Aussi 的《過去的數字化精神》探索了我們的精神與虛擬世界或電子遊戲中的身份之間的聯繫。他深入研究了人們在虛擬世界中與之相關的化身或角色的概念。為了將這些體驗具體化，他鼓勵以前從未見過類似遊戲或在線體驗的人與他分享他們的故事，然後他利用這些信息建立自己的智域，將美學的集體存儲在虛擬和繪畫空間中。 在他的作品中，Aussi融入了黑色表現主義標記，這些標記通常被視為這些化身過去數字化靈魂的容器。他使用的樹脂具有像鏡子或電腦屏幕一樣的功能，讓觀眾在觀看自己的倒影時對他們所目睹的世界感到困惑。在他的整個作品中，一條彩色鉛筆線貫穿整個畫作，象徵著他想像中的世界——一個擁有自由規則的地方，遠離現實生活、遊戲世界或任何虛擬空間的傳統限制。 Aussi 豐富多彩的世界使個人能夠掙脫束縛，體現出他們想要的任何形式，無論是人類、動物、生物形態還是表現主義，無論他們在現實生活中的真實性別如何。這使得他們能夠將過去的數字化精神從虛擬空間帶入物理繪畫領域。
Aussi’s Past Digitized Spirits explores the connection between our spirits and identities in the virtual world or video games. He delves into the concept of avatars or characters that people associate with in the virtual world. To materialise these experiences, he encourages individuals that he has never met before with similar gaming or online experiences to share their stories with him, which he then uses that information to build his own noosphere, where the collective of aesthetics are stored in the virtual and painting space. Within his work, Aussi incorporates black expressionistic marks, which are often seen as vessels for the past digitised spirits of those avatars. The resin he utilises functions like a mirror or a computer screen, leaving viewers perplexed about the realm they are witnessing when they look at their own reflections.Throughout his work, a colour pencil line runs across the paintings, symbolising his envisioned world—a place of liberated rules, separate from the conventional restrictions of real life, the gaming world, or any virtual space. Aussi's colourful world enables individuals to break free and embody any form they desire, be it human, animal, biomorphic, or expressionistic, irrespective of their real gender in real life. This allows them to carry their past digitised spirits from the virtual space into the physical realm of painting.
Past Digitized Spirits
Aussi Chen出生于台北市，现居住工作于洛杉矶，毕业于艺术中心设计学院。在他的系列作品《Past Digitized Spirits》中，Aussi Chen通过使用了油漆、亚克力与树脂材料，探索了虚拟世界与视频、游戏空间如何与现实个体产生联系。在创作初期，他采访了曾使用过虚拟空间形象的人们，并以他们的形象为蓝本创作了一系列物理空间。在他的作品中，看似是抽象表现主义或超现实主义的笔触，其实代表了虚拟精神体的具象含义。画面中的树脂材料呈现出镜子和屏幕般的质感，使得观者仿佛迷失在现实和虚拟的交界处。在充满自由想象的虚拟世界中，人们可以成为任何他们想成为的样子——任何人、动物、生命形态，跨越了现实规则的拘束。如此，Aussi Chen给了虚拟的世界图像及形象以物质载体，使得虚拟的具象存在于现实中。
Aussi Chen was born in Taipei, now lives and works in Los Angeles, and graduated from Art Center College of Design. In his series "Past Digitized Spirits", Aussi Chen uses paint, acrylic paint and resin to explore how virtual worlds and video and game spaces relate to real individuals. In the early stages of creation, he interviewed people who had used images of virtual spaces and created a series of physical spaces based on their images. The seemingly abstract expressionist or surrealist brushstrokes in his works represent the concrete meaning of the virtual spiritual body. The resin material in the picture presents a mirror and screen-like texture, making the viewer seem lost at the junction of reality and virtuality. In the virtual world full of free imagination, people can become whatever they want - any person, animal, life form, beyond the constraints of the rules of reality. In this way, Aussi Chen gave the images and images of the virtual world a material carrier, making the virtual images exist in reality.
