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Posts tagged ‘读书小组 reading club’

Dear Happy Friends,

Please join us on

Sunday, December 30
5:00pm at HomeShop

to continue our reading of Claire BISHOP’s Artificial Hells. After a meandering discussion of participation, audience, spectatorship, and of course the shifting roles of the artist, viewer, and curator, we will together discuss Chapter 9: ‘Pedagogic Projects: How do you bring a classroom to life as if it were a work of art?’ In this chapter, Bishop takes up recent discussions of the mobilization of education by artists. Bishop unpacks the “educational turn,” first theorized by Irit Rogoff in e-flux journal, using case studies and providing a thorough reading of different theories of education from Schiller to Freire to Ranciere. As it is the last chapter, it might be fitting to skim the Conclusion as well and test the arguments Bishop has made against our own practices and those we encounter in Beijing.

Please send us an e-mail or leave a comment to this post in order to receive a copy of the reading.

As requested, please find above the full audio recording from the last meeting with Grant KESTER. While we did not adhere too closely to the text this time, several common interests/curiosities, those inevitable questions and quite a bit of editorial juxtaposed with self-reflection from an optimist, a “former” artist, a cynic and several foodies provided interesting insight into politicization as a viewing mechanism, “multiple art worlds”, “nomadic agents of critique”, “spontaneity (not) as stupidity” and the weakness of opposition, among other flows…

We’ll continue with the fallout of relational/dialogical practices with a reading suggested by Michael EDDY—Claire BISHOP’s latest book entitled Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship. Chapter 8, “Delegated Performance: Outsourcing Authenticity”, was suggested, but seeing as this book has been in wide circuit since its publishing and given our tendency to stray, perhaps another experiment could be attempted for each participant to read a chapter of interest and then introduce it to the rest of the group, as once attempted during the also relevant meeting “Modes of Activism“. What do you think? If you are interested to join this session of Happy Friends, to be held on

Sunday, 2 December 2012
18:00 at HomeShop

please send us an e-mail or leave a comment to this post in order to receive a copy of the reading, and let us know which of the following chapters floats your boat:

  1. The Social Turn: Collaboration and Its Discontents, p 11
  2. Artificial Hells: The Historic Avant-garde, p 41
  3. Je participe, tu participes, il participe . . . , p 77
  4. Social Sadism Made Explicit, p 105
  5. The Social Under Socialism, p 129
  6. Incidental People: APG and Community Arts, p 163
  7. Former West: Art as Project in the Early 1990s, p 193
  8. Delegated Performance: Outsourcing Authenticity, p 219
  9. Pedagogic Projects: ‘How do you bring a classroom to life as if it were a work of art?’, p 241

For the next meeting, we will depart from poetry and return to the art world and questions of participation in contemporary art practice. Orianna has selected Grant Kester’s recent “The Sound of Breaking Glass”, a two-part essay published in the e-flux journal. not only considering participation within a global framework, the work discusses notions of risk, a term that i hope we can tease out more in light of the publication of wear three and our continued discussions of 有种/ballsy.

We will convene on a different day from our usual meeting time with our fingers are crossed that Grant will be skyping in to join the conversation from San Diego. please don’t be late, Saturday, November 10, from 12 noon.

And finally, a bit on Grant’s background: Grant Kester is one of the first art historians to theorize “relational” or to use his own term, “dialogical” art practices. In 2006, he responded to Claire Bishop’s critique of Nicholas Bourriaud in the pages of Art Forum. Following this intervention, he published Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Modern Art. Recently, he published The One and The Many: Contemporary Collaborative Art in a Global Context. to read more of his writing, please visit his website.

To obtain a copy of the reading for this meeting, please leave a comment to this post or e-mail us at lianxi [at] homeshop [dot] org [dot] cn.


above__ 家作坊日记,2012年9月23日;from the HomeShop log book, 23 September 2012




In honour of passing the Mid-Autumn Festival, the Happy Friends will get their mooncake faces on with some slow-down into the season readings of the work of poet Bei Dao. While Twist says that there is not much we can say about poetry beyond reading it, we could be Happy Friends just as well to get together and read, think of the tumultuous youth of other Societies, and welcome an autumn world in turmoil.

For this meeting the reading group will also focus on translation as a point of poetic turn, and we will do our best to find as many pieces available in both English and Chinese as possible. We may take turns reading particular favourites, or drift into dissent, debating about dead cats and the dog’s democracy. 

The meeting will take place at HomeShop on Saturday, October 6th at 6 pm. Leave a comment to request a digital copy for reading.

For the next meeting of the Happy Friends Reading Club it has been suggested to read the introduction to contemporary German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk’s book “Spheres.” 

