Human & Machine NOW - Hybrid art research project

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New possibilities technologies brought to media and performance arts.

Curators researching, producing, experimenting and performing together.


Media and technology are already forming an extension to the human senses. The relation between human and machine (technology) is intricate as we use technologies to assist in the building of our life and future and use different digital media to connect with and to find out about the world. With the focus centered on humans and machines, this programme looks at exploring the changes happening around us through sounds, spaces and the environment from human senses and body. The interactive workshops featuring different topics seek to introduce to the public the possibilities modern technologies bring to media and performance arts. What is important is that in addition to learning about the technological know-how, this programme aims to bring together the public living to co-create, and to experiment with innovative multimedia art for the benefit of the society.

This programme is jointly led by three artists of different backgrounds with other collaborative artists and technical designers in the development and curation. The three artists are: GayBird (composer/media artist), Ata Wong (director/choreographer/drama instructor) and Vanissa Law (composer/media artist). 

Lecture | Workshop | Open rehearsal | Technical experiment | Performance 



GayBird (composer/media artist) 


Ata Wong (director/choreographer/drama instructor) 

Vanissa Law (composer/media artist) 

Cat Fung (media artist) 


The workshops are open for enrollment to the public

Deadline:24 March 2021

Fee:HK$800 (50% off for students and people with disabilities. Fee waived for those with financial difficulties.) 

Registration for lecture (free)

Registration for workshops (with fee):

For more information 


Organized by Machine & Art NOW Limited

Produced by Renaissance Foundation Limited



Phase 1: Talk

Dates:March 2021


Workshop: Research, experience sharing, discussion (90-120 mins)

Research artist: Vanissa Law

Moderator: GayBird


A public experience sharing and discussion with the public on the relevant topics going from research to the development of arts and technology with artists, academicians and curators from different sectors.



Session 1: Body and identity constructed with stage technology

Content: How does technology help the body to construct the role on stage

Guests:Ata Wong (director/choreographer/drama instructor), Yuri Ng (CCDC Artistic Director), Dick Wong (Dance & Theatre Maker)

Date & Time: 1930, Friday, 19 March 2021

Location: Cheng Yu Tung Building (LT1A), Chinese University of Hong Kong


Outline: Displaying our body on the stage is also displaying the character, background or culture of an identity. How do stage or costume designs affect the display of the body on the stage? Can we find out any additional information other than the script with stage technologies? 



  • A body is but an object on the stage. When the term "body" is used to describe "someone's body", it includes the identity of this person (or this role). How does technology help the body to construct the role on the stage? 

  • Must an identity be constructed through a body? Can it be done using merely stage technologies?

  • Will one day machines replace humans? Under what condition would machines or artificial intelligence replace humans?



Session 2: Mixed art and performance

Content: Multimedia and the fusion of various art forms

Guests: GayBird (composer/media artist), Ata Wong (director/choreographer/drama instructor) 

Low Kee Hong (Head of Theatre, Performing Arts, West Kowloon Cultural District)

Date and Time: 1500, Saturday, 20 March 2021 

Location: Ko Shan Theatre


Outline: In order to enhance concert experience to attract audiences, many of the modern performances have incorporated other media into the original format. How should fuse together the various art forms becomes an important discussion. 



  • Does incorporating new media in the original art form enhance or weaken the experience of the audience? 

  • The era of messaging is changing the way we receive messages as we are constantly shifting tasks. Our concentration falls when we are trying to focus on too many tasks. With the incorporation of new media, does it influence how we as an audience comprehend the artwork? 

  • If the aim of the incorporation of new media is to attract new audiences, would we lose old audiences with the new format? 



Session 3: Actual v. virtual on the screen

Content: Screen, virtual reality and augmented reality 

Guests: Ip Yuk-yiu (Associate Professor, School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong), Hung Keung (new & digital media artist), GayBird (composer/media artist) 

Date & Time: 1930, Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Location: Ko Shan Theatre


Outline: Research has shown that children spending too much time on screen causes them to lose interest in reality as the real world lacks the richness of colours from the screen. Excessive time spent on a screen also causes children to lose the ability making judgement in the three dimensional world. As we spend more and more time on the screen, can we still tell reality from the virtual world? 



