WMC_e2 第二輯

Wii Writes What Wii Moves

Ray C.H. CHAN, Keith Y.K. LAM

According to Marshall McLuhan, technology is not only a tool, but also becomes our “second skin”. We work with technology not for its own sake but because it is so inevitable and becomes commonplace in our global society.

TV Game is playful, kind of childish. Writing is relatively static, elegant.
When TV Game meets a new control method, the way we play TV games will be changed.
When writing meets TV Game, the way we write will be changed.
When writing meets TV Game, which then meets a new control method, does it mean that the way we ‘play’ writing will also be changed?

Wii changes the way we play TV Game. When Wii meets writing, will there be new space for us to write? Wii Writes What Wii Moves explores the possibilities of writing via TV Game and Wii, the newly released TV game control method. Have fun.

Through the traditional game-play interface, you may play with the Wii remote control. Move your body, wave your hands. The pinball will follow your motion to hit the letters and distort the scenery.

科技,不只是工具,更不是跟我們的生活遙不可及,而是我們的「第二皮膚」 (Marshall McLuhan)。我們利用科技創作 / 工作並不因為科技本身,而是因為科技已經成為了我們生活中不可劃缺及不能避免的構成元素。

刺激好玩的電玩遊戲一直予人嬉鬧的感覺,與書寫的那份冷靜和優雅截然不同。而近期Wii 遊戲主機全新引進的互動介面,不單為電玩技術帶來突破,也同時改變了我們的電玩遊戲體驗。 Wii Writes What Wii Moves 旨在探索電玩和無意識書寫之間的可能性,將Wii的遙控新體驗與書寫創作結合,把傳統的arcade遊戲邏輯演化成參與創作 / 書寫的方法。


Body Language 《身體語言》

Gabbie Y.L. CHIU, Venda N.C. LEE, Told Y.S. TO, K.C. YIP

Body movement somehow expresses our inner selves – this is one of the theories in Psychology, also an inspiration for our project.

Once the player stands in front of the projection screen, the computed program will start to analyze his/her body elements and then transform them into texts, which express the player in return.

人的身體動作某程度上能反映其心理狀態 - 這是心理學上的其中一種研究哲學,也是我們作品的其中一個出發點。


Who is Singing? Donald, can you hear me?

Lawrence C.Y. CHOI, Linda C.H. LAI

Demo [link…]

Who is Singing? – Donald, can you hear me?

In the summer of 2005, when this work was first conceived, Donald Tsang was acting SAR Chief in place of Tung Chee-hwa. Opinion on whether he would do better than Tung was split. But for sure cleansing the SAR of her negative energies developed under Tung’s rule was a major burden on Tsang. I had already been a bit pessimistic, not sure whether Donald the SAR Chief could remain the same Donald. (The events of the past two years have spoken for us…) My intuitive response was to deploy the chant form – half-speaking and half-singing mode still in use in Anglican and Catholic services.

I grew up to like Medieval religious sounds, and chants for me retain that charm. Chants soothe, pacify, and calm one’s mind. That is precisely why, too, that chants are to me disquieting: for whatever words are inserted, a chant tames its content, moderates pulsating emotions, and in the end becomes the sure tool of conformity to authority. I wanted, in my “singing machine,” the subversion of the chant form: strict formal tailoring or fitting would turn words, originally loaded with meanings, into gibberish and non-sense. Somehow, I felt that views expressed to the government were often received like foreign tongues.

One and half years have gone by. Donald Tsang’s de-localizing initiatives are more than ever at odds with the growing awareness to affirm the core and complexity of a local culture of Hong Kong. The defense of the Star Ferry clock-tower opens up more profound issues on civil government and micro-level practices of democracy than just heritage conservation. How do I situate my “subversive chants” in the context of the latest events?

In this exhibition, Who is Singing?…Donald, can you hear me? consists of two parts, a sculpture-like installation for sound work, and a set of computer for interface, whereby visitors can sit down to review recent discussions of the Star Ferry events and to leave a message to Donald Tsang, be it warning, criticism, advice, plea, sharing, recommendation, command and so on.

