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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the light of day – or, the most intense fiery sadness inside the palest of blue

the difficulty of writing. therefore words become physically written entities. are animated by the postures and movements of the hand. the word becomes image. is placed in perspective. the natural rhythms of speech and of reading contorted. a video on writing:

act 1:
the street is where it finally played out, no confining corners of a room, simply a street and a doorstep and a door. a door that remained closed. closed that night and all the nights after. closed for several years. there were a few words there on the street, an evening chill picking up, words uttered from mouths tightly locked into position, not once breaking out into smile, no more spontaneities. now i remember it was an iron. the last object that passed between us. an iron. your iron. my iron. no ironing board. the irony. an iron with no more spontaneities. all those years summed up into the exchange of a single iron. a pink iron.

act 2:
you entered the studio that day and it filled the room. eyes locked and we understood. a kind of understanding that was hard to come by in those days. “we paid people 50 kuai to cry”. leaving the party early i cycled to the apartment that night, shared by several, it was only you there, you and a dvd menu on loop, the same jingle over and over again, you kept emphasizing the word ‘taken’, ‘taken’, ‘taken’ – i guess it was the opposite of what i was getting – the other word that night ‘transgressive’ – you and bataille – he and whitman – i couldn’t do it – sorry bataille – sorry whitman – i couldn’t do it – so much for ‘transgression’ — whenever i revisit the room, you are both there, bataille and whitman, bataille, whitman and me and the king-size bed. the torrent of words finally gets me writing on afternoons alone in the house, just before the onset of twilight.

act 3:
a gallery space, half emptied out, i keep going back there, the mounted and framed photographs are placed on the floor, leaning against the wall, a few are supported by the pillar in the middle of the space, you try to get them to leave, to let them leave us behind, but there is simply no subtle way of doing it and you mutter at them clumsily, they leave, we are left, the afternoon sun is slowly disappearing, the lights are left off, we talk, walk around and shout, until we settle behind the reception counter, a chair and a wall for support, we can do this but we can’t do that, what do you want from me? don’t ask that of me! she tells me his knees were shaking all the way on subway ride back home, i was never shown shaking knees. now, i only ever meet you in that gallery space. we don’t exchange words just glances and parts of our bodies in a deafening silence, the afternoon sun perpetually setting.

act 4:
an early spring evening, i keep trying to leave: “i have a party,” “a party to go to,” “a housewarming party”, but something keeps me at your side all night, first we sit at the “less important people table” and are seated next to each other, after more guests stream in we are both upgraded to the “more important people table”, again placed next to one another. what luck! finally settling into a comfortable position we continue our conversation, your leg brushes against mine a few times, i recall her remark about “woody men”. and i can’t stop staring at the eyes. can’t stop. the whole night – no rooms here, but the chambers of eyes to revisit “an intense fiery sadness” i describe to her later “inside the palest of blue”.

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measures of resistance

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metapresence

andingmen_nei_guonian

when i returned to Beijing after approximately one month away, i played the game, as always, of walking around the neighbourhood to see which places have disappeared in my absence, which new businesses or grand ambitions have moved in to replace the failing or derelict, a sort of remapping one’s estrangement within the city. i walked from xiaojingchang hutong to the northern end of andingmen nei, and with hands in pockets passed by a candy bar vendor (new), a book-laden cart full of pirated publications on technology/software (old), and a cardboard box stand topped with rows of socks (old). i walked into the andingmen hotel, where i end up sleeping for several nights, a new tourist in a now familiar city. there was a small exhibition and series of events happening in two of the rooms of the hotel, and it became a quiet but social place to welcome myself back into a place of growing certainty; this was a place delicately juxtaposed with all the awkwardness and adamance that one can have about one’s sense of place in the world. it was called “also space“. during these few days, there was a certain amount of presence, self-consciously experienced and toyed with, a space and socius to make one acutely aware of all the small details of showing and not knowing.

alsospace_221

each morning i would wake from the hardish hotel bed in room 221, happy for warmth but tired for tiredness, enter the bathroom and begin to rearrange the selection of hotel offerings, as are commonly found in many temporary lodgings: two plastic wrapped soaps——packaged again in a printed cardboard box——three toothbrushes, two plastic combs with the hotel name in gold-coloured print. I took away one of the toothbrushes and replaced it with a toothbrush in similar packaging from another hotel. I added a plastic wrapped disposable razor labeled, “one to one”, not knowing which hotel i may have taken it from. another time and another space. a sewing kit from yet another hotel, travel-sized toothpaste from germany, travel-sized moisturizing lotion from hong kong. over the course of these few days, some of the items disappeared or were refilled by the service personnel, the blue towels were replenished with white ones. i thought about the possibility of being absolutely present in a place which one can deem home and not home at the same time. when the maid did not make the bed, i did it for her. but i left one of my hairs on the pillowcase along with a dried mandarin peel, and i wondered if any of our guests would notice and ask, “is this an artwork, too?” it’s a funny game to play, to observe everything in an unexpected place as possibly “art”. perhaps not so different from a game of trying to notice all the places that have disappeared or been born in one’s absence.

