-visual interactions will help visitors recover the fascinations in our daily lives that have so been overwhelmed and numbed.' - Miguel Amado

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