「在一起」，又或作「自發組織」（autonomous self-organization) 指的是一種民間由下而上、自主、自發地締造改變的組織力量。它對應的是主流體制中層層控制的不平等狀況，因此「在一起」的成員間沒有階級從屬，各人均平等參與，藉協商達成共識。「在一起」的動力來自共同追求轉變的期許，因此它需依賴每位參與者的主動性，從而分享正面轉向的成果。「在一起」對應的是現實狀況的不足，組織起來合力加以填補，因此亦可以理解，「在一起」是個體發動從「自發／自主／自救」到 「共生／共治／共活」的自救行動。
因此我們或需正視「油街實現」與「油街藝術村」在兩個明顯迴異不同的藝術生產系統，從而面對一個重大問題：這兩種方式是否有互相實現的可能？就是說「“油街實現”如何實現油街」？有沒有互相協作支持的可能？ 更多的所謂發表機會，又是否帶領我們進到一個更多元、更能包容、聆聽不同異見的文化環境？ 及至面對消逝中的社區生活，藝術的角色是在加速這份消逝？還是嘗試平行修補？ 我希望此計劃能藉此打開兩者對話的起始。
“Live (Together)” or “Self-organizations” refers to groups that make a difference via bottom-up, active, autonomous and self-initiated actions. In contrary to the structural exploitation in the mainstream where the ruling individuals always enjoy freedom, all members participated equally and spend time on discussion and negotiation for consensus. The driving force behind “Live (Together)” comes from the collective wish for changes, as well as the activeness of each participants, collectively they share the results of positive changes. “Live (Together)” is often the response to the lacks in reality. People get together and try to fill in the gaps through co-operation. Therefore, we may actually understand “self-organization” as the survival action of by individuals that starts from “self-initiated / autonomous / self-survival” towards “co-existence / co-rule/ co-live”.
At the same time, “Live (Together) is undoubtedly echoing a key element of the former Oil Street Artist Village, an autonomous space created with artists’ extreme passion and dedication which go far beyond the government planning. (We will have an idea about the former artist village in the interviews we rediscovered from “Death in Hong Kong”.) As Oi! is set up by the government, it is under supervision and restrictions of different mechanisms on one hand, but on the other hand it ought to maintain a certain productivity. The below metaphor could actually apply in the light of art production. “Live (Together)” is a piece of wild land where organic farming is adopted. Deeply rooted in the land, the farmer is indispensible from the surrounding community and the natural environment. All of them co-exist in mutual-benefits. The producers are responsible to themselves. They produce what they need and share with the other members. In contrast, the mainstream establishment looks like an art factory operated by big operation. They focus on the precision of end products, monitor throughout the process, and set up meticulous division of labour in order to assure high efficiency. Both art production modes actually have their own pros and cons. And I do not withstand anyone of them. However in reality, platform for autonomous development gradually diminished while the number of production modes supported by capital or the system are on the rise.
That’s why we probably need to pay attention to the two divergent art production systems, as represented by Oi! and Oil Street Artist Village respectively in order to answer an important question at stake. Are these two systems compatible to each other? In other words, how does Oi! help to make the Oil Street Artist Village a reality? Are collaboration and mutual support possible at all? We now have more and more so-called exposures, but does it take us to a more diversified and more tolerant cultural context that listens to different opinions? And in the face of the disappearing community life, what’s the role of art? Is it speeding up such disappearance? Or is it trying to help repairing the community at the same time? I really hope that this project can initiate conversation between the two systems.
We all know that sense of identification towards a city can never be imposed onto the mass in any case. Urban development, with its own subjectivity, is only possible when it is self-initiated as the individuals / communities feel the necessity for changes from within. Such situation applies on both community culture and art and cultural development. Otherwise, confrontation and conflict will happen as a result of the different values. “Live (Together)” attempts to go beyond the limitations in the system, mobilizes in way that values fairness, classlessness and autonomy, and puts such ideas into daily life practice. Here I am suggesting “Live (Together)” as a potential “tiny exit”. In view of the current situation, we need to spend more effort to look after and discuss the autonomous spaces that have not yet or cannot be controlled by the system. We must get together to create and safeguard these spaces! It’s almost impossible for us to retreat. Let me use a heated catch phrase, “Save Our Own Art!”
# Full version of the curatorial statement can be found on Together (Whatever) , another publication that goes with this exhibition, or on the Facebook page of this project: www.facebook.com/canwelivetogether