Mar 24

内嵌图片 1


Uncut Talks-a sound magazine with uncut contemporary voices



《未剪辑》一份来自当代的声音杂志

 

《未剪辑》声音杂志是Forget Art 20127月发起的一项针对当代艺术和社会创新人士的声音访谈项目,所有的访谈均来自未经剪辑的原始声音。通过SoundCloud上设立的声音平台,我们试图通过对不同个体的声音采样,来展示这个时代复杂、多元和不确定的一面。《未剪辑》同时也是一种社会行动,它相信声音就是一种思考和抵抗的模式。通过声音的传递和分享,试图重现一种实践的现场和情境。

 

该项目由中国艺术家马永峰、意大利艺术家Alessandro Rolandi和英国批评家Edward Sanderson共同发起。

 

 

*如果想要更多的了解这个项目,请点击以下链接来听取声音文件。


http://soundcloud.com/uncuttalks

 

 

UNCUT TALKS is an act of faith in the spoken word and in its emancipatory power.

 

This open platform collects, and makes available for everyone to listen to, hours of conversations among interesting people in China and around the world on some of the most challenging and provocative topics of our time.

 

UNCUT TALKS will provide an un-edited, raw archive of opinions and ideas coming from individuals engaged in experimental fields such as contemporary art, social innovation, etc.

 

UNCUT TALKS happen between two or more people and grow organically around a few, previously selected keywords, lasting between 40 minutes to 1 hour. 

 

The tone and quality of the conversation is neither directed nor moderated.

 

This project is born of the collaboration between artists Alessandro Rolandi and Ma Yongfeng, and art critic Edward Sanderson.

 

Please click on the following link to listen if you want to know more about this project.


http://soundcloud.com/uncuttalks






About Forget Art

  

  

Since 2009 Forget Art has launched a series of intervention-based projects in public bathhouse, temple, factory, street, and magazine’s paper space, one of projects which happened in a public bathhouse at Caochangdi, Beijing in September 2009 has been nominated BEST OF 2010 - The Artists’ Artists by ARTFORUM and 2010 Top Ten by Artinfo. It is “A show where no works were labeled and most blended right into the context of its non-art site,this exhibition, curated by Ma Yongfeng, is only one example of a younger circle operating apart from previous models of contemporary Chinese art.” This light intervention project through artists’ collective action did not change the bathhouse excessively which all works feature in the bathhouse was not easy to find.

  

  

  


关于Forget Art的介绍

  

  

自从2009年开始,Forget Art已经在各种不同的替代空间展开了一系列的干预项目,包括公共澡堂、寺庙、外资工厂、街道以及艺术杂志上面。2010年的项目《地点:龙泉洗浴》被当年的ART FORUM杂志评为“2010最佳项目”之一,同时也被Artinfo中文网站评为2010年“年度十大展览”。这是Forget Art早期微干预系列项目的典型。30余位艺术家的作品出现在草场地的公共澡堂龙泉洗浴中,观众却感到几乎什么都没有发生(一如日常生活下潜伏的诸般真实)与以往艺术家对空间的完全占据不同,《地点:龙泉洗浴》主张对空间进行一种极少主义式的(而非侵略式的)干预。最近这个项目又被Blouin Artinfo

  

评为2002-2012年度中国当代艺术25件“标志性的作品”。

  

Mar 4

by An Xiao on Feb 25,2013

social-ties-640Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of commissioned essays for The World’s First Tumblr Art Symposium on Saturday, March 9, 2013.

When I sent my first email in the 1990s, the internet was just beginning to hit the mainstream. The idea that we would use the internet to talk to friends we knew offline had yet to take off. Most of the nascent social web culture, from usenet to telnet to AOL chat rooms, consisted of socializing largely with strangers. These strangers might eventually become friends, of course, but they’d start out as strangers in the purest sense of that word. At the outset, you didn’t even know their name, age, location, perhaps not even their gender.

Peter Steiner's famous "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog" cartoon, as published in The New Yorker (via Wikipedia)

Peter Steiner’s famous “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog” cartoon, as published in The New Yorker (via Wikipedia)

The now famous New Yorker cartoon of a dog at a computersums up this internet reality well. “On the internet,” the dog says, “nobody knows you’re a dog.” Far from the real name requirements of today’s predominant social network, the early days of the social web were largely anonymous. One could adopt a screen name, then cast it off days later for an entirely new one.

