Re: [-empyre-] Cunnilingus in North Korea



Hi Patrick,

We got to know your work for the first time when we saw this amazing work:

http://www.voyd.com/voyd/sprawl.htm

We were curious to discover it, because, if we're not mistaken, for the same
theme, the American landscape, we submitted this to the Smithsonian, which,
for obvious good reasons, was rejected:

http://www.yhchang.com/DAKOTA.html

On your comments about mainstream new media art culture in Korea. As you
note, Korea is a center for animation. More generally, everyone knows that
broadband penetration in Korea is the deepest of any country in the world.
Everyone here has a mobile phone, from age 6 to age 76 and counting.
Although on a downswing in popularity, thanks to a greater obsession with
mobile phones, there are still thousands of Internet cafés in Seoul, open 24
hours a day. That is the mainstream new media art culture.

So where does this leave marginal new media art culture such as the stuff
that YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES does? We're here, of course, but can
anyone name another Net artist or Net art collective?

We have had zero influence on new media art culture in Korea, which may not
be saying much. But what about this? We have had zero influence on the
Korean art world. 

Mainstream new media art culture in Korea is so pervasive, so entertaining,
so vital to Koreans young and old, so promoted by the government (the
president has a laptop open on his presidential desk, and cabinet members
sit around a large conference table with laptops open, at least during photo
ops) the conglomerates inundate the electronic billboards, TV screens,
subway trains (yes, they have monitors in them), movie theaters, and mobile
phone screens with advertisements, that there is neither time nor desire nor
awareness of non-mainstream new media art such as ours.

As you say so kindly, ours is a unique voice in Korea. And an inaudible one,
too. 

But that's all right.

Young-hae and Marc


On 5/4/05 11:57 PM, "Patrick Lichty" <voyd@voyd.com> wrote:

