Odyssey of the Boat Ritualized/digitalized -----

Transforming within Generative Vehicle


Yan chung-hsien , Associate professor

Department of Architecture Design, Shih-Chien University, Taiwan



1.    Boat odyssey to identify the Transforming generative codes


The project conceal image of the boat that depict the odyssey of exile, intellectual and existential, with the forced nomadism and lived homelessness of the destiny of the world. The boat as such generative code readily offer itself to be a perfect vehicle of ”de-security”, ”de-certainty”, “de-familiarization”, ”de-localization”. Thus, the ritualized/digitalized vehicle nevertheless look for transformation from attached something or somewhere to identify itself.  Furthermore, the project tries to explore such floating-as-exiling voyage from the ritualized/digitalized vehicle which is self-identified from the odyssey towards nowhere.


This “boat” project is thus understood as a program in search of designing the species, their identity in progress, the recognizability of each possible generated event, the complexity of contemporary waterfront art festival. Therefore, the representation of this wooden boat will be recognized from three regenerative levels: from idea (vehicle) to material (wrapped boat), from historical entity (old wooden boat) to updating practice (aged wharf being ritualized), from the presence of a metaphysical paradigm (vehicle identify its transformation through space-time odyssey) to its digital/video representation (event of boat choreographies as non-linear images odyssey performance)


2.    The site: A wharf to witness the geographical and historical Transforming


The chosen site of the event is a historical place in Taipei. The site emerged as a transit port on the site of Keelung River in its heyday of 18th century. It developed into one of the important wharf not only for the river it locates but also for this city. When the transit function of the site lost, the place became a city fragment Consequentially, the wharf transform its fragile character form a geographical site to a historical site, only through the celebration like this event, its past can be reopen to the present. The “boat” project is thus ritualized from a real performance to a fictional/digital odyssey where audience can explore the nostalgic condition of the modern homelessness as well as unique regenerative sequence of possible final results.


3.    The strategy: Nomadic voyage to ritualize/digitalize the transforming boat and its vicissitude


Odyssey has it. The adventurous boat will perform its nomadic voyage in this project. The regenerative vehicle restores the relation between the boat, the temple, and the wharf to insure this odyssey performance can be properly conducted. First, the reshaped wooden boat is located in the fabric field from the road and local temple to the river. The fabric-installed site accommodates events and audience to ritualize the vehicle image of boat and its geography. Second, a series of floating choreography/digital video reveal different fragile conditions of boat are erected to redefine the fictional odyssey into real performance. Both will portray the vicissitude of the boat with its three levels of transforming generative codes being identified.


1. Boat/wharf Transforming


1-1 Wrapping the boat with fabric and bamboo as monumental ruin site of the wharf reshaped into aesthetical focus of the whole site river history.

1-2Bamboo structure and calligraphy on the fabric as image of generative code elements.


2. Event/ritual Transforming


2-1 Floating on the road: parade across trees, streets, slopes… as experiencing the fragility to face the waterless land.

2-2 Floating in the air: as the illusive aspect to face impossibility against the gravity.

2-3 Floating in the river: to face the roaring wave and its surviving difficulty.


3. Digital/video Transforming


3-1Floating in the moving image: parade across landscapes as experiencing in the digital video

3-2Floating in the non-linear digital editing: 7 mins DVD as the illusive narrative vehicle to regenerate the event 




To incarnate the generative codes of vehicle, we reshape the boat and its ritual/digital odyssey. Transformation acquires in the ritual, and by identifying itself in the performance which people experience the identity and uniqueness of  their own exile destiny.