Always Becoming#Hong Kong

Always Becoming#Hong Kong
Project by Alessandro Carboni

AB_cover copy

Ready to presents the further step of Always Becoming project in Hong Kong. The project is a nomadic platform of research reflecting on the body by combining, performative practices, embodiment processes, body mapping of urban space, cartography and experimental geography. The project is a production by Progressive Archive, with the support of Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC); Videotage: Fuse Artist-in-residence Programme; Italian Culture Institute of Hong Kong; School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong.

More info about the project: alwaysbecomingproject.wordpress.com

Activities
RESEARCH:
29.1.2016 (Fri) – 28.2.2016 (Sun)

LECTURE:
From objective map to subjective mapping
with Alessandro Carboni
04.2.2016 (Fri) – 3:00pm
@ School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong

Spacing resonance in the topology of the voice
with Piersandra di Matteo
23.2.2016 (Wed) – 5:00pm
@ 6/F Future Cinema M6094 – School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong
https://sm2703.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/guest-lecture-piersandra-di-matteo/

EXHIBITION
City_Scores# – video and drawings
20-28.2.2016, 11:00am to 6:00pm
Opening
19.2.2016 (Fri) – 6:00pm to 8:00pm
@ Videotage, Cattle Depot Artist Village

PERFORMANCE
Corporeal Maps#Hong Kong
19.2.2016 (Fri) – 6:00pm to 8:00pm
@ Unit12, Cattle Depot Artist Village
23-24, 26.2.2016 – 5:00pm
25.2.2016 – 11:00am
27-28.2.2016 – 2:00pm
@ Unit12, Cattle Depot Artist Village

SYMPOSIUM
Embodied City – talks, presentation, detours
20.2.2016 (Sat) – 2:30pm to 6:00pm @ Unit12, Cattle Depot Artist Village
21.2.2016 (Sun) – 11:00am to 5:00pm @ Peng Chau Island

Visual/media artists, theorists, performers and urban planners – including Piersandra di Matteo (Performing Arts Theorist), Chang Ping-hung (CUHK/Architect), MapOffice/Laurent Gutierrez and Valérie Portefaix (Architect/Visual Artist), Leslie Van Eyck (Curator/WingPlatform), Yang Yeung (Curator), David Jhave Johnston (Digital Poet), Jane Prophet (Media Artist), Damien Charrieras (Media Theorist), Lai Wai Yi, Monti (Visual Artist), Josef Bares (Visual Artist) – will sit down face-to-face with Carboni, and openly discuss the relations between urban space, body and mapping practices.

WORKSHOP
EM: tools urban practice and performance practice
with Alessandro Carboni
13-14.02.2016
11:00am to 3:00pm @ Videotage, Cattle Depot Artist Village
EM is a method of urban mapping created by Alessandro Carboni who uses the body as a cartographic tool. The goal is to stimulate, observe, capture and extract events that occur in real time in the urban space. This method is able reveal those events of which we are not fully aware because they are in the periphery of our attention: they are waiting to be revealed. The workshop consists of practical and theoretical activities in studio and outdoors.
info: acarboni.promo@gmail.com

Working team:
Project, installations and choreography | Alessandro Carboni
Performers | Tsui Ivy and Felix Ke
Theoretical consultant | Piersandra di Matteo
Project Coordinator | Florence Wai
Texts and images | Alessandro Carboni
Assistant and texts editing | Luxi Fang
Design | Leo Cheung

Production: Progressive Archive;
With the support of Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC); Videotage: Fuse Artist-in-residence Programme; Italian Culture Institute of Hong kong; School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong;
In collaboration with: Adaptive Environments Research Group/IT University of Copenhagen; Living Archives Project, University of Malmo; Kunsthal, with the support of Participatory IT/Department of Aesthetic of Communication at the University of Aarhus; Atelier Sì spaziotempo 2015/16 Artists in ResidenSì Programme – Progetto Interregionale di Residenze Artistiche realizzato con il contributo di Regione Emila-Romagna e MiBACT.

Locations and info:
Videotage: Unit 13, Cattle Depot Artist Village, 63 Ma Tau Kok Road, To Kwa Wan, Hong Kong – T +852 2573 1869 F +852 2503 5978 –http://videotage.org.hk/
School of Creative Media: Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre Level 7 – 18 Tat Hong Avenue, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong – http://www.scm.cityu.edu.hk/

Contact:
[project blog] : alwaysbecomingproject.wordpress.com
[web]: www.progressivearchive.com
[email]: acarboni.promo@gmail.com

Always Becoming – Case study#2 Hong Kong.