This turns out to be an ideal situation for adolescence. Teens are known for their need to try on new hats and new selves. It’s a vital aspect of our development into adults, as we discover who we are and take more agency in our identities. Being tied to an identity and a social network is the worst thing you can ask of a teen, especially if that same social network contains all your childhood friends and — worse still — your parents.

Which is why it’s not a surprise that a site like Tumblr has become more popular amongst teens than either Twitter or Facebook. Unlike Facebook, one’s Tumblr identity can simply be a screen name. And one can create a seemingly infinite variety of tumblelogs, none of which are necessarily tied to the original screen name. They exist separately and develop independently, and the ties that develop tend to be with strangers rather than old friends. Tumblr handles are the equivalent to having multiple screen names in the 1990s, given life with the cool design and massive scale of the 2010s internet.

Like rubber bands, when we step into Tumblr we can stretch and reshape ourselves into different configurations. Each new hat we try on stretches the rubber band just a little bit further, and over time it might evolve into a new configuration.

Tumblr is what one might call an “unbounded” social network. In her theory of the “elastic self,” presented recently at the Microsoft Social Computing Symposium, sociologist Tricia Wang argues that not all social media are the same. It’s something we intuitively know — most people keep separate personas on Twitter vs. Facebook, for instance — but why we tend to be more freewheeling on one versus the other has largely not been articulated.

In Wang’s theory, a network like Facebook, which enforces real name registration and consists of a person’s friends and family from time immemorial, encourages bounded use. It’s like the small town you never left, the grammar school class you couldn’t pass out of, the first dead-end job. It’s a network mired in past and present, and by its nature it enforces a limited sense of identity and expression.

By contrast, something like Tumblr encourages unbounded use. It allows you to experiment and play. It’s the big city, and each new tumblelog you create is like a new bar or neighborhood where you can try on a new self and see how it fits. In one instant you can be a pug lover, reblogging the best animated GIFs of the flat-faced dogs. In the next, you can dive deep into the Go Pro snowboarding community and post snaps from your latest run.

Hence Wang’s notion of the elastic self. Like rubber bands, when we step into Tumblr we can stretch and reshape ourselves into different configurations. Each new hat we try on stretches the rubber band just a little bit further, and over time it might evolve into a new configuration. This allows for remarkable opportunities to explore different potentials of self and self-expression.

Wang would know. Though a sociologist by training, she has a long history with the arts, doing hip-hop education and documentary film. This expressiveness leaks through in the wide variety of tumblelogs she keeps, listed at the bottom of her website. There’s a tumblelog for her elastic self theory, one for digital urbanisms, one for her ethnographic notes on China tech usage. But she also tumbles on pussy power, fuck yeah pho, her “Crasian” mother, and dancing. Each tumblelog represents an element of herself, and though she links to them from her central web site, she doesn’t have to, nor are most of her researcher friends aware of them.

Breaking the Mold

Artists like Nikki Lee have long played with the idea of shifting identities, like in this work "The Ohio Project (7)" (1999) (via indyweek.com)

Artists like Nikki Lee have long played with the idea of shifting identities, like in this work “The Ohio Project (7)” (1999) (via indyweek.com)

All of this got me thinking: isn’t this notion of an elastic self the exact reason Tumblr is also ideal for artists and makers? It’s always been pitched as a site for creators, but its multimedia features alone can’t really account for its popularity among artists, especially given the wide variety of media publishing opportunities artists have access to.

Ever since the art world started trickling onto Facebook and other social media, it’s been clear that, as in other fields, social media have been disrupting the usual power systems. But it was never clear exactly how, or if social media provide affordances particular to artists that actually change the game, rather than just being a way to promote the work. Could the internet also be changing the work itself?

Since the introduction of the commercial gallery system, the path to success for most artists has mapped in a linear direction. Get a degree, move to New York or another urban area with enough of an art scene, get a few shows, get a few reviews, get representation, start making a living. Few could break from this well-trodden path.

