Why is Shenzhen not taken?: A preliminary report from an uncertain field

Jonathan BACH opened our three-day workshop “Informal Plans, Planned Informality: Shenzhen as Model and Field” with the observation that our goal is not to map the borders between the proper city and its others, but rather to track the (slightly inflammatory, a bit delirious) algorithms that constantly produce those borders, which in turn keep re-producing the city. What does it mean, we ask, to document uncertainty?

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meet miia!

During the month of January 2018, MIIA AUTIO is the artist-in-residence at Handshake 302. Based in Helsinki, Finland, Miia is a photographer and lens-based media artist who is interested in presenting societal issues in a way that knowledge and understanding is born through the interaction between the viewer and the work. In her works she deals with the themes of identity, foreignness and viewership. Continue reading

poverty isn’t a sign of moral depravity…

…or incompetence or sexual deficiency (if male) or too much testosterone (if female). And yet. The city’s ideology continues to promote masculinity and personhood as signs of the moral and deserving self, rather than effects of a class system that remains predicated on rural-urban divisions. Indeed, Shenzhen illustrates that even when rural people have become part of the urban prolitariate they can be ruralized with respect to the city’s more urbane classes. Continue reading

there is a continent in the sky

Yesterday evening, December 29, 2017, I had the pleasure of listening to Agency (Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller) speak on the results of their Shenzhen residency. They walked accessible edges to produce drawings and embroidery patterns of data, the embroidery algorithms derived from the difference between reported and their on-the-ground measurements of air particulates. The talk was inspiring, not least for “Roller Blade Boy” who skated circles around us, pausing only to check out the data. Continue reading

who upholds the peace?

You may be aware that many in China are protesting Christmas because the country has its own traditions. In turn, the nativist logic behind the protests has shown up all sorts of contradictions. Exhibit A is an image and commentary from we chat: Continue reading

migrations is open!

The Migrations exhibition opened beneath bright sun and clear skies, bringing together people from Longhua and Dalang, as well as graduate students from Shenzhen University and Langkou aunties. The opening ceremony celebrated the central idea of the 7th edition of the Biennale “Cities grow in difference,” taking advantage of the contrasts between the restored P+V, its surrounding urban village, and the clean design of INFUTURE. These contrasts created a particularly postmodern aesthetic that celebrated three generations of migrants—Hakkas who came to the area 300 years ago, missionaries who arrived 150 years ago, and the Shenzheners who have been path breaking Shenzhen since 1980. Indeed, the these differences are the nutrients that have made Shenzhen’s unique migrant culture. Continue reading

it’s happening at the P+V!

 

This past six months the Migrations curatorial team has been busy creating an exciting exhibition and now we’re ready to share the fruit of our labor with our neighbors in Langkou Village and our friends throughout Shenzhen. We are proud to present five new artworks especially commissioned for this exhibit and thrilled to introduce the repatriated objects of Switzerland’s “Chinese children.”

On Friday, December 22, 2017 at 10:00 we will hold our opening ceremony. Come for a fresh take on history, stay for the sweet rice balls of the winter solstice, and learn about our multifaceted public program!

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