Musquiqui Chihying

The Lighting

Musquiqui Chihying

The Lighting

Three-channel HD video installation

16mm film transfer to 2K digital video

5.1 Sound, 2021

Light is the specter that hovers arounds photographic technologies. From analog to digital and from light-sensitive coating to computer algorithms, light always occupies an irreplaceable place in competing image-making technologies. Throughout the process of negotiating with light, however, it is now obvious that human prejudices have unknowingly and almost imperceptibly infiltrated this competition. Filmmaker Godard is one of the first people who became aware of this crisis: when he was in Mozambique assisting the African country’s development of image in the 70s, he realized that Kodak films that were mainstream of the time could not be accurately exposed for portraits featuring subjects of dark skin tones. We cannot simply attribute this technical failure to inadequate equipment for the reason that even the most advanced algorithms used today still show a rather high error rate when determining certain races and skin tones.


Experimental video The Lighting aims to revisit and clarify the problem of discrimination rooted in technological development through an interdisciplinary exploration. The work comprises three narratives—a professional Togolese photographer explores how to use instruments to compensate insufficient exposure for dark skin tones; software engineers developing facial recognition algorithms at Taiwan’s MediaTek talk about how they have created a camera algorithm that is highly popular in Africa; moreover, the artist uses Kodak’s Ektachrome, a popular film in the 70s, to produce a kung fu film in the style of exploitation film, using images of famous Black martial art film star, Jim Kelly, in Bruce Lee’s movies in the 70s. The work is also interlaced with an animated Bruce Lee as the narrator trained by facial motion capture and a speech recognition algorithm.

Musquiqui Chihying

The Lighting

Three-channel HD video installation

16mm film transfer to 2K digital video

5.1 Sound, 2021

Video produced by the Han Nefkens Foundation




BIOGRAPHY

Born 1985, Taipei

Works in Berlin and Taipei.