… the internet has given artists access to multiple audiences …

Due to the immense investment of time and money on the part of both the artist and any gallerists or supporters behind them, it’s understandable that an artist wouldn’t or couldn’t change the fundamental nature of their work. They would have to stick to their brand, and only artists who opted out of the gallery system or those firmly established in their career could afford to change tactics every now and then, finding a new way to realize their craft. It’s a model designed to please one audience — an elite circle of tastemakers. And one general audience, by and large, has a perspective and vision of the world that any given artist either does or does not slip into.

By contrast, as we well know by now, the internet has given artists access to multiple audiences. Sites like Etsy and even eBay have provided a new model for promoting and selling work, while services like PayPal have simplified payment systems and structures. Open source and/or free publishing tools like WordPress and Blogspot have made it easier for artists to establish their presence online, not to mention for new critics to develop platforms to express their opinions. Facebook helps us follow art openings and events and stay in touch with people we meet.

But if many social media tools are beginning to reveal an alternative model for newspapers and galleries, others, especially Tumblr, seem to be providing an alternative model to the studio. (Other unbounded social media systems include Twitter, Snapchat, and Douban, which is popular among youth in China. Like all Chinese social media, it is censored, but censorship usually occurs for social and political issues deemed sensitive. Like MySpace, youth can rate movies, music, and books, and they often avoid tying their real name to the service, thus allowing more unbounded use.) Once the hallowed workspace of the solitary artist, who could use it to welcome potential clients and collaborators to review their work, the studio can now exist online, allowing the artist to work through new ideas and projects in public, informally and with multiple audiences.

Artists Unbounded

Who Shall I Be Today? (via keboch.wordpress.com)

Who Shall I Be Today? (via keboch.wordpress.com)

Using social media in an unbounded way has served many artists well. Take, for instance, the story of Ma Yongfeng. A Beijing-based artist known for his conceptual works, he maintains a variety of online personas depending on the type of piece he is producing. His most well known is Forget Art, a collective of artists playing with redefining public art and public space. But he’s also adopted the persona of the Youth Apartment Exchange Program, a Weibo-based social media art practice, not to mention his own online persona as Ma Yongfeng, the artist. Each identity reveals a facet of him without tying him down to a specific practice.

Closer to home are examples like Jayson Musson, who uses the online persona Hennessy Youngman to full effect. While Musson is relatively quiet and unassuming, his brash, online alter ego allows him to mock the art world in his popular Art Thoughtz series. Everyone is in on the ruse, but if YouTube required that even online personas be tied to one’s real name, it’s hard to imagine Musson achieving the same kind of effect. Much as artists have used pseudonyms to enable a wider variety of creative expression, Musson has embraced a more unbounded use of artist names online.

… artists have used pseudonyms to enable a wider variety of creative expression …

Of course, most social media, including Facebook, can be used in an unbounded way, but Tumblr is one of the few that encourage and facilitate this. When making a new blog is as easy as a few keystrokes, and when none of these blogs have to be tied closely to one’s identity, it’s easier to experiment publicly and test new ideas. Artists and their practice, in other words, can achieve just as much elasticity as a teenager changing outfits in the mirror. This enables artists to resist a wholesale branding and packaging of their work into a single, easily identifiable practice, and it gives them the flexibility to develop new practices parallel to each other. Ma Yongfeng, Forget Art, and Youth Apartment Exchange can all continue their projects, and if the man behind them wanted to, he could create more selves and more practices, each reflecting different areas of his art and interests in self-expression.

Wang might agree. Speaking with me about her theory, she noted, “I think Tumblr is ideal for youth and artists because both are much more experimental with their identities — and already see them as elastic.” The old joke that the art world is high school redux might have some teeth; the teen world’s leading social network is a welcome home for artists’ flexible sense of self and self-expression.

Bounded and Unbounded

All around the world, countries are marching toward a future where real name registration is the rule, not the exception. In places as far afield as the US (think Facebook and Google+), China, and Uganda, our names and identities are being tied to our personas online. This has positive benefits — it’s easier to trust an online vendor or professional contact if you know exactly who they are. Accountability will probably keep more people honest and perhaps less prone to trolling and bullying (though the truly committed ones will always find a workaround). But as Facebook continues to envelop the world with its real name values, Tumblr’s 95+ million blogs show that a sizeable portion of the population seeks an additional path. If LinkedIn is becoming the world’s office and Facebook the world’s town hall, Tumblr is where we party.

