TETRIS

Institute for Provocation (IFP) in 2017 launches the long term research-based and curatorial project “TETRIS”, that in the upcoming one to two years, will generate inter-provocative networks and working methodologies via cooperation and joint action between curators, artists, researchers, scholars and IFP’s residence artists. On the one hand, from the point of view of the institutional practice, IFP will develop research projects on different subjects, in the form of writing, curating, publishing and symposiums; on the other hand, IFP initiatively exchanges these projects with its residence artists and curators, regarding the crossings and impacts as possibilities of co-structuring our networks. The lectures, discussions and exhibitions of related documents, images and objects will mainly be presented at Black Sesame Space, IFP studio and its outdoor space, however, the projects are also geographically in a condition of uninterrupted extension and fluidity.

 

The problem that contemporary art practice faces at present is the consequence of propagation effects unprecedentedly expanding on a global scale, which makes us feel that every issue is susceptible to becoming a matter of urgency. Correspondingly, it seems that every social practice has been captured by this urgency and shaped as one of the possible solutions. From anti-war to anti-globalization to Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Central, etc., all these conflicts between the global and the local have involved the fetishization of local spaces, immediate actions and transient gestures, and never gained the real rights and benefits which could solve the underlying problems. Have these political forms also gradually turned into a choice of building “bunkers” for oneself in order to resist the crisis of global neoliberalism? Therefore, our work should relook upon the relationship between “globalized knowledge” and “bodily experience”, but not by returning to the simplified opposition between “the global” and “the local”.

 

From a perspective that venerates technological innovation and unchangeable “political correction”, modernity has been seen as a continuous economic growth. However, in this technological era, most people still adhere to obsolete social and working relationships. We may need to heed those who have faint political voices and listen to those who are not characterized as having been marginalized or oppressed by the elites and ruling class. The faintest political powers today are exactly the ones resisting this teleology-driven ideology. How to take back a “controlled future” and to foster a historical narrative beyond one offered by the capitalistic system? And how can we extend the space of thinking and practicing?     

 

The project “TETRIS” is also about how we got here, the present, and what gesture we make in confronting the unpredictable future. It explores the structuring and de-structuring of political circumstances and political imagination concerning the multitude in different periods of technical transformation and social contexts. We will research, present and discuss topics concerning economic-political issues, such as, “work and production”, “the individual and the ideology of social subjectivity”, “resource and geopolitics”, which arise in the transition from socialistic collective production to a contemporary global neoliberalism-driven economic model, and from traditional industries (material production) to emerging industries (immaterial production). This is not only to comb a certain period of history, but also to present the “econotopia” - a mixture of “economy” and Foucault's term “heterotopia”, within which he draws worlds within worlds, mirroring and yet upsetting what is outside - produced under the embrace of an inadequate modernity and a kind of heterogeneous contemporarity. This heterogeneity is apparent in the situation of those living in non-hegemonic conditions, the current state of the space and the event which function outside of their usual rules, and also in the interweaving between information, technology and bodies at work in a multi-layered space. It drifts in-between the real and the fictional generating an animated illusion, while simultaneously displaying the insufficiency of economic-political development.   

 

Interestingly, in urban agglomerations with concentrated natural resources, but faced with the dilemmas of industrial transformation, as well as in urban spaces in which new waves of capitalistic technological innovations and digital productions are taking place, the mixture between the unfinished modernization and contemporary characteristics produces a sort of infatuation for the “econotopia”. We believe that this phenomenon could be outlined by analyzing the key words “motivation” and “control”. What could be the motivation of production be? Maybe, the resources, technology, or certain economic-political prospects and an imagined future of humans themselves. As molecular parts of the society, how are we shaped and controlled by the operations of its systematic, normative mechanisms? How is the human bodily experience mediated by technology? And in what way does this intangible information and data affect human living conditions?     

