這是一個各自表述的時代,面對倍速精進的科技發展,擁抱科技者對科技帶來的改變樂觀以對,以一種科技享樂主義的態度,面對身體增能、再生生殖、人工智慧、生物辨識、遠端操控、互聯通訊、數據探勘、虛實混合的超新世界。某種程度上科技樂觀主義者已將中性的科技,理想化與神聖化,他們相信世界需要不斷進步,而科技正是幫助社會淨化或向上發展的最佳方法。這些相信源自現代主義的信仰,18 世紀的產業與工業革命驗證了科技可以推動社會進步,也能改變社會結構。20 世紀的科技哲學家卡普在《技術哲學綱要》一書提到科技是人類自我拯救的手段,工具和機械看做是人體器官的外化,更多的追隨者相信現今世界面臨的資源耗竭、環保困境…等問題,終有一天會因更具前瞻性的科技發明迎刃而解。科技樂觀主義者始終相信科技可以治病也可以治國,科技可以解決大多數人類面臨的問題,科技儼然具有救世功能。


2019 第十四屆臺北數位藝術節以「再轉存#RTS:ReTranSens」為題,討論人類對於世界的想像,如何因為日新月異的科技進步而實現與轉變。過去由經驗累積而建立的認知系統,因為再生、仿生、人造生命而發展出新的身體知覺與回饋,這些回饋又如何再擴展向新的感知系統,建立個體與個體間、個體與群體間新的連結網絡, 這些快速轉換使我們能快速回應改變,也是讓我們不斷重新認識世界的方式,溝通的邏輯維度產生劇速變化也是我們確認自身存在的方法。

In an age when everyone enjoys free expression and technology is developed at an exponential pace, technophiles advocate an optimistic view on changes facilitated by technology and uphold technical hedonism in their acceptance of a brand new world characterized by a mixture of the physical and the virtual, with a wide range of new technologies, including physical enhancement, regenerative reproduction, artificial intelligence, biometric recognition, remote control system, internet communication, data mining, etc. To a certain extent, optimistic technophiles already idealize and sanctify the originally neutral technology. They believe that the world needs to consistently progress, and technology is the best way to refine or optimize our society. Such a belief has its root in the faith in modernism when the Industrial Revolution and emerging industries in the 18th-century validated the fact that technology could power social progress while altering social structure. The 20th-century philosopher of technology, Ernst Kapp, mentioned in his Elements of a Philosophy of Technology that technology is humanity’s means of self-salvation whereas instruments and machines represent the externalization of our organs. More followers of technology now put their faith in visionary technological inventions that are to come in the near future, which should resolve problems such as resource depletion and environmental plights faced by the world today. These optimistic technophiles have always contended that technology can be employed to cure diseases and rule nations. Being entrusted with the responsibilities to solve problems troubling most people, technology has obviously been put on the pedestal of salvation.

Technological progress and assistance are meant to give human beings the abilities that are lacking or lost. In the expansion of our abilities and competence to communicate with the external world, do the convenience and changes introduced by a wide range of technologies take the form of products for consumption, or are they, re-defining human perception and creating new values? In the ideological network constructed with the faith in technology, do the followers act with self-awareness or are they just blindly following the constructed mainstream of technology?

In 2019, the 14th Digital Art Festival Taipei adopts the theme of #RTS: ReTranSens to discuss how our imagination of the world has been realized, and at the same time, changing because of rapidly evolving technology. The knowledge system built upon accumulated experiences has also been transformed with new physical perceptions and feedbacks due to regeneration, bionic and artificial life technologies. These feedbacks, in turn, further expand into new perceptive systems, creating a network connecting individuals and communities. These fast-paced changes enable us to adapt and respond in a quicker way, allowing us to view the world in a new light. Meanwhile, the drastic change that is re-programming the logic of communication also serves as a way for people to affirm their existence.

With the focuses mentioned above, #RTS: ReTranSens explores the following issues: how artificial life regenerates and expands human perceptions, how artists incorporate predictions of scientific results, imagination of the technological life and the future of technology into their art practices, how more issues can be included in the dialogue between art and technology, how to put these issues into practice in our present life, how these changes shape the modes of new human behavior, and how art represents these changes and the multi-plural forms of existence outside of our perceptive experiences when science, technology and science fiction are bravely venturing beyond virtuality and imagination.

# ReTranSens