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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

NARRATING (back to) THE FUTURE (of electronic art) NOW. (Part 2)

Human iris and reflected light on water. Still from Hasnul J Saidon, The Borrower of Light, (2000)5)

This is another jump-cut excerpt from my ramblings (lecture) in REKA 2014. The excerpt is taken from the final part of my ramblings. In tandem with the 'shifting-return' paradigm and notion of time and space as ranted in part 1 (previous blog entry), this part focuses on the imperative of shifting from being obsessed with competing (like in a rat race) to returning to the spirit of convergence, creativity and innovation. Such return requires not only IQ (intellectual intelligence), but also emotional intelligence (EQ) and more importantly, SQ (Spiritual intelligence).

In a more 'practical' phrasing, and in articulating this shift from a compulsive competitor to innovator, I revert back to Daniel Burrus's Technotrends (1993) which I used to refer to when I was busy anticipating the future (then), whilst drafting and designing a new program called Integrated Arts at the Faculty of Applied and Creative Arts, UNIMAS from 1994-1995.

The traits in blue fonts belong to those who are trapped in the vicious cycle of compulsive competing? The traits in red fonts are those who focus on innovating. Which color do we belong to?:

Copy what others are doing
Constantly looking for better ways of thinking and feeling
Get locked into set patterns
Constantly cultivate a creative mind set
Believe that the future will take care of itself
Focus on their future goals and building a path to get there
See scientific and technological developments as threats to their status-quo
Focus on how they can apply new technology
Collect and swim around massive amount of raw data
Look for ways to translate raw data into useful information
Only react to trends
Learn how to predict and even create trends and profit from them

Take a short view of planning and consider it a necessary evil
Take a strategic view of planning and know the value of building change into the plan
Dread change and resist it as long as they can
Seek to remain adaptive and to master change
Avoid anything that would cast them as being significantly different from their competitors
Seek to maximize their differential advantage
Control and direct their people 
Empower people for positive action
Complain about how unproductive their people are
People are their best upgradable resource and constantly look for ways to help their people to be more productive
Think about how they can use high tech to cut their work forces and save money
Seek to integrate strategy, technology and people

In line with the language of shifting-return, the convergence of mind, body and soul, of IQ-EQ-SQ, I would like to 'return' to the 'cosmopolitan' (cross-borders) spirit of our shared trans-cultural legacies and heritage ('our' here refers to ALL Malaysians, even Southeast Asian citizens). They can be traced in many 'pre-modern' forms of artistic objects, traditions, customs and practices (before they were streamlined, politicised or for some, vulgarized and abducted for narrow chauvinistic ends, including during both the colonial, and post-colonial periods). I have prepared here, few pictures taken from "Antara Semangat" (2000) (Between Spirit) projects that I was involved in, based on the interest in re-visiting (and re-interpreting) our trans-cultural legacies such as Mak Yong and Wayang Kulit from a fresh  perspective, free from the burden of narrow historicity. Here, Mak Yong, Wayang Kulit and the traditional language of geometry were placed in a dialogue with Wagner's opera and composition, contemporary choreography, pre-recorded and live video mapping and the language of quantum physics.

Our very own 'Christopher Nolan', dealing with 'trans-dimensional' performance or 'media art' - A traditional Wayang Beber (Javanese) pupetter (dalang). From Vistor Mair's book on the trans-cultural traditions of pictorial recitations in Asia.

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