Experimental "interbreeding" & "interfering"

Li H. Lu
Associate Professor & Director of Interbreeding Field
Tainan National University of the Arts

Artists' works are the representations of self-cognition. The"self" as an observer of life, living and experiencing life, provides the artist with a subjectivity of cognition and dimensions of self-cognition. These dimensions, internal or external, concrete or abstract, imaginative or real, all are subjects to be learned, cognized and experienced. The perceived reality has become the internal momentum of the artist through the experiments of cognitive behaviors. Therefore, in the process of creation, "learning while making" is a crucial experience that cannot be ignored.

Representation of Making and Experience of Perception

Through the impact of modern industries' strong manufacturing capacity, the production and precision of traditional craftsmanship have been replaced by machinery, which have taken these to a limit beyond human reach. However, we still believe that the unique creativity that machines cannot replace man's understanding of materials and the ensuing creativity that derives from this understanding.

The value of art lies in the unique and irreplaceable qualities. We think that we should focus on the development of the unknown field of art value through personal labor and spirit of craftsmanship. The strong manufacturing capacity of the industries will be our tools and an extension of our hands to help us in our creative development. Through craftsmanship and a hands-on approach, we hope that we can further experience and experiment with materials and feel their unique qualities during the process of making. In the end, we can bring out the charms and vitality of the materials through our creativity and imagination.

Expressions, Experiments

The Interbreeding Field tries to explore materials, and during this process of exploration questions why we need creativity and imagination. The emotional expressions of the arts are the interactions between feeling and intellect. It is the function of imagination to transfer a material into a higher spiritual level of object value. This vitalization of object value is one of the original ideas we search for. Following the spirit of craftsmanship, we directly explore the material itself, which is exactly the expression of creativity and imagination. Only through the design-building process and the action of making, do we transform the whole process into an art of operation. Ultimately, we find that the finished artwork and the essence of the material revealed during the creating process are inseparable.

In order to accomplish the value of artistic expressions, it is quite important to further achieve the representation of the materials through practical use. Through experimentation of usage, the materials will spontaneously direct us towards a higher spiritual level of object value. In this process, the ambition of the creation is to control the entire making process. During the process, we need to constantly experiment to explore the possibility of the materials, including exploration of self-expression itself. Without such an intention, the entire making process is simply an exercise. This is the difference between "craftsmanship" and "worker".

Discussion on Interbreeding and Interfering in Architecture

The terms "interbreeding" and "interfering" are not architectural jargon. "interbreeding" is a biological term. The botanical definition of "interbreeding" is "slip" or "grafting", and in zoology it means mixing of breeds. Whether "slip", "grafting" or "hybrid", "interbreeding" can be defined as crossbreeding of different species which then creates a new species and life form different from the parent generation.

"interfering" is the process of placing a settler into a new environment, or transferring a certain environment into a subordinated one within our system. The central meaning is that because of power of the new system that interferes, the environment that is affected is presented a new cultural outlook, which is completely different from its own.

The two terms by themselves describe the status of relationship between people and environment. More precisely, interbreeding emphasizes the spontaneity of the subject. It is about how a new settler enters into a built system and survives through interchange and cross-combination, forming a new biological environment. Interfering, thus, is a question of environment and culture. Comparatively speaking, interfering is much larger in scale than interbreeding. Interfering refers to a status where a person entering a new environment must face the original characteristics of the place, interact with the new situation, and then fit into the new environment in a state of coexistence and juxtaposition. In other words, interbreeding indicates a transformation within the internal system, and yet interfering tends to be an extension and development of the boundaries. Interbreeding or interfering both focus on the problematic conditions of transformation and uncertainty people face in a new environment.

The Denotation of Interbreeding and Interfering in Architecture

In terms of biological interbreeding, we are able to explore the possible production of new life, or new species, through the stimulation of new elements by engrafting or inserting elements into an original system, which in turn leads to series of chemical reactions. We can apply the same idea to architecture. In terms of architecture, the idea of interbreeding is to add alternative and heterogeneous elements to the built structure.

In other words, a new object (different from existing ones) or organism that is placed in a present architectural environment, could change the internal spaces and thereby alter the character of the entire building, thus developing a relationship of dependence between the new installation and its external environment.

One of the key ideas about space is to get involved and to "replace" When the structural elements of an original space are devastated or have become functionless, or when some new functions need to be installed, how does the new construction get involved in the original system and replace the original function, maybe even combining with the original structure to develop a new form of life? Interbreeding is concerned with how the new structure combines with the old one to produce a new kind of utilization and function. This is not simply a question of form, but rather a question of how to define the character and scope of the space between the old and new structure. The space will present a new life and a fresh look by instilling the proper atmosphere and forms.