(text by Linda Lai)



時至今天,保護天星行動掀起民間廣泛的對本土文化政治的反思,曾蔭權的「去本土」大計成為自覺於本土文化的進步社會文化力量相對立。(見朱凱迪2006年12月26日《獨立媒體》的「本土行動 匯聚皇后今晚開始!」)我突然覺得這個一年半前開始的作品有點趕不上。




Untitled Announcements《無題公告》


Untitled Announcements explores the nature of public service announcements in Hong Kong through the use of found texts and video clips taken from the Government service announcements played on TV and radio. The underlying, almost nanny-like “your Government knows best” messages from many of these announcements (especially those broadcast in English), becomes somewhat subverted by the interactive, generative nature of the work. By way of viewer interaction in front of the screen, the announcements become broken, split, pushed and reconstituted (remixed). In addition, Untitled Announcements examines the possibilities of video as a writing machine medium—a writing machine of moving image.

The work consists of a large flat-panel screen and a video camera (webcam), both connected to a computer. As one or more viewers stand or walk in front of the screen, the camera tracks each. The software then extracts the motion, size and height data of each viewer (within the camera’s field of view). These data are analyzed and used to impart a direct affect on the motion of the found video and text clips playing on the screen. That is, viewers are able to impart a direct affect on the governmental narrative played, by moving to different positions (e.g. the left or right, or by crouching down), by making themselves appear bigger (e.g. raising or spreading out their arms), and by adjusting the speed of movement (e.g. running across the screen, or pushing each other).

《無題公告》運用了那些在電台、電視上播放的政府宣傳短片及語句,探討香港的公共事務宣傳性質。「你的政府總是對的」- 那些廣播揹著的教化式知訊統統被作品的自我衍生及互動性推翻。政府的宣傳廣播透過觀者在平幕前的活動而中斷、分裂、推倒、重構。另外,《無題公告》亦探索了錄像作為「文字機器」的媒介的可能性,使之成為一部活動影像的文字機器。


de – code x re – write 《複製巨著》

Coco L.K. HO

This work is inspired by images that are generated by algorithm, such as the Lindenmayer tree pattern, fractal pattern, etc. The computer processes and transforms the unconceivable into visible colors, forms and patterns.

I put this idea to story telling.

Every story is written in a grammatical formula. Although we learnt how to distinguish between various parts of speech, we innately have the ability of constructing meanings without consciously following the specific part of speech of a word/ term.

There are two parts in this work:
1) Two books (Book A and Book B) and,
2) A Flash program.

For the first part, the participant is invited to write a new story by physically cutting words from Book B and pasting them to Book A.

Book A is encoded with the set of parts of speech taken from the Chinese translation of the classic One Thousand and One Nights.

Book B contains news concerning the Hong Kong SAR Government in 2006. The participant may use words there to write a new story according to the specific set of parts of speech suggested in Book A. This part of the work stresses the differences between writing causally and writing by rules of parts of speech.

Actually, we can make use of the same part of speech formula in Book A to produce a potentially unlimited number of new stories. However, we humans will soon find this repeating “copying” process exhausting. In this case, the computer shows us its unique generative capacity.

Thus comes the second part of the work, where I try to express the idea in a digital form, so that the participant can do the same writing-rewriting exercise on the computer: they can decode the story by clicking the appropriate parts of speech, instead of cutting and pasting them physically. That is, if you click a pronoun, all the pronouns in the passage will change to form a new story. Also, you may add whatever words and terms to the existing database of the corresponding part of speech.





