请登陆我们的网站首页  VISIT THE MAIN HomeShop SITE

Posts tagged ‘邂逅 encounters’


“无形” non-visible videostills

non-visible
a project by Asako Iwama and Derrick Wang
June 21-23
家作坊 HomeShop

The “non-visible” project has evolved from a series of video interviews with various practitioners in Europe and China with experiences or familiarity working with non-visible energy, or ‘qi’. Interviewees have included dancers, cognitive scientists, Feng Shui and I Ching masters, psychics, traditional medicine doctors and physicists. 

How can the non-visible be made visible and/or comprehensible? We would suggest that we are constantly swinging between the two poles of subjective and objective reality. Through the process of our interviews, we have attempted to find points of connection between the various practices we have encountered, while acknowledging our own groundlessness in terms of having to constantly transform our perceptions and expectations of the people we have met. 

In a film installation and series of events organized during the June solstice and under the full moon (June 21-23), we hope that some of the hidden layers contained in our interactions and recordings will become visible to or felt by those who participate, and that a new understanding of the non-visible may emerge.

Friday June 21
18:00-20:00 reading and discussion with the Happy Friends Reading Group (download reading material)
20:00-22:00 film installation

Saturday June 22
18:00-20:00 book reading and discussion with Du Shun Gie Laoshi (Feng Shui master), Zhang Li Rem Laoshi (Yijing master), Eva Bergwall (eurythmy teacher and healer), Hartmut Walter (acoustic and vibration engineer), Zhu Feng (Qi Gong master) and other guests
20:00-22:00 film installation

Sunday June 23
19:00 dinner prepared by Emi Uemura and Asako Iwama and open discussion (organic & vegetarian dinner, cost 88RMB, reservation required; please email lianxi@homeshop.org.cn)
20:00-22:00 film installation

Asako Iwama (born in Tokyo, Japan) is an artist and cook, who lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Asako Iwama’s practice has developed around the idea of the ontology of eating. Referring to the social aspects of eating as a metaphor of our relation to nature, Iwama seeks to transform the perception of nourishment, both aesthetically and epistemologically within her practice and work.

Derrick Wang (born in Montreal, Canada) is a second generation Chinese from Canada who has a background in architecture, and is currently working as a filmmaker in Beijing, China.

in collaboration with HomeShop / Emi Uemura, Michael Eddy, Qu Yizhen, Tan Zhengjie, Fotini Lazaridou-Hatzigoga

 

“无形”
项目发起人:岩間朝子,Derrick Wang
6月21-23日
家作坊 HomeShop

“无形(non-visible)”项目采访了许多生活在欧洲和中国的人,这些人或拥有运用无形能量(或“气”)的能力,或拥有这样的体验,他们的职业各式各样,其中包括舞者、认知科学家、风水先生、易经大师、通灵者、中医师和物理学家等等。

如何让无形的、不可见的能量可见或被理解?我们不断地在主观和客观现实的两极之间摇摆。在采访的过程中,我们试图找到这其中的共通点,然而,遇到的人不断地改变我们的看法和对他们的期望,我们也不得不承认自己的局限性。

在夏至和月满之际,我们将在6月21-23日这三日间,运用影像装置等一些列活动呈现该项目,希望我们的互动和记录中所包含的内容能让参与的人“看见”这些能量,并对其有新的认识。

周五6月21日
18:00-20:00 乐友读书会及讨论(阅读内容在此下载
20:00-22:00 影像装置 

周六6月22日
18:00-20:00 读书会及与风水大师杜顺杰、易经大师张力壬、音语舞老师治疗师Eva Bergwall、声学和振动的物理工程师Hartmut Walter、气功大师朱峰等特邀嘉宾进行讨论
20:00-22:00 影像装置

周日6月23日
19:00 晚餐及公开讨论(有机素食,88元/人,由植村絵美和岩間朝子掌厨,请邮件预定:lianxi@homeshop.org.cn
20:00-22:00 影像装置

岩間朝子(出生于日本东京),艺术家及厨师,生活和工作在德国柏林。岩間的实践和研究主要围绕于“吃”的本体论。鉴于“吃”作为某种社会文化现象所隐喻的人类与自然关系, 岩間旨在于美学和认识论上转换人对饮食的认知。

Derrick Wang(出生于加拿大蒙特利尔),加拿大华人第二代,拥有建筑学背景,目前作为导演在北京工作。

合作者:家作坊/ 植村絵美, Michael Eddy, 曲一箴, 谭争劼, Fotini Lazaridou-Hatzigoga

 

–––
Supported by ifa – Institut für Auslandbeziehungen e.V.
“无形”特由ifa支持。

摄影 photo__ 七朵云 Pilar ESCUDER

10月21日,家作坊新朋老友齐聚一堂,畅谈有种种种,种种有种,从朋友们经历过的个人有种壮举开始,大家妙语连珠,笑声不断,层层深入,深入浅出,大有“团结紧张,严肃活泼”之气氛,散会之后谈论仍在继续,看来我们的这起杂志《穿》第三期虽然播撒在深秋,但真的很“有种”下边与大家分享的是朋友们的各种有种故事以及对“有种”这一流行词语的不同诠释和讨论,内容有三个来源:现场问卷,现场对话,和场外采访。

摄影 photo__ 七朵云 Pilar ESCUDER

 

 问卷(随机选取):你做过最有种的事情是什么? What is the most ballsy thing you’ve ever done?

  1. fall in love, although it’s painful, really painful 
  2. punching someone in the face after they had been bullying me
  3. 有种!生个小孩?结婚?不读书?打架?最有种莫过于在十来岁偷了家里的十块钱,至今想,起心惊肉跳呢!
  4. 
爱了  falling in love
  5. 
故意尿床
  6. told my female colleague when I knew that she was straight that I was in love with her
  7. 当我还是六岁的小姑娘,不小心进了男厕所
  8. going into the men’s room when I was a 6 year-old cute girl
  9. went car surfing with my friend while they were drunk
  10. 
I ended a friendship
  11. 坚持我自己的生活方式  to keep my way to live


现场对话 from the evening’s discussion__

问卷朗读 ballsy answer__“坚持我自己的生活方式 to keep my way to live”

解释__ 坚持自己的生活方式不是一件很容易的事,有时坚持自己需要勇气,比如有时我们会想我这样做别人会怎么想我?这样做我会失去什么吗?我对莎士比亚的名言 “to be or not to be, that is the question” 的理解是坚持自我还是不坚持自我,to be what I am, or not to be what I am 那是一个问题。

问__ 那你觉得你知道你自己是什么吗?