> Young-Hae & Marc...
> 
> I wholeheartedly agree.  As someone who has been a student of Japanese
> culture for over 30 years, I have to admit that I have taken an interest in
> Korean culture only since 1998, upon meeting a couple of the most incredible
> animators and designers (and people!) that I have ever known, who happen to
> be Korean.  It is ironic that even with such brand identities as KIA,
> Daewoo, LG, Samsung, and so on, the US perception of Korea is not as
> foregrounded as with Japan, China, or even Vietnam (that is [not] ironic).
> Since it is the unfortunate truth that in the West countries seem to be
> given attention through economic or military strength/threat, Korea is an
> odd place on the map.  It is probably tangential that under this argument,
> the inordinate degree of attention given to Iraq is surprising given the
> instability in N. Korea (as well as Afghanistan, the African continent, and
> other, but I digress).
> 
> However, I think that, at least in the New Media culture, Korea is not
> marginalized, due to the excellent cultural efforts created there.  Also
> artists like yourselves are strong indicators of the unique voice from that
> part of the world.
> 
> On another point, I make a point to show the YHCHI work to my students for
> the New Media lectures here at Bowling Green State.  Especially
> "Cunnilingus"... Work like that has such a great rhythm, has so many
> cultural challenges, and is wonderfully free in its presentation of content
> that it puts forth a great challenge to my students, most of whom want to
> animate for something like "Robots 2".  Students, which in a culture like
> the US, which is becoming more culturally isolated despite its increasing
> involvement in international affairs, need this sort of confrontation that's
> at once playful and difficult at once.
> 
> Personally, I'd like to project "Cunnilingus" on the side of the Art
> Department here...
> 
> 
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES" <tfa@chollian.net>
> To: "soft_skinned_space" <empyre@lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
> Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2005 8:59 AM
> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Cunnilingus in North Korea
> 
> 
> Hi Alan,
> 
> The West has never had the same fascination with Korea that it has had with
> China and Japan. Today, South Korea finds itself, economically and
> culturally, constantly reintroducing itself to the world. For all the TVs,
> monitors, and cell phones that Samsung and LG export, they are failing to
> create a prestigious Korean economic and cultural identity on a par with,
> say, Sony. Sony and its ilk are at the heart of a certain Western
> fascination with Japanese culture. For Korean politicians and nationalists,
> this failure is a big problem.
> 
> Ask any non-Koreans what images "Korea" conjures up, and virtually all will
> draw a blank. On the one hand there is a certain failure on the part of the
> Korean government and society to create this imagery. After all, you only
> need a few icons to capture the mass-media imagination of the global
> community: a great wall, a kimono, a portrait of Mao, a samurai. . . On the
> other hand, there is something beautiful about this blankness. Some of the
> most prized Korean ceramics are the white, slightly off balance porcelains
> that the Japanese love so much. This blankness suggests that Korea is indeed
> a non-materialistic people of deep spirituality, a place where the usual
> tourist sites are a lesser presence than those crazy neon crosses, thousands
> of them, that punctuate the evening sky in Seoul and mark a church in some
> office building.
> 
> Unfortunately, the West can only convince itself that there is humanity over
> here if there are a few visual clichés to help it. We need a Warhol to put a
> face on the Korean people, without whom a war, nuclear or conventional,
> could start.
> 
> Young-hae and Marc
> 
> 
> On 5/4/05 1:18 PM, "Alan Sondheim" <sondheim@panix.com> wrote:
> 
>> 
>> 
>> Hi and thanks for replying.
>> 
>> Years ago when I was making 16mm films (along with a friend Andy Karp), I
>> listened constantly to North Korea shortwave, stories like How the Great
>> Leader Makes Plants Grow, and Why South Korea is a Great Big Jail (these
>> were two of the titles). The voices made their way into a number of sound-
>> tracks, and I think Andy even made a film called The Juche Idea. It was
>> incredibly grim even then, and the broadcasts were literally unbelievable.
>> 
>> What fascinates me - and with your work as well - is how little N America
>> knows about North Korea (or South for that matter). We "have" images of
>> starvation, mass rallies, beautiful countryside, played against a concept
>> of absolute paranoia and war. We are given images as well of a completely
>> acquiescent population, fundamentally in agreement with Kim Sung Il (or
>> whomever). From the outside, the writings of Kim Il Sung read like those
>> of a madman - but Bush's speeches are just about the same.
>> 
>> The sexualization and tunes remind me of Wilhelm Reich's writings on
>> fascism by the way - as well as Adorno's (and others) notions of the
>> aestheticization of politics.
>> 
>> I'm beginning to wonder whether humanity will make it through the decade -
>> 
>> Alan
>> 
>> 
>> On Wed, 4 May 2005, YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES wrote:
>> 
>>> Hi Alan,
>>> 
>>> We've read your poetry on gatesofparadise.
>>> 
>>> Yes, we're too scared to upload the Korean version of CUNNILINGUS. Bad
>>> things can happen. E-mail to us suggests this.
>>> 
>>> How do we synch text to sound? Very slowly, and very carefully. Or
> rather,
>>> did you know that the actual frame-by-frame creation of American cartoon
>>> shows like "The Simpsons" is done in Korea?
>>> 
>>> As for North Korean culture, there is essentially none to speak of down
> here
>>> in the South. North Korea remains the true Hermit Kingdom. There is a
> weekly
>>> late-night TV show here that presents what it can of North Korean culture
>>> and daily life. The slant is upbeat -- Sunshine Policy oblige -- but the
>>> meager footage suggests something sadder. The few images of North Koreans
> in
>>> "daily life" and "leisure" is very touching, if not heartbreaking. One
>>> cannot help but be drawn to the fringes of what's going on for a glimpse
> of
>>> the horrible reality up there.
>>> 
>>> We recall vaguely a North Korean film retrospective at one of the several
>>> festivals here. But the movies were all propaganda. Everyone knows, by
> the
>>> way, that the Dear Leader is a great movie buff. It seems that the North
>>> Korean movie industry is a national priority, but for internal
> consumption
>>> only.
>>> 
>>> On the other hand, South Korea is basically uninterested in North Korean
>>> culture.
>>> 
>>> Young-hae and Marc
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On 5/3/05 11:55 PM, "Alan Sondheim" <sondheim@panix.com> wrote:
>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> Are you really too scared to put the Korean version up?
>>>> 
>>>> The work's terrific - I'm curious how you get your sound timing so
>>>> accurate.
>>>> 
>>>> Btw is there _anything_ coming out of the PRK in terms of culture?
>>>> Anything going on? (beyond the stereotypically obviously and stupidities
>>>> between us and them)
>>>> 
>>>> - Alan
>>>> 
>>>> ( URLs/DVDs/CDroms/books/etc. see http://www.asondheim.org/advert.txt )
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> empyre forum
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>>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> _______________________________________________
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>>> 
>> 
>> ( URLs/DVDs/CDroms/books/etc. see http://www.asondheim.org/advert.txt )
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
>> empyre@lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
>> 
>> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
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> 
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