這個作品分為兩部份:一) 兩部供玩者創作的書本, 二) 一個自動衍生的電腦程式。

一)書本A以古典文學《一千零一夜》第一冊的詞性譯本作為數式,而書本B則以2006年全年的新聞篇章作為變數。玩者要以書本B的變數為書本A進行解碼,把書本A重寫成可被想像、 瞭解的文章。

玩者要用這兩本書創造出另一本關於香港的 「文學巨著」。玩者要根據書本A上的詞性從書本B上用剪刀剪下合用的文字,再把它們貼在書本A上,從而建構出一個新故事。作品此部份亦强調了玩者選詞及重複剪貼的過程。

二) 然而,身體力行的複製過程是很累人的。作品的第二部份把概念搬到電腦上,以强調電腦程式本身的衍生及複製特性。玩者可在電腦上點選不同的詞性去改變用字,或加入字詞到某一詞性的資料庫予程式自動抽取選用。玩者不費吹灰之力便能把故事大改特改。

Within a System (of Translation)

Janice Y.L. LEUNG

This project mainly concerns the idea of translation and performative writing. It is a set of four books.

On Translation:
Translation is a process to create. There is no equivalence between the initial and the translated texts. People with different backgrounds will translate a text differently. Translators are in fact authors.

This project was developed in 2003 when the US Government was in a high profile hunting down Osama bin Laden, leader of al-Qaeda, who was also considered as the major initiator of the 911 incident. A sentence was taken from the website of CNN, the major news network in the US, on which an “almost certainly” bin Laden’s tape was claimed to have translated into English. The sentence, which has no explicit political or religious overtones, was chosen for this work for further translation, so as to facilitate the creativity involved in the process of translation.

I asked three people to translate the sentence into Chinese. Not surprisingly, the translated texts were very different from one another: one of the translators added on meanings, another one transformed the report into a hymn-like poem… suggesting possible impact based on the translators’ own educational, career and religious backgrounds. This round of translation also made explicit the potential differences between the CNN English translation and the original Arabic text. Translucent Papers were used to make this work, so that a number of adjacent pages showing a few different translations of the same sentence can be made visible for simultaneous reading.

On performative writing:
The original meaning of a word is not always traceable. Language can be treated as a system with infinite possibilities. Writing can be regarded as an open process for one to create.

The act of writing rather than content is emphasized in this project. A set of four books was generated by continuous and extended translation and re-translation of one single sentence. Terms in the work are highlighted, rearranged, substituted (by synonyms found in the thesaurus), and further mechanically translated (by a digital software), so as to challenge the foundational and fixed meanings in words. The process of translation can go on and on and beyond this set of four books.

The books’ covers also echo this infinite proliferation of translation by adopting the Copernican Solar System diagram (modified from the one drawn by Thomas Digges) based on the associations I make between this project and the solar system, as both of them are finite systems within which infinite possibilities of spatialization can be potentially constructed.

For its process-orientedness and open-endedness, this work interestingly addresses several issues of this exhibition and the new media despite its non-digital (print) form. Digital media provides not only a platform for creative interventions, but the serial and algorithmic thinking new media embody go beyond digitality and inspire us to re-examine the so-called old, non-digital media.



此作品在三年前完成。那時候,美國政府正高調地緝捕那被視為 911 事件幕後主腦的阿爾蓋達組織領袖拉登。美國新聞網絡 CNN翻譯了被認為是拉登的錄音聲帶,再把英語譯文存放於網上。我選取了一個並沒有明顯的政治及宗教含義的句子,把它放進作品裡作為起步,以彰顯翻譯活動的創意。

我請來了三位朋友把那句英語譯本再翻譯成中文。亦是預期之內的結果,三個中文譯本甚為迴異:有譯者在譯本裡加插額外內容,亦有譯者把原來報導式的文字改寫成像聖詩般的詩篇… 全都關係於譯者本身的教育、工作和宗教背景。此一翻譯動作亦暗示了 CNN的英語譯文與「拉登」的阿拉伯語原文之間所可能存有的偏差。我亦特地選用了牛油紙為作品的用紙,以其半透明的特性同時展示出譯文之間的差異。


