從進入黃埔新村開始，我們已經進行了二十多位老先生老太太的口述歷史影像紀錄，包含建築的歷史與生活的歷史。儘管我們盡力加快腳步了，但仍趕不上房子毀壞的速度以及老人們凋零的速度。之前共藝術合作社參與了台灣高雄師範大學與杭州中國美院兩地的VR課程的civicathon（civic hackathon），由台灣的數位部長唐鳳主持，兩地的青年藝術家在開源的High Fidelity （https://highfidelity.io/）上建立兩地的教室，在VR中可自由分享創作，討論議題，參與者透過「傳送門」可至彼此的基地參觀聽講。參與者進入的VR的過程可被錄影播放，是一個可聆聽，可討論，可重複錄寫添加的彈幕空間。由是，我們希望近期的工作可將原眷戶說故事的影像紀錄，重新製作放在VR環境中。無論何時何地，人們都可以進入VR空間，聆聽老一輩的故事，並且說出自己的。人們可從黃埔新村的東二巷85號，直接進入58號，或者，有想像力一點，人們可從台灣高雄的眷村「被傳送」到台北眷村的空間，是數字化的文化景觀保存運動。
這是心理通縮病症：歷史與未來都是當下邊際效應而已，我們再也無法從過往得到知識，孕育前行的力量。全球反對心理通縮的行動則往往展現在無法與之妥協的青年人身上，從阿拉伯之春、佔領華爾街、西班牙「我們能」 (Podemos) 運動、巴黎的黃馬甲與黑夜站立 (Nuit debout) 到佔香港反送中，另一種則以極端方式追求群體認同的團體，如真愛運動、ISIS等。
History is plural. It must be designed to show up. Historical actions don’t necessarily entail unveiling the facade to reveal the hidden truth, instead they entail moving the boulder which inhibits our advancement.
CACO（co-art co-op） is located in the Huang Pu New Village, it’s military construction style is one which was implemented in the Feng Shan region during Japanese rule. In October of 1947, General Sun Li-jen chose the Fengshan district in Taiwan as a Military training base and transferred more than a hundred of his subordinate troops to the island thus establishing The Fourth Military Officer Training Squad. Making way for the subordinate troops and their families to settle down in the Zheng Xin village ( Later known as the Huang Pu New Village) , which became the first village of military dependents. In May of 1955 due to the “Guo Yanting Bandit Spy Case” and the “Sun Li-jen Case” the New Huang Pu Village became a household name across the island. General Sun Li-jen was the most prestigious military officer during the Sino resistance war against Japan. Due to the treacherous structure of the Cold war, the Sino-American-Taiwan relations, and Chiang Kai-shek being put on house arrest in the 50’s, this troop which was initially the nucleus of fighting the communists and founding the new nation later succumbed to long-term suppression. During which its officers, unable to be promoted, found themselves in the secular shadows of terror and failure.
kaohsiung has the largest navy village of military dependent’s in all of Taiwan , scattered across Zuoying and Fengshan. Published in 1996 “The Regulations for Transformation of the Villages of Military Dependents” completely changed the fate of more than eight hundred of such military dependents’s villages across the island. After the Transformation Act, regulations were put into effect and most of the villages were demolished, while the remaining residencies were listed as cultural landscapes or cultural settlements thus being preserved. Do to these terms previous tenants were forced to leave, leaving but empty residencies, and transferring the development rights ((TDR))to the Department of Defense meant allowing for urban development. The Huangpu Pu New village became one of the very few lucky villages to be preserved, there are those who have homes but will never return.
In February of 2016 CACO received permission from the Cultural department to begin the restoration process and move into to House №85 on the 2nd East Lane. As new tenants besides continuing our original idea of bringing life and artistic production together we also wish to restore the relationship between history and society. Taking the initiative to get acquainted with the previous tenants who have since moved, by inviting them back home to eat, and take part in the various activities we conduct. In the past two years during Chinese new year we bought the new tenants and the previous tenants from the entire lane to come together bringing life to the empty houses and hang up Spring Couplets; as if beckoning those apparitions whom have already passed on and loom above the village.
