2017年12月17日 星期日

Drones, Frosted Bats and the Testimony of the Deceased

Drones, Frosted Bats and the Testimony of the Deceased
Four-channel video installation, 3' 40" ~ 8' 40", 2017

Drones, Frosted Bats and the Testimony of the Deceased is filmed at the abandoned site of Hsinchu Branch of the Sixth Japanese Naval Fuel Plant. During the World War II, the fuel plant was used to produce aviation fuel with butyl alcohol developed by the Department of Industrial Fermentation at the Industrial Research Institute. As a victim of the war, the deserted buildings reveal the stories of the past with the bullet holes on the walls as the eyewitness. The bullet holes on these deserted buildings reveal atrocities of war - scars evident of their pasts. Hsu utilizes the unique mobile perspectives of a drone, using it as exposed photographic equipment and casting it as an actor anthropomorphically in the video. Aside from the shots taken by the drone, this video also includes several different shots, for instance, a scene of frosted bats in a big chimney. Frosted bats are mostly found in the high latitudes of Japan, Korea, and North China. Yet, for unknown reasons, this northern species of frosted bats resides in the chimney of the military plant from May to July in recent years. The plant is the only place where the frosted bats can be found in Taiwan. Moreover, the video contains footages of bombers from World War II when United States allied with China to bomb Taiwan. However, this incident slowly faded as authorities shifted in the Asia-Pacific region. Hsu uses imageries of flying objects as essential elements of this video, including the original function of the fuel plant as an aviation fuel producer, drones, bats, and bombers.

The video narration originated from memoirs of factory employees at the time. Nineteen oral accounts dubbed by four voice actors in Japanese and the video archive manipulated by a computer program are arranged randomly on the playlist to constantly shift the structure of the video. As the narrator recounts: “After the War, most of the documents were incinerated. Quantity, date, people, accidents, sequence, cause and effects, evidences were all lost. Now, only the abstract and unreliable images remain.” Through the random calculations of the program, Hsu presents in this video the uncertainty of these memories and his response to the scattered historical text.


飛行器、霜毛蝠、逝者證言
四頻道錄像裝置,3’40 ~ 8’40’’,2017

《飛行器、霜毛蝠、逝者證言》是以海軍第六燃料廠新竹支廠遺址為背景,這間二戰時期的軍工廠,是透過台灣總督府工業研究所的發酵工業部所研發的丁醇生產技術,以生產航空器所用的燃料,在戰火的摧殘下,廢棄的建築體上有無數彈痕見證了它的過去。在這件創作中,藝術家以空拍機的特殊視點穿梭其間拍攝,一方面空拍機做為裸露的攝影機具,另一方面也作為影片中的演員,以擬人化的方式呈現。除了空拍機所拍攝的畫面之外,還包括了不同的素材來源,其一是大煙囪內的霜毛蝠畫面,霜毛蝠主要分布於日本、韓國與中國大陸華北等高緯度地區,在不知名的原因之下,近幾年此北方物種每年五月至七月皆會到軍工廠的大煙囪裡產子,也成為台灣唯一的霜毛蝠棲息地。其二則是二戰期間的轟炸機影像資料,當時美國與中國的盟軍轟炸台灣,隨著政權轉移後,這段歷史也隨之被掩蓋。藝術家將飛行物的意象作為貫穿作品的元素,包括工廠作為生產飛機燃料的原始用途,以及空拍機、蝙蝠、轟炸機。

影片旁白源自於當時工廠員工的回憶錄,總共有十九篇口述旁白,由四位配音員以日文錄製,並透過電腦程式隨機播放。影像也同樣是程式自動從影像資料庫中挑選並即時剪接,每一次的播放都會產生不同的影片結構,就如同旁白中所提到的:「大部分的檔案,在投降前夕,就已經放進燃燒爐燒掉了。數量、日期、人物、事件、前後順序、因果關係,完全沒有依據,只剩下不可靠的模糊映像。」透過程式的隨機運算,呈現回憶的模糊不確定性,並藉以回應那段難以拼湊的歷史文本。






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