The upcoming edition of Tai Kwun Conversations features Omer Fast—one of the most respected visual artists and filmmakers of his generation, and one of the artists in the Tai Kwun Contemporary exhibition Double Vision—in conversation with Yeung Chun Yin, a philosopher and a co-founder of “Corrupt The Youth”, an outreach group aimed at making philosophy relevant. Their conversation will revolve around two works by Omer Fast—his landmark 2011 work, 5000 Feet Is the Best, as well as a more recent work from 2020, Karla—and broach topics that range from contemporary warfare, the relation of images and narratives, and the nature of knowledge in a digital age of post-truth.
A haunting, cinematic work, 5000 Feet Is the Best is based on a series of interviews that the artist conducted with a former drone pilot in Las Vegas, who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. As the film unfolds, the viewer notices the three-part division of the film, as well as the circularity and repetition of certain scenes. With a hallucinatory sense of déjà vu thus forged, the viewer’s focus shifts to the telling of the story itself and to how images and narratives are made and constructed. With subtle complexity, the work captivatingly offers glimpses that neither glorify nor vilify the drone pilot, all the while unpacking the larger socio-political reality of contemporary warfare.
Karla explores the life of a content moderator for one of the largest online video sharing platforms in the world. To preserve anonymity, an actress performed the responses, which were recorded by facial capture technology; with the face and voice morphing into different characters without ever settling into a single identity, the interview with
the content moderator is then presented as a holographic projection along with the facial capture videos. The narrative tells of one person’s nightmare working in content moderation: tasked with determining “sensitive content” on social media—clips with violence, self-harm, hate
speech, among others—the narrator came to be unhinged by the avalanche of disturbing videos, with troubling effects on mental sanity. With a presence poised between an anonymity that suggests the real, and a ghostly apparition, Karla offers insight on the precarity of life and work inside the contemporary “platform economy”.
Tai Kwun Conversations: Spectre of Truth will have Omer Fast joining us virtually with Yeung Chun Yin discussing on site in JC Cube; moderated by Daniel Szehin Ho, one of the co-curators of Double Vision.
Tai Kwun Conversations is a monthly event that brings together brilliant minds from the fields of contemporary art, architecture, heritage, among many others. Join us to discover new artistic exchange and outstanding practices in heritage conservation.
This event will be conducted in English, with English to Cantonese simultaneous interpretation.
The event will adhere to the latest health and safety regulations and enforce social distancing measures.