Somewhere in the Distance, Somewhere Towards the Forest

Winnie Hsu & Viviane Roi Joint Exhibition
FreeS Art Space | Taipei, Taiwan

We are all moving somewhere in the distance, somewhere towards the woods.

Non-place is a word created by the French anthropologist Marc Augé. It refers to spaces where human beings remain anonymous and are not regarded as "places." In the past, our imagination of a place came from the history and memory it carried. However, with the continuous updating of technology, transportation and media have shortened the relative distance between people and spaces. It could be actual distance, a distance of time difference, distance of social media, or distance of relations that seems to be close but actually falling apart.

Spaces like "non-place" filled with anonymous contracts and can be updated continuously are gradually increasing. As a result, in the excessive overload of individual movement and information transmission, people begin to feel the loneliness of losing connections. We have created technology and been controlled by technology. It happens in actual spaces for such a short and transitional state and reflects on the perceptual experience. In this exhibition, trees and forests metaphorize the relationship between individuals and community, intending to interpret the interaction between social media and electronic products and the negative space formed by time, distance, and the virtual world through images, sound, and light installations.

Graphic Design | Elva Hisao
Photo | Van Lin, Frees Art Space

Zones within Zones

2021 real-time visuals
projector, trail camera, plants

People originally installed security cameras in public or private spaces, intending to make themselves more secure. However, thousands of surveillance cameras have been exposed on the Internet and are accessible to all Internet users. These unsecured cameras are located in "places," such as houses and bedrooms, or in "non-places," such as malls, restaurants, freeways, parking lots, and green spaces of all countries in the world.

Within the specific live-streaming cameras that target trees, leaves, and green spaces as the main subjects, this video installation intends to blur the boundary between places and non-places. While watching 11 real-time feeds of the cameras arranged by time zones, the audience will also be watched by the trail camera hidden in the tree.

With the installation spying on the audience, and the audience spying on the trees, this piece changes viewers' perspectives on observation and being observed. Simultaneously, the exhibition venue can also be seen as a "non-place," which takes place between the virtual world and actual spaces in which people anonymously interact with each other.

2020 experimental video
An experimental video recording lost places of the untitled island by using scanned 3D models and point cloud data to depict the life of the steadily vanishing virtual island.

We live in a vanishing world with more and more places are lost, and more and more incidents are happening before our eyes. For decades, the untitled island went ignored, houses became ruins, buildings and streets collapsed into dust and rust. While the abandoned concrete walls crumbled and nature flourished, the dilapidated island became a lost place, an untitled virtual island. On the untitled island, as abundant greenery spreads across the marine tropical land, the digital landscapes are awash in isolation and uncertainty. Has anyone noticed the accelerating chaos or heard the whining of the decaying ruins throughout the long hallway?

2021 single channel video installation
3.5''LCD screen, neon light, woods

“One in four people reported to researchers that they have no one with whom they can discuss important issues, and that is three times as many people as in 1980.”  We are currently more disconnected and lonelier than ever when technology is contributing to the increase in loneliness — always trying hard to reconstruct the relationships with people around us, which, in the past few years I’ve suffered to bring back and failed.  It was as if a forest fire arose and burned down all the trees abruptly and a lone tree in the woods who still got no place to belong. I feel so detached and abandoned by this universe. Even when I stand in a row, but actually I’m in the middle of nowhere.

[Chorus] Orchestrating Escapes

Vivainne Roi
2018 single channel video installation
projector, motor, plastic net, plant

“ [Chorus] Orchestrating Escapes” is a video installation attempting to convey the reflection of people trying to escape from real life. I tried to virtualize an escape drill through images. You thought you were fleeing from this place, but actually you could never escape to any other places just like the bunny.

Neither Here nor There

2019 dual channel video installation
projectors, motor, aluminum track

“Neither Here Nor There” is a cross-border video installation. The distance between Taiwan and the United States is 12208km, the time difference is 13 hours, and the temperature difference is 20 degrees. I miss the subtropical forests while I’m in the coniferous forest, I think of the coniferous forest while staying in the subtropical forest back and forth.
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