With rapid growths in the AI sector and the expansion of virtual environments, the body is standing at an unprecedented intersection. Although contemporary art has long been contemplating on discourses regarding the body as a fluid material, the changes we see nowadays stands part from those of the past. Moving on from the longstanding question of “whether disjointed, connected, and/or cyborg bodies are actual bodies,” the question we now face is about the necessity of the body itself. Until now, discourses of the body regarded media as a means of expression and an extended instrument. This view, however, always constricted the body to something ‘human.’ To cultivate expansive discussions on the body this year, Coreana Museum of Art *c-lab 7.0 intends to explore the changes that we face with a focus on media and the body. The objective is to illuminate the body not as a subject that creates and uses instruments, but something that is media, in and of itself. As such, instead of being threatened by technological objects, the body encounters nonhumans, objects, and various media across sectors on equal footing. *c-lab 7.0 will experiment with artistic methods through which to sense ‘the real’ that transcends bodily limitations by liberating the media-body that had been locked inside the physical ‘body.’ In the hope that this attempt would help us broaden our cognitive reach, we aim to open up the meaning of the ‘body’ to embrace diverse forms.
Co-evolution is a biological concept in which a biological group evolves together with other biological groups. This means that the paradigm of evolution expands into other species, and furthermore, into the social structure and the technological environment. Unlike symbiosis, co-evolution also occurs in hostile relationships, reminding us of the fact that all species have always evolved in overlap to guarantee the survival of each species. While everyone talks of symbiotic reasoning in the face of a global crisis, what needs to precede such talk is the recovery of ‘the sensibility to sense beings that are connected to the self.’ In other words, we must consider what we rely on and what relies on us. For 2022, *c-lab 6.0 at the Coreana Museum of Art chose ‘co-evolution’ as the keyword to look into the senses that we have lost. This is an attempt to interpret the ecological problems we are faced with through bodily senses and artistic experiences. The perspectives gathered at *c-lab 6.0 will crisscross to reinvent the relationship between species and seek ways to recover connection. We hope that this will lead to the moment when the evolution of a strange being and the evolution of the self resonate with one another.
Art sometimes invokes an unusual sensation like compulsion or excitement. In fact, “trance,” which refers to this state of mindfulness that differs from the normal mode, and the history of art have evolved side by side for a long period of time. Throughout their journey and process of development, both art from religious painting to abstract art and performing arts including plays and dances have dealt with the concept of trance. What dimension of trance is currently being led by art in a world where the technological environment is rapidly changing and many are reevaluating the definition of physicality? Additionally, what inflection point is the body encountering as the place where trance is manifested? In 2021, The Coreana Museum of Art, which had provided depth to its exhibitions and research by focusing on the themes of body, women and performance, will continue the discussion at *c-lab 5.0 by broadening the scope to include the topic of “spirituality.” With “trance” as the keyword, *c-lab 5.0 will explore what coordinates are drawn between physicality and spirituality at the present, and look into their contemporary relationship with art from multiple angles. This year’s research will be joined by entities from diverse fields and serve as a sensuous and practical time of contemplation.
The point of origin for “Untact,” is “Contact.” We now live in an age where contrasting attributes exist hand in hand – offline and online, isolation and connection, contact and contactless. As our society becomes increasingly hyperconnected through technological advancements and mediation, time and space warps to condense the distance between the two hemispheres down to the thickness of our screens, while the global pandemic has come to normalize “untact” (contactless) lifestyles, erasing out physical traces. The structures of communication, whether small or big, is growing more dynamic by day through various online platforms. What kind of significance would physical contact bear, should it return to our lives? What kind of new roles and possibilities would technology offer? Our time calls for imaginaries of bygone days that defy reclamation, and relationships that are yet to come. This year, through its title of “UN+CONTACT,” *c-lab 4.0 seeks new possibilities and practices in its focus on ‘relationships,’ exploring divergent forms and methods of relationship-building in our contemporary society.
