A high-tech display of art for modern eraIt seems almost obvious why the newly unveiled Seoul Station has decided to feature a digital art exhibit. “Art and Science Station,” a show organized by the digital art center Nabi to mark the launch of the new KTX bullet train, is an exhibit that could potentially change the conservative image of an old train station, to give those who travel by train a more polished, metropolitan image of Seoul from now on.
If done in the right way, in a few years the image of a train station, to young Koreans, won’t be so different from that of an airport.
Perhaps that was one of the organizers’ intentions when they decided to host an exhibition sponsored in part by the Korea Science Culture Foundation.
“Art and Science Station” is a collection of media art, animation, motion capture, single channel videos and digital films, which will be played through the monitors of the KTX train and LCD screens in the new lobby.
In the new waiting room, there will be a 3-D media art installation, “Pedestrian” by Paul Kaiser and Shelley Eshkar. “Pedestrian” is a video projection on the floor depicting the pedestrians walking on the street. The image has been reassembled to give it a realistic 3-D look, making the audience feel as if it is part of the scene.
This video was projected onto large public spaces in other countries, such as the Rockefeller Center or Milan’s Piazza Del Duomo, raising questions about departing and arriving and meeting and parting.
Interactive works that have been introduced through digital film festivals and the Internet will be played on the LCD screens and monitors in the train.
“Kunstbar” by Steve Whitehouse is a flash animation set in a bar, in which the main character drinks different cocktails named after famous artists like Picasso, Chagall and Matisse, and every drink sucks him into their artistic world.
“Teetering,” by Dave Jones, one of Australia’s foremost animation producers, is also a flash animation, one that explores a relationship on the edge, through a touching, funny and wordless storyline. “Body Story,” a 3-D animation co-produced by the BBC and the Discovery Channel, takes the viewer on a journey inside the body.
Certainly, there are elements that digital art and science have in common. One wouldn’t be possible without the other.
A major factor that distinguishes digital media from other visual art is the element of time. And time is a matter of science.
Science has also brought lifestyle changes, allowing passengers to, for instance, look at art on trains, and to travel from one end of a country to the other faster than ever (without leaving the ground, that is). “Art and Science Station,” perhaps, is a show that attempts to show that progression of modernity.
by Park Soo-mee
“Art and Science Station” at the Seoul Station runs through April 30. For more information call (02) 2121-0906.