答__ 我不知道我自己是什么,但我清楚地知道我的意愿will是什么,意愿来源于我们的种子,我们是你的种子,敢于坚持是我所是是, 是为“有种”大多数人都是在盲目跟随主流

问__ 那你怎么知道你没有被洗脑?

答__ 一个有种的人有明确的强烈意志,你是没有办法把他洗脑的,他明确地知道他自己要去哪里,能被洗脑的人其实没有脑,也没有种。

 

场外对话 from a later discussion__

曲__ 我们还接着Celine昨天那个话题谈吧,我想再让你谈一下泛二和有种的区别, 谈谈你对“有种”的解释,我对你的解释比较感兴趣,你昨天不是问我们大家在昨天的对话中有没有听到过一种以前从来没听到过的对有种的解释吗?你昨天的解释是我以前没听到过的一种解释
欧阳__ 喔,就是通过对某种技能,技艺的完善,对于某种完全偶然性的敞开,是吗?
曲__ 对偶然性的敞开是什么意思?
欧阳__ 第一个层次它是对偶然性的减少嘛,一个相对来说的控制嘛,对偶然性的控制,这也就是技艺本身嘛,技艺本身是对偶然性的控制
曲__ 那是不是我说的那种“猝然临之而不惊”
欧阳__ 这可以看看做是……心理……也是一种技巧……
曲__ 可以说是境界吗?一种猝然临之而不惊的境界
欧阳__ 也可以说是一种境界。有的人只有在做这件事时有这个境界,有的人呢,在做什么事时都能到这个境界。
曲__ 整体境界

欧阳__ 对呀,整体境界,这个境界你可以把它用在生活中的各个方面,很多方面吧,不能说各个方面。待人接物,对于各种没想到的事物的反应,这都能反射出来,有一个故事说,有一个茶师,一个泡茶的人,专门做茶道的人,桌的特别好,有一天,莫名其妙,有个武士非要和他比武,他很害怕,因为从来没有比过呀,那个武士肯定会把他干掉的嘛,他特别害怕,惶惶不可终日,后来呢,他的一个好朋友问他怎么啦,他说“有人要和我决斗”然后他的朋友想了想说“这样吧,决斗时你别把这件事想成是决斗,你就把它想成是泡茶就行了,你泡茶时候什么状态,你决斗时侯就什么状态就行了”,然后他说“ok”他这么一说他有点明白了,然后在决斗当天他站在武士对面,完全进入到他泡茶的状态,气定神闲,特别稳,特别静,往那一站,特别稳,特别静,武士不敢拔刀,认输而去。所以有的人可以在特殊技艺上达到这个境界,有些人在生活的很多境遇上都能达到这一境遇,有这种能力,这是第一点,第二点呢,这是一种控制,一种对自身的控制,完善自身的技巧,这种完善自身饿技巧是对偶然性的减少,把握。
曲__ 减少偶然性是什么意思?
欧阳__ 是庄子还是列子里边有个故事:说有个人学射箭,又一次他莫名其妙地射到了箭靶心上了,他就很高兴地去找老师,老师问他”你知道你是怎么射中的吗?他说 “我不知道” 老师说“那等你知道你怎么射到靶心上的时候再来找我吧”这样他就回去不断地练,后来怎终于知道了怎么能射到把心上。他第一次射中是偶然性,但如果能够箭箭都能射到把心上那就不是偶然性了,就是一种必然性了。这是第一步,第一步是对偶然性的控制和掌握,对于必然性的开发。第二个境界就是你开发到一定程度了,到了你可以完全控制偶然性了的时候,你会反思,反思为什么控制,为什么要去做这件事,你总要有一个愿意去做他。比如说一个人学射箭的原因是为了更好地杀敌,一个运动员练跑步是为了破纪录,这些都有个为什么。这个为什么就能确定你是不是能做的很好。这个 为什么他永远指向的是一个系统,一个标准,一套衡量价值的系,只有通过这个体系,你才能有自我价值,也是这个体系要求你去控制偶然性。没有体系谁去控制呀?没有战争谁去练射箭呀,没有奥运会谁去打破记录啊?就是一套价值体系吗。有一个体系就有一个评判自身价值的标准了。通过偶然性的建立达到对偶然性的减少。这个标准的建立本身就是对偶然性的减少,英文里的mastery, to master some thing,掌握,掌控,主人嘛,这件事的主人嘛。对自我控制的提升就减少了偶然性。体系要求你去控制自己。用艺术体操能把这件事说得更清楚,其实艺术体操所做的每一个动作不接就是那么一个动作吗,但是他对每一个动作的要求都是很严格的,你必须达到它的标准,在做某个动作时你必须达到胳膊伸展到多少度,腿伸展到多少度,比如说跳鞍马,下鞍马时你必须很稳定地落地,不能打趔趄,不能晃动,这都是嘛。运动时对这个东西的最好说明。
曲__ 那也就是说是外界事物对你的挑战,是吗?
欧阳__
 对,主体的稳定性嘛。这只是第一,第二呢,就是当你达到问为什么这么做的时候,这个时候已经到了第二个境界了。平常人是不能问为什么这样做,平常人是不能问这个问题的,就像练芭蕾的人不能问为什么要脚尖着地,为什么呀,没为什么,你不练你是不能问为什么的,只有你在这个体系中这个东西才对你有意义吗,也就是说只有允许自己被这个体系影响的人,通过这个体系树立自己的人,问这个问题,他得先按体系做,这是第一步,在做的过程中改变自身嘛。
曲__ 按照体系做的人不一定都能问为什么,对吧?这里边很少的人能问为什么,是吧?
欧阳__ 那当然了,到一定程度你就可以问为什么了,这时候不仅仅是问为什么,而且还要问自己为什么这样做。这时候你已经被这个东西改变了。这时候会有一个转换,从为什么做,到如何做,通过问什么做的不同层次的体悟,到最终回来影响你怎么做。
曲__ 那有没有可能通过问完为什么以后不做了?
欧阳__ 也有可能啊,鲁迅不是问完为什么学医以后就不学医了嘛。很有可能问完为什么做以后就不做了。但,也很有可能问完为什么做以后就完全用另一种方法做了。不管如何吧,这个时候,你问完这个问题之后,再回到如何做这个基本操作层面上来的时候,你就有可能改变整个体系了。但是有的时候你不必脑子里很清楚地问出来为什么。有的时候一会不知不觉地达到这一境界,所以我才用沃尔特的例子

曲__ 你是说不一定用语言去问,也可以用行动去问。

欧阳__ 对,尤其运动员,他不会去问为什么
曲__ 有时他的行为也回答了问什么,你说是吧

欧阳__ 那当然,那当然,你可以说一个思想者他可以通过对问什么做哲学这件事的反复思考,反映到他的哲学中去,这时他必须用语言做,但一个运动员他不用啊,他在做的同时就已经改变了如何做。
曲__ 你认为这是“有种”
欧阳__ 以为这时已经不仅仅是你自己的种子了,你把这个体系本身的种子也开发出来了,这才是有种啊,当你超越自身的时候影响到体系了,或者说当自身和体系同时被超越的时候,同时被你改变的时候才是有种

曲__ 那你的这个有种和有胆量有关系吗?
欧阳__ 胆量啊…我觉得有关系,以为在你提出问题之前体制对你来说一直起着一个规范性作用,它是金科玉律,不可更改啊,弹钢琴必须这么弹。

曲__ 那就是说有种者会自觉不自觉地挑战体系是吧?

