Project Coldware (il y a quatre ans)

A friend of ours saw the catalog that listed your 2016 project at an exhibition that she took part in. I went there and bought three copies.

The catalog was for the exhibition "Towards Mysterious Realities" between December 2016 and January 2017, curated by Amy Cheng.

I didn't get in touch with you during those years. I was once curious about what you were after, since you had written so much. The friend of ours told me that in the later years you started calling yourself an artist. Then I finally got it. Hacker, activist, superconnector: those were the names of the roles I learned through you, and those were the roles I tried to project onto you. But none of those ever clicked to make me feel like I understood what you were talking about.

Now I read your project description, and it was all clear. I still regret that I never got to speak with you again. This being said, I've finally learned a bit more about your work, and I enjoyed it a lot.

Shih-Chieh Ilya Li: Project Coldware
Multimedia installation, 2016
Art director: Asio Liu / Graphic Designer: Prince Law / Special Thanks: Lin Pin-Yen, YoHa

The Cold War is a type of international structure formed after the end of the Second World War […]

As an actor on the international stage, Taiwan has experienced a complicated sense of identity transformation. This island belonged to different camps before and after the war, underwent the identity shift from a vanquished nation to a victorious one, and became a special occupied territory in the post-war period. With the military setback and the Nationalist government's retreat to Taiwan, this island has become a bizarre mix of Soviet funding and training, undisclosed Japanese military officials participating, U.S. financial support, and traditional Chienese culture, which was given the intermediary and symbolic name "free China."

"Coldware", that's how I term the refrigeration system which helped and help Taiwan seamless blend into the international Cold War structure. Coldware is an intangible entity capable of wielding influences and exerting effects. Such a constructivist view bears a close resemblance to the way Chinese medicine treats the pathogenic cold. Chinese medicine regards the cold as the opposite of the heat and dynamics, as well as a "blocker" of the circulatory system of living organisms […]

Decades later, many political regimes have been consigned to oblivion, yet we still live within the intangible "simā" (boundary) as an enduring legacy of the historical political confrontations. How can be employ "reverse engineering" to excavate the invisible mechanism from today's information society? Applying tableau vivant, the ideological device of French historian Michel Foucault hidden behind the surface of Discipline and Punish, this project seeks to compare the political scene of the right-wing organization "Taiwan Civil Government" with the ideological program undertaken by amateur STS (Science and Technology Studies) researcher Lin Pin-Yen, thereby visualizing the invisible "Coldware". On top of that, this project expects to indicate the turning point for the socity to find the warm spring not far behand by reference to the underlying mechanism of Coldware.