the text and images below are posted from beijing, berlin, hong kong, new york, sado island and zürich. there are a few of us, and this is the space in between.

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nusantao and a trans-pacific dialogue with Chris Kraus

dirty south.

In a hypothesis developed by Wilhelm Solheim, the Nusantao Maritime Trading and Communication Network (NMTCN) is a trade and communication network that first appeared in the Asia-Pacific region during its Neolithic age, or beginning roughly around 5000 BC. “Nusantao” is an artificial term coined by Solheim, derived from the Austronesian root words nusa “south” and tao “man, people”.

the spread in many directions as “a kind of excuse to party, right“, T. commented, and W. agreed, even though she was disappointed that nobody was listening, and even though she wanted to find some theoretical right to party, like a Brechtian sausage.

There would not have been a French Revolution, as Marx stated, without the heroic illusions that natural law engendered. Of course, they did not become real, and what did become real of them, the free market of the bourgeoisie, is not at all that which was dreamed of, though wished for, hoped, demanded, as utopia. Thus now, if a world were to emerge that is hindered for apparent reasons, but that is entirely possible, one could say, it is astonishing that it is not——if such a world, in which hunger and immediate wants were eliminated, entirely in contrast to death, if this world would finally just “be allowed to breathe” and were set free, there would not only be platitudes that would come out at the end and gray prose and a complete lack of prospects and perspectives in regard to existence here and over there, but there would also be freedom from earning instead of freedom to earn, and this would provide some space for such richly prospective doubt and the decisive incentive toward utopia that is the meaning of Brecht’s short sentence, “Something’s missing.” This sentence, which is in Mahagonny, is one of the most profound sentences that Brecht ever wrote, and it is in two words. What is this “something”? If it is not allowed to be cast in a picture, then I shall portray it as in the process of being (seiend). But one should not be allowed to eliminate it as if it really did not exist so that one could say the following about it: “It’s about the sausage.” Therefore, if all this is correct, I believe utopia cannot be removed from the world in spite of everything, and even the technological, which must definitely emerge and will be in the great realm of the utopian, will form only small sectors. That is a geometrical picture, which does not have any place here, but another picture can be found in the old peasant saying, there is no dance before the meal. People must first fill their stomachs, and then they can dance.

W.’s trauma of not being heard was a structural problem as much as a genetic defect, more recently amplified by contemporary notions of #fomo, post-maturity and the simple fear of being lost and forgotten and useful to no one.

S. was then of an age where she thought about age at least eight times a day. Having spent parts of her life in New York and LA, she knew where she was “from” didn’t much matter. When she was a student at Wellington High School, S. recalled being told by the head English teacher, a salt-and-pepper-haired man in baggy black-and-white tweeds who’d published critical essays on D.H. Lawrence, that because of her emigration from the US at such a formative age, she had no nationality and therefore, despite her interest in literature, could not be a writer [see further at 版本 version 3.0]. Which is to say, S. had lived through various eras including the demise of nationalism.

Unfortunately nationalisms have not really died if we are still looking for these genealogies of belonging, southern girl, and you empathised with O.’s alienation even though he talked about love and hate in a way that made you hate him. later, W. made a transnational gift of O.’s art object produced by W.’s semi-anonymous collective, her shy prefaces leading T. to make fun of W. because of her need to make a “finished product”. These are all various forms of trade and transaction, not so dissimilar from the way that cultures and identities and forms of belonging happen over time, across oceans. so while W. becomes a businesswoman she finally realises that her roots are not merely ethnic as much as gender-specific and class-based, contaminated, kind of like ‘dirty south’.


“Southern Girl” by Rahzel feat. Erykah Badu, from the 1999 album Make the Music 2000

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inadvertent soundtracks for inversion eyes

put your inversion eyes back on, proximity as the coming towards of embodiment, she says “the politics of location”. speaking as:

Ivo Kohler and Theodor Erismann, 1950


__”Computer Eyes”, Jakob Boeskov/Timothy DeWit/Matthew Morandi, from The Wire Tapper 34
__”Golden Hours”, Brian Eno, from the album Another Green World
__”Pure”, Blackbird Blackbird, from the album Summer Heart
__”Tigers”, Christy & Emily
__”Talking History”, Xiao Hong & Xiao Xiao Hong, from the Dada Damage Compilation
__”Sullen Ground”, Mount Kimbie, from the album Cold Spring Fault Less Youth
__”Went Missing”, Nils Frahm, from the album Spaces
__”What Time is Love”, The KLF
__”Token Eastern Song”, Nirvana, from disc 4 of The Chosen Rejects: Live Rarities
__”Little Dreamer”, Future Islands, from the album Wave Like Home
__”Wait For Me”, 張曼玉 Maggie Cheung, from the Clean original soundtrack

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新米节夏季末mix | new rice festival end of summer mix

24 july 2013,西湾 saiwan beach,2:00 am

24 july 2013,西湾 saiwan beach from under my tent,maybe around 6 am

02 august 2013,soundwalk in 贵阳 guiyang city,around 9:30 pm

19 august 2013,music to boost worker morale,肇兴 zhaoxing town,around 11 am

20 august 2013,芦笙 battle,肇兴 zhaoxing town,9:39 pm

“火龙果之歌 dragon fruit song”,from the forthcoming album 《在你面前很无邪 No Evil Before You 》by 孙大肆 Joy SUN

