C. J. Yeh is a designer, artist, educator, and published author. Yeh’s research interests include practices, theories, and the history of digital art. Since 1999, Yeh’s essays on art and technology have been featured in Art and Collection Magazine, ArtNow Magazine, Art Today Magazine, and Artists Magazine, amongst others. He has also written research articles for the Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, and the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. C. J. Yeh has published seven books up to date. His latest book, The Principles of Interaction Design, was released by Artists Publishing in Dec, 2010, and it has been adopted as a textbook by several universities in Taiwan.
C. J. Yeh has lectured and exhibited his creative work internationally, including USA, Italy, Taiwan, and Canada. Since 1998, C. J. Yeh has been exploring the area of new media art which he has integrated into his more traditional areas of study and expression. The juxtaposition and integration of digital and analog, virtual and actual, natural and cultural, articulates his point of view on the changing perception of identity and reality in the digital era. Yeh’s prolific exhibition schedule includes showings at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (Taiwan), the Queens Museum of Art (New York), MAXXI Museum (Rome), and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Taipei). His work has been introduced and reviewed by publications such as The New York Times, World Journal, NY Arts, and Brooklyn Rail. Mr. Yeh’s work can also be found in public art collections, such as the MAXXI Museum Net Art Archive and The Joan Flasch Net Art Collection.
C. J. Yeh is currently teaching full-time at the Communication Design Department. Yeh has won several teaching award to date including the FIT Excellence Award, the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Adobe Educator’s Choice Award.
The interactive project, Perfect 10, is a commentary on the fast growing trend among young women in Asia to get plastic surgery. Statistic shows that, in South Korea, one in five women have went under the knifes in pursuit of the ideal appearance which is racialized with the angelo-phied standards of beauty - double-lidded eyes, straight pointy nose, slender legs…etc. The latter surgery is especially horrifying. The procedure actually severs a nerve in the leg to make the muscle atrophy, causing a more slender look.
It is an old and tired debate to weight the prod and cons of cosmetic surgery or define the meaning of beauty. Perfect 10 solved the problem by creating a catalog of facial features from 30 famous Asian actresses and super models, which can generate 27,000 different combinations. The viewer could randomize their looks in the mirrow by simply shouting into the microphone.
No one in the world would deny the relevance of social media to and for this current generation. The fast-paced, instant gratification nature of social media creates an environment where every individual feels highly compelled to broadcast their thoughts and experiences to others. The immediate positive reinforcement that we get in the form of likes, “+1s”, retweets, comments, and etc. makes the social networking experience addictive.
With the increased reliance on websites such as Facebook and Twitter, we are becoming accustomed to habitually posting and sharing everything at any moment, and just the thought of not being able to share something can actually cause anxiety and psychological discomfort. According to a study done by researchers from the University of Chicago, the desire for social contact via media is more addictive and harder to resist than smoking or drinking. The De-Purpose series consists of several digital art projects which attempt to encourage discussions centered on the issues surrounding social media phenomena.
CJ Was Here series is a visual journey documenting significant moments in the artist’s life since arriving in the United States in 1993. All of the digital photographs in this series were manipulated with an experimental imaging technique called “databending.” Instead of manipulating images visually using commercial software such as Photoshop, databending artists alter the raw binary data in order to influence the data’s interpretation by causing errors, artifacts, or other “noise” to occur intentionally. This creative process is also known as “glitch art.” It is closely related to the glitch music that emerged in the mid to late 1990s. Kim Cascone, a well-respected American composer of electronic music, classified glitch as a sub-genre of electronica and used the term “post-digital” to describe the glitch aesthetic. In CJ Was Here, the databending processes are often being used as a proof of one’s existence or as a metaphor for the unplanned and unexpected events that happen in our everyday life.
If Picasso owned a Macintosh computer, would he be using Photoshop? The Equals series examines the creative process of acclaimed masters of art by employing data mapping as a vehicle for repurposing Modernist ideas and concerns. Throughout this series, each piece aims to connect a simple data input activity that anyone can do with a particular iconic Modernist master that almost everyone can recognize. By analyzing the formal elements of these masters’ signature style and turning them into algorithms, the artist was able to create digital software programs that enable users to experience the creative process of art in simple and unexpected ways.
The Equals series represents a rebellion against and homage to several masters of Modernism whom the artist has spent much of his career studying and idolizing. By challenging the belief in the singularity and unique aura of the original artwork with digital media’s infinitely reproducible and automatable nature, C. J. Yeh forcefully accentuates the distinct characteristics of digital art.
The project, Liquid_Mondrian, is an attempt to explore the transformation and migration of images and objects from the physical world to the cyberspace. This project is a site-specific installation in which a virtual environment has also been created to echo its counterpart in physical space. I chose Piet Mondrian’s painting as my subject based on several factors: he is widely recognized, his style of painting is unique, his painting is very suitable to encoding by HTML, and the Modernist movement of which he was part believed in the singularity of original artwork.
Translating Mondrian’s work into HTML code, and then materializing these codes using the same material, method, and presentation as the original, leads to a new series of painting in some sense equivalent to the original yet completely distinct in nature. These paintings are neither analog nor digital. They have the physical presence that does not belong to the cyber world, yet the intended visual content of these paintings is no longer apparent to the human eye. My process has produced works that ultimately mirror the differences between themselves.