… sites without real name registration have real value — both for users and for business, and that the shifting screen names and anonymous online identities of yesteryear continue to appeal …

Tumblr is well on its way to a solid business model, supported in part by advertising. The danger — if the brief history of social media is any indication — is that it will soon need to collect broad data on its clientele for advertising and greater sustainability. The new age of Big Data is anathema to unbounded expression: sophisticated algorithms not only know that you’re a dog secretly tapping away at the keyboard but can also get a photo of your doghouse and advertise your favorite doggy biscuits after analyzing your emails.  And it’s not just Big Data: as more teens migrate to Tumblr,cyberbullying is cropping up in harsh, memetic ways, and teen insecurities could even be magnified on the site. The original freedom of expression allowed by unbounded use could eventually give way to more rules and regulations, either enforced from above or developed informally by the netizenry.

But as it stands today, Tumblr, with all its flexibility, has proven that sites without real name registration have real value — both for users and for business, and that the shifting screen names and anonymous online identities of yesteryear continue to appeal. Artists will always need a haven for their practice and a way to reinvent themselves if they want their work to remain truly fresh and inspiring. Tumblr, for now, is one of those outlets. You can reveal and explore bits and pieces of yourself and your art to different audiences in different ways. The platform retains the freewheeling nature of the 1990s internet, a lively and chaotic space brought to life by people typing away in relative anonymity.

I remember when I first started Tumblr. I used the same screen name for my Twitter handle and website, and I would post more or less the same things I do on Twitter. But that got old fast, and I discovered how easy it was to create a new blog. These days, I have almost a dozen tumblelogs: one for bots, one for my photos, one for poetry, one for translation, one for memes in civic life, one just for pictures of empty plates. Some are shared, some are just mine. Some are clearly tied to me, some float freely on the web. They are all part of my creative practice, but they exist separately, like separate studios in separate cities, allowing me to dip in and explore when I wish. Unlike my Twitter and Facebook accounts, I don’t have to worry about posting too much about any one topic at the expense of others; I can simply post as I’d like and draw the audience I’m looking for. Some of these blogs have sparked new projects and trajectories; others have faded away. Tumblr’s flexibility enabled me to test them all out in an open, public studio.

For teenagers, creatives, and dogs that secretly roam the internet, Tumblr (for now) provides a place to shed the leash and collar for a little while and run around freely. Internet users treasure internet freedom so much not just because it allows us unrestricted access to information but because it has historically also allowed us to openly express ourselves. As Wang noted recently about unbounded spaces, social media users need identities that they can put on, take off, and abandon or keep as they wish. They need sites that are, in her words, “impermanent, informal, flexible and anonymous.” It’s this stew of factors that drives identity exploration and creativity and innovation. And as the world comes online and competing values for internet freedom emerge, I hope we remember this, for the sake of teens and artists — and everyone else.

Hyperallergic would like to thank Pernod Absinthe for their support of the World’s First Tumblr Art Symposium essay series.

Feb 12
examples to follow! in SAO PAULO!

opening 02 | 21 | 2013, 7pm

02 | 22 - 04 | 07 | 2013
Memorial da América Latina
Galeria Marta Traba
Av. Auro Soares de Moura Andrade
664 - Barra Funda
Sao Paulo 01156-001, Brazil
Artists
Ravi Agarwal (IND), Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla (US | CU), Marlen Almeida (BR), Néle Azevedo (BR), Joseph Beuys (GER), Richard Box (GB), Ines Doujak (A), Olafur Eliasson (DK), Galerie für Landschaftskunst (GER), Dionisio González (E), Sonia Guggisberg (BR), Hermann Josef Hack (GER), Henrik Håkansson (S), Folke Köbberling & Martin Kaltwasser (GER), James Kudo (BR), Christian Kuhtz (GER), Jae Rhim Lee (KR | US), Till Leeser (GER), Sarah Lewison (US), Marlen Liebau | Marc Lingk (GER), Rudolf zur Lippe (GER), Ma Yongfeng (CHN), Petra Maitz (A), Renzo Martens (NL), Ayumi Matsuzaka (JP), Gerd Niemöller (GER), Shirley Paes-Leme (BR), Dan Peterman (US), José De Quadros (BR), Clement Price-Thomas (US), Dodi Reifenberg (IL | GER), Gustavo Romano (AR), Michael Saup (GER), Ursula Schulz-Dornburg (GER), Dina Shenhav (IL), David Smithson (US), Robert Smithson (US), Superflex (DK), The Yes Men (US), Wang Jiuliang (CHN), Xing Danwen (CHN), Yang Shaobin (CHN), Zwischenbericht (GER)

