Opening Reception on 12.11.2019
WYSIWYG presents milestone moments in that panoply of invention and creative fervor that is the hallmark of Jeffrey Shaw’s singular achievements in the avantgarde of contemporary media art. The acronym WYSIWYG – what you see is what you get – describes the image on a computer screen that matches its printed output. But as the title for Jeffrey Shaw’s solo exhibition it describes the experience gained from the viewer’s action of interactively exploring his artworks. In this fundamental aspect of Shaw’s oeuvre, their exposition is determined by what the viewer elicits from them in the course an exchange, and what one sees/perceives is what is performed/elucidated by each individual viewer/interactor.
In 1966 in London, Jeffrey Shaw introduced one of his first installation works with the proclamation: This is NO THING. This is a SITUATION OF OPPORTUNITY. Throughout his career Shaw has focused his artistic research on creating situations of viewer engagement rather than on ‘object making’. His pioneering introduction of ‘interactivity’ into the language of contemporary art made personal discovery and WYSIWYG experience the cornerstone of his philosophy of art’s present and future operational value. This exhibition at Osage of works that Shaw and Agnes Lin selected from over 50 years of his practice provides a rare opportunity to experience an overview and insight into the core technical, aesthetic and conceptual themes that have preoccupied his creative research. These include public participation and interaction, new media and computational techniques, expanded cinema and immersive visualization, virtual and augmented reality, and the aesthetics of navigable formations and emergent narrative. This practice also often involves the development of new types pf optical/mechanical apparatus which are both platforms and expressions of the underlying aesthetic and conceptual aspirations of his work.
A distinctive aspect of Shaw’s practice are his deep-going co-operations with other artists, writers, composers, photographers and engineers, which in this exhibition includes Sarah Kenderdine, David Pledger, Tjebbe van Tijen, Theo Botschuijver, John Choy and Dirk Groeneveld. Shaw’s practice is also linked to a history of foundational institutional and academic commitments (APG London, Eventstructure Research Group Amsterdam, ZKM Institute for Visual Media Karlsruhe, iCinema University of New South Wales, School of Creative Media City University Hong Kong) that has made his pioneering research as well as curatorial activities so influential on artists, scholars and students internationally. In Peter Weibel’s words “… his works co-created, co-constructed the genre, gave it its initial contours. Without Shaw’s output we would be unaware of the full range of electronic media art.”
More information: www.hkact.hk/act9
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