Beginning in November of 2016, we started thinking about ways in which we could graft the area more effectively. Imagining the Huang Pu New Village as an extensive agricultural system, the individual and household exist on this flat plane and extend like rhizomes underground. So how do we go about conducting intensive farming? Our proposal is the “Sewing histories” plan which is an experiment, we utilize the title “Documentary as a methodology” to mobilize the residents. Inviting the residents to come and be a part of the film production and documentation, a long-term project which combines historical oral narration, preservation technology, and cuisine memoirs. Put simply, letting the rhizome’s extensions slowly conjoin, thus allowing for the branches to slowly protrude through the surface. Below every leaf is the historical and structural joining of hands twined in nourishment.
“Sewing Histories” is the sewing of one’s own contents, not the representation of someone else. The first Method is “Chef Day: Learning how to Cook”
Ever since the CACO moved into the Huang Pu New Village, we have continued the Co-Food plan and Social Kitchen. The previous tenants are comprised of elders who come from many different provinces in the Mainland China, they bring their local delicacies with them. The local delicacies themselves are the best vehicle for carrying on their hometown memories and traditional culture. Whereas the younger generation can’t cook at all anymore and in some cases don’t enter the kitchen whatsoever. We have had a couple of Chef days already so far. One example is that of Liu Suju from Chiayi ,Taiwan who before marrying Deng Bohuan(We call him Second Brother Deng, a well-known translator) couldn’t cook whatsoever. Even so she later learned the Hunanese style of cooking, developing it further and making it well known whilst innovating and incorporating local taiwanese flavors. During the White Terror period they were both imprisoned which in turn was the place where they first met each other. The Huang Pu New village is an area of conjoined conclusions, during the years of wretched poverty and under the shadow of the White terror, to have salty dishes to put into the soup, Hunan local cakes, meat wrapped up in egg rolls, stir fried minced beef with chili and black beans, the peanut-pig trotter and squid soup during the Chinese new years eve family dinner made them capable of playing a whole night of MaJiang.
We are going to invite the previous tenants one by one to come and teach the younger generation how to cook traditional regional dishes, learning how to cook is the best way to preserve history and traditional culture. During every event we record the entire learning process, as well as document the recipe in detail which we are preparing to publish. Preserving the military dependent’s village isn’t only about preserving the stone, for the village which is seen, the recipe is the spiritual flavor, the dance score of traditional local culture.
“Sewing Histories” is the sewing of ones future guide, not just a condensed pictorial narrative of one’s previous memories. We call it the “the infinite story”.
Since entering the Huang Pu New Village we have recorded the stories of more than twenty elderly women and men, which include the history of architecture and daily life. Though we have tried our best to pick up the pace, we haven’t been able to keep up with the rapid rate of housing demolition and the passing of the elderly. Prior to this CACO took part in the VR courses of Taiwan’ National kaohsiung Normal university and Hangzhou’s China Academy of art “Civicathon” (Civic Hackathon). Hosted by Taiwan’s Digital Minister Audrey Tang, the young artists use High Fidelity https://highfidelity.io/）to expand and establish a classroom between both regions.
In VR the participants can create freely, discuss topics, and through the “portal”(transmit door）take part in each other’s on site lectures. The participants process of entering into the VR can be broadcasted, making a space for listening, discussing, rewriting , re-recording and additional bullet screening. Thereby, we hope with our recent work, we might be able to take the documentation of the villagers stories and place it in a VR setting. No matter the time or the place people can enter the VR realm, listen to the story of the previous generations, and tell one’s own. People can go from the 2nd east lane house number 85 in the Huang Pu New Village to house number 58. Or being more imaginative, through the “portal” people at the military dependents village in kaohsiung can enter the military dependent’s village in Taipei. It’s the digitalization of the act to preserve the cultural landscape.
We hope that within two years the preliminary structure of “Sewing Histories” will be complete. Beginning our exploration in the most daily spaces and dinner table, gradually awakening the memories which have been suppressed by the Whit Terror, And if in the end there really is a documentary (after all its but an excuse of our members so far) then the actions which have been described above will become its contents. Its the invitation for people to come and sew their own histories. An invitation to people from the past to tell stories to people of the future. Its the invitation to the production of new subjects and reproduction of bio-politics.