  • Is what is shown on the screen real or virtual? Does this have to do with the length of time we spend on the screen? 

  • Do on-demand experience or curated experience place us further or closer to the reality? 



Session 4: The musical sense of the machine

Content: Derivative art, artificial intelligence and musical instrument robot

Guests: Leung Chi-hin (Assistant Professor, Department of Cultural and Creative Arts), Fiona Lee (sound artist), Vanissa Law (composer/media artist)  

Date & Time: 1930, Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Location: Hong Kong Baptist University


Outline: Machines play an important role in modern and new media art. They assist the creation of artists and are themselves part of the art. There are sound artists who design machines in order to seek inspiration from there. 

* Open only for students of the Hong Kong Baptist University



  • Derivative art is an art practice, which contains randomness, realized through a machine using a set of language, rules or procedures designed by an artist. How are artworks influenced when the production of it incorporates machines in the decision-making process? What are the roles for artists and composers in derivative art?

  • Will one day machines replace humans? Under what condition would machines or artificial intelligence replace humans?

  • Does musical sense exist in machines? Is it different than that of a human?



Phase 2: Workshop

Dates:April through July 2021

Students, artists, designers and members of the public who have shown interest will be recruited online and through various channels following the first phase with the aim of bringing together performers, designers, scientists, artists from different sectors to create together. The programme has three workshops with different topics. Thirty people will be recruited from each of the workshops.


The workshops are designed to stimulate creativity of the participants using exposure, knowledge and areas of arts. At the end of the programme, participants will partake in a performance in the final stage according to their creation, preference and method in groups or individually at the same time. 


Workshop 1

Topic(s):Media, art and experiment 

Instructing artist:Vanissa Law

No. of sessions:8

Dates and time:1900-2130, Saturdays, 10, 17 and 24 April 2021

Location:Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Dates and time:1430-1700, Sundays, 11, 18 and 25 April, and 2, 9 May 2021.

Location:Ko Shan Theatre, Kowloon


Workshop 2

Topic(s):Electronic principles, production of polygraph and electronic devices

Instructing artist:Cat Fung

No. of sessions: 8 (with 2 classes)

Dates and time:1330-1530 (Class 1), 1530-1730 (Class 2); Sundays, 16, 23, 30 May, and 6, 13, 20, 27 June 2021

1830-2000 (Class 1), 2000-2130 (Class 2); Sunday, 27 June 2021

Location:Ko Shan Theatre, Kowloon


Workshop 3

Topic(s):Body and spaces

Instructing artist:Ata Wong

No. of sessions:8

Dates and time:1000-1200 & 1300-1500, Saturdays, 3, 10 July 2021, and Sundays, 4, 11 July 2021

Location: Ko Shan Theatre, Kowloon



Phase 3: Open Rehearsal and Technical Test

Date: October 2021


The instructing artist will regroup and put together different units creating the elements for the final performance following the workshops in Phase 2. Phase 3 sets to finetune the different elements. Intensive rehearsals will take place in the last two weeks in order to put together a unique performance. 


** Open rehearsal will take place on 12 November at the Piazza of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre for the enjoyment of the public. 


Rehearsal and technical experiment

Instructing artists: GayBird, Vanissa Law, Ata Wong, Cat Fung and other artists (to be confirmed)

No. of sessions:8-10 (6-8 hours each)

Participants:all performers, designers and curators 



Phase 4: Finale Performance 

Date:13 and 14 November 2021

Location:Piazza of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre


Large scale multimedia art performance 


The final and last stage involve a large-scale multimedia art performance. The piece will fuse together various media art, performance, devices, sound effects, etc., and will be in two parts: The first part will see a setting of a market formed by many small stalls similar to a flea market. Each stall will present a different performance style, such as: theatre, body dance, performance incorporating mechanical devices, sound performance, image projection, etc., and their performance will be recorded by cameras; The second part will see the different images captured by the cameras projected onto a large screen in a way similar to a closed-circuit TV showing the interaction from the individuals stalls which appeared to be unrelated on its own but are in fact all interrelated. Not only can viewers of the screen see the performances but can themselves enter the market and interact from within. 



Phase 5: Documentary 


A documentary film will be produced and published online following a year of research, production, experiment and performance.