top of page


Embodied City 

Embodied City – talks, presentation, detourscurated by Alessandro Carboni

20/02 (SAT)
Invited speakers will each give a 20-min presentation about their research or practice. Following the presentations, the speakers and audience will freely discuss the roles and stakes of the body and art practices in urban space. The keynote speech will be delivered by renowned performing art theorist Piersandra di Matteo from Italy.
11:00 – Gathering and Introduction of Always Becoming Project
12:00 – Embodiment Practices and Urban Mapping. Performative interventions around To Kwa Wan with Felix Ke and Ivy Tsui.
14:30 – Symposium – Talks and presentations
18:00 – Final Discussion

21/02 (SUN)
The second day’s activities will take place on the small and scenic island of Peng Chau. We’ll first get to know the island through a guided-tour provided by Green Peng Chau Association. Then, Alessandro will conduct a workshop about applying EM:toolkit in urban mapping and performance practices. Finally, in the open air, we will spend some time sharing our thoughts about the toolkit and the whole symposium as a whole.
10:00 – Meeting at Central Pier No. 6 – Boat leaves at 10.20!
11:30 – Guided-tour around Peng Chau Island 13:00 – Lunch
14:30 – EM:toolkit – Urban Mapping workshop
17:00 – Final discussion
18:40 – Boat to Hong Kong


Josef Bares – Dissipative Landscapes
Movement Series is an ongoing line of work investigating the experience of moving along transport routes in and between cities. The work addresses dissipation, an entropy-producing process, in the realm of the visible. Innumerable images continuously appear on our retina, overlap and mix in our mind, forming into our lived experience. Memories and dreams can be vivid and life-like, yet they can never be reversed in order to completely recreate a situation that has once happened before.

Josef Bares is a media artist of Czech/German origin, currently living and working in Hong Kong. His area of interest lies in systems of signs. He uses different ways to visually convey the processes taking place in signification – the creation of meaning. He is especially interested in relationships between city and language, space and semantics: How we do ‘read’ our urban living environment.

Jane Prophet – Critical cartography and brain Maps.
I will speak about the body, the mind and death by discussing my current project Neuro Memento Mori, an artwork made from MRI scans taken while looking at memento mori paintings and during death mediations.

Jane is a visual artist in the School of Creative Media at City University, Hong Kong. Her practice-based research and writing emerges through collaborations with life scientists such as neuroscientists, stem cell researchers, mathematicians and heart surgeons.  She works across media and disciplines to produce objects and installations, frequently combining traditional and computational media.

MapOffice – Laurent Gutierrez and Valérie Portefaix – Runscape
Runscape is a political response to the current privatization and militarization of our cities. When running remains the only unbounded space in the urban field, a young man is constantly running in Hong Kong back alleys and left over spaces, revealing alternative route to the globalized and controlled urban spaces. Following the fragmented course of images, a narrative unfold the history of street fighting from the 19th century Parisians revolutions, 1968 and up to contemporary combat.

MAP Office is a multidisciplinary platform devised by Laurent Gutierrez (1966, Casablanca, Morocco) and Valérie Portefaix (1969, Saint-Étienne, France). This duo of artists has been based in Hong Kong since 1996, working on physical and imaginary territories using varied means of expression. MAP Office projects have been exposed in over 100 exhibitions at prestigious venues including the MoMA and the Guggenheim Museum (New York), the Georges Pompidou Centre (Paris) and the Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art (Beijing), around 30 Biennales and Trienniales around the world with for example five contributions to the Venice Biennale in Art and Architecture (2000, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010). Their cross-disciplinary practice has been the subject of a monograph, MAP OFFICE – Where the Map is the Territory (2011). MAP Office was the recipient of the 2013 edition of the Sovereign Asian Art Prize. –

Bogna M Konior – Hiding in the bodies of others: starless nights & predatory space
How to perform research as an embodied practice in the Anthropocene? This presentation considers the extent to which conceptual practice of language as sensory (visual/aural) material could influence the process of re-relating to both anthropogenic and nonhuman fluctuations of space.

