Artificial Intentionalities:

Post-human humanities in the age of the art-subject

8 - 12 September 2021

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Curatorial Statement

During recent decades, technologies raised and erased borders, hybridized and segregated cultures, while also collapsing distances and time zones. But we have too often remained trapped in a myopic, anthropocentric system of logic and ideals in our quests for new teleological aspirations, structures of controls, or even in finding new possibilities for collective participation and agency.
Our capacity to shift our standpoint, to project ourselves in space and time, in reality and fiction, allows us to figure out the world from the vantage points of our ancestors, aliens, or post-human creatures like algorithms and robots. It is through this potential that we can expand our horizon to better accommodate the dynamic complexities at hand.  Thanks to the recently acquired artificial intentionalities, artworks are quickly becoming sentient, cognizing, and responsive subjects through which we can improve our understanding of human societies and ecosystems.
Ars Electronica Garden Hong Kong’s curatorial inquiry this year explores various paths to better understand the entanglements that surface in the tectonic interplay of divergent worlds, where robots challenge social models, artworks try to understand each other, and the faraway meets the nearby. We call for a DïaloG of curiosity and speculation, alongside a salutary cocktail of poetry, science, politics and conviviality.
– Maurice Benayoun






Garden Hong Kong is

initiated and produced by:

The Neuro Design Lab/ACIM

Maurice Benayoun &

Lisa Park SoYoung


hosted by:

School of Creative Media,

City University of Hong Kong


sponsored by:

Focal-Naim &

Osage Art Foundation


This year’s lineup includes Symposium, Panel Discussions, online exhibitions, and a hybrid on/offline networking party – the Galactic Wine Sharing Party, which is generously supported by our amazing friends and partner institutions.

To participate in our programs, please RSVP, and we’ll email you a welcome kit containing all virtual links to our programs when the events draw close!



Posthuman art:
Robots, Aliens, Chess, and Tokens

Friday 10 Sept. 2021, on Zoom
9pm – 12am HKT || 3-6pm CET



Is Post-human art far too human?

Taking this question as a starting point, the five speakers of this panel expand this inquiry in five disparate trajectories: Media artist Maurice Benayoun (HK/FR) questions how artworks can open new perspectives by engaging the world as subjects rather than objects; Philosopher Dr. Martin E. Rosenberg (US) examines how an artwork can make visible problematic epistemological baggage by deploying a metaphor, model and allegory of human-computer interaction; Neuroscientist  Beatrice de Gelder discusses her investigations on nonverbal communication and emotions in view of gestures, faces, bodily movements, and voices; Curator-theorist Dr. Tanya Ravn Ag (DK) inquires how art’s ontological bearing shifts through the entanglement of art and technogenesis; Scientist-artist Dr. RAY LC (HK/US) experiments with the impact of anthropomorphic behavioral design on human perception of their machinic counterparts; and artist-scholar Lisa Park SoYoung (HK/KR) advocates for the need to cross-examine diverse ontological conceptions of art and technology in seeking alternative trajectories forward.

Starting with introductory presentations from each of the five speakers, a panel discussion and a Q&A session moderated by AI Ethics expert De Kai (HK/US) follows, as a means to interface, question, and distillate the ideas emerging from disparate disciplinary, cultural, philosophical, and ludic standpoints.

More detail here


E.A.S.E.A.S: Experiments in Art, Science, and Ethology of the Art-Subject

Available on this website from
8-12 Sept 2021

The birth of the art-subject and its proliferation in the art world exemplifies a clear departure from traditional status of artworks as objects. It enables artists to explore divergent paths as artworks’ behaviors go beyond biomimicry and mirroring of human attitudes, making disjunctures a powerful means to interrogate different levels of social concerns and human beliefs.


DïaloG, MoBen & Refik Anadol (2021) AI, interaction, behavioral design, generative graphics. DïaloG talks about immigration and alienation: What is it like to be a stranger? How do we learn to understand each other? 360 videos reveal the first encounter of two virtual aliens conceived by two artists, interacting with one another and the public.


Power Chess, MoBen (2021) Robotic arms, behavioral and sound design. Two robots try to figure out the logic that drives societal contentions. Leveraging the rules of chess as metaphor, strategic variants are tested to surface how forces of domination lead to systematic subjugation. Produced by the Neuro Design Lab, and commissioned by Focal-Naim, Power Chess is a collaboration with RAY LC, PerMagnus Lindborg, and Vvzela Kook.


