Our body has an enormous amount of magnetism. But more often than not, we are so preoccupied with thinking as to forget this intimate body. Don’t we usually forget something so close to us like the glasses we wear? Absence is sometimes the best proof of existence.
Bodily perception used to have a very direct connection with art work, at least in the case of painting and sculpture. The fact that the sense of body reemerged as a central issue of contemporary art indicates our forgetfulness about body, as if the primacy of body could only be redeemed in its absence. Maybe this is a panic syndrome we are experiencing in the modern loss of bodily perception. Especially in the age of internet, our body may be further distanced from nature, dissolved in front of the computer screen, and indulge itself in a kind of imaginary masturbation. Of course, this being said, we shall try not to fall back into the old dualism of body and mind. For the moment, perhaps it would be better to leave open the question of the onanistic internet body.
“Magnetic Writing” is an exhibition to address the issues of corporeal writing both in its traditional form and in its digitized configuration. Does the rapid extension of bodily interface, as it is happening now, mean that our body’s magnetic energy can be infinitely expanded? We may need to remain skeptical. At the very least, from traditional paper and canvas to multimedia CD-ROM, the diversification of interface has not enabled us to completely capture all aspects of corporeal writing. Rather, we are at the risk of losing more. After all, the release of bodily energy will never rely solely on the relics of interface resulting from the march of ideas. Instead, it is related more directly to the body which is not yet separated from the world.
(Magnetic Writing/Marching Ideas by Ku Shih-yung, translated by Manray Hsu)