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HAL comes from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey and is the nickname of the supercomputer HAL 9000 controlling operations aboard the spacecraft featured in the movie. Possessing artificial intelligence, HAL was designed with human emotion and cognitive reasoning in order to communicate directly with its space crew. Despite claiming to be precise and incapable of error, HAL one day makes a mistake in judgment, which prompts the film’s protagonist David and his crew to discuss whether or not they should shut Hal down. Sentient, human-like HAL discovers this and, overcome by the fear of being “murdered,” decides to act first by killing off the crewmembers. Only David manages to survive and make it back to the ship’s core to disable Hal, at which point the story enters a different act.

The roles played out by this film’s characters all contrast sharply with their physical forms—supercomputer Hal seems even more humanlike than the astronauts! HAL has a wildly arrogant and self-satisfied personality, and right before its imminent “death” even attempts to persuade the protagonist to cease action, repeatedly begging for mercy and trying to convince him to stop. This outpouring of emotion almost makes us forget that Hal is just a machine. By contrast, the humans depicted in the movie remain expressionless from start to finish as they carry out their tasks in outer space. Even faced with the deaths of their companions, they exit the spacecraft calmly to dispose of the bodies.

「Dear Hal : An Exhibition in Sentient Art and Attire」 divides the story into three parts. Through the interwoven arrangement of fashion design and installation art, this exhibit expresses the film’s three distinct acts and composes a new universal dialogue:

Dawn of Man
On earth, prehistoric man-apes are vulnerable, threatened by elements in the environment and other species, awaiting change.

Black Monolith
It stands erect for no reason, and nobody knows what it is. Only when we watch the starlit sky do we learn its name is “civilization.”

Jupiter Mission
Mankind longs to explore nebulas unknown, but is he headed to a utopia or falling into decay?

Can inorganic matter that possesses self-awareness still only be classified as a computer or object? Science, technology, and society continue to advance, but humans and the character and essence they innately possess appear to be degenerating. Everyday we rely on science and technology to live—our interaction with computers is even vastly superior to our communication of human emotions—but as time passes, we become estranged from our primitive feelings. In this exhibition, we hope to point out the clash between artificial intelligence and human sentiment. Is extreme development creating a more perfect life for us? If not, perhaps we have only ourselves to blame.

  • Designer/Styling : Chuan Huang
  • Artist : 陳泳丞
  • Make-up :Bobbidi Boo
  • Photography : Regen Chen
  • Video production : Ren Hsueh