Value of Values, MoBen, Nicolás Mendoza & Tobias Klein (2019 – 2021) Engaging BCI, EEG, real-time graphics, HuGAN, the Blockchain, and NFTs, VoV helps participants give shape to human values that are then converted to NFT tokens registered to the Blockchain. VoVs can be collected, bartered, and traded, generating transactional poetry. We can now see the values ranking on the market, speculate on their evolution, and observe how cultures affect the financial appreciation of human values.


Featured artists
Maurice Benayoun (HK/FR)
Refik Anadol (US)
Nicolás Mendoza (CO)
Tobias Klein (HK/DE)


More detail here


Art in the Cloud

Online Exhibition

8 – 12 Sept 2021, Wed – Sun

Panel Discussions via Zoom

8 – 11 Sept 2021, Wed – Sat


The development of media art and the online art space are both tightly enmeshed with technological innovations of their times. Art in the Cloud is a curatorial research that explores how the sudden growth of online art spaces contributes to the transformation of the presentation of media artworks. Specifically, we question how inherent characteristics such as interactivity and immersion shift in online exhibitions? How does today’s online space contribute to, or limit artistic creativity? What are some of the unexpected challenges artists have encountered? and what are some of the new potentials that emerge from the technological impediments we come across?


To facilitate the interfacing of alterities in search for unexpected synergies, we have invited artists and curators who are born or based in Hong Kong, then asked them to recommend one other artist or a curator, based on the differences in terms of artistic medium, cultural, or philosophical lineage. The 26 artworks will be viewable on our website throughout the festival, and an official screening and sharing of their works will take place on Zoom between the 8th and 11th September. Please join us to reflect on how art could be in line with the online.


Featured Artists & Curators:

Théodora BARAT (FR)

CHAN, Ka Chun Joseph(HK)


Tuçe EREL (DE)

Kattie FAN (HK)


David Rodriguez GIMENO (ES)



Jonathan KEMP (UK,AU)

Tobias KLEIN (DE, HK)

Vvzela KOOK (HK)

LAI, Chiu Han Linda (HK)

LC, Ray  (US, HK)

LIN Pey-Chwen (TW)

Alexey MARFIN (US)


Kingsley NG (HK)

PAU Ellen (HK)


TSENG Yu-Chuan (TW)

TSUI Brothers (HK)


WONG Suk Yin, Elaine (HK)

Viola YIP (HK)


More detail here



Galactic Wine Sharing Party

Sun 12 Sept 2021, 6-9pm HKT
Join us on Zoom!



Garden Hong Kong’s quirky Wine Sharing Party will take place again this year, with the aim of actively connecting artists, scholars, curators, scientists, engineers, and philosophers around the globe via this remote-sensory, on/offline experiment. To encourage synergetic encounters of disparate worldview over casual, wine-infused dialogues, we invite the Ars Electronica community to join us virtually with a glass of wine, from the comfort of your own locations. This year, we’re planning a main room that will extend into the virtual zoom space, as well as other extended pockets that enable more intimate dialogues that, for instance, take off from arbitrary questions such as “Can AIs get drunk?”


More detail here 



On-site exhibition:

Garden Hong Kong

13-17 Sept 2021
10.30am – 6.30pm HKT
@ Osage Gallery, HK

Curated by
 Ann Mak

Chaired by Maurice Benayoun

Sponsored by Osage Art Foundation 

GARDEN HONG KONG is a conclusion of Ars Electronica Festival 2021 – Garden Hong Kong, a 4-day finissage art exhibition curated by Ann Mak, showcasing the highlights of the Garden. The event includes a 360º video of the interactive AI installation “DïaloG – The first Aliens’ encounter” by Refik Anadol and Maurice Benayoun; a robotic AI art installation by Maurice Benayoun (MoBen) “Power Chess” where the chess-playing robots are in fact, exploring the limits of human conflicts through gameplay; a documentation of the “Galactic Wine Sharing Party” hosted by Osage Gallery; as well as “Art in the Cloud” the online exhibition of 29 media artists from different parts of the World who are invited to each contribute a video of their artwork that responds to the inquiry on how art can be in line with the online.