作品所關注的是寫作的行為而並非其內容。一套四本的翻譯冊是經過不斷翻譯一個句子的過程所伸延開來。字詞在那裡給強調、配置、(以同義詞) 替換、(以數碼軟件) 進一步翻譯,從而挑戰文字的既定意義。我們可以永無止境地一直翻譯下去,遠遠超越那四本翻譯冊。

透過對哥白尼的太陽系圖 (the Copernican Solar System) 的挪用,四本翻譯冊的封面也對翻譯活動的無限可能作出了回應。那是基於我對作品與太陽系之間的聯想:兩者都是有限的系統,而內裡的空間卻包裹著無窮盡的組合可能。




One of the most popular genres of early computer games was the so-called “text adventure”. The player reads textual descriptions on a command window, normally written in the second person, such as for instance “You are inside a dark cellar”. The player controls a virtual character by typing instructions in imperative form: “go north”, “open the door”, “examine the box”, “take the gun”, etc. Once the player has typed the instructions, the system responds with a new text message and then waits for new instructions from the player.

The most important task of the game designer is the creation of a structure of rules meant to simulate a world. The player must make decisions, which can succeed, fail, or have various consequences depending on the structure of the virtual world. The world model built into the system is thus the core of a text adventure game.

This gives the designer the opportunity to think procedurally. Instead of creating a narrative with one or more rigidly predefined endings, the designer can focus on the rules of the simulation, and let the story emerge spontaneously through the interaction of the player and the rule system during the course of game play.

This project adopts the format of a detective puzzle. The puzzle is defined procedurally. While most puzzles require players to find a pre-existing solution, the rules of this game are established so that the solution of the puzzle emerges during (not prior to) game play. This is achieved by parametrizing several techniques from classical detective novels in the form of highly general rules. These rules in turn generate solutions that depend in part on the decisions of the player. The creative challenge of the project is to ensure that every play session involves a demanding puzzle that gives the player a fair chance to discover a solution.






Eric C.M. SIU

Modern technologies now allow art to exist in forms that were once out of the question or beyond prior physical capabilities. In contemporary New Media art, the computer-generated image is the bridge between what is imagined and what can be achieved. Advancements in the expression of art forms can now generate results within seconds, broadening the scope of the artist’s original creation. The outcome: unexpected, new work that consistently challenges one’s artistic sense. With this kind of creative freedom that goes beyond the human mind, technology-based art opens up a whole new world from conventional perspective, composition and symmetry.

However, an ambiguity arises: is art being created, or is a formula being executed? Avant-garde filmmaker Stan Brakhage once exclaimed, “imagine a world before the ‘beginning was the word.’” In his opening to Metaphors On Vision: “How many colors are there in a field of grass to the crawling baby unaware of ‘Green’?” Brakhage believes that a new way of seeing should emerge from an untrained visual perception, not unlike that belonging to an innocent child.

The grARTphicator explores this relationship by its attempt to de-digitize the New Media art form, bringing computer interface and on-screen practice back to its pure roots of the days of Pencil on Paper. The piece lets the audience interact with it, as they are invited to draw according to given rules. Participants become artists, as they experience the process of creating an image, collectively as a machine. The grARTphicator is a setup of drawing the image within a calculated environment – using an artistic tool: the colored pencil, but its component: the graph paper, with an equation they are given.

What happens in this relationship? Are you creating art, or are you following a rule that creates your art? It is precisely the spirit of this distance, this journey and this transformation that this piece is trying to capture.


《算畫匣》人性地原始化電腦的工作,血血肉肉地展現「計」 與「畫」的關係。

Genetic Text《文字再培訓》

Told Y.S. TO

Playing with text in a computer programming approach is especially interesting: various exciting textual phenomena will emerge out of a few simple computing rules.

Genetic Text is inspired by “Genetic Algorithm”, a well-known theory in the game industry, the structure of which is in a way very similar to that of the human DNA.

This project aims to investigate the possibility of combining textual elements, computing rules and human nature. Can texts “reproduce themselves”? Can texts “inherit properties” from their “ancestors”? These are some of the questions I would like to address in Genetic Text.