Bogna M. Konior is a scholar, curator, fabulist, speculator, and a poet. She heads the Institute for Critical Animal Studies, Asia and is one of the founding members of New Materialism Society, Hong Kong.

David Jhave Johnston – Speaking Voices
Multimedia archives are like distributed cities of voices and remote presences. Jhave will outline his work at reflecting voices using interfaces that suggest communities.

David Jhave Johnston is digital poet, uses algorithms as aesthetic tools. His work reconciles computation, emotion, concepts, and the ancient idea of poet-artist as conduit. Current research: poetry generation using machine learning. Assistant Professor at School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong. His book on digital poetry and animism will be published by MIT Press in Spring 2016.

Piersandra Di Matteo – Urban pedestrian dramaturgy
How to engage with processes of experience and meaning-making as taking place at the intersection of the physical possibilities of bodies? This speech hinges on the curatorial activities as imaginative systems based on human interactions in a living experience of the city. It will analyse a case in which a historical building in the center, a the gymnasium of a sports complex in the outskirts, a lecture hall with reproductions of classical statues, an air-raid shelter and an ex-haven for children host performances, installations, screenings, meetings and concerts tracing out a peculiar urban dramaturgy. They take shape in various locations found throughout the city, and in turn receive an imprint from these places. The spectators – at the singular pace of their nomadic passages – inscribe a pedestrian rhetoric, allowing a different sense of topology to be regained.

Piersandra Di Matteo. Performing arts theorist, dramaturg and independent curator. Her theoretical research concerns postdrammatic theatre and performative formats as procedural phenomena, linguistics and contemporary philosophy. At the Department of the Arts (University of Bologna) she has been focusing her theoretical trajectory on the topology of speech, the politics and ethics of the voice. Since 2008, she has been working closely with Romeo Castellucci as dramaturge.

Chang Ping-hung, Wallace  – The Emergence of E-pathy City
When our city has been approaching a saturated urbanization under the paradigm of modernism, people are not given further liberty to do things otherwise, but following norms given. Things are aligned along directives of efficiency, convenience and cost-effectiveness; but where are the qualities that we are born with, like, humanity, compassion and empathy? Without much notice, the younger generations are born at elevated grounds detached from the land, not to mention their affiliation with its cultivation. The initial image of their dwelling may mostly be high-rise concrete towers rather than pitch-roof tiled houses. The sense of belonging to places is mostly second-hand-educated rather than an intuitive affiliation. “But, what is wrong about this?” Maybe the question itself is the question. The advocacy of E-pathy City is, thus, an attempt to see, and more importantly, to act against this indifference and try to arouse the inner empathy of people towards our environment and other generations. With thisbig idea and started with some humble steps at Oil, we are trying to understand and document how “we” as ordinary people living within this urbanized situation can step beyond our given social boundaries into others’ through telling stories, creating articles, or simply walking around our own neighborhood.

Registered Architect in Hong Kong and China; Associate Professor, School of Architecture, CUHK; Director of the Urban Place Research Unit; Visiting Scholar in Harvard-Yenching Institute, Harvard University; Advisory Committee Member on Revitalization of Historic Buildings. He is both an architectural practitioner and a social activist to promote a civil consciousness on urban environment, community conservation and sustainable planning.His latest research, Kai Tak River Green Corridor Community Education Project receives awards of [HKADC 2013 Award of Arts Education], and [2015 International Award for Public Art].

Lai Wai Yi, Monti
Rice is something most local people eat everyday. By growing rice at Lai Chi Wo, an once abandoned 300 years old Hakka village near Sha Tau Kok, I am searching for a humble way to retrieve the linkage between human and land. In this presentation, I would like to share my story on rice growing at the beautiful and spiritual village.

Monti Wai-Yi LAI is a local Hong Kong visual artist recognized for work that reflects on the relationship between art and the environment. Now based at Lai Chi Wo Village, exploring the same subject with farming practice.

bottom of page