Is our life dominated by “technology” that has been developing all too rapidly? When we open our eyes in the morning nowadays, the rst thing we do is no longer brushing our teeth and washing our faces but to swipe our phone screens. A lot of people can live without a social life (i.e. the homebody community), but they cannot live without social media and their applications (video game communities, Facebook, Line, WeChat, etc.) These contemporary social phenomena have been receiving more and more attention and are being discussed today; and they collectively represent a crucial topic as mankind enters a new era. Artists have always incorporated their foresights into their works. Digital multimedia artists employ their creative work and imagination to constantly fuel the development of technology application (from 4K to 8K, AR to VR and all the other interactive technologies). Today, artists not only continue marching forward in terms of their techniques, they have begun exploring issues of a deeper level. Regarding this, CYBER-HUG has focused on their ideas about and insights into the future life.
Cyberhug 意指網路即時訊息中的虛擬擁抱符號與訊息((((me))))，這個詞可以在以下情況下使用： 1、你想通過電子手段給某人一個擁抱。 2、你不喜歡體貼擁抱（即你不喜歡接觸其他人），並且喜歡在電子郵件或聊天室中輸入。 3、它可以是互聯網上的一種讚賞。 不要只說“謝謝”，輸入“Cyberhug”就會像蛋糕上的裝飾花。 4、它幾乎和XOXO（意指kiss and hug）差不多，但強度較低。
中文策展主題「給我抱抱」則希望將此虛擬擁抱轉換為真實擁抱，現實世界中，我們早已忘記如何與人擁抱。「Give me a CyberHug・給我抱抱」，呼籲人們能將眼睛從螢幕的凝視中，轉向觀察生活的城市空間，專注周遭的人們，關心自己的親人，因此我們不只需要一個cyberhug，我們需要很多的真實擁抱，將hug從虛擬世界中再現於真實世界中，讓擁抱成為人與人所必備的身體知能。
“Cyberhug” refers to the symbol and message of virtual hugs, ((((me)))), in the online instant messaging conversation. It can be used in the following situations: 1. You want to give someone a hug via electronic means; 2. You don't like to give physical hugs (ie. you don't like touching other people) and prefer to type it out in an email or in a chat room; 3. It can be a token of appreciation over the internet. Instead of saying just “thank you,” typing “cyber hug” will be like the icing on the cake; 4. It is almost like XOXO but with less intensity. Through the curatorial theme of “cyberhug,” it is hoped that a virtual hug can be converted into a realistic one. In the real world, we have long forgotten how to give people hugs. Give me a CyberHug asks people to move their eyes away from the screen and turn to urban spaces for observing life, focusing on people around them and caring for their families. In addition to cyberhugs, we need many genuine hugs, which will be freed and returned to the real world from the virtual realm, and become an essential bodily perception for everyone.
Although information technology (IT) has yet reached the point of drastically transforming human interaction, it will surely invade people’s minds in the future.
IT equipment has been catching and will always catch people’s attention. It was in 1998 when I started using a mobile phone; that was precisely twenty years ago. The rst time I saw someone talking loudly over a mobile phone, I had the strange feeling of seeing a schizophrenic patient because I could not see the person he was talking to. However, it soon became very natural to see people walking and making phone calls on the streets. Just like this, IT equipment has secretly in ltrated our lives. On the other hand, it has also ingeniously taken advantage of people’s desire to be noticed. It became possible for us to interact with people online without having to meet face to face. This is also why we usually feel safe to communicate with people via SNS.
I started doing research on virtual reality (VR) over twenty years ago. VR is surely not limited to experiencing certain contents via specific types of equipment like goggles. Instead, it denotes a technology that “creates something out of nothing,” which is to say it makes people feel that something really exists even though it does not. So, my study is to de ne the nature of the mechanism of “perceiving existence,” and further use it for technological application. In this regard, “virtual” is indeed an incorrect word. In order to create highly realistic VR, I have been studying the conversion process of how the human body converts “physical feelings” into cognitive “perception.” As a matter of fact, this conversion process is completed unconsciously. It is precisely the reason why if this conversion mechanism can be utilized to build machinery and equipment to help human beings, we will experience more bene ts that IT can offer.
However, I myself as a researcher of Information Science and Technology have started to worry about people’s blindness to the actual danger regarding IT equipment. I think the theme of the Festival, “CyberHug,” responds exactly to this issue. So, I would also like to ask all a question through the featured artworks: how should we react to and accept IT without being overwhelmed by it? I believe we need to continuously ask ourselves this question and try to answer it rather than stop thinking about it and being content by telling ourselves that “this is enough” after some online search.