欧阳__ 体系这个东西最开始对你来说是个约束嘛,没有约束你是到不了这个个体塑造的,只有约束,极为严格的约束你才能达到一个境界,
曲__ 那按照你这个标准创新是有种的?

欧阳__ 啊,对,创新肯定是有种的。很重要的有种
曲__ 那你是说从被控制,到游刃有余,这里有没有你常用的那个词“溢出”?
欧阳__ 啊,对,是啊,有啊,这个杯子只有到满了才能溢出去嘛,不到满你怎么溢啊? 这个溢出来的东西才是最牛的。所以我说波尔特的那一刻就是溢出,这里提出了一个问题,就是说奥运会除了破纪录之外还可不可能是什么别的?
曲__ 你说的有种和胆量有关系吗?有的胆量需要冒生命之危险,有的胆量要冒名利之危险…
欧阳__ 对,对,是这样的,你想,波尔特后边有多少个赞助商啊,他几秒打破这个记录牵扯到多少人的利益呢,这只是一个稍微弱点的例子,稍微强一点的例子就是刘翔,但是刘翔不是一个有种的例子,他是一个最没种的例子,他是一个有种的反面教材啊
曲__ 对,对,对,说说,说说,这和刘翔有什么关系?
欧阳__ 他有对这个东西的控制,他有自我身体的塑造这都有了,但是当他问自己为什么要跑步的时候,当他有机会改变这个系统本身的时候,他不但没有去改变这个事情,反而加剧了这个系统的复杂性了,波尔特也许也就有几个赞助商赞助他,但是没有政治维度嘛,刘翔他跑与不跑牵扯到谁的利益,牵扯到那个国家的利益,他连跑都跑不了了,他两次跑不了了

大川__ 压力太大了
欧阳__ 不是压力太大了,第一次状态极差,就必须以某种姿态退下来了,第二次也是啊,都是怕他得不了冠军,这种神话的破灭

曲__ 那你说他的这两次全是表演?

欧阳__ 啊,是啊,如果是表演的话,如果不是表演在另说,如果是表演这是最没种的嘛,如果都是一种作秀的话
曲__ 那就是说他完全被这个体制控制了?
欧阳__ 对完全控制了,这是最可怕的,他自己的内心可能还挣扎,很痛苦,但是他没办法,对吧?

曲__ 好,现在我们在回到有种和犯二的区别这一话题,智慧肯定能产生胆量,但胆量也不一定仅仅来源于智慧,有的人就是什么都不怕,有智慧的大胆是有种,没有智慧的大胆是犯二……

欧阳__ 但有感情啊,见义勇为,你不用太有主会的人也可以见义勇为啊,见义勇为就是感情,智慧必须有感情维度嘛,所以我更愿意用敞开这个词,智慧和情感最后要结到敞开嘛,
曲__ 什么叫敞开?是一种境界?
欧阳__ 啊,对,是一种境界,这个境界是每一个人都可以达到的
曲__ 敞开的境界每一个人都可以达到?
欧阳__ 对啊,不同的情景有不同的敞开啊,或者说生活中没有产公开你是没法活的,你肯定是在某些方面你是有着不同程度的敞开的,比如说现在有仪的人来说大川,给我一万块钱,他肯定不会给的,但是如果他的儿子病了,他肯定会给的,你不敞开你是没法活的,但我说的那种敞开是在你不能的时候你耗能敞开,比如说,如果说正有人来说王大川借我一万块钱,我妈妈病了,他确实不认识这个人,但还是能给他一万块钱,这是一种……

曲__ 难能可贵的敞开

欧阳__ 对,一种难能可贵的敞开,我觉得他这么做就是有种的
曲__ 那现在有种比较清楚了,你的“有种”比较清楚了,就是说某种难能可贵的敞开就是“有种”

欧阳__ 那你现在要说犯二?
……

 

一个周六的北京城217.6公里狂走送货上门纪录:
material captured during our Saturday deliveries of WEAR journal in Beijing city, otherwise known as 217.6 km later…:

 

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.
早上 9:30 AM | 吴思远 Ray & 高灵 Ling | 菊儿胡同 Ju’er Hutong、左家庄 Zuojiazhuang、汉庭酒店(东直门外分店)HanTing Express Hotel (Dongzhimen Outer branch)

 

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.
早上 10:00 AM | 何颖雅 Elaine & 小欧 Orianna | 清华大学美院 Tsinghua University, Fine Arts Department

 

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.
早上 11:00 AM | 天汲 Tianji & 左罗 Zoro | 东直门外大街 Dongzhimen Outer Street

 

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.
中午 12:00 PM | 王尘尘 Cici & 王大川 River | 东四八条 Dongsi8tiao、地安门 Dianmen、旧宫地铁站 Jiu Gong subway station

 

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.
下午 1:00 PM | 高蓓 GAO Bei & 七朵云 Pilar | 苹果派社区 (东5和6环之间) Apple Pie Estates (between the 5th and 6th East Ring Roads)

 

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.
下午 1:30 PM | 王若思 Rose & 森林 Céline | 望京 Wangjing、草厂地 Caochangdi

 

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.
下午 2:00 PM | 欧阳潇 Xiao & 小欧 Orianna | 幸福西里 Xingfu Xili、东直门内 Dongzhimen Inner Street

 

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.
下午 3:00 PM | 曲一箴 Twist & Katharina | 鼓楼西大街 Drum Tower West、鼓楼后面 Drum Tower North、鼓楼东大街 Drum Tower East

 

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.
下午 3:00 PM | 张献民 Frank & 何颖雅 Elaine | 卢沟桥 Marco Polo Bridge、东五道口 Wudaokou、奥林匹克公园北门 North Gate of Olympic Park

 

Update你一下… Just a few updates

谢谢纽约新博物馆和《Art Asia Pacific》杂志,上个月收到他们一起出版的《艺术空间目录》!曲哥也用过当枕头,很实用!
Last month we received our copy of The New Museum & Art Asia Pacific‘s Art Spaces Directory. Thank you to all those who put in hard work to put it together, it’s a big book!