A project by Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation)
supported by Heinrich Böll-Foundation, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (German International Cooperation), KfW Bankengruppe, Memorial da América Latina, Agility, Lux Impuls GmbH, Dr. Schär AG, Eckhard Kupfer (Instituto Martius-Staden, Sao Paulo), German Consulat General, Sao Paulo

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Feb 1
芭莎·艺术 BazaarArt: 100 Favorite Artworks of 2012


Recently I was asked by the Chinese publication, BazaarArt, for my choice of favourite artwork of the last year. It was obviously a very difficult choice, but the artist Ma Yongfeng’s work stood out for me. Here are the original responses I gave to BazaarArt:

BazaartArt Jan 2013

The name of your favorite art work of 2012:

“Invest in Contradiction” by Ma Yongfeng

When and where did you find this art work?

At the Bernard Controls factory, on the outskirts of Beijing.

Why does this particular item become your “love of the year”?

In amongst the complacency indicative of a broad swathe of art production in China and its lack of meaning outside its own closed community, Ma Yongfeng’s work stands out for its willingness to take some intelligent and provocative risks with form and context. “Invest in Contradiction” came about as a result of his being invited to take part in the unique and far-sighted “Social Sensibility R&D Program.” This program has been developed by the Italian artist and curator Alessandro Rolandi as a series of artist placements at Bernard Controls, a small engineering factory on the outskirts of Beijing. Having spent time with the workers to understand the situation his work would have to exist within, Ma’s contribution became a series of stenciled or graffiti’ed statements dispersed throughout the building. The messages were culled from the artist’s own observations of the reality of the workplace, as well as from conversations with the workers. “Invest in Contradiction,” which Ma prominently stenciled on the workshop wall, is an adaptation of the company’s official slogan: “Invest in Confidence.” Of course, it’s a very real risk that where an artist is asked to produce work as a direct reaction to spending a short period of time amongst their audience, the resulting work simply patronizes them without really creating any mutual communication. In this case though, Ma’s slight adjustment to the official statement adds a touch of humor and a little bit of a utopian vision to this prosaic workplace
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Jan 7

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ma Yongfeng, "The Swirl" (2002); Photo courtesy of the artist

It was not only my first time in Beijing but also my first time in China and I was eager to learn about the burgeoning contemporary art scene that the art world has been talking about. Years ago I had seen Chinese artist Ma Yongfeng’s work at MOCA in LA and so I was excited to finally meet him and learn more about his work.  Fortunately, I was able to attend the opening of a group show he was in at the Iberia Center for Contemporary Art in Asia’s biggest art district, 798 Art Zone.

Yongfeng first came to international attention with his video The Swirl in 2002, in which six Koi fish are literally swirled around a washing machine for an entire 15-minute wash cycle.  And when the water begins to drain, I can’t help but hold my breath… It’s a tense and powerful piece, which makes a strong statement about China and the Chinese.  However, Yongfeng told me that his work has completely changed since then.  For example, in 2009 Yongfeng started Forget Art, an independent organization of ongoing projects that radically play with institutions and events (such as exhibitions, art fairs, and street performances) and become social interventions in daily life.  His work now deals with the social realities that surround him in China.