When the same concept is applied to interfering, this is an entirely new kind of experiment. When we talk about the conditions for interfering in a regional environment from a new perspective, this does not necessarily indicate simply copying the old. For instance, if we explore a new field, such as outer space, what we face is an unknown world. In fact, considering the landing crafts developed by space projects in the past, they were designed as a kind of container for the living according to the purpose they served and the environmental conditions of their destination. These landing crafts are totally different from the containers that we use for living on earth. Objects produced in regions with different locations and time zones will be different due to the difference of time and space. Similarly, looking at the environment itself, as we redevelop from one environment, either from an old environment into a new realm, or in an unknown place somewhere on Earth, we face such topics as to how examine and cope with environmental development and present man's possible future life style at the same time, in such a way that the new residential space can be merged with the transformed environment.

With interfering the methodology is to install a certain mechanism to examine the context or changes of social and environmental conditions it generates. From this perspective it is then possible to explore the future development of the installation. The entire development is not the result of empiricism, but rather a transplant of interfering experiences. In other words, interfering in architecture represents the production of a new life form, and is a phenomenon that has evolved through conversing with the surrounding environment, not by simply copying and transplanting past results.

We believe that interbreeding in architecture deals with the internal problem of heterogeneity and homogeneity. Interfering is faced with construction and contextualization on a large scale, but both interbreeding and interfering emphasize the fact that people in a architectural environment are in a status of constant instability, spiel, participation and uncertainty.

Construction / Contextualization

The main characteristic of contextualization is the redevelopment of frontiers, which is also the major concept of contextual architecture. When we discard factors of historical development of contextual architecture, the concept of "contextualization" or "interfering" must deal with the basic problem of how to define "place" and "space". Only when we fully understand the basic structure and possibilities of the urban and environmental context, can we handle the issues of spaces "redevelopment" and "extension".

Regarding the concept of "place" in an interfering architecture, what we are concern with is not only the geometrical or geographical substantial spatial outlook, but also the relationship between the people, society and environment within. We believe that in the constructional/contextual concept of interfering we should emphasize people掇 spiritual experiences and their perception about the place. Based on these spiritual experiences we can then establish the discourse of space production. This is how we deal with the problem of construction using the concept of contextualization.

The contextual relationship interfering tries to build is created through a sense of place. What we need to deal with is that when people get involved it becomes a new place and new setting. In the concept of construction/contextualization, interfering adopts the partial settlement experiment in order to generate people's interactive participation. From there a common sense of place can be created that belongs to the local environment and people, and thus the purpose of interfering can be achieved. Our works try to express the aforementioned concepts. What the Interbreeding Field values is how our works interact with people.

Spiel / Participation

In the concept of hermeneutic aesthetics, "spiel" is independent from the subjective consciousness and free from the limits of subjectivity. The idea of spiel is how artworks exist and work. Similarly, emotional perception inspired by visual stimulation is just like playing with the combination and relationship of all kinds of realistic forms in our dreams: it is a spiel between people and reality. When an artist transforms the image in his or her dreams into works of art, he or she is in spiel with dreams.

We believe that architecture itself is an art of life; its artistic value and the essence of life are connected with each other. Therefore, the artistry of architecture lies in life experiences and participation in intuitional perceptions. Architecture itself does not have a very definite purpose; in fact, its creation process contains is imbued with transformation. Variable conditions and users in different times and spaces all alter the appearance and situation of a place through their interaction and usage of the architecture. We believe that the eternal artistic value of architectures lie in the process of perception. This is why the Interbreeding Field tries to explore creations and plays with the conditions and charm of architectural spaces based on the idea of spiel.

In a post-modernistic multi-cultural society, we question the exceptionality of authority. As we do our best to present the ideal quality of spaces, we have to be open and invite residents to participate in the construction of his or her living spaces. The purpose of the architecture is to build a proper living environment that is modified to meet demands as time goes by, and thus making life experience worth remembering. The eternal artistry of the architecture lies not in the concrete bricks and stones, but in the emotions and participation in life. Without the interaction with people掇 life, architectures will no longer be architectures. The Interbreeding Field project sincerely believes that the possibilities and memories of life can only be preserved as much as possible by opening up transformation of an architecture and continued participation of its future residents; and only thus the rich visage of the architecture can be maintained.