A collaborative research platform with performers and researchers to test and apply Em:toolkit – urban mapping tool for performance practice. The project is developed within a collaborative platform, in which researchers and performers, share research materials, ideas work around practices of mapping, cartography and performance with the goal to create mappings and performances between theory and practice. The project is part of FUSE:: artist-in-residence program @ Videotage – in collaboration with School of Creative Media, Hong Kong – April 2015

!

Learning Curves Series: Shing mun River#1 @ Art Basel

I will present the installation Learning Curves Series: Shing mun River#1 @ Art Basel. It will be part of a group show organized by Artist Pension Trust and Latitude 22N in Hong Kong, in collaboration with the Collector Club.
The show at Latitude 22N will be open to the public from Wednesday May 14th to Sunday May 18th during the following hours:
Wednesday 14th to Friday 16th 11am to 7pm
Saturday 17th 11am to 9pm
Sunday 18th 11am to 5pm

Learning Curve/Shing Mun River # maps and drawings

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Drawings by Alessandro Carboni with aerial photography of Shing Mun River/Hong Kong, 1963.
Learning Curves/Shing Mun River # research process
from Overlapping Discrete Boundaries – Asia
a project by Alessandro Carboni – 2013
realised within Library – SoundPocket, Hong Kong
with the support of the Italian Cultural Institute and the General Consulate of Italy in Hong Kong.

Learning Curve/Shing Mun River # report and presentation

Learning Curves/Shing Mun River, Hong Kong
project by Alessandro Carboni

I spent two months studying, through an interdisciplinary approach between visual art, geography and architecture, the Shing Mun River as Place of contact between two points – the natural landscape and the urban and cultural landscape

The new stage of Learning Curves takes place in Hong Kong and focuses on the Shing Mun River. The project intends to focus the research on the transformation of the landscape caused by major land reclamation that irrevocably changed the Shatin area.
The dramatic human activity around the Shatin area, which started at the beginning of the 1970s due to land reclamation and extension over the sea, transformed the villages into the biggest residential urban agglomerate in Hong Kong.

Research Process# “Mapping Shing Mun River”
24.01 to 06.04, 2013

Installation #Sound Topography around Shing Mun River
5.4.2013 (Fri) | 11.00am – 7pm
6.4.2013 (Sat) | 10am – 6pm
@ open area near Pai Tau Village, Shatin, Hong Kong

Performance #Dialogue on Maps
6.4.2013 (Sat) | 11.00am – 12.30pm
@ Shatin Rural Committee, 248 Pai Tau Village, Shatin, Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s dramatic urban transformation, from the late 50s until now, has changed the city’s face and identity. The anthropic activity on the Shatin area, that began in the early 70′, after land reclamation and extension of land over the sea, has cancelled a many rural villages creating the biggest residential urban agglomerate in Hong Kong.
Alessandro Carboni, a visual artist in residence in Hong Kong, tells us about these transformations starting from his explorations around the Shing Mun River, the river that runs through Shat Tin area. The river becomes the place of contact between two points, the natural landscape, in particular the coastline, the river and the mountains, and the artificial landscape, that is the effects of production activity, social, cultural and environmental life in the various neighbourhoods starting from Tai Wai up to Tai Po. The river, according to the artist, is the central element of the transformation, a tangible landscape system, that is an element in balance where all natural and artificial elements can be variably connected.

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After two months of residence, Alessandro presents the research materials in a public presentation. The artist chooses the Shatin Rural Committee, the place where the representatives of the indigenous residents of villages discuss the welfare of in Shatin. For the artist, this space becomes the ideal place to meet, discuss and show his research path. The space is located around a square nearby Shatin Mtr Station.

During the event, Alessandro presents the installation “Sound Topography around Shing Mun River”. It is a recount of a travelogue conducted in different locations around Shing Mun River. Alessandro explored the areas of Tai Wai, Tai Po, Pai Tau Village, Siu Lek Yeun Village, Fo Tan and Sam Mun Tsai village with the practice of soundwalks that involves listening and recording while moving through a place at a walking pace. While recording, Alessandro wrote a diary concerning with the relationship between his perception and the surrounding sonic environment. The installation, composed by six audio players with headphone and six chairs, is located outdoor around a square nearby Shatin Mtr Station. Local people, visitor, passing by people, in response of it becomes a listener of the space that incorporates alessandro perception and experience around Shing Mun River.
During the residence, Alessandro Carboni met Mr. Choy Hon Sum, an elderly Tai Wai villager. After several meetings, interviews on the history of Shing Mun River Alessandro Carboni proposed to Mr. Choy to present, during the event, their dialogue in a performative format. The performance is a duet based on the different perception of a map of the territory Shatin. Alessandro recounts his experience and perception collected during his exploration around urban area, villages, estates, paths, people and parks. Mr. Choy tells the evolution, the geography of Shing Mun River the through the history of his village. Mr. Choy’s descriptions are enriched with anecdotes, legends and stories. Alessandro and Mr. Choy, share in the same table, a map which becomes a metaphore of a new territory, a place for a new interpretation of objective and subjective representation of space.
As part of the performance, Alessandro presents a series of aerial photography from 1963 collected from the Lands Department. For each of them, Alessandro creates drawings with the aim to explore his perception in connection within objective mapping as photography and subjective mapping as drawing.