(Note: this date and topic may share some associations with HomeShop’s imminent release of wear journal 3 and its motif “ballsy”, but this suggestion pops up from the serendipitous parallel interest of a group member rather than any coordinated decision; enjoy the coincidence!)

The meeting will take place at HomeShop on Sunday, September 9th at 6 pm.
We are trying to organize an extra bubbly component to the meeting, will keep you posted.

For the next meeting of the Happy Friends Reading Club, we will be reading Donna Harraway’s essay from 1985, “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century.” We have versions in English and in Chinese to distribute, so please let us know if you want to receive a copy. 
The plan is to initially separate the language groups and then try a crossover, so language ability is not the ultimate human obstacle!

The meeting will take place at HomeShop at 6 pm on July 22nd, 2012.

下一期的“快乐朋友阅读小组”我们将阅读哈洛威发表于1985年的论文《Cyborg宣言:20世紀晚期的科學、技術與社會女性主義》。供有中英 文版本。这一次,我们计划按语言分成两个小组进行分享,最后再两组一起讨论,所以语言就不成障碍啦。

2012年7月22日晚上6 点,欢迎来家作坊参加!

Following our last meeting on grassroots activism in China, we find the term “activist” returning back to some concerns (the object or the relation?) related to the discussion of 2 meetings ago, on “speculative reason,” by way of a detour.* 

We will be reading from “Semblance and Event,” a recent book by Brian Massumi, philosopher and translator of “1000 Plateaux” by GIlles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. We will take a look at the introductory text to the book.

Also addressed will be “千高原” (Chinese version of “1000 Plateaux,”) as the English text is a bit long for our Chinese-speaking Friends. The introduction was suggested as a good resource for our inevitable wanderings off the straight and narrow. 

The next meeting is planned for Sunday June 24th, 6pm at HomeShop.

If you are interested in receiving the text, please inquire.

*(The detour has to do with 开封 河南 Kaifeng, Henan, and a bilious conflict between OOO-ists [object-oriented ontology] and the POO-ists [process-oriented ontology]… will explain to those interested at the meeting.)

For the next meeting of Happy Friends Reading Club we will shift to an alternative procedure, discussing a number of papers collected at the CONFERENCE ON MODES OF ACTIVISM AND ENGAGEMENT IN THE CHINESE PUBLIC SPHERE (26-27 APRIL 2012 at the National University of Singapore). 

Although the 5 texts chosen from the 5 panels at the conference will be made available to those interested, we will ask several among the Happy Friends to read carefully with a view to presenting the basic points of the papers at the meeting. This method is chosen to get a cross-section of the discussions at the conference, and perhaps of some sort of “current state” of activist practices in China. 

There will also be a brief discussion reviewing the art and activist positions at East Asia Multitudes Meeting held at Occupy Central in Hong Kong, where two members of HomeShop had been present.

The meeting is scheduled for 6pm on May 27th, 2012 at HomeShop. 

Last meeting in discussing the anthropological features of humans (bio-historical linguistic disoriented animal whose innovativeness is what endows it for acts of “evil”) we stumbled, again, on the possibility to assign human nature. One person claimed this is always a problem, as the definition can never be made outside of the time in which it is stated. Truism? 

But this does lead to speculations about what is possible to know.

Recently, some mention has been made of time here and there. Questions about objects (as they exist in time? as they exist beyond the grasp of our consciousness, precede and outlast us) shift the discussion to a place some of us are not really familiar with. Can this metaphysics be a detour to another time for us?

For next meeting, the text “On the Undermining of Objects: Grant, Bruno, and Radical Philosophy” by Graham Harman, is proposed. (p. 21–40 in the attached PDF “The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism and Realism,” 2010) 

The meeting is scheduled at HomeShop on May 13th at 6pm. 

For our next meeting Happy Friends is returning to Paolo Virno to further test the relatively undefined “human nature” that Erich Fromm posited as the background of a diagnosis of a society’s sanity. 

In this text, “Anthropology and Theory of Institutions,” (a chapter in “Art and Contemporary Critical Practice: Reinventing Institutional Critique,” 2009) Virno says: “There is no dispassionate inquiry on human nature that does not carry along with it, as a sort of clandestine passenger, at least the sketch of theory of political institutions.”

But whereas Fromm’s human nature empowers the critique of bad civilization, Virno contends: “The critique of the ‘monopoly over political decision’, and generally of institutions whose rules function as compulsions to repeat, must rest precisely on the acknowledgment that man is ‘bad by nature’.” 

The meeting is planned for April 8th, at 6pm at HomeShop. If you would like a copy of this text please leave a comment.