ACT Art/Chinese Medicine/Technics

All day
University of Chicago Center in Beijing
20th Floor, Culture Plaza
59A Zhong Guan Cun Street
Haidian District, Beijing


ACT, or “Art, Chinese Medicine, Technics,” is a multi-disciplinary conference at the Beijing Center that gathered on Sunday, May 12. Proposed by an artist who is also an acupuncturist (Michelle Lewis-King), an anthropologist who is also a philosopher (Lili Lai), and a biologist who is also an art curator (Jo Wei), this workshop conjoined fields that are seldom considered together. A keynote speech by philosopher Yuk Hui sought to pluralize the notion of technology, seeking to identify differences in technical practice that might arise from closer attention to Asian theories both ancient and modern. Other philosophers added their thoughtful critiques of technological and metaphysical universalism (Wang Min’an, Li Tong, Chen Huaiyuan). Chinese medicine practitioners and scholars discussed the philosophical roots of technical medical practice (Liang Rong, Zhang Qicheng, Colin Garon). And artists presented experiments that worked through technology to change our perceptions of space, time, bodies, and nature (Michelle Lewis-King, Jo Wei, Guo Chunning). The lively conversations that took place on May 12 are only a beginning. We are only just inventing the art of reconsidering how Chinese medicine and philosophy can contribute to “the era of deep technologization” (Li Tong’s phrase). And we expect conversations across disparate fields, begun during the ACT workshop, will continue.

一场跨学科的学术研讨会——艺·医·技(ACT),艺术·中医·技术——于2019年5月12日在芝加哥大学北京中心举行。会议缘起于三位“跨界”学者的倡议,Michelle Lewis-King,艺术家、针灸师;赖立里,人类学家、哲学学者;魏颖,生物学者、策展人。会议将从前鲜于共同讨论的学科领域汇聚在一起。哲学家许煜在他的主旨发言中,探讨把技术的概念复数化,通过对亚洲古代和现代理论的进一步思考,辨识技术实践中的差异。汪民安、李曈、陈怀远等学者对技术和形而上的普遍主义提出了各自的观点。中医临床家及学者,梁嵘、张其成、高荣(Colin Garon)讨论了技术性医学实践的哲学根基。Michelle Lewis-King、魏颖、郭春宁等在现场展示了通过技术实现的实验艺术,引发人们思索这样的艺术形式如何改变我们对空间、时间、身体和自然的概念。



9:00 – 9:10

Opening remarks

Judith FARQUHAR, Faculty Director of U Chicago Beijing Center

9:10 – 10:00

Keynote Speech

The Question Concerning Technology In China: An Essay in Cosmotechnics

Speaker: Yuk HUI, School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong

10:00 – 10:30

Discussion and Q&A

10:30 – 10:45

Coffee Break

10:45 – 10:55

Technical Demonstration

Technological Considerations in the Tongue Diagnosis Machine

Speaker: LIANG Rong, School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine

11:00 – 11:30

Presentation with art performance/installation


Speaker: Michelle LEWIS-KING, Roy Ascott Technoetic Arts Studio, Detao Masters

Academy, Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts

11:30 – 12:00

Discussion and Q&A

12:00 – 13:30

Lunch break

13:30 – 13:50


Qi, the Body Without Organs, and Art

Speaker: WANG Min’an, School of Humanities, Tsinghua University

13:50 – 14:10


The Body Metaphor in Technology: Chinese medicine in the era of deep technologization

Speaker: LI Tong, School of Medical Humanities, Capital Medical University

14:10 – 14: 40

Discussion and Q&A

14:40 – 15:00

Coffee Break

15:00 – 17:00

Roundtable discussion

Co-chaired by

LAI Lili (School of Health Humanities, Peking University)

Jo WEI(Visual Art Innovation Institute, Central Academy of Fine Arts)

The Speakers/Presenters above, and …

ZHANG Qicheng(School of Chinese Classics, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine)

GUO Chunning(School of Arts, Renmin University of China)

Colin GARON(Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago/University of Michigan)

Huaiyuan CHEN(School of Education, University of Pennsylvania)