Learning Curves/ Shing Mun River is part of Carboni research and interdisciplinary project Overlapping Discrete Boundaries, a multidisciplinary research project focused both on an objective analysis of urban context and on the other hand focused on the intimate, subjective relationship between the observer and the perceived environment.
Overlapping Discrete Boundaries has been carried out by early 2010, through sponsorships and residences both Asian and European cities.

Project by Alessandro Carboni
With the support of The Library by soundpocket; Formati Sensibili-art&science mashups; the Italian Institute of Culture and the General Consulate of Italy in Hong Kong
Photography and graphic: Alessandro Carboni
Assistance: Li Wai Mei and Cristina Gervasi
Translation in English: Andrea Scalas
Recording assistance: Jacklam Ho
Special thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Choy Hon Sum.
Alessandro reportage has been published for the Italian magazine Frontierenews.it

Learning Curves/Shing Mun River by Alessandro Carboni has been developed in the frame of The Library by soundpocket Artist In Residence

with the support

Formati Sensibili | art&science mashups

The Library by soundpocket

Italian Cultural Institute and the Consulate General of Italy in Hong Kong

Learning Curves/Shing Mun River 17.03 – Sam Mun Tsai Village # research process

Learning Curves/Shing Mun River
17.03 – Sam Mun Tsai Village # research process
from Overlapping Discrete Boundaries – Asia
a project by Alessandro Carboni – 2013
realised within Library – SoundPocket, Hong Kong
with the support of the Italian Cultural Institute and the General Consulate of Italy in Hong Kong.

The underwater territories of Sam Mun Tsai, Hong Kong
by Alessandro Carboni

Hong Kong’s dramatic urban transformation, from the late 50s until now, has changed the city’s face and identity. The anthropic activity on the Sha Tin area, that began in the early 70′, after land reclamation and extension of land over the sea, has cancelled a many rural villages creating the biggest residential urban agglomerate in Hong Kong.
Alessandro Carboni, a visual artist in residence in Hong Kong, tells us about these transformations starting from his explorations around the Shing Mun River, the river that runs through Shat Tin area. The river becomes the place of contact between two points, the natural landscape, in particular the coastline, the river and the mountains, and the artificial landscape, that is the effects of production activity, social, cultural and environmental life in the various neighbourhoods starting from Tai Wai up to Tai Po. The river, according to the artist, is the central element of the transformation, a tangible landscape system, that is an element in balance where all natural and artificial elements can be variably connected. Interviews, audio and visual field recordings of the landscape will be presented in the form of audio-visual installations in an exhibition in Hong Kong and will be donated to the project Library, audio archive managed by the organisation Sound Pocket from Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is a city built in layers. Some of these are visible while others are erased after a short time. There are elements are rooted in the history that belong to the heritage of the city which are visible while others are volatile elements that belong to the bodies, the gestures, the relations between the inhabitants. The elements that constitute the urban fabric are not uniformly distributed, but are arranged in an irrational, unpredictable, disjointed way. Hong Kong is a city of contrasts. The different scales of measurement, fast changes, the clash between macro and micro, the use of urban space make the city unique.

It’s early in the morning. My exploration begins here, in the Bay of Sheun Wan Hoi, in the district of Tai Po. In this moment I’m standing in front of the sea, dark, grey like the low clouds that move fast over my head.

Some sun rays get through creating lines of light that are reflected over the water in the distance.

I observe the bay: moored boats, small ferries and, in the distance, the island of Yim Tin Tsai. This is connected with the mainland to Beverly Hills, not the Los Angeles district, but the recently built luxurious residential agglomeration. On the other side it is connected with the island of Ma Shi Chau by a tombolo, a narrow strip of sand that allow to reach the island only when the tide is low.

In the distance, on the island I can see Sam Mun Tsai New Village and Luen Yick Fishermen Village. The villages partly spread on the water where the inhabitants have built houseboats in which they live, fish, grow other fish and moor the boats.
Human presence in the island of Yim Tin Tsai dates back to the Neolithic Age, about 4000 years ago. While in other islands not far from here, around Tolo Harbour, for example Yuen Chau Tsai and Centre Island, human presence dates back to about 6000 years ago.

