TWMAIRL – “Towards All & Nothing (in reflection)” by Bettina Fung
“Towards All & Nothing (in reflection)”
A piece of live art on Google Docs that recollects and reimagines Bettina Fung’s ‘Towards All & Nothing’, a performance drawing created in 2019 as an artistic response to the exhibition, Speech Acts: Reflection-Imagination-Repetition, co-curated by Hammad Nasar and Kate Jesson. It was presented as part of AAA’s Being Present performance programme at Manchester Art Gallery on 6 March 2019 and translated into the digital version ‘26×2=0’ for the British Art Studies journal (Issue 13) in the same year.
‘Towards All & Nothing’ is fundamentally a work about remembering. It came out of Fung’s research on the life and work of Li Yuan-Chia. Using simple repetitive gestures of drawing and erasing, the work contemplates on legacy and disappearance, the significance of holding on and letting go. It is a tribute to Li Yuan-Chia, remembering and connecting to him in another point in time.
With Covid-19 and lockdowns suspending live performances, Bettina became curious about other ways of presenting and creating live art online, particularly thinking about the ability to experience liveness and feeling presence online. She decided to experiment with Google Docs, an online word processor that enables multiple users interacting on the same document at the same point in time, and using its infinitely expanding white rectangular pages as a site for performance. For the ‘Till We Meet Again IRL’ programme, instead of presenting the existing digital version of the work, which highlighted the always present and always ready aspects that cyberspace brings, this iteration will explore the sense of liveness and connectedness in cyberspace.
In ‘Towards All & Nothing (in reflection)’, Bettina will connect with audience across different points in geographical space and time (zones) via typing and mark making in real time on Google Docs. Audience will encounter recollections and fragments from her research and documentation from earlier versions of the work and will be encouraged to contribute and interact with the materials in this new performance space. The work will once again contemplate on the idea of legacy and disappearance but from an online perspective, looking at what gets altered or updated, deleted or replicated whilst records of these actions are simultaneously logged and archived in the Version History of the document.
Bettina Fung | 馮允珊 is a Hong Kong born, British-Chinese artist based in London. Her practice centres on the expansive and immediate nature of drawing and often performs live, sharing her process as the work unfolds over time. She creates two dimensional, performative and site specific works. Themes of ritual, futility, purposelessness and notions of belonging, productivity and progress are subjects of interest.
Bettina’s background is in computer animation. She gained her degree in Bournemouth University (NCCA) in 2005, where her animated short Sushi was screened at film festivals in the UK and Australia. She has since worked as a video editor and now fully dedicates herself with her artistic practice.
Bettina has exhibited throughout London, nationally and abroad. She was a recipient of the a-n Artist Information Company’s New Collaborations Bursary in 2014 to carry out collaborative research in combining traditional drawing methods with interactive design technologies. In 2018, she was awarded Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts award in supporting her solo exhibition, Imprints of Passing Time, at Surface Gallery in Nottingham, UK.
Having a keen interest in artist-led development and learning, Bettina took part in Syllabus IV, an alternative peer led artist development and learning programme delivered by six UK arts institutions: Wysing Art Centre, Spike Island, Studio Voltaire, Iniva, S1 Artspace and Eastside Projects. Bettina is also an Associate Member of the Asia-Art-Activism Research Network.
Selected performances and exhibitions include: Manchester Art Gallery, UK; Eastside Projects, Birmingham, UK; Guest Projects, London, UK; Surface Gallery, Nottingham, UK and Draw to Perform 2&3: International Symposium of Drawing Performance, London, UK; Art Central Hong Kong; The Pier-2 Art Centre, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Festival Vrrrr, Musée d’Art, Toulon, France.