Proposal to Leonardo Da Vinci

Proposal to Leonardo Da Vinci

China Academy of Art

November 13, 2023
Proposal to Leonardo Da Vinci
Shanghai Science and Art Exhibition / the seventh International Intermedia Art Festival
October 29–November 13, 2023
Zhangjiang Science Hall
2F, No. 1393 Haike Road
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Artists: Suzanne Anker, Jeremy Bailey, Andrew Demirjian, Keiken, Kinlaw, Liu Xin, Mark Ramos + Wu Ziyang, Gao Shiqiang, Sun Xiaoyu, Zhang Li, Hu Yiyang, Lin Zhuangxiang, Hu Haiyang, Mou Sen, Xin Ge, Chen Sifan, Tong Biao, Ni Huaxia Liu Beining.

Proposal to Leonardo Da Vinci—Shanghai Science and Art Exhibition / the seventh International Intermedia Art Festival opened on October 28, 2023 at the Zhangjiang Science Hall, and for 16 days from October 29 to November 13, this innovative spectacle has been orchestrated by the School of Intermedia Art at the China Academy of Art. It aims to foster a dynamic convergence of contemporary creative energies through art, scholarly dialogues, and intermedia performances. In this endeavor, we beckon the spirit of Leonardo da Vinci into the 21st century, seeking to contemplate the intricate questions posed by the present age, where art and science converge.

In a bygone era, the worldview of Renaissance individuals was holistic and fluid. Back then, knowledge and experience remained undivided, untouched by the rigid confines of distinct disciplines; the concepts of reality and beauty had not yet parted ways; science and art moved as one. Leap forward several centuries to the 21st century, and we witness the diversification and entanglement of art forms. The global art landscape has evolved into a commercialized and politicized entity, while the essence of science is overshadowed by the predominance of technology, and technology has grown ever more intelligent. Today, countless people can connect with the world through media, but it is precisely this connectivity that has actually led to the homogenization of the relationship between humanity and the world. In light of this backdrop, how might art discern the potential pulse of 21st century human civilization? How can we surpass the typical “fusion of science and art” so that science and art are no longer just tools for each other? How does technologically transformed human nature face the uncertain future in the “Anthropocene”? It is within this juncture of quandary and optimism that we initiate a proposal to Leonardo da Vinci through artistic creation.  

The “proposal” in the exhibition theme begins with homage but extends further. It invites Leonardo to join us as a contemporary, a collaborator facing the dual inspirations and challenges of history and the future. From the entrance to the interior of the exhibition, numerous enlightening remarks are interwoven, constructing a thought path from “questioning to proposing,” and linking the various exhibition sections. Certain exhibition sections concentrate on the cosmological perceptions inherent in perspective and Shanshui, while others utilize AIGC for artistic experiments, and some are extending to the exploration of the soul of the medium through Leonardo da Vinci’s questions. The “proposal” in the exhibition goes upstream from the 21st century to activate the deep and brimming world in Leonardo da Vinci’s eyes—when we fully open up to the world, the world will unveils her boundless face with no pretense.

The exhibition consists of five exhibition sections and two international academic forums. The five sections are Perspective or Worldview: Shanshui as Methodology Experimental Art Section, A Coder and Violin Open Media Section, I Sing the Body Electric: Where is the Soul? Media Performance Section, The Interface Between Humanity and the Universe v3.0 International Artists Section, Battle of Anghiari Painting Section. The two international academic forums are New Liberal Arts Forum Series Panel 21: “Proposal to Leonardo da Vinci—Renaissance Man for the 21st Century” and the eighth Annual Conference of Network Society: “‘Counter-Culture? Resetting all (im)possibilities of Technology”. In addition, the “AIathon: Art-ificial Intelligence Hackathon” and the live performance event: “20th Anniversary of Sounding Beijing Festival” gathered Leonardo da Vinci’s worldview partners to engage in dialog, discernment and co-construction.

As an important extension of the 95th anniversary celebration, the proposal signifies a contemporary call for the revival of Leonardo da Vinci’s spirit. We invite Leonardo da Vinci to venture forth alongside us in confronting the crises and challenges of the present day, to deliberate on the emergence of a new sensibility, and to rediscover the interface between humanity and the universe in the 21st century.

AIathon: Art-ificial Intelligence Hackathon: November 3–5
Collaborate to create a piece of work combining art and technology within 48 hours. Location: Zhangjiang Science Hall, 5F, Room 505, 506, 507, 508.

Panel 21 “Proposal to Leonardo da Vinci”: November 7, 9am–6pm
An ongoing, long-term program initiated by the National Institute of Art/Education. Centered around art. Location: Zhangjiang Science Hall, 6F, MIP Space.

Eighth annual Conference of Network Society: November 8–9
“‘Counter-Culture’? Resetting all (im)possibilities of Technology”. Location: Zhangjiang Science Hall, 6F, MIP Space.

20th Anniversary of Sounding Beijing Festival: November 11, 7:30–10pm
Live performance. Location: Zhangjiang Science Hall, 2F, Zhangjiang Hall.

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China Academy of Art
November 13, 2023

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