2010年被叫成“Life Stylists”之后,《明日风尚》给家作坊做了新定义:“Retail Star”。
After being called “Life Stylists” in 2010, MING magazine now gives new life to HomeShop. In June 2012, we are the “Retail Star”.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.
听一听我们当天的野声合唱队!上个星期跟撒把芥末组织的第13届“家-工-作坊”很成功,谢谢菲尔·明顿老爷爷陈皓伊的外星人声指导!
Thank you to SubJAM, Phil MINTON and Audrey CHEN for organizing HomeWorkShop No. 13 with us last week! Listen to a selected recording of the evening above.
(摄影 photo__ Michael EDDY)

2011年6月,Pilar和欧阳正在搬她从宜家买的床。Pilar and Xiao prepare to move the bed she bought from IKEA, June 2011. (摄影 photo__ 何颖雅 Elaine W. HO)

这周六30号家作坊将网上参加艺术家Laura YUILE和Orsoly BAJUSZ举办的“创意与策划实践舒适区:一个以特定场域会议”,在英国曼彻斯特市的宜家家具店。
On Saturday, 30 June, HomeShop will interweb-ly participate in the the “Site-Specific Symposium on Comfort Zones in Creative and Curatorial Practices” hosted by Laura YUILE and Orsolya BAJUSZ at the IKEA in Manchester, UK.

前几天欧阳和曲哥把蝈蝈放生了,过几个小时小公园抓住蝈蝈把它吃掉了。我们说:“曲哥爱生命,却经常误杀生命!”
A few days ago, Xiao and Twist set the pet cricket ZENG Lin bought for us free. A few hours later and accompanying much squealing commotion, we discovered Small Park had orally captured the bug for lunch. “Brother QU likes life, but he keeps accidentally killing things.” (摄影 photo__ 何颖雅 Elaine W. HO)

This text was originally written in 2011 for 艺术世界 Art World magazine and quietly rejected, left as random thoughts in my computer somewhere, dusty. But recent considerations of performance for a few upcoming activities at HomeShop led me to do a bit of copy-pasting here now, one year later,  just a thought.

—-

.黎巴嫩贝鲁特市 Beirut, Lebanon. April 2011.

I’m not entirely sure whether he directed his garbled shouting at us especially for the sake of our foreignness, or if perhaps he slurs that cocktail of memory, pride and political anger in all directions all the time, but anyhow, that afternoon my companions and I happened to serve well as the fresh, naîve ears to stop and pay him attention. He sat in a wooden chair on a street corner in the middle of the Armenian neighbourhood of Beirut, and a little girl wearing a bubblegum-coloured sweater and two fluffy pink decorated pigtails stood tucked into the embrace of his wildly gesticulating presence.

He caught sight of us quickly and beckoned us over; she seemed completely indifferent except for the potato chips that inspired her slow repeated movements from the bag to her mouth. Next to them was a covered 三轮车 three-wheel cart with a black plastic bag on top of it. Not really to hide anything, probably mostly out of convenience, the bag contained one bottle of water and one bottle of Johnnie Walker Red Label. Most conveniently, just within his arm’s reach stood a full glass of Klashinkof’s (pronounced like the gun) afternoon aperitif.

Despite his broken English, Klashinkof’s words shot out quickly and fiercely as his name implied, and the little war created by this ranting scene was made all the more extreme by the slow-motion softness of a round-faced little girl eating potato chips and a white cat with one blue eye and the other green, circling around them stealthily like a protective friend or a too-obvious spy.

Over the course of a few minutes, Klashinkof’s banter jumped from colourful quips about the nature of human life (“In the world there is two kinds of holes: you come out from your mother, and the next one, you go down. Two holes.“) to nostalgia over his acting days, Lebanese politics and religious jokes. We find out later that Klashinkof is known by many Beirutis already, his notoriety extending much further than the small radius of this little corner in the Bourj Hammoud area where he lives, works (mafia turned actor turned fish vendor, apparently) and drinks. A friend who also lives in the neighbourhood describes him as “a bold man—fearless, crazy, a specimen of what could be left from the times when Lebanon was full of fearless militias who could talk freely and yell in their own street and region. [The only difference is that] he doesn’t carry a gun anymore. But his hair is still combed back with gel typical of a street boy who tries to seduce women.”

Of course Klashinkof is a performer. And our fascination with him as visitors in an unfamiliar neighbourhood stems at least in part from his ability to attract our attention with his charisma, extravagance and extremity. On an everyday corner in an everyday neighbourhood, we find just a little bit of craziness. And that’s always memorable, now isn’t it?

Why is it that we always tend to forget the banal and remember the extravagant? This cannot be an entirely true statement, of course, because otherwise we would not even be able to remember routines, the people we see on a daily basis or even the days of the week. Both are considered long-term memory, but there is a strong distinction in their qualities, of which cognitive scientists classify as either procedural memory (eg., habits and learned skills like reading or bicycle riding) or declarative (memories that must be cognitively recalled, and can be spoken or written about). We could say that procedural memory may generally describe those banal forms of long-term memory in that they are repetitive and, therefore, carry less emotion in their recollection. Declarative memory, however is often highly implicated with emotion (studies show that thematically induced emotional stimuli aid in the memory of events), and going back to Klashinkof, it’s no wonder that his passionate sentiments were able to carve a strong memory for me and my companions.

 

.中国北京市 Beijing, China. June 2011.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.
长胡子叔叔在2011年夏天的日历餐厅做表演。Uncle Longbeard performs at the Calendar Restaurant, Summer 2011.

Back in the place where I live—which on a scale of memorability probably ranks much higher in the banality of procedural activities rather than the declarative, there is another old man who excels at shouting out in the streets, though this man does it for a living rather than out of a disgruntled attitude. Uncle Longbeard is a performer of his own culture, and he 吼卖 calls out old Beijing vendors’ songs not because he is selling anything in particular, but because he performs his own culture as an old Beijinger. He does this for money even, working at Temple Fairs and famous tea houses, but when he spontaneously comes over and sings in our courtyard for us, it is immediately obvious to whom this performance is memorable and to whom it is not. We either eat it up, feeling that authenticity has stumbled upon us, or are merely slightly amused and quickly grow inattentive. Here, what is ‘normal’, at least in terms of its familiarity with our own histories, is not worthy of the space it takes up in our brain storage, but what is ‘exceptional’ delights and leaves a strong impression.

