[-empyre-] decloaking

Melinda Rackham melinda at subtle.net
Thu Nov 4 20:02:13 EST 2010

hi there,
  nice to see u de-lurking Michael and Robin..

Robin can u expand a bit on the concept of decentralized curatorial  
  are u talking about the "net" or networks?

15 years ago in the rush of internet euphoria, we all thought that the  
net would change everything -  abolish the discrete art object;   
create closer maker-audience relationships; cut out the gallery  
gateway etc,  and what has actually happend is that the market just  
asserted its power, introduced editioning of media art and ignored  
more distributed, non-hierarchical works. Subtle shifts in what is  
shown perhaps, but in the most part intact.

But my instinct is that you are referring to something else --  
something specific to China which i imagine includes the cultural  
perspective on copying as a way of learning?

I was reading some comments in designer Brian Ling's Blog - http://www.designsojourn.com/why-does-china-copy-designs/ 
"in Chinese culture, its really about the fact that “copying is the  
greatest form of flattery ... patents are only taken out for a product  
if it can be later sold, or licensed for royalties. In other words  
patents are seen as “offensive” in the East as compared to “defensive”  
in the West. The viewpoints are actually similar, but there is a  
subtle difference on how patents are viewed."

How does the different perspective on re/production impact on  
alternate forms of distribution..  Michael's  Donkey Institute of  
Contemporary Art (DICA)
for example routes around the gallery systems in a very physical way.  
A sort of take it to the streets and the people attitude. Perhaps the  
utilization of urban screens to show work outside the gallery, as we  
did in Dreamworlds is a more time effective way forward, but in  
reality showing in these spaces it is negotiating directly with  
commercial space, rather than its art portals.

best wishes


Melinda Rackham
melinda at subtle.net

On 04/11/2010, at 3:33 AM, Robin Peckham wrote:

> Hi all, and thanks Ed for the introduction.
> My interest in forms of contemporary art dealing with technology and
> other aspects of new media is highly formalist and not necessarily
> limited to China; my research looks at how new technological
> possibilities are affecting and might further affect the art world,
> from exhibition strategies to market transactions. Our office here in
> Hong Kong has looked at what we call "art futures," playing with
> possibilities of how digital networks decentralize curatorial
> practice, particularly with regard to the commercial gallery
> system--in mainland China, it would not be too much of an exaggeration
> to say that this is the only viable system, as only two or three truly
> nonprofit institutions exist, and in a legal grey area at that, while
> most larger institutions are moribund.
> Broadly speaking, I'm curious about how things like editioning and
> reproduction affect how art circulates, and new media is where these
> changes are currently most evident. Paired with the developing art
> system status of China, we face a field in which there are many, many
> liminal zones of production and circulation not bound by the strict
> categories to which we are accustomed, both in the "alternative"
> register and working in what superficially appear to be profit- or
> market-oriented spaces. (I'm sure Ed Sanderson will be able to go into
> further detail on how new media as a form intersects with such
> alternative strategies as we progress.)
> Many thanks for having me to the discussion this month--I've been a
> longtime lurker on the list and look forward to finally getting
> further into something.
> Robin Peckham
> Society for Experimental Cultural Production
> 2/F 716 Shanghai St., Mongkok, Kowloon, H.K.
> www.kunsthallekowloon.org
> +852 5181 5156
> On Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 6:14 PM, Edward Sanderson <ed at escdotdot.com>  
> wrote:
>> Hello -empyre-,
>> Thanks for the intro Melinda and for devoting so much effort to  
>> organizing
>> Manifest Dynasty.
>> It's a great privilege to be part of this forum, and I'm looking  
>> forward to
>> sharing our thoughts and experiences over the next few weeks.  
>> Melinda and I
>> will be doing our best to ask some difficult questions to keep things
>> moving!
>> To start with, I'll try and outline my position here. As Melinda  
>> said, I'm
>> originally from the UK and came to China for the first time 3 years  
>> ago,
>> just in time for the run up to the Olympics in Beijing. My focus  
>> has mainly
>> been on the new media side of things (working with many artists and  
>> curators
>> in this field), and in my experience this is a particularly strong  
>> niche in
>> the Chinese artworld – it's obviously not as prominent as, ooh  
>> let's say
>> painting, but there seems to be a ready awareness and acceptance of  
>> "new
>> media" amongst artists in China over the last few generations.
>> Today and on Friday I will be introducing curators, writers and  
>> artists who
>> have played a leading role in developing the new media art  
>> environment here.
>> I'm really looking forward to seeing how bringing them together can  
>> produce
>> new routes through the potential chaos of new media art in China.
>> --A note about Chinese translations--
>> This discussion will primarily be in English, but we have limited
>> translation services we can call upon. If anyone prefers to write in
>> Chinese, before posting to the forum please send these messages to  
>> me at
>> <ed at escdotdot.com> – I will get them translated and submit them on  
>> your
>> behalf. Translations can usually be done overnight, if I receive  
>> them by 5pm
>> (Beijing time).
>> Now I'll provide introductions to the first two guests to the forum  
>> from
>> this part of the world: Robin Peckham and Rebecca Catching. Robin  
>> is a
>> prolific and characteristically forthright writer and curator on  
>> the art
>> scenes of China and Hong Kong (and elsewhere). His knowledge of the  
>> local
>> art scenes and ability to capture them in words is pretty  
>> impressive and he
>> has been someone whose output I've always found insightful and  
>> helpful to my
>> own understanding.
>> Rebecca has consistently curated some really well thought-through  
>> shows,
>> combining a whole range of media in fruitful juxtaposition. Her  
>> knowledge of
>> the local art scene as well as an ability to put it into  
>> relationship with
>> artists from further afield, and her support of the more  
>> experimental and
>> challenging work makes OV one of the most interesting galleries in  
>> Shanghai
>> – for me it's a must-see when I'm in town.
>> -->Robin Peckham
>> -->Shanghai/Hong Kong
>> -->http://kunsthallekowloon.org/
>> Robin Peckham is a writer and curator at the Society for Experimental
>> Cultural Production based in the Pearl River Delta
>> (www.kunsthallekowloon.org). Recent projects include a monograph on
>> architectural practice MAP Office, a symposium on Cantonese and  
>> Taiwanese
>> sound art, and an exhibition on Hong Kong "nice painting." Currently
>> contributing to publications including LEAP, Artforum, Yishu, and  
>> ArtSlant,
>> he has previously been affiliated with commercial space Boers-Li  
>> Gallery,
>> alternative space Long March Project, performance art venue Hart  
>> Salon
>> Center for the Arts, landmark sound and music venue What?!, and  
>> digital
>> architecture thinktank Crystal Media Center.
>> -->Rebecca Catching
>> -->Shanghai
>> -->http://www.ovgallery.com/
>> Art critic, journalist and director of Shanghai’s OV Gallery,  
>> Rebecca is
>> avid China watcher. Rebecca has a background in East Asian studies  
>> and art
>> history and is fluent in Mandarin. She has been following the Chinese
>> cultural scene for the past eight years working as an arts &  
>> entertainment
>> editor for local culture magazine that’s Shanghai and freelancing  
>> for a
>> number of international publications such as Art Asia Pacific, Art  
>> Review,
>> Flash Art and the Far Eastern Economic Review. Rebecca’s latest  
>> curatorial
>> projects include “Make-Over” an exploration the great renovation of  
>> Shanghai
>> in advance of the Expo and the issues of history, image and face  
>> which
>> accompany it.
>> ---
>> Edward Sanderson
>> http://blog.escdotdot.com
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

More information about the empyre mailing list