Assigned with a specific combination of words, each component in this project carries its own “characteristics”. Also, each component is assigned a gender and enabled to make “babies” with the opposite sex. The baby will be born with the DNA combination of their parents. Infinite possibilities of words and sentences will then be generated.

文字和電腦的結合可以是個非常有趣的過程:一個簡單的電腦規則便能演化出千變萬化的文字組合。此作品以遊戲界裏所流行的 “Genetic Algorithm” 理論作為基礎。“Genetic Algorithm”的原理與人類DNA的結構極為相似,此作品正正利用了兩者的概念,賦予每個文字特性和性別。透過與「異性」交合,文字之間的特性會遺傳給它們的「下一代」,繼而衍生出既有「父母」基因又擁有自己特性變化的「兒女」。無限個文字組合的可能因此而無窮無盡地衍生出來。

《打字機器 (垃圾電郵工廠)》

Justin C.T. WONG

Inspired by the tons of junk mail received every day, Typing Machine (Junk Mail Factory) is built to reveal the nonsense yet playful nature in text-generation process. Apart from being the number-one evil invading our digital life, junk mail has become a highly creative product illustrating the complicated interactions between machine and modern culture. It highlights the ambiguity that lies between “structure” and “non-structure”, the “meaningful” and the “meaningless”, and the fundamental conflicts evolved alongside the advancement of the so-called “information society” in the modern world.

Typing Machine (Junk Mail Factory) aims to re-build the junk mail generation process in which the computer, the visitors and the exhibition environment collaborate together in an implicit way. Its semi-auto / semi-controlled structure utilizes and manipulates the live data flowing on the web, with the interchange of input/output among the visitors and the environment working side by side. Live information / texts from various online sources (e.g. news, weather reports, speeches from Government Officials, etc.) are used as the raw materials of junk mails. The Typing Machine will generate texts based on the data taken from the environment through a special input interface (e.g. light source, noise level, number of people around), which the visitor can alter at his/her will. The results will be sent to my email account ( HYPERLINK “mailto:tatat@ok-head.com” tatat@ok-head.com) as junk mails.

靈感來自每天收到的大量垃圾郵件,《打字機器 (垃圾電郵工廠)》旨在表現文字於產生過程中荒唐但卻充滿玩味感的特性。當垃圾電郵已不覺間成為我們的所謂數碼生活的頭號敵人時,其充滿創意的產生過程卻正正表達了機器與現代文明之間複雜的互動關係。它突顯了隱藏於「結構」與「非結構」、「有意義」與「無意義」之間的模糊性,與及由所謂「資訊社會」的文明進步所帶來的衝突。

《打字機器 (垃圾電郵工廠)》嘗試透過電腦、觀眾與環境之間的協作去重現垃圾電郵的製作過程。其半自動、半操控的運作模式涉及網上實時資訊的摘取與運用。即時網上資訊 / 文字 (如新間、天氣報告、政府官員講詞等)將用作垃圾電郵的原材料。「打字機器」將根據環境狀況 (如光線、聲音、人數等觀眾可隨意改變的因素),再透過特定的輸入介面去決定文字的組成。結果將變成垃圾電郵傳送至我的電郵戶口 (tatat@ok-head.com)。


Morgan W.F. WONG

In Chinese writing, there are thousands of “four-word idioms”. Each of them has a very specific meaning and a story behind. A different arrangement of the same wordings indicates a complete different meaning. For example,「屢戰屢敗」, meaning losing every battle, contains a negative message. While 「屢敗屢戰」, meaning keeping fighting after losing every previous battle is, however, rather positive. By changing only the positions of two characters, an opposite meaning will be generated. Also, due to the four-word limit, many characters are being repeatedly used in different idioms. With the body movement of the audience, the linkage between the idioms is created or destroyed.

Audiences are free to move around, unite or separate with one another. They may create meaningful idioms or just combine words to form nonsense phrases, all up to them.