In much the same way, our reactions to Klashinkof were much stronger than those that live in the same neighbourhood and hear his same stories everyday, but what is crucial to note here is that there is a blurry realm in between the synapses of memory, where emotion and familiarity affect our abilities to identify and recall. What happens, then, for our considerations of identity itself? We can say that identity is built from a full spectrum of memories, from the inherited ones of biology (the memory of genes) to those of society (eg., education and cultural memory). And while certain determinants of our identity may be fixed or unavoidable, like race or the social class into which we are born, what should be more carefully considered is the precarity that most of these determinants are really founded upon. To say that one is “Chinese” even, carries a myriad of complex tones and meanings depending upon one’s own associations with the concept of Chineseness. Thus our representations of any such identity can only ever be the playing out of ideas about that concept, whether or not we consciously do it, like Uncle Longbeard, or perhaps just uncontrollably express, like a wildly gesticulating drunk Armenian on a street corner in Lebanon. Judith Butler’s seminal work on gender claims that “identity is performatively constituted by the very ‘expressions’ that are said to be its results”, and the very idea of an expression occurs cognitively at the realm of the symbolic, no matter how clear the links may be or not. These symbols, taken in juxtaposition with human memory, become suddenly much more fallible, subjective constructions than the solidity we may have imagined from abstractions such as “male”, “female”, “Chinese” or even “high-class”. Of course, such ideas are long accrued concepts that stay well bolted into long-term memory, so their flexibility cannot come without a great deal of hitting against the norms of society. And we can never really opt-out of the performance of our identities, so to speak. Uncle Longbeard and Klashinkof are two players of a dying breed, whether of an old Beijing or an old Armenia. They’ve performed their roles so long there is no longer any distinction between performance and history. And that playfulness, or ambiguity, is perhaps something to consider.

The following is cross-posted from Petra JOHNSON’s original notes at 小卖部 Kiosk, first published on 9 April 2012. It is the beginning of a choreographic dialogue involving walking, gardening and “getting to know” along two parallel routes in Cologne and Beijing. You can view her route in Beijing here.

When you walk 600 strides from the North Exit of the central World Heritage Centre in both Cologne and Beijing you will find yourself at the locations shown below: The Cologne route leads diagonally over the forecourt of the main train station to the taxi rank, then it heads toward a ring road and there turns right into Marzellenstrasse. After 600 strides, you are just before a small enclave called Ursulaplatz on the opposite side of the road.

Ursulaplatz shelters one tree that hovers over a fast road and is hovered over by a railway line. The predominant sound is the droning of cars passing out of sight below, occasionally relieved by a passing train passing above.

In Beijing the route proceeds from the exit at the Northern End of the Imperial Palace just opposite Jinshang Park and turns right into the pathway along the moat. At the first junction it turns left into Jingshan West Street and runs through the small stretch of park outside the wall of Jingshan Park. Early in the morning, the predominant sound here is that of birds singing.

Elderly men have brought their pet birds contained in beautiful wooden cages for a bit if fresh air. The cages are hung on the trees and whilst the men chat amongst each other sitting on benches on the other side of the path, the birds sing in the privacy of trees, each sitting on a perch in their cage.

Last night (April, 10th) E and I compared notes. How many strides did it take to walk the respective routes? In Cologne, the route had been stretched just before I left in order to accommodate Mahira’s request to wind itself around the new mosque and the Jewish Community Centre, in Beijing the route has remained the same. I was concerned that the routes no longer matched in terms of length. Elaine had walked the Beijing route the previous night and counted 8093 strides, the Cologne route had taken me 8040 strides. There is a saying by the German writer Duerrenmatt: ‘The more careful you plan, the more opportunity you give to serendipity.” He clearly has a point. What rational explanation lies behind this surprising and pleasant discovery? I too had walked the route in Beijing and counted my strides. A quick mathematical calculation established that the ratio between our strides is 1:4.

So what seems long becomes short and the short becomes long yet everything is as it should be – as long as the planning is comprehensive and thorough. I had always thought that planning was there to prevent surprises, it turns out planning enables them.

失物 017:索尼α200数码相机,充电器,相机包和很多照片
发现时间:不太清楚,好几个星期之前
地点:交道口北二条8号,家作坊“万物库”地上

Lost & Found Object No. 017: Sony α200 digital camera with case and charger and photos
Last seen: exact time unknown, several weeks ago
Location: Jiaodaokou Beiertiao 8, on the floor of the HomeShop “10,000 Item Treasury”

—–

如果您要收回家作坊失物招领处的任何物品,或者有关于相机所有者的信息,请跟我们联系Please contact HomeShop if you would like to reclaim any lost & found item or have information regarding the owner of this camera.

(非常感谢高源翻译的英文原版 Chinese translation of the original post in English thanks to 高源鸿!!! 谢谢!!!

几个月之前,有位在2011光州设计双年展(主题为图可图非常图)非定名设计单元工作的朋友介绍了几位她的同事给我认识。他们在对祭奠用品进行研究, 大概这些用品是他们非定名设计的研究对象。我的朋友知道,我在和附近寿衣店的邻居有交流,制作了一些纸质物件,所以她研究祭奠用品的这几个同事想知道,这些店在哪儿。我给他们发了几张我制作的纸件和研究的照片,但其实我都没有给寿衣店内部拍过照。不过,我确实故意没告诉他们这些店的具体位置(其实就在我们工作室的正对面)。

这听着有点傻,但是我想声明一下,我这么做并不是因为想独占我周边的文化资源。我只是想研究这些小店同时不影响它们的真实性。这些小店从一开始,就笼罩在一片神秘之中。一年之前,我们在准备北二条小报第一期的时候,老萧和我特地去和问过开寿衣店的山东母子,要不要在我们的报纸上打个免费广告。两人拒绝了我们的提议,理由是做这种“迷信”的广告是不吉利的。政府对这种迷信产业进行着严格的监管,而同时又垄断着殡葬业。比如, 从我们对门邻居店里购买的骨灰盒,是不能进入公墓的,因为我们的邻居没有官方的批准。我想,这可能和他们本身不稳定的处境有关。他们在回答问题时,彬彬有礼而小心谨慎。所以,我们写了一篇短文,发在北二条小报上,仅向英语读者介绍这一现象。