While standing here, still, every instant seems like a century. I think of the articles I’ve recently read that said that over the millennia, centuries and recent years different cultures, peoples and clans have settled in the island of Yim Tin Tsai. Among the latest, the Hakka Chan clan from Shenzen who in the 19th century settled permanently in the island. In reality the island of Yim Tin Tsai was particularly famous for its salt pans. Between the fishermen’s houseboats, between the clouds and mist, in the distance I can see the block, a huge array of buildings built on the shores of the Shing Mun. In reality, the village of Sam Mun Tsai, visible in front of me, is not the original one. It is the new village. In fact the village once stood on the other side of the bay, near Tai Kau and Luk Heung. They no longer exist, they have been embedded into the Plover Cove Reservoir huge dam, the biggest artificial reservoir in Hong Kong. The old village of Sam Mun Tsai, submerged after building the Plover Cove Reservoir, was re-built and about 36 families have been relocated in Sam Mun Tsai New Village which I now see in front of me.
On my left I observe the dam. A mammoth building that has irreversibly transformed the bay of Sheun Wan Hoi. The building, dating back to the early 70s, is a very long strip of land which closed the bay from side to side: on one side the dam, a fresh water reservoir; on the other the sea. With the construction of the dam, most of the natural system was modified, irreversibly destroying the natural eco-system of the bay. The villagers blame the construction of the dam for the decline of local agriculture in the Tai Po area.

My thoughts are interrupted by a gentle breeze. The sea ripples, creating a myriad of shades of grey. Now, sitting, I listen to the sound of the sea that slowly emerges from the surreal silence of the city.

The mist slowly fades away and the buildings behind the village are more visible. Not far away I can see a small pier where rowing boats are moored. They are many and of different colours. Opposite, a sign hanging in a small kiosk indicates the possibility to rent a boat. Me and my friend Dylan, who joins me in the meantime, decide to rent a boat and go towards the village of Sam Mun Tsai, precisely in the area of the houseboats.

As we get on board the noise of the city, always present until then, gradually disappears. We can only hear the soft sound of the waves slamming on the prow. We advance slowly towards the centre of the bay, stroke after stroke the city around us gets smaller and smaller.

I observe the water, the reflections, the dark colour. In my bag, as well as the camera, I have my audio recorder. This time I’ve also brought with me a couple of Hydrophones, underwater microphones that can record a wide range of frequencies deep underwater. Usually these microphones are used to record the calls of dolphins and whales. We stop at the centre of the bay. The sea is nearly flat and the small waves slowly move the boat. I turn on the recorder and let the microphones down to a depth of about 5 metres. The sound immediately overwhelms me. Amazing! Suddenly, I am in another world. I can hear the sound of the fishermen boats from the village over a kilometre away. I can hear the sound of the riptide, the sound of the moving sand below in the bottom. The body of water becomes the sound conductor of the underwater landscape. I keep listening while observing the external landscape around me. I see the delta of the Shing Mun River.

I think about Mr. Choi’s stories about pearls pickers in the bay of Sheun Wan Hoi. For several centuries, from the Han Dynasty to the Ming Dynasty, pearls trade was the main industry in the Tai Po area. After that long period of uncontrolled exploitation, the pearls in the bay of Sheun Wan Hoi went virtually extinct. The sound I am listening to now is probably the same sound that pearls pickers heard during their dives: a long deep breath and down in the depths, up to 20-30 metres, picking as many pearls as possible; the sound of the riptide, of the blades of the oars hitting the water and the voices of their mates inciting them to go deeper and deeper.

I keep recording the underwater landscape and slowly we near a small island in the middle of the bay, between the land the fishermen’s village. Another sound layer emerges, overlapping with the sound of the bottom of the sea. The gentle breeze that accompanied us until now increases near the island, violently slamming the waves on the rocks. The sound of the wind on the trees overlaps with that of the singing birds. The sonic landscape is reach and dense with details. I decide to record this moment using 4 microphones over four channels: two underwater microphones record the bottom of the sea while the other two record the environment outside. On the headphones I listen to a new world, created by the two overlapping sound landscapes. I listen to every micro variation, the sound details coming from the bottom of the sea: the boats’ engines, the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks, the sand; at the same time I can listen to the sound of the trees blown by the wind…

Learning Curves/Shing Mun River 10.03 – Fo Tan # research process

Learning Curves/Shing Mun River
13.03 – Fo Tan # research process
from Overlapping Discrete Boundaries – Asia
a project by Alessandro Carboni – 2013
realised within Library – SoundPocket, Hong Kong
with the support of the Italian Cultural Institute and the General Consulate of Italy in Hong Kong.

