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Culture Stew 2024 – Dimension Plus (TW)

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Kulturhus Björkboda
Smedskullavägen 3
Kulturhus Björkboda

Culture Stew 2024
Dimension Plus
4.– 28.7.2024
Culture Stew 2019 & 20220 revisited

Finland and Taiwan are worlds apart regarding borders and culture: one has a climate on the edge of the polar region, while the other is near the tropics. Finland is vast and sparsely populated; Taiwan is small and densely populated. Finland shares a border with its big brother, Russia; Taiwan is a neighbour to China. potatoes, bread, and coffee versus rice, tofu, and tea. Heavy metal music meets Mandarin pop music. Finns cool off in saunas, while Taiwanese soak in hot springs. Despite their many differences, there are some similarities between the two places.

Where cultures meet, knowledge naturally emerges and transforms. “Cultural Stew” is based on the concept of Hack Culture, seeking similarities amid cultural differences. Through everyday objects close to life, it aims to overturn the familiarity of traditional cultures and discover new flavours. “Cultural Stew” unfolds through a series of workshops where we learn, mix, mess around, and slowly simmer the cultural fragments of Finland and Taiwan. “Stew” implies putting many things together—giving us the time to let various ideas slowly cook and mature.

The first Culture Stew in 2019 in Taipei was followed by a second version in 2020 in Kemiö, Finland, due to the travel restrictions preventing team Dimension Plus to Finland, the event was converted to two remotely connected workshops, one in Taipei and one in Kemiö and a video conferencing window in between. Finally, in 2024 the Taiwanese team arrives in Finland to Kulturhus Björkboda in Kemiönsaari island and the third Culture Stew is put to the proverbial boil. Besides presenting several new projects from Taiwan, we are revisiting the rich memories and artefacts from the earlier Culture Stews.

Traditional Market Series

The market is a hub for the economy and culture of ordinary people, reflecting the daily lives of local residents, including what they eat, how they live, and their customs and traditions. The video works “Together At The Table” and “Feast” by artist Yung-Hsien Chen illustrate the journey of Taiwanese street food from its origins to the traditional market where ingredients are selected, then prepared by chefs, and finally served at the table. Through this “from farm to table” journey of Taiwanese food, we can see the vibrant culture of Taiwan’s markets and common people come to life.
IG: @chen_yung_hsien

Yatai Series

Taking the emotional flow of future life forms as the core concept of this creation, Yatai Series blends the style of Ukiyo-e art with futuristic elements including future life forms and gender, robotic & mechanical technology, gods and goddesses, artificial intelligence and cyborgs. The story is about a fantasy world of groups of creatures making small businesses in town, they consist of retro robots, humans, cyborgs, and inter-species creatures, who all live in the overlapping time and space between the past and the future. In this fantasy world, there are unique geospatial concepts, religious beliefs, lifestyles and social rituals. Hello Edo! is a creative collective which is interested in AI image generative technology, with members from all over Asia, who are passionate about AI image creation.
IG: @hello_e_do

VS AI Street Fighting

“VS AI” is an interactive installation that allows participants to experience artificial intelligence creativity through a gaming format. Users can generate images based on prompts provided by the machine system, making it very easy to engage in the process of AI image generation. In the version exhibited at “Culture Stew,” the theme is centered around “traditional markets.” Dimension Plus sets various questions, such as what traditional markets in Taiwan look like or how specific local snacks appear. This allows local Finnish audiences to experience the imagined visuals of Taiwanese markets and cuisine through AI.
IG: @vsaistreetfighting @dimension_plus

Project Patching – Regional Cultural Resistance to AI Bias Completion Plan

AI, as a powerful subjective tool, has the potential to suppress cultural diversity and interpretative historical discourse. The top-down cultural infiltration method makes the development and application of AI not just a technological issue but also a cultural one. Data generated by subjective AI biases can create an echo chamber effect, unconsciously replicating or reinforcing biases, thereby amplifying the impact of cultural and future narrative biases. The Project Patching aims to counter AI bias by enhancing the diversity and representativeness of databases through regional collaboration. This involves collecting and integrating data from various cultural backgrounds, geographical locations, and socioeconomic groups to train AI systems. The goal is to ensure that AI can understand and appropriately respond to human culture.
IG: @dimension_plus

AI-bias & blood food workshop

Through the operation of “VS AI,” visitors may notice that artificial intelligence often exhibits a tendency towards generalization in the process and results of text-to-image generation. Additionally, due to insufficient cultural diversity in the database, AI may fail to produce results that accurately represent reality. Therefore, this workshop aims to educate participants about the principles of text-to-image generation. Later, participants will be invited to use local materials to make Taiwanese pig blood cake (Ti hoeh koe), allowing them to experience the difference between the AI-generated blood cake and the actual one. Additionally, through Finland’s similar blood-based food, blood pancake (verilettu), participants will compare and share the cultural contexts behind blood cake and blood pancake. Vegan versions are available.
IG: @dimension_plus

Dimension Plus

Dimension Plus, a bi-cities base New Media Arts team founded by new media artist Keith Lam (Hong Kong) and curator Escher Tsai (Taiwan) at 2009. Specialising in art creation and curation, Dimension Plus has been awarded in numerous art and design festival including The Best Design of the Year of Taiwan Golden Pin Design Award, Best Gold of Macau Design Award, Tokyo TDC, Asia Digital Arts Awards Japan, Design for Asia Award Hong Kong and German Design Award etc, exhibited around the world include Ars Electronica Festival, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Venice Toolkit Festival, Hong Kong Visual Art Centre and MOCA Taipei etc.

Escher Tsai

Escher Tsai is the director of Dimension Plus, an experienced curator and a production supervisor. He devotes himself into digital art research, promotion and creation. He was a Senior Consultant of the Preparatory Office of Technology Media Center (Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab), a planner of many digital arts creation and center, host of Digital art exchange platform and “playaround workshop”, creative director of Microplayground.

Tuomo Tammenpää

Tuomo Tammenpää is a designer, entrepreneur and artist from Kemiö, Finland. He shares his time between design commissions, cultural productions, and experimental prototyping, embracing the ideological framework of Open Hardware and Do-It-With-Others practices. In 2022 the couple Sari Kippilä and Tuomo Tammenpää founded an independent culture house Kulturhus Björkboda in Björkboda village, Kemiönsaari Finland.

Team Dimension Plus, Culture Stew 2024

Escher Tsai
Jessie Huang
Monique Chiang
Ping Yi Chen
Szu Ya Wang
Tzu Chen Lee

Team Kulturhus Björkboda

Tuomo Tammenpää
Sari Kippilä
Niina Silenius
Arttu Vento
Freja Svens


NCAF, National Culture and Arts Foundation, Taiwan
Frame, Contemporary Art Finland
Veikon Kone, Kimitoön

The Taiwanese team is present in the opening Thursday, July 4th 18:00 – 20:00

The workshop takes place in Salon on Saturday, July 6th 10:00 – 16:00