不过,这篇短文的标题上用中文写了“寿衣”二字。所以在我们这份杂七杂八的报纸创刊号发行的第二天,就遭到了一些邻居的责怪,认为我们不应该提及这方面的内容。从他们的反应当中我感受到的是,不仅对门寿衣店与政府的关系难以说清,连关于人们离世后的仪式也是不可轻启的话题。

11月的时候,我们看了Brendan McGetrick的演讲,他本人是“未定名设计”的馆长之一。他以让人耳目一新的方式,向我们呈现出了各种创意与作品。他运用简单质朴的日常物件,科技产品,甚至社会现象来扩展设计的定义。比如:“政治抗议手册,DNA条码,死刑执行程序,跨洲货币体系”等等。那么这些如何成为设计的范例呢?McGetrick写到:“本次展会的目的,就是对“设计”进行重新的定义。设计是满足人类需求的各种战略解决方案,不是艺术家为了标榜自我而造出的主观产物”。

祭奠用品的设计可谓是McGetrick理念的反义词。这些用品悉数列举了日常生活的所有物件,通常涵盖我们文化当中的奢侈商品,比如:钱、汽车、高档衣服、手机和大楼。这些用品并非照搬物品原来的样子 ,也不是按照“山寨”的理念进行的。在某种程度上说,山寨好于原装产品,有的时候山寨机还会微妙而幽默地改变原机的功能。决定祭奠用品的外形的还有另外一个实际原因:为了便于焚烧,它们是用纸做的。因为这样的最终目的,设计当中的其他元素往往不被考虑在内。制造材料一定要能够充分燃烧,这样才能尽快进入地府——虽然几乎任何材料都是可燃的。曾几何时,人们在提供祭品的时候更加慷慨。但现在人们有着当代的理解,往往选择更普通的方式祭奠过世的爱人或祖先。 现在人人都可进行祭奠活动,所以祭奠也变得不在神圣,趋于理性。但是毕竟,相比于Georges Bataille提出的,用文字寄托哀思,或Jacques Attali倡导的,寄悲情于当代音乐,烧纸钱、烧祭物,显然还是更加直接的祭奠方式。然而这些用品必须做到能物尽其用同时价格低廉。所以,与现代社会的其他产品一样,祭奠用品也是大规模的现成制品。一套九件的祭奠品仅售15元。如果钱不是问题的话,还可以定做娃娃屋大小的别墅,或者等离子电视。在北京的小店里你可以在列着上百条物件的清单上订货,然后河北的制造者就会发货过来。不过,一般来说,卖的最好的还是成捆的通胀率极高的冥币,价格十分公道。

但是让我不解的是,如果祭奠用品的意义在于让死者在地府活得体面,那为什么还用最便宜的材料给他们做各种物件的复制品呢?是因为在这“纯粹的交换”中,最普通的商品,也是最合适的替代品吗?如果可以用仿冒品的话(比如,生前死后都可使用的双SIM卡手机;印着玉皇大帝的冥币),那么为什么还要买那些卖家的赝品,而不去自己制作一些适合自己情况和价值观的用品呢?这样不是能更好的阐释我们去已故亲人的关系吗?

带着这些想法,我自己制作了一些纸件并拿到对门的寿衣店,想知道能不能卖出去。我们的邻居并不吝惜对设计本身的评价,却坦承觉得这卖不出去。我向他们说明,他们可以自己定价,卖出去的钱完全归他们所有,他们也不断地问是否真的不需要给我任何钱。我唯一的要求就是请他们告诉我人们的反应。在我们的坚持下,他们同意拿几个看看。我本以为,手工制作可能对人们更有吸引力。然而店主却说,有人倒是买了一件,不管是以什么价格出售的,此人却打算留着我做的纸件而不是用于焚烧。这对我来说有些有趣,也有些让人失望。这并不是我的预期目标,也不是我最初保密的目的。不管怎么说,我还是觉得有机会的:接下来的几周,我路过对门,发现我的彩色小车摆在他们的玻璃柜台里。过了一段时间小车不见了,我却知道原因不是卖出去了。他们就是无法再忍受我的掺合,不想摆在柜台里了。而我们也觉得很尴尬,不敢旧事重提。

对亡者的纪念全世界都有,而我所知的祭奠方式相较这种简单很多。对很多人来说,谈到死亡,往往会谈宗教;而不信教的人,在说到死亡的时候,也会谈谈宗教,因为,没人谁真的知道死亡是怎样的一种体验,只能通过宗教来解释。我还记得参加过的几次亲戚的葬礼,感觉与其他重要场合没有什么特别大的区别,只是气氛凝重些。有的人相信天堂,我并不相信。在这点上,我与很多人包括亲属朋友是不同的。(我母亲是犹太人,她的文化身份可能更明显,而我其他亲戚的观点更集中于现世,引用我一个叔叔Alex在邮件中的原话,他说“等到陨石撞了地球,一切灰飞烟灭,一切都是浮云”)。如果说我们这个例子里,还依稀可见传统的影子的话,那么最多也只是说,这些传统时不时的扰乱了迥然不同的生活。

从某种程度上说,对死者的纪念,是人们用一种宗教,或者文化的方式,对抗着对于当代社会(流于物质)的失望,这种设计,可以说是存在于我们的内心深处根深蒂固的本能,或至少是,一种行之有效的对抗方式。牧师的动作,犹太拉比的语言或者在街边烧纸钱妇女的做法在一定意义上都是他们所在的环境的设计。而对于烧纸钱的妇女来说,这种设计其实是以象征的方式,重新构建了中国传统家庭相互依靠的体系,而让这些理念不因生命的终止而结束。但其实,即使焚烧的物件可能会变,这种习俗仍是在试图同精神世界建立一种连接,虽然表现形式是物质的,但实质并不全是。

我是站在一个不了解内情的人的角度上发表的观点,很难深入从人类学、社会学或宗教理论上进行分析。也就是在此,理论和信仰似乎分裂成了自相矛盾的境地。如果我们对待鬼魂的方式如此功利,我们如何能够真正进入灵魂的世界呢?带着这样的问题,我不禁自忖,是否现在已为时太晚?围绕真正的信仰问题,各种阐释与误解将我们对待灵魂的方式定调为艺术,但何为真相,何为误解,我们的路程在发现与怀疑的相反方向上,渐行渐远。毕竟,扪心自问,我们能说,扫墓者在祭奠先人时,所希望获得的,也是我们所期待的这种近距离的心灵体验吗?这些纪念本身是否已经稀释成了一种约定俗成的仪式?那么,个人与习俗的真正关系又是什么呢,我作为外来者是否就本不应该介入呢?