The sound gradient in Fo Tan, Hong Kong
by Alessandro Carboni

I’m on a train, heading to Fo Tan. I’m in the middle of the tunnel that goes through Lion Rock mountain, which separates Kowloon from the New Territories in the north of Hong Kong. The train comes out of the tunnel and the light gets inside. Through the window I observe the landscape flowing fast: Tai Wai, Sha Tin and finally Fo Tan. The doors open, and here I am, again in a urban space to be explored. After the first step off the train, I think: walking for the first time in an unknown place is always a revelation. If we pay attention, while walking, we realise that going from one place to another we continuously enter different sound layers. This place could be rewritten and re-mapped starting from the sound it produces, the odours it emanates, the light it projects. These are the elements that keep together a urban space: ephemeral, volatile, unique elements that characterise the essence and identity.

I keep walking inside the station and thoughts become images. A wide window shows me the Fo Tan’s landscape from above. One one side the Shing Mun River, one the other side the recently built residential buildings and the industrial area. Fo Tan is a space in transformation: in the early 70s, the whole area, populated by some villages, becomes one of the most important industrial centres in Hong Kong. With China’s economic rise, particularly in the area of Guangdong, most of the industries moved their production in China. In 2001, little by little, more than 70 industrial units have been reopened as artists’ workshops and exhibitions. The industries haven’t completely left Fo Tan’s spaces, but have retained stock storage sites, offices etc.

After a few hundred metres from the metro station, I reach the industrial area. I enter the canyon of the industrial buildings. The streets are quite narrow, and the buildings are rectangular multi-storey blocks of concrete that rise up to the sky for hundreds of metres. Often the buildings are painted in blue, pink, pastels in varying shades of grey. The floors are easily visible and recognisable, because on the outside they are marked by enormous numbers painted on the walls. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and so on until 28, 30, 34 etc. On the lower floors are kept the stock materials that are transported in and out by large trucks. Sidewalks are worn and near the entrance and exit of the buildings they are covered with a metal platform. The sound of passing trucks creates a rhythm that echoes in the canyon and the empty car parks adjacent to the blocks. So far no signs of artists’ workshops. Only workers in overall loading and unloading pellet. The inner/whole urban area develops into a perfectly orthogonal grid of streets.

I keep walking nearly touching the polished walls of the buildings, following the oil stains on the floor and the mountain that marks the border of the industrial area to the north. A grave, continuous sound accompanies every step and centimetre of my movement. It is the fans, continuously on, that generate a low frequency constant throughout the industrial area. Walking on the pavement, I listen to the sonic stratification that accompanies the wind that fiercely blows from the fans’ pipes. Immediately after the last industrial block, I can see an agglomeration of very low houses in the distance. I am in the village of Wo Liu Hang. Some houses, the ones opposite the industrial blocks, bear the building date 1968, 1970, 1954 (1974?) while others are grouped on a small hill. These are promiscuous houses, built with recycled materials, metal sheets, advertisement panels that remind me the incredible slums of Mumbai. I take some pictures from above and keep recording. In the distance, tall and new residential buildings, the industrial blocks and the village homes. I keep walking along a path of concrete and arrive in a clearing where a small concrete football pitch had been built. Adjacent to the pitch, there are 8 fans. The sound is very loud, a symphony… They create weird chords, escapes.

The wind coming out of the pipes reaches the branches, the leaves and some hanging plastic, swaying them like swings. Sound-absorbing structures have been installed around the football pitch, as a shield from sound and vibrations. I move around to find the best listening position. The centre of the field is the best position where converge most of sound waves and frequencies. It’s like standing in the centre of a Greek theatre, the football field is the resonance box of the space. I get closer to the fans, the sound gets louder, the wall is blackened by burnt engine oil. Stickers, papers, old posters hung on the wall vibrate rapidly, creating a blurry image. I take a few steps back and sit under the sound-absorbing structure to hear the same sound but through a filter.

Not far from me, an old man lays asleep. I close my eyes to listen to every little variation. The layers, the sonic gradient are the accidental score of an inspected sound event. I open my eyes again, I resume the route among the canyon of Fo Tan.

Learning Curves/Shing Mun River
from Overlapping Discrete Boundaries – Asia
a project by Alessandro Carboni – 2013
realised within Library – SoundPocket, Hong Kong
with the support of the Italian Culture Institute and the Italian General Consulate in Hong Kong.
http://www.progressivearchive.com