Suzanne Lacy with Elisheva Gross, Unique Holland, and Arthur Ou
On November 13, 2004, in downtown Taipei—in the shadow of the world’s tallest building—160 Taiwanese youths performed in a public, colorful, face-to-face conversation on youth identity. Recruited via text messages, emails, and cell phones, the ”instant” performers—assembled along the lines of a flash mob—shyly revealed themselves to each other in an artistic “speak out.” What did they think about family? Sex? Politics? Is the “Strawberry Generation” (as they were called) a myth? Perhaps not as visible in Taiwanese culture as elsewhere, this generation nevertheless is a pivotal one, bridging the past of the country with a new digital future, complete with its own largely unexamined opportunities and problems. Young people’s use of technology raised questions about life, culture, taboo subjects, and the construction and manipulation of “identity,” questions developed and explored by the youth themselves and the team of U.S. artists. The performance included an Internet-based collaboration between the U.S. and Taiwan and a subsequent exhibition with a website documenting, and expanding, international youth engagement with the issues brought forward by youth in the project.
With Thomas Nash and Nonchi Wang of Amphibian Arc. Produced by Jo Hsiao, Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Taipei, Taiwan.