     

“TETRIS” is a metaphor of IFP’s approach in 2017 – we would like to negate the inertial cognition cultivated by the systems of power and the conventional order, and to establish a connection between different practitioners via the concept of negation. After reducing the “prevalent inertial cognition”, the remains have to be reformed again and again. It is from here that we draw our title: a perpetual attempt to find multifarious possible connections between the individual elements - the same is erased and the remains are constantly altering their shapes and structures… Therefore, within this process, there will be no pure individual and no disciplined collective. It becomes an endless expanding organic interaction amongst individuals.    

 

 

Method:

 

“TETRIS” does not aim to research a specific locality, to discover hidden histories, nor does it consider the artist as an ethnographer. Rather, the project is like an organism for traveling at the speed of the thought exchanges, not limited by geographic space.

 

In 2017, we will unfold a series of continuous and extensible artistic research and curating projects around this metaphoric figure, including collective writing, film screening, artwork making, performing, symposium, material collecting etc. How can we understand, by looking backwards, the implications on a global scale of the current production structure and cultural transformation? And what is the relationship between value creation and faint political power? Of course, this issue is closely linked to the contemporary art field. How are artists able to imagine a possible “exit” via their speculations based on the present reality? How do independent artists and alternative spaces alter our way of participating in the cultural production, distribution and collaboration processes? And in what way does geopolitics influence contemporary art practice and exhibition making in the era of globalization? “TETRIS” is a process-driven project. Therefore, we propose collective writing as our primary research tool (involving scholars, researchers, artists, curators, social practitioners, etc.), and use theory fiction as a form of assembling all the materials into a publication. Theory fiction is not only a means to allude to both past and present sociopolitical situations, but is also an efficient way of dealing with reality, fiction and imagination, and it provides space for artistic thinking. These words will be given re-productivity as well, namely as a script or proposal, offering a database and theory framework for more concrete artistic production and practice in the following steps.

Open call for participation:

Accroding to the project of TETRIS, IFP also announces an open call for artists, curators and scholars who are interested in taking part in this long-term research project. We will review the application shortly and inform the candidate/s in two to three weeks. For more information please click here and remark "TETRIS".

激发研究所作在2017年发起名为“不周山”的长期的研究和策划项目,并在未来一到二年的时间里通过与策展人、艺术家、研究员、学者和我们的驻地艺术家的合作与共构产生相互激发的工作网络和方法。一方面,激发研究所从机构实践的角度出发针对不同的主题开展研究、写作、策展、出版和讨论会等工作;另一方面,我们主动地将这些机构项目与驻地艺术家和策展人交流,把这种交叉和碰撞作为探索共构工作网络的可能性。项目所涉及到的影像、文本、物品的展出和访谈、演讲等行动发生会以激发研究所的工作室、芝麻空间和其外部空间为基本发生地点,但它在地理空间上又处于不断扩展和流动的状态之下。

    

当代艺术实践在眼前的问题是被传播效应前所未有地在全球范围内扩张的结果,它让我们感受到任何问题都似乎有理由成为当务之急。相应的,任何社会实践也似乎都在被这样的紧迫感所裹挟,被塑造为各种解决方案中的一种。从反战到反全球化再到占领华尔街、中环等,这些全球性和地域性的冲突包含了对地方、快速行动和暂时姿态的追求,而并没有真正地获得能解决问题的权益。这种政治形式是否也逐渐转向为自己建立起“掩体”去抵抗全球新自由主义的危机选择?而我们的工作是重新看待“全球化的认知”和“具体的身体感受”之间的关系,而不应该回到“全球”和“地方”的简单化对立。

 

在对技术革新的狂热和无法改变的“政治正确”层面上,现代性已经被看做一种持续的经济增长。然而在这个技术时代,大部分人仍然黏合在旧有的社会和劳动关系中。我们或许需要倾听那些具有微弱的政治力量的声音以及那些被统治和精英阶级经常注意到的边缘化的或被压抑的群体之外的声音?今天最微弱的政治力量恰恰就是对这种目的论导向的抵抗。如何拿回被“操控”的所谓的未来,并建立一种超越资本主义体系的历史书写方式?我们该如何扩展思考和实践的空间?