alsospace_bath

there was a certain consciousness of presence that i attempted to maintain in these days, living in a hotel in my “home” city. i commuted back and forth to my flat to change clothing, deliberately sprayed on too much perfume. i tried to pay attention to artworks, but fell asleep; a conversation would float past and i would suddenly remember something else that i was supposed to do. and only after a few treks between xiaojingchang and the northern end of andingmen nei did i notice the disappearance of the 24 hour Quick convenience store (old) and insertion of Bee’s cafe (new). Workers move on and on. Presence is a just-fading, a recognition of small distractions.

If we had not noticed the miniscule details of change, development and/or the passing of time around us, would we have missed a minor referencing of the present, a consciousness of our own time away from now, self-reference, a meta-presencing? Present that cannot exist, like a young architect asking questions in the form of statements about scale, he discovers his talk is not there——μετά as “after” or “beyond”, as “with”, “adjacent” and “self”.

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ISBN: 978-3-00-026619-5; IMPRINT: HomeShop; PAPERBACK: 168 pp., 18.5 cm x 25 cm, sewn binding, colour and b/w sections, paper varied (no cover). Made in the People’s Republic of China.

期刊《穿》的第一期现已出版发行。ISBN: 978-3-00-026619-5; 出版:家作坊;规格:168页, 18.5cm x 25 cm,锁线胶装,彩色;b/w部份,特种纸(无封面)。中华人民共和国印刷。

询问/订买/发行请访问家作坊的网页或联系:
homeshop [圈a] iwishicoulddescribeittoyoubetter [点] org

The first issue of Wear journal is now available. For more information, please visit HomeShop’s page. For inquiries or to order a copy, please contact: homeshop [at] iwishicoulddescribeittoyoubetter [dot] org

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你说你的2008年,又过一年,一早上后是第二天前

thank you… now sleepy… second sabbatical…

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let’s go to sleep

windowsill.jpg

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电脑绣花

IMG_01112.gif

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minutes. finally. we meet. others. minutes.

beds. dormitory feel. luggage. blanket. dishes. showers? toilets? they’re in a group but also individuals at the same time. artwork and also receivers of info at the same time. receiving more than giving out. selection. simple. profession. location. possible interest in the project. possibility of having an effect on their life. parents? eighteen to sixty. preference of the embassy. people who can determine their will. biggest worry. how to select people. where to get them. met with embassy first. documentary film. sixteen teams all over the country. already six-hundred hours of footage. people also need to answer ninety-nine questions from fake. about germany. the west. fantasy. religion. work through e-mail. make participants start to participate. the first step. already a part of it. even if the visa process may fail. june thirteen. announcement of the artists of documenta twelve. the project is impossible to keep a secret. logistically. not boat-people. boeing-people. usb-stick. memory stick. memory of today. infrastructure hardware. network infrastructure. upload. download. twenty computers. printers. a working office space that people can freely use. create an information landscape. info-booth. usb-stick will contain the memory of one individual. corporate gift. two sticks. one at start. upload. download. use. then at departure take in stick and give a new blank one. keep this memory, this accumulated knowledge. the used one you keep as a trace of this experience. memory of participant and memory of event. a thousand and one different eyes. one may be completely into all the artworks. another may not give a damn. i’ll be a cook. a barber. the teacher. informational storage. where to eat? where to sleep? what to buy? what to visit? most will not speak english or german. need information. mapping. computer technicians? doctor? impose on top of kassel another layer of information. modeled after a map of china. your own city in any city. when it’s gone it’s gone. traces in mind not in physical space. why products. so much stuff. unnecessary. what will be related to the stick? information centre. we want to be active. them to be active. interface architecture. set up a condition. we don’t know what’s going to happen. we provide a possibility. most fascinating thing. usb one GB. one thousand and one GB. a photograph of each? that’s the studio photo! ask people to do it themselves. assuming that most people have a camera. otherwise provide twenty or so cameras. each group roughly two-hundred. on the planes forty here. sixty there. some from beijing. some from shanghai. and insurance. one-thousand yuan per person. plane tickets non-refundable. over twenty people to coordinate the work. will have volunteers in kassel. can probably have computers and technicians. map-office sets up scenario. something personal. emphasize individual. the more unpredictable, unforeseeable elements we put in the better. when i started i didn’t know it was going to be like this. chinese people get very emotional. one girl wrote me that one day she was standing on a traffic overpass and started thinking about the fact that she will partake in this project and that she was so happy it made her cry. she said she never knew she could cry out of happiness.minutes.gifimage edited from: http://blog.sina.com.cn/aiweiwei

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