我们周边其实有很多家寿衣店。我决定去接触临近医院的一家更为“正规”的寿衣店。和我家附近的几家寿衣店差不多,这家店也是24小时开放的。毕竟,当生命走到尽头的时候,说不好什么时候,寿衣就派上用场了。一个晚上,我和陈陈一起去了这家寿衣店,他们比我想象的更愿意谈这个话题,我本以为他们会对此缄默无言。与我交谈的女士不认为寿衣店有任何不同,她也不认为所谓的私人处购买骨灰盒不可进入公墓的说法是真的。她给出的理由是,我邻居不像他们是本地人,入行时间短,所以在与当地顾客交谈时更为敏感。这位女士还对我拿去的纸件做出了批评意见。一个星期后我拿着改进过的纸件又去找她,这次纸件上有了手绘的细节。她问我,其他的像冰箱、洗衣机、衣柜床的物件在什么地方。正是她的态度导致了我的变节,让我觉得,之前的谨慎低调都是不必要的。祭奠,本是很个人的行为;但若仅仅因为质疑这一活动的纯粹性,便以此为题,公开讨论,是会让人感觉,多少有些尴尬。(你真相信灵魂吗?)说实话,对于这一精神世界的论断,我们无可稽考;而未来人们将以何种方式祭奠先人,我们也不得而知。我们把一种行为冠以“设计”之名的那一刻,其实就已经表明,这已不再是种信仰。因为,我们看到的,不再是真相,而是某个具体的物件,被赋予了具体的用途,被视作为满足人类需求而设计的一整套战略解决方案。这不禁让我想起了Vilem Flusser的名言:“设计者都是攻于心计,巧设陷阱的算计者。但如果通过讨论,我们可以获得另外一个视角,学会在思考的时候,不只局限于融合、利用、或强行引入某种文化元素,那么,也许在这时,我们可以说,自己真正实现了外国习俗与自身艺术的水乳交融。艺术作品不是人类征服精神世界的工具;不是对逝者简单粗暴的讽刺;相反,艺术作品可以是纯粹的;但真正的艺术来不得半点匆忙。

Several months ago a friend working for the “Un-Named Design” section of the 2011 Gwangju Design Biennale (titled “Design is not Design is Design”) put me in touch with some of her colleagues researching paraphernalia associated with death rituals, presumably as examples of un-named design. My friend was aware of the paper objects I have been making in dialogue with the neighborhood Shouyi, so the researchers asked where they could find these shops. I sent them some images of my objects and research, as I hadn’t even taken images of the insides of the Shouyi stores. But I deliberately refrained from telling them where our neighbors’ store is (it’s directly across from us in the alleyway).


In the summer one of our turtles stopped moving. We buried its body under the shrub by the gates. 夏天的时候,我们养的四只乌龟中有一只死了,我们将它埋在门口的灌木丛里。

This sounds silly now, but in my defense, I swear it wasn’t because I wanted to be the only cultural poacher in the neighborhood. I was simply trying to remain as true as possible to the subject I am following, which from the outset of my acquaintance seemed shrouded in secrecy. When we were preparing the first Beiertiao Leaks a year ago, Xiao and I went over to ask if the Shandong-bred mother-son business team living and working there would place an advertisement free-of-charge in our small newspaper. They refused on the grounds that it was bad luck to publicize as a profession dealing in “superstition.” They didn’t want publicity and wouldn’t allow any pictures or direct mentions of their store printed. Being a sector based on spirituality and superstition, it is kept a close eye on by authorities, and we were told that the government has a monopoly on the funerary industry. Apparently, if one were to buy an urn from our neighbors, it couldn’t be buried in an official cemetery, as they aren’t officially sanctioned. We suspected part of the issue was the instability of their own personal situation. They cagily but politely answered our inquiries, though, so we prepared a short article introducing the phenomenon only to the English-speaking readership.

The title of this brief piece had the Chinese characters “寿衣“ in it though, so the day after distributing the scrappy new copies of the first edition of Beiertiao Leaks we received reprimands from some of the neighbors for even broaching the subject. It seemed from their reactions that, aside from this little shop’s ambiguous relation to the state, as an area of human activity addressing the mysteries of what happens after you die, one shouldn’t speak openly about these rituals.


We had never given it a name, so in order to wish it well, we decided on one: 龟龟 (Gui Gui). 我们的乌龟生前没有名字,但为了祝福它,我们决定叫它龟龟。

Watching a presentation in November by Brendan McGetrick, one of the curators of “Un-Named Design,” we saw an inspiring methodology in organizing a wide range of ideas and artifacts. Toward this, there was a thoughtful attempt to broaden the definition of design to examples of rustic and simple but effective uses of everyday items, scientific innovations and even protocols of action and social situations: “a political protest manual, DNA barcodes, execution procedures, a transcontinental monetary system.” So what made these diverse examples design? McGetrick wrote: “The goal of this theme is to reframe design as a set of strategic solutions to human needs, rather than an ego-driven pursuit of subjective beauty.”

Shouyi goods draw from the design world in the most flagrant sense that McGetrick was reacting against, as they itemize the essential commodities of our lives, and more often consist of the most luxurious fetishes that our cultures share, like money, cars, fancy clothes, mobile phones, and mansions. Their production process rarely results in direct copies, of course. Neither are they really intended to function like shanzhai products, which are in a sense copies better than the original, though they often include subtle and sometimes humorous twists and references to their repurposing. A simple question of materiality determines the boxy appearance of Shouyi goods: they are made of paper and intended to be burnt. The indifference of fire determines a certain indifference of production where other definitions of design come in. The material must adequately combust, thereby expeditiously crossing from the world of the living to that of the dead—but almost anything burns. Having understood this in a peculiarly modern sense, as compared with the more elaborate offerings and sacrifices of bygone times, many people normally opt for rather indifferent forms of tribute to their deceased loved ones or ancestors. The modern sense of sacrifice is that with its democratization has come its effective desacralization and rationalization. However, the ritual of burning Shouyi goods is obviously intended more directly as sacrifice than its substitution with literature (Georges Bataille) or its resonance in all modern music forms (Jacques Attali). It fulfills its function but it must be cheap. Therefore, like all aspects of the modern world, it is conventionally mass-produced and readymade. An average full household set of the nine necessary amenities costs only 15 yuan. If money is no object, one can order the larger dollhouse-size villas or 3/4-scale plasma screens, from a catalogue of hundreds of choices, as the small shops in Beijing usually have them delivered from Hebei manufacturers on request. But logically, as money is an object, the most popular sales are bundles of extremely inflated denominations of “Hell Money,” a very good value-for-your-dollar deal.


