Residence: Chi Po-Hao

Taiwanese artist develops its Lightscape projec

Residence: Chi Po-Hao

Image: courtesy of the artist

Grew up in an overdeveloped city like Taipei, I was too accustomed to the artificial light sources surrounded in the nighttime. With the days living in Europe, I found out that most cities here have lower densities of the artificial light sources compared to Taipei, which shaped my impression differently and then I realized that I paid very little attention to how the light sources aimed and distributed around the city (such as street lights, LED billboards, traffic lights...etc.). When wandering in the city, different routes cause different variations in the changes of light and shadow and different ways to move also affect our perception to the light sources differentially.

This work attempts to receive and transform the artificial lights during the nighttime in urban areas as the main elements to be represented as the visual elements, sounds, moving images, and performative utterances. During the execution period of the project, we will collect the images and sounds from artificial light sources and human activities around the city through the changes of light and shadow, in order to explore the relationship between the city as interface and artificial lights, and in what way people perceive it. The route we choice would be like the music notation or scoring and the repetition of the streetlights and traffic lights are similar to the motive and phrase in a composition.

With the initial attempts we did, it seems that there are positive correlations between the density of artificial light sources and the noise level. Streetlights can be considered as orderly fixed sets on the street. Citizens would encounter those streetlights rhythmically in a relative uniform motion if they were moving. These artificial scenes as a choreographed script that playing day after day. However, pedestrians, traffics, stores' lights, as well as reflections on the busy street also become the component of variable and uncertain elements in this Lightscape. Lights on the street constituted by such dichotomy between order and disorder, pattern and random, like a unique rhythm of the city. According to Foucault, the interval and route of streetlights in urban planning are kinds of the control, and the re-arranging by a human is for getting rid of control. Then, the rhythm of the city consequently becomes an artificial nature.

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