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from the 三行實驗室 three lines laboratory



工作坊之後去找我姑姐一起吃飯,她告訴了我大伯過世了。第二天她和其他阿伯去收拾大伯的屋,要準備把他30年一個人住的房子還給政府。他們回來之後給我一個老行李箱,裡面放了一些大伯的東西。其中有一個小AIWA放音機, 外殼壞了但是還能用。聽了你給我寫的三行詩,聽到在那三行之間我和你之間的距離,也許也就是這個地球上的每一個人與另外一個人的距離。

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i wish i knew how it feels to be free

thank you to king689soulclassics

we wrote twice last year. growing smaller in our livelihood. making reparations, finding ourselves present, losing words of reflection for bullshit become routine. it’s an alienating experience to observe others speaking in endless strings of aphorism and cliché, like miraculously knowing the code for things that you did not care to know about. flooded gates . cinema and the sound of air conditioning . the ballad of the broken birdie records, that was forever.

you can describe things, but you cannot tell them.

she said we made it up to overcome change, that forever . because the passing arcs of the sun and moon were just too much. the drummer’s steady hands were deceiving, when it had only been about the joy and trauma of difference that really counted . “difference and deferral” . counting . rational concepts . and a one. and a one.

like a new way of seeing something.

two, three. counting and singing again, rushing into nines and ten. time was not the matter at hand, and i could only otherwise imagine some kind of spatial parameter (cigarette, balcony, distance from one apartment to another), but of course it’s less rational than that, our descriptions are as infinite as desire. we’ll be 靠谱 one day.

it sounds too prescribed, doesn’t it——sticking to the score——exactly what we didn’t want. so instead we became impulsive, 花心 flowery hearts, the wallow, those hands grabbing at your face, fear, the sort.   no……please ask me to write songs instead, wait for that moment of forever . two times a year at least.

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What can a phrase such as ‘natural course’ mean anymore in a time of such intense production?

At one point during one of our discussions, Jad mentioned something about the need to build systems and structures so that we can break free from them. At the time i did not agree so much, perhaps out of mere exhaustion (the dialectic), and maybe also there has just always been some part of me that desires to find out how far we can just let things go, or to understand the limits of tolerance.

Phasing works in a similar way, though taking a walk in the city makes a clean set of variables into a dirty game. The phase is an easy, fun experiment; it breaks out of itself predictably but still fascinating to listen to — self-contained by reception. But it seems difficult to consider any form of reality anymore in terms of such structure; what is always lies next to and around itself, everything is multiple. Perhaps it’s simply a poor understanding of mathematics, but I never know how to discern exponentiality from noise. Circling now (the dialectic), it’s another form of fascination — like listening to sound upon sound. Or maybe it’s simply the idea of being attentive to the things that have always been there.

This is an audio recording combining several journeys traced from an original route shared by Maral Der Boghossian, who has visited her father’s shop in Bourj Hammoud two to three times a week for over 25 years. At the time of this writing, not a single participant after Maral has been able to successfully follow the audio to reach the shop, and this reveals certain weaknesses in the structure of the game, but I guess it’s also just letting things follow their natural course.

Participants in the recording: Maral Der Boghossian, Jad Baaklini, Paul Gorra, George Haddad, Christophe Katrib (accidentally powered off), Céline Khairallah, Lynn Kodeih, Fotini Lazaridou-Hatzigoga, Lina Sahab and the blacksmith around the corner from the tree that Maral’s grandmother planted some 40 years ago.

April 2011, Beirut

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展览题为“如何独处” The Title of the Show is ‘How to Be Alone’

1// 《但愿我能为您描绘得更好》第二期里献给友子的歌: “菜单/那么今夜何处是京都/猫咪马琳”(演唱者:“声音向导”乐队,声音介入部分:何颖雅何京蕴) From the publication iwishicoulddescribeittoyoubetter number two, for Tomoko: “Menu/So Where Is Kyoto Tonight?/Mullin The Mog” by DirectorSound with inserts by Elaine W. HO and Anouchka van DRIEL
2// “解手与生产”,尝试为高灵口头翻译Paul CHAN的文本  “Pee and Production”, trying to orally translate a text by Paul CHAN to GAO Ling

3// 爸爸骑着摩托, 儿子坐在后座上打着快板, 我们一起在儿童电影夜场喝了点酒,家作坊2010年  The boy comes home with his father playing kuaiban, we had been drinking at the kids’ movie night, HomeShop 2010
4// “你好呀,劳伦斯老师!” 这段对我外婆的采访录音是1991年我中学历史课上的家庭作业——“口述历史”,我妈妈也在“其间”。 “Hellll-o Mizz Lawrence!” An oral history project, my grandmother, mother and me, 1991

5// 五岁的我,在数数和唱歌  When I was 5 years old, counting and singing
6// 我在购买的迷你SD卡上找到了70多首歌,从中选了十首歌并通过数码处理,把它们的节拍统一成每分钟120拍(特殊感谢Ryan KING在数码处理) Music found on the micro-SD cards purchased to create this work, whereby among 70 songs in total ten were chosen and digitally synced at 120 beats per minute (processing courtesy of Ryan KING)

Installation part of The Third Party: How to Be Alone (or nowhere else am i safe from the question: why here?), on view at Platform China, 11 November 2010 – 24 January 2011

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