Q：黎扬扬 Annie Li Yangyang A：Aussi Chen Q：是什么样的灵感启发你去创作这一系列作品的？
A：应该是起源于我开始思考之前的创作《AnAn》《AnAn的鸟瞰》《巨型淘气兔》和《哆啦A梦》的时候开始。对我来说，赛博空间或虚拟领域作为现实空间和虚拟空间中的个体认知产生了不小的影响。其中，无论是《巨型淘气兔》中的SealOnline 2里的淘气兔，还是《AnAn》、《AnAn的鸟瞰》中的Nokia n95的像素化蛇，我都采纳了各式各样的在线身份。这些在线身份，是以实体躯壳的形式，比如一团乌黑的油漆，一道蓝色的色铅笔迹，带着创作者（或者参与者）的精神体存在于画布上。 我们的研究生项目有来自行业的知名客座访客和艺术家。每周，我们都可以根据他们的时间约见其中的几位。有一次，Larry Johnson来到我的工作室，看到了我正在做的采访项目。那时，我已经采访了不少人的过去的数字化身份，但我只是根据他们告诉我的信息在画布上进行了抽象解读，并请他们在我的抽象解释上进行“纠正”。最终的结果看起来就像其他的抽象画，Larry质疑了我对艺术品的品味和喜好，并询问我什么是好画和坏画。然后一切就从那里开始了。
Q：What kind of inspiration inspired you to create this series?
A：It started off with the work called AnAn, AnAn’s Bird’s Eyes View, Giant Rascal Rabbit, Doraemon, etc., where I thought about the significance of a work of art for an artist. And for me, cyberspace, or the virtual realm, has had an impact on how I perceive myself as an individual in both the IRL space and the virtual space. I’ve adopted various identities online, whether it be a rascal rabbit from SealOnline 2 in my work Giant Rascal Rabbit, or the pixelated snake from Nokia n95 in my work AnAn, AnAn’s Bird’s Eyes View. They have become a record of a past digitized identity as a form of body on the canvas. Our graduate program has guest visitors and artists who are very well-known in the industry. And every week, we can meet a few of them, depending on their schedules. One time, Larry Johnson came to my studio and saw what I was doing with the interview project. At the time, I had already started interviewing other people about their digitized identities from the past, but I only took what they told me, interpreted it in an abstract form, and asked them to “correct” on top of my abstract interpretations. The final results looked just like other abstract paintings, and Larry questioned my tastes in a work of art and asked what a good painting and a bad painting were for me. Then everything just went off from there.
Q：What reflections and thoughts did you have throughout the process of interviewing people about their virtual image?
A：I enjoy forming connections with different people, pondering how they would respond differently to a set rule. In a way, their role as participants has already become a crucial author and friend in my work. The bond between people is fascinating. They are not just one-time participants in a piece of work. Instead, they will, in the coming years or even decades, as community members and friends, reflect upon the most significant, most connected, and most touching moments they experienced in the virtual space. Together with me, at different times and in different moods, they will record all of these and integrate this part of themselves into both virtual and real life.
Q：Do the marks in your works represent any symbolic meaning?
A：Yes, each of the symbols is drawn by the interviewees that represent a word from their descriptions of their past spirits from the grand virtual database.
Q：What thoughts are you trying to convey through the words and emojis in the series?
A：The symbols represent words, and the words represent language. The symbols are drawn with a child remedial-like language juxtaposed with their corresponding abstract paintings. It has something to do with the relationship between high art and something your kid can do. Most importantly, the symbols are another form of language generated from a realm like ASCII codes that aren’t necessarily intended to be understood.
Q：What does the link between human’s spirits and their virtual images mean to you?