 

项目“不周山”也是在思辨我们是如何抵达当前的,以及以何种姿态去面对不可知的未来。它探索在不同社会环境和技术转型期对诸众的政治想象和状态的结构和解构。从特定时期的社会主义集体生产到当下全球新自由主义主导的经济模式以及传统工业(物质化生产)向新兴产业(非物质化生产)的过渡中对所出现的“劳动和生产”、“个人和社会主体意识形态”、“资源和地缘政治”等经济政治问题进行研究、呈现与讨论。这不仅是对历史的梳理,更展现出在不充分的现代性和一种异质的当代性拥抱下所形成的蓬勃发展的“经济异托邦” 。这种“异质”表现在相异于遵循自发规律运转、处于非支配处境下的人、事件和空间的现存状态,工作中的身体在多层空间中与技术和信息的交叉和延伸。它游荡于现实与虚幻两点之间既产生“新生”的幻象也凸显出政治经济发展的不充分性。

    

值得注意的是,世界上能源聚集且面临工业转型的城市群以及在新一轮资本主义性质的数码物生产和技术革新浪潮中的城市空间内,未完成的现代化与当代特征混杂并构成了对“经济异托邦”的迷恋。我们认为这种现象可以被归结到对【动力】和【控制】的分析。什么可以作为生产动力?资源、技术(机器)亦或是人本身对政治经济和未来的想象?;我们作为社会分子是如何被社会的系统性、规划性的机制运转所控制的?人的身体感受是如何与科技相调解的?以及信息和数据是如何以一种无形的、不可见的方式影响人的生存状态?      

 

“不周山”是对激发研究所2017年工作方法的隐喻——我们希望能通过共同对权力和秩序所驯化的惯性认知进行否定,通过否定性来建立实践者之间人的连接。在去除掉“普遍的惯性认知”之后,对残余之物一次次地进行排列重组的尝试。这样一种工作方法,很像游戏:个体之间在不断调试相互之间的组合方式 - 共同的部分会被消除,残留下有空余的地方,不断堆叠,变换着一座一座的山型……这个时候已经没有纯然的个体,也没有规训之后的集体,而是一种可以在个体之间无限延伸的、有机互动的过程。

 

方法:

 

“不周山”不是一个地域性的研究,不是为了寻找一段隐匿或被遗忘的历史,也不是把艺术家当做地方志作者。它是一个以思考速度运转的有机组织,不受限于地理空间。

 

我们在2017年会围绕这个隐喻的形象开展一系列持续的、扩散性的艺术研究和策划,包括资料收集、集体写作、电影放映、艺术创作和策展、表演、研讨会等形式。我们如何通过回看去理解当下生产结构和文化转型的在全球范围内的含义,微弱的政治力量与价值创造之间的关系?这个问题也紧密联系到当代艺术领域,艺术家如何通过对现实的思辨来想象一个可能的未来?独立艺术家和空间如何改变我们参与文化生产、分配和合作的方式?以及地缘政治如何在全球化时代下影响我们对当代艺术实践和策展的思考?“不周山”是一个注重过程性的研究项目。由此我们提议对主题的研究可以基于集体写作(包括学者、研究员、艺术家、策展人和社会实践者等)的方式开展并以理论小说的形式整合成网络或出版物。理论小说是对无论过去还是当下社会政治状况的影射,也是有效处理现实和虚构、想象关系的方法,并提供艺术性思考的空间。这些文字最终也会具有再生产的能力,即作为“脚本”或“方案”为下一步更具体的艺术生产和实践提供资料库以和理论支持。

 

 

参与驻地方案申请:

根据“不周山”项目的阐述,激发研究所也向对此长期项目感兴趣的艺术家、策展人以及研究者开放驻地申请。在提交方案后,我们会尽快对方案进行审议,筛选并在两到三周的时间里答复候选人。更多信息请点击这里 并标注“不周山”。

不周山

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Institute for Provocation

4/F, Suit B7-3A, 706 North 1rd St.,

2 Jiuxianqiao Rd (798 art zone),

Chaoyang District,

Beijing,

CHINA

 

激发研究所

北京市朝阳区酒仙桥路2号(798艺术区)706北一街B7-3A,4楼。