About

Watch and Chill (watchandchill.kr) is a subscription-based art streaming platform created by the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA). Planned as a three-year project, Watch and Chill considers the online experience as its core, while experimenting with synching offline exhibitions and their on-scene engagements. After collaborating with Asian museums last year, its second season presents a partnership with institutions in the Middle East and Europe. Together with the Sharjah Art Foundation in the United Arab Emirates and ArkDes (Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design), MMCA jointly curated and carefully selected each institution’s media collection and the works of artists in each art community, to be streamed online and presented as internationally travelling exhibitions.

Watch and Chill season 2 sheds light on the contemporaneous system of “sensing,” translated into digital. It has been more than a decade now since internet-based phenomena such as ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response)—which involves sharing bodily sensations online—have established themselves irrefutably within the “creative” realm. Such sensory transmission, which induces a meditative mood in order to alleviate feelings of anxiety and loneliness within today’s society, has been explored, experimented with, and reproduced across academia and the cultural scene at large. Watch and Chill 2.0: Streaming Senses shares works by contemporary artists, designers, and creators whose practices respond to the relationship between technology and human perceptual systems, venturing beyond the flatness of the screen to evoke various forms of synesthesia. 

As our bodies take on greater density with the easing of social distancing, we find ourselves envisioning different forms of contact and symbiosis than before. Watch and Chill 2.0 thus seeks to experiment with the expansive potency of human sensoria vis-à-vis the technological environment today, while reexamining the roles of the art museum as an on-/offline hybrid that makes “tentacular connections” possible.

Theme
Optical Tactility

Eliciting physical responses as the works presented here test the technical confines of audio-visual moving images, “Optical Tactility” explores multi-dimensional sensoria beyond screens. This chapter examines the phenomena of perceptual stimuli that are transmitted, transformed, and translated, e.g., from sound to touch and from smell to light. It presents stories of the synesthetic tentacles that have evolved in us through technology, including optical lenses that maximize the human retina and condenser microphones that capture ultra-fine frequencies barely audible to the human ear. In the process, it attempts to reflect on the resonance and texture of the matter experienced in the digital realm and their inter-communication.

Calibrated Projection

Can we imagine different environments and situations by calibrating our ways of perceiving time and space? Derived from the Latin proicere, the word “projection” refers to an act of “throwing forth,” demonstrating temporality by means of physical mechanics. Within this framework of continuity, time-based art such as moving images creates realities anew. Through their delicate manipulation of temporal and spatial senses, the artists in “Calibrated Projection” unsettle the standard notions of the metric system or Greenwich Mean Time. They explore realms of subjective time and space that are perceived via interrelationships between oneself and others (or the world), speculating on the social dimension that our bodily sensations connect.

Trance, Cross, Move

Digital space is usually considered to transcend boundaries, and yet borders solemnly exist on our World Wide Web. As people online still stand on the ground, the electric current runs on earth as physical matter bound to the politics of geo-location. The opposite phenomenon obviously exists as well, in which physical beings turn ethereal in the virtual sphere. “Trance, Cross, Move” examines the material reality of the wired world in regard to borders, topography, and landscapes, in an attempt to fathom the restraints and freedom of movement in the digital realm.

Bits of the Spirit

“We are spiritual beings trying to be human.” What is the destination of the human wishes and fantasies that emerge through cutting-edge technology? Amid the infinite, nanosecond-level AI transactions and the decentralization of finance through cryptocurrency and other technologies, the visibility that enables control has long since departed from our trust-based systems of value. What elements of “humanity” lie at the roots of technological developments toward speculative profits? The answer may lie in the most primal of beliefs. “Bits of the Spirit” turns a contemporary gaze on the spirituality that is the singular attribute of humans—examining the ways in which feelings from the spiritual realm, such as ecstasy, bliss, illusion, and fear, can be sensed in today’s media environment.

Team

Organized by
Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea

In partnership with
Sharjah Art Foundation
ArkDes, the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design 

Curated by
Jihoi Lee 
Hoor Al Qasimi
James Taylor-Foster 

Coordination 
Lim Miju
Raneem Turjman, Momen Al Ajouz
Sujy Lee

Graphic design and platform development
WORKS

Copywriter
Jei Lee

Sound design
Te Rim

Subtitle
Furmo DT

Translation 
Colin A. Mouat, Yi Jaehee

Sponsored by 
Meta Open Arts
TERAROSA

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