What can a turtle do with a car, they questioned. 他们在琢磨,一直乌龟要辆车做什么呢.

But why, I wondered, should this be logical? If Shouyi is about venerating the dead and trying to make their afterlives more dignified, then why are we satisfied with the most cheaply-produced replicas? Is it that the most generic commodities are the most ready stand-in for “pure exchange”? And yet if there is the allowance of kitsch (for instance, pagers and mobile phones that boast of dual-band SIM cards functioning both on Earth and in Heaven, or Renminbi with the face of a god in place of Mao Zedong) then why do we have to buy these sham-brand-name goods from dealers instead of making our own or customizing them to suit our personalities, affections and values? Does it say something about our relationships with our relatives?

With this line of questioning in mind, I produced some very basic paper objects and brought them over to the shop to see if they would accept them to sell. Turning them over, our neighbors commented on the design but confessed they wouldn’t be able to sell them. They were free to set the price and to keep the money, I assured them, while the mother asked dubiously again and again whether they needed to pay me. My only request was to report to us how people perceived them. On our insistence, they said they were willing to take a couple of them, though, just to see what would happen. In my mind, I thought perhaps that at least the sign of the object being made by hand might make a difference to someone. The shop owners said that in the unlikely event someone bought one of them, no matter the price, they were more likely to put them on their shelves and hold onto them rather than set fire to them. This was interesting but still a frustrating compromise; it neatly avoided the problematic desire for real engagement that is the intention of my work, and which determined the relative secrecy and modest scale of my project. In any case, the possibility was there: passing the doors for the next couple of weeks, I was pleased to see my colorful car on the glass counter. After some time it disappeared, though I know it was never sold. They had simply tolerated my meddling enough and couldn’t justify the use of space. We were awkward enough to never again address the topic.


A boy was asked by his mother where Gui Gui is now, and he pointed up toward the dark sky. 一个小男孩问他妈妈,龟龟去了哪里,于是他的妈妈指向夜空.

Rituals surrounding death are a commonality among almost all peoples of the world, though the manner in which I grew up included fairly few practices comparable to Shouyi. For many, death is where religion is concentrated or re-emerges, as it is one of the only unaccounted-for parts of humans’ experience, otherwise always supposed to be understood. I remember funerals of my relatives seeming rather like any other momentous occasion, though blacker in mood. Some believe in heaven, but I don’t. In this, I may differ from other members even of my own family or those close to me (though on my mother’s side, which is Jewish and so the more distinct cultural identity, you could say there is a thoroughly secular tendency among sections of my relatives: in my uncle Alex’s words in an email, “An asteroid will hit the earth and it will all eventually end. It’s all bullshit.”). Traditions, if they can be said, fragilely, to exist in our case, do so only insofar as they punctuate our disparate lives.

In a way, this is the design of culture if not religion, hard-wired or useful enough to withstand all the dissolutions of the modern world. The gestures of a priest, the words of a rabbi or the rites of a woman burning paper money on the street are in some ways designs of community. In the latter case, perhaps it is the design that recreates in symbolic form a familial system of interdependency and debt that structures the lives of the living in China, and acknowledges its extending beyond. The custom of burning paper replicas might be seen to re-establish connections that can never be referred to exclusively as material, even as the designs of the objects themselves are periodically updated or added to.

As I am speaking from a rather uninformed perspective, it is hard to go much further into what might be anthropological, sociological or religious theories of action and belief, and it is also here where theories and beliefs splinter into seemingly contradictory positions. How can we really commune with ghosts if we sympathize with their presence in so utilitarian a manner? This question raised, am I already too late? A whole slew of understandings and misunderstandings of what is real belief underpins its approach as art, pulling in the contradictory directions of doubt and identification. After all, how can we say for sure that this intimacy desired is something actually shared with the people who burn the paper objects for their loved ones? Has the ritual itself not become something “diluted” into expected tradition? And therefore, what is the relation of individuals to their customs; as the outsider, isn’t it simply not my place to enter?

There are in fact many Shouyi shops in our neighborhood. I decided that it was time to approach one of the more “official” shops near the hospital. Like our neighbors they are open all hours, to match the contingency of schedule that moderates the ending of a life. One evening I went over with Chenchen and found that they were much more forthcoming in discussing the topic, rather than more closed as I had assumed. The woman there didn’t think there was actually a difference in the level of legitimacy of Shouyi shops, and she dismissed the idea that urns of so-called unofficial origin wouldn’t be acceptable in official graveyards. The explanation that she instead provided for the difference between the shops was that her family, made up of Beijing natives, did not come from away and had been in the business a long time, so they could be more sensitive in their counsel to local customers. The woman gave me criticisms of the objects I brought her. I returned a week later with a new version of a paper car, this time with hand-painted details, and she asked me where the other items were, the refrigerator, washing machine, wardrobe, bed, and so on. Her attitude was what finally lead me to this betrayal, to loosen my hold on the discretion I felt necessary for real engagement. Activity that operates on rather personal levels sits awkwardly when shifted to a discussion that could be called public, as I am doing now, namely for the reason that doubts arise about the genuineness of the engagement. (Are you a real believer?) This can’t be proven either way, in the end, and the future of this engagement cannot be predicted. Classifying a practice as design is a sign of the removal of belief, as one sees the ends an object is put to, its actualization “as a set of strategic solutions to human needs,” rather than as truth itself (a suspicion that recalls Vilém Flusser’s assertion: “A designer is a cunning plotter laying his traps.”) But if opening up the discussion allows us to see another perspective and to extend the idea beyond fitting in, exploiting or imposing, then that may be when this external custom is made into our own ritual. Rather than reining in spirits for instrumental ends or liquidating everything into the irony that glazes the oblivion lying behind our modern world, artwork can make moves toward becoming authentic—it cannot arrive there too hastily.

失物品 014:欧阳(177 cm、很瘦、25-26岁、曾是驻唱歌手)
发生失踪时间:5年前(贴报2011年11月29日,下午1点发现的)
地点:五道营胡同,靠近东口

Lost & Found Object No. 014: Ouyang (177 cm, skinny, 25-26 years old, used to be a hired singer)
Last seen: 5 years ago (notice discovered 29 November 2011, 13.00)
Location: near the east entrance of Wudaoying Hutong

—–

如果您要收回家作坊失物招领处的任何物品,或者有关于欧阳的信息,请跟 oylcleslie@163.com / 13611334246 联系。Please contact oylcleslie@163.com / 13611334246 if you would like to reclaim any lost & found item or have information regarding Ouyang.