 

Ma Yongfeng, "Sensibility is Under Control" (2012); Photo courtesy of the artist

His piece in the show titled Installation as Part of “Bernard Controls Project”(2012) is a large spray painted stenciled graffiti on recycled cardboard that reads “SENSIBILITY IS UNDER CONTROL”.  The piece comes from a project that Beijing-based Italian artist Alessandro Rolandi started, in which he invites artists to “stage interventions” for a two month period at Bernard Controls Asia.  Yongfeng’s statement was randomly generated from talks between the artist and employees.  The signs are meant to be a reflection of the working environment and the strict procedures the workers abide by.  The stenciled messages seem to act as a reinterpretation of Mao’s propaganda from industrial and revolutionary times that would be painted on factory walls for workers to see.  But rather than brain washing, Yongfeng’s subtle graffiti raises questions and creates creative thinking about the environment the employees are in.  Yongfeng explained, “People should start with low-level resistance by doing minor things that engage people around them.”  When we walked around Caochangdi, Beijing’s up-and-coming art district nearby 798 Art Zone, Yongfeng took me to where he had tagged the walls in the area: “Sensibility is Under Control”, “Action is Thinking” and “No Compromise”.  All three had already been painted over, yet the messages were still clear, if not clearer…

Ma Yongfeng, "Sensibility is Under Control"; Photo by Daniel Lara

Ma Yongfeng, "Action is Thinking"; Photo by Daniel Lara

Ma Yongfeng, "No Compromise"; Photo by Daniel Lara

Yongfeng admires the work of China’s most famous dissident artist Ai Weiwei, who also lives in Caochangdi.  As we walked down the street to Ai Weiwei’s house and studio, surveillance cameras filmed our every move.  This didn’t bother Yongfeng, as he has learned to push the limit and fight against the rules and regulations that hold back citizens from freedom of expression.

Surveillance cameras in Caochangdi near Ai Weiwei's house; Photo by Carlyn Aguilar

Surveillance cameras in Caochagdi near Ai Weiwei's house; Photo by Daniel Lara

Unfortunately what I found in Yongfeng’s work I could not find elsewhere in China’s art scene.  I noticed that most of the artworks were not challenging and hardly oppositional.  But I also understood that the artists who dare speak their minds against the government are also putting themselves at risk.  We can all remember that in 2011 Ai Weiwei was taken by the police and detained for three months.  Nobody knew where he was or what was happening to him.  Earlier that year the international community also saw him beaten and threatened after he created  “Namelist of Student Earthquake Victims Found by the Citizen Investigation” in 2008.  Just by creating a list of the names of children who had died in the Sichuan earthquake and making it into public artworks and installations, the Chinese government decided to crackdown on his every action.

As I walked around looking for street art, I couldn’t really find it, unless it was something commissioned.  The walls near 798 Art Zone seemed artificial and an imitation of the West.  But as I hiked the Great Wall I did find some graffiti that spoke out against the government.  I asked my Chinese friend why someone hadn’t painted over it.  She said that because we were in such a remote part of the Wall the officials probably hadn’t even seen it.

Wall surrounding 798 Art Zone; Photo by Daniel Lara


Great Wall of China; Photo by Daniel Lara


When I got back to LA I couldn’t help but think about the effects the Mural Moratorium has had on our city.  But I also noticed that artists were taking huge risks and still making murals illegally. And now that the ten year halt has come to an end with the Mural Ordinance on its way, I can’t help but reflect back to the 1930s when David Alfaro Siqueiros, exiled from Mexico, dared to paint his opposition to Western imperialism on a wall in Olvera Street.  In the center, there is an image of an indigenous man hanging from a cross with an American eagle peering down.  In the corner, two revolutionaries aim their rifles at the national bird.  City authorities immediately covered the mural and within a year whitewashed the infamous mural América Tropical: Oppressed and Destroyed by Imperialism.  In a documentary from the 1970s, Siqueiros explained, “América Tropical was a land of natives, of Indians, Creoles, of African-American men, all of the invariably persecuted and harassed by their respective governments.”  Now we see the tables have turned, and Siqueiros’ mural has been unveiled and restored partly with money from the City.  Just a few days later the Mural Moratorium is ended.  Let’s hope that the same will happen in China and that works by these dissident artists will also one day be resurrected.

“América Tropical”, David Alfaro Siqueiros; Photo by Daniel Lara

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