A：Growing up as a kid, I always fantasized about myself as other forms of life beings online, whether it be a tree, an orc, an elf, an avatar, or anything human or biomorphic. And whatever we do in the online setting, we leave footprints on the grand server of the online database. Essentially, a part of our past spirits has been archived somewhere online, and I think that is exciting for me because they have been out there, existing as a form of data, influencing others, and creating impacts, whether they are small or large.
Q：How do you imagine the connection between the physical and the virtual world in the future, as well as its relationship with globalization?
A：Video games have had an impact on our daily lives in regard to how we perceive our identities. The artist and theorist, Hito Steyerl, thinks the mechanisms of games are so expanded in real life, that everyday life is, to a large extent, getting gamified. Steyerl sees systems of extended surveillance, such as consumer monitoring, or the digital cataloging of any preferences, as being registered in a way which resembles a game. I’m fascinated with the idea of painting as a vessel for capturing (mimicking) online images on its surface, and as a physical form that carries a stream of global spirits. Traditionally, painters determined what they intended to represent from an assessment of their immediate physical environments: recording what they saw with their eyes and expressing their thoughts from their own consciousness. However, upon the advent of the digital era, AI and other advanced technological programs and games have shifted the artistic atmosphere. The majority of content we encounter in real life cannot escape the global network of technology, whether it is in the form of electromagnetic waves, wifi-signals, behavior cataloging via GPS, credit cards, browsing on the internet, playing within different game worlds, or editing in Adobe suite. All these forms of engagement are housed within a decentralized technological sphere revolving around us.
A：我一直都很喜欢加密货币，以及像 Decentraland、The Sandbox 这样的去中心化游戏。我认为在NFT游戏中有更多的潜力和可能性，人们将能够玩超高清的游戏并真正拥有来自不同游戏、跨各种平台的物品，就像我们在现实生活中的收藏一样。但现在，我觉得这些游戏的视觉质量和成熟度还没有达到那个水平。我总是喜欢阅读奇幻或科幻小说，比如《Love after the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction》、Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing 的《The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins》，或者《明日骄阳》等。
Q：What are your interested topics currently?
A：I have been a fan of cryptocurrency, and decentralized games such as Decentraland, The Sandbox, etc. I think there are a lot more potential and possibilities in NFT games where people will be able to play ultra-high-definition games and actually own items from different games across various platforms like our IRL collections. Right now, I feel like the visual quality and maturity of those games aren’t quite up there yet. I always enjoy reading fantasy, or sci-fi novels something like Love after the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins, or 明日骄阳 （MingRiJiaoYang）, etc.
Aussi Chen所关注的话题正处于艺术与科技交汇的最前沿。从二十一世纪开始，人类长期以来对生命概念的理解被完全打破，亚里士多德的灵魂至上、笛卡尔机械论的灵肉二分、达尔文的进化论甚至都显得不再相关。我们对于生命体、精神、心智的认知被自动控制、系统论、人类工程学打破。一切变为后现代生命科学话语机制的产物，一切的交流变成了编码文本和智能网络的一部分。在人类面临整体失序和迷茫的虚拟现实时代，Aussi Chen探讨了人类主体的身份、体验和表达，重新融合了现实和虚拟的界限，具有深刻的现实和未来意义。
The topics Aussi Chen focuses on are at the forefront of the intersection of art and technology. Since the beginning of the 21st century, mankind's long-standing understanding of the concept of life has been completely broken. Aristotle's supremacy of soul, Cartesian mechanism of dichotomy between soul and body, and Darwin's theory of evolution are no longer even relevant. Our cognition of life body, spirit, and mind is broken by automatic control, system theory, and ergonomics. Everything becomes the product of the discourse mechanism of postmodern life science, and all communication becomes part of coded text and intelligent network. In the era of virtual reality where human beings are facing overall disorder and confusion, Aussi Chen explores the identity, experience and expression of human subjects, reintegrating the boundary between reality and virtuality, which has profound realistic and future significance.
黎扬扬 Annie Li Yangyang