A ‘syndrome,’ meaning a collection of signs or symptoms of a specific disease or disorder, implies abnormality or negativity. However, when we assume that our body is a place where big and small accumulation and weathering of the world take place as part of our life, a syndrome may be merely a manifestation of society, relationship, space and time that are complexly intertwined with life. Where is it from, and what kind of conditions, attitudes and behaviors does it create? ‘Coreana Museum of Art *c-lab 3.0 : Syndrome’ is a story about the symptoms we face in life, which exist inside, outside or somewhere around our body, but are almost invisible, ambiguous and uncertain and about the world beyond them. This project is also an attempt to reinterpret and rewrite a ‘syndrome’ as a way to understand someone’s world by presenting different perspectives on the phenomena of the body.
Our senses are incomplete. Fragments of the information collected by our sensory receptors organically constitute a form and generate unique meanings. However, then, is the world as we perceive it an actual reality? Human beings reside in realities that are full of misunderstandings and errors as they relate to the world through their seemingly perfect sensory perceptions. This is not only a natural but an inevitable mode of being for our own existence. In the history of art, which had long been focusing on the visual senses based on rationalism, gave way to a more multi-valent discursive milieu wherein varied senses are illuminated for their importance. The advent of digital media and rapid shifts in the media ecology constantly expand the horizon of human perception and experience, while new concerns about and interest in virtual senses and artificially intelligent machines are gaining traction. What new world of senses await us ahead? Coreana Museum of Art *c-lab 2.0 introduces “Sense±(Senses±),” an opportunity to explore the multiple layers of our sensory experiences.
* Publication "*c-lab 2.0: Senses± Catalogue," December 10th, 2018
* Research "*c-lab 2.0 Project #5: Senses± Thesaurus" by Seong Eun Kim, October 12th - , 2018
* Lecture Performance "*c-lab 2.0 Project #4: Sensory, Crystallized" by Sookyun Yang, September 29th, 2018
* Kids Program "Color Recipe: DIY Cosmetics," July 26th - August 11th, 2018
* Membership "*c-lab 2.0 Labmates 2nd Season," July 21st - November 10th, 2018
* Workshop "*c-lab 2.0 Project #3: The Longest Naming of People Who Imagine the Imagination" by Hand and Face, July 21st, 2018
* Performance "*c-lab 2.0 Project #2: Present sense impression" by Mu:p, June 27th & 28th, 2018
* Exhibition "*c-lab 2.0 Project #1: De-ideation" by Hoyeon Kang, May 25th - June 16th, 2018
* Resource Room "*c-lab 2.0 Resource Room," May 25th - October 31st, 2018
* Research & Discussion "*c-lab 2.0 Project Studies," April 12th - August 13th, 2018
* Membership "*c-lab 2.0 Labmates 1st Season," March 24th - June 26th, 2018
* Lecture & Roundtable "Talking Together in *c-lab," March 24th, 2018
* University X Museum "*c-lab 2.0 with Konkuk University," March 16th - June 26th, 2018
“Beauty” has been a concept and value long explored since the beginning of mankind. The pursuit of beauty, which has stimulated human’s fundamental desires, existed in society through various forms, and it is evolving more and more today. When we look into the realm of contemporary art, however, discussing “beauty” seems rather outdated. The Coreana Museum of Art begins the 2017 *c-lab 1.0 with a distance toward the familiar theme, “beauty.” The fearful yet the uncanny: opening with what feels like a cliché. This may require a considerable amount of courage. What kind of story can we tell about beauty? What can “beauty” convey in contemporary culture? The Coreana Museum of Art launches the annual project *c-lab 1.0 to provide a platform where one can contemplate on and research diverse ways of practice regarding the theme of “beauty.”
* Publication: Release of *c-lab 1.0: Beauty, the Uncanny" December 20th, 2017
* Exhibition: *c-lab 1.0 Project Exhibition October 28th, 2017
* Open Discussion: "Google, Algorithm, Error, and Contemporary Art" October 28th, 2017
* Workshop: "Tech Camouflage: Anti-Face Makeup Workshop" October 25th, 2017
* Talk: "The Aesthetics of the GIF" September 25th, 2017
* University x Museum: "*c-lab Research Workshop with Ewha Womans University" September - October, 2017
* Project Teams: "JJAL Renaissance" Team and "Google, Algorithms, Error, and Contemporary Art" Team August - October, 2017
* Kids: "Reading Together in *c-lab" June 17th - July 1st, 2017
* Kids: "Imagining Together in *c-lab: Mirror Mirror" July 26th - August 11th, 2017
* Round Table: "Talking Together in *c-lab" May 13th, 2017