shenzhen in detroit@civilla

After the Contested Innovation Symposium at the International Institute, U of M, organizers Silvia Lidtner and Irina Aristarkhova brought participants on a full day, full on tour of Detroit. We visited Civilla, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Henry Ford, and the Heidleburg project–one day, (potentially) five blog posts super tour. Today, I’m reflecting on Civilla’s practice, with an eye toward understanding what it might mean for my practice at Handshake. Continue reading

introducing handshake 302

We are slow, but we move forward. Here’s Handshake’s most recent intro-PDF:

handshake-302

fairy lake botanical garden: naturalizing control

These past two days, Zhang Kaiqin led a Handshake 302 art workshop in the Shenzhen Fairy Lake Botanical Garden. The workshop was organized quite simply: on the first morning we learned about the plants and then in the afternoon and next day we created site-specific art. The only rule was that we couldn’t bring anything (except tools) into the botanical garden. And that limitation led to visceral experience of how narrow the actual space for creative subjectivity is in modern spaces.

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lightscape salon

The city is man’s most consistent and on the whole, his most successful attempt to remake the world he lives in more after his heart’s desire. But, if the city is the world which man created, it is the world in which he is henceforth condemned to live. Thus, indirectly, and without any clear sense of the nature of his task in making the city man has remade himself.

                                                                                                                     -Robert Park

Lightscape focuses on the relationship between sensory experience and external structures within the city. Continue reading

handshake 302 sound workshop

Handshake 302’s last exploration of Baishizhou was a collaboration between Handshake 302 and Shenzhen Center for Design. I comprised two parts: a silent walk through the urban village to collect sounds and a workshop discussion. Zhang Kaiqin and I led the walk (see map), while resident artist Zhang Mengtai led the workshop.

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listening to baishizhou / 白石洲寻声

Tomorrow afternoon, Handshake 302 collaborates with Future+ to explore the Baishizhou soundscapes. The workshop program begins with an hour-long tour to collect sounds and a 1.5 hour sound workshop with resident artist Zhang Mengtai. Meet-up at Baishizhou Metro Exit A.

baishizhou, otherwise.

It is one of the ironies of publicity that site and time-specific artworks are regularly transformed into texts. On Sunday, September 31, for example, resident artist Zhang Mengtai held an open house in Handshake 302. He built an amplifier that transmitted sounds he had collected in Baishizhou and then compiled into a soundscape. Abstracted from the noisy jumble of handshake allies and crowded streets, the honking cars and migrating dialects that Mengtai recorded seemed delicate, almost lyrical in their evocation of Baishizhou. We were entranced. But this text is not that experience. Continue reading