Be a Hong Kong Patriot, Part 2, The Fuzzy Wanker (2004, 2008)

做愛國港人之二,模糊自慰隊

The artwork was the second Internet installation of the Be a Hong Kong Patriot series. Part 1 of the series questioned on the demonstration of patriotic love and its relation with investment in the stock market. Part 2, The Fuzzy Wanker reflected on the dot com boom and again questioned on the demonstration of patriotic love and the measurement of the Internet traffic, generated without sensible purposes.

The Chinese title of the work 模糊自慰隊 was again modeled upon the revolutionary propaganda opera 洪湖赤衞隊, The Red Guards on Honghu Lake, before the period of cultural revolution in the communist China.

Be a Hong Kong Patriot, Part 2 – The Fuzzy Wanker was one of the exhibits in the Microwave International New Media Arts Festival 2004 shown in the Hong Kong City Hall, Central.

The installation was a tangible visualization of Internet traffic. The hidden computer would continuously access all the corporate websites of the listed companies constituting the Hang Seng Index of Hong Kong, in order to generate network traffic to those companies. Rather than using a regular browser to access the websites, the artwork visualized each of the returning characters using both a 8 x 8 pixels LED panel and a custom made 8 x 8 pixels of electromagnetic matrix. The small LED panel on the side of the installation displayed the visible characters sequentially. At the same time, the electromagnetic pixels under the steel table top would display the same characters by charging the corresponding magnetic coils. As a result, the tiny iron bearing balls were attracted to various position on the table top, corresponding to the shape of each ASCII character. The audience could also use the palms, fingers to feel the flow of the data by touching the moving balls. The visualization became tangible.

Be a Hong Kong Patriot, Part 1, Love Takes the Victoria Peak (2002)

做愛國港人之一,智取扯旗山

Love Takes the Victoria Peak was the first of the Be a Hong Kong Patriot series. The title of the artwork in Chinese modeled upon the revolutionary propaganda operas, 樣板戲, in the cultural revolution in the communist China. The original opera was the Taking of the Tiger Mountain, 智取威虎山 (1958).

After the 1997 handover of Hong Kong, we experienced one of the severe economic recessions. The government encouraged the Hong Kong people to consume locally and also invest in the stock market in order to demonstrate their patriotic love towards the nation. And from the daily media portrayal, the senior government officials in Hong Kong could shed into tears whenever they were watching the Chinese national flag raising together with the national anthem. Nevertheless, it was just a couple of months that they were watching the British national flags and the God Save the Queen anthem. I wonder how they could develop such intense emotion in just a few months. Were they faking?

The artwork was shown in Para-Site (Hong Kong) in 2002. It was one of my first Internet installation works. In the venue, there was a vibrating dildo hanging from the ceiling. A red flag was also attached to the dildo. The motion of the vibrating dildo was controlled by a micro-controller connected to the public Internet. The artwork retrieved real time stock information (Hang Seng Index) from the Internet. The higher the increase of the stock index would trigger larger movement of the dildo and thus greater waving action of the flag. The falling stocking index and the closure of the market would keep the dildo standing still.

The Train (1996)

The Train was an interactive multimedia production together with The Party group in London. It explored the spatial interaction of a train platform.

The Bid (1996)

The Bid was the first project I did with The Party group when I studied the MA in Interactive Media, in the London College of Printing in 1996. It experimented with documentary in interactive way.

The Bid – The Party