May 25, 2010

Part One Point Five

The China beat goes on:

Ines Brunn after Li Wei

Ines Brunn after Li Wei

Some notes on the People’s Republic before the second chapter on the Fabled C[hinese]hipster

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Wu Yulu’s amazing mechanical men:

After suffering a series of life changing set backs such as a burnt down home, spraying himself with battery acid, and experiencing great financial debt—all in the name of art—Chinese farmer Wu Yulu is finally gaining some recognition for his homemade robots.


DB also has a gallery of Wu Yulu’s ‘Peasant Da Vincis’ for Cai Guo-Qiang’s inaugural exhibition at the newly restored Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai; some images interpolated below (cue egregiously ironic juxtaposition of images + text):

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Click image to see Robo-Pollock in action at DB

Chinese news site Southern Weekend recently sent intern Liu Zhiyi undercover at the Shenzhen site of Foxconn, “the world’s biggest contract electronics maker and a major supplier to Apple, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and other companies,” which has been under scrutiny for the suicides of nine workers this year (more background info at NYT):

I know of two groups of young people.

One group consists of university students like myself, who live in ivory towers and kept company by libraries and lake views. The other group works alongside steel machineries and large containers, all inside a factory of high-precision manufacturing environment.

–Liu Zhiyi, Southern Weekend via Engadget

The translated article is definitely worth reading, though the Apple connection clearly raises the profile of these otherwise-overlooked incidents.

Skeptics (or fans of Apple) have taken to pointing out that this suicide rate, in a plant with four hundred and twenty thousand workers, is no higher than that in a Chinese city of comparable size.

–Evan Osnos, Items of Interest, Letter from China blog on the New Yorker, May 25 2010

Again, clickthrough for sweet vids...

Again, clickthrough for sweet vids on DB...

On a lighter note:

“I hear that Americans can buy anything they want, and I believe it, judging from the things I’ve made for them,” Chen said. “And I also hear that, when they no longer want an item, they simply throw it away. So wasteful and contemptible.”

Chinese Factory Worker Can’t Believe The Shit He Makes For Americans, The Onion

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Essay Question (10 pts): To what degree does electronic music reflect the alienation of technology and hyperindustrialization?

Let me take this opportunity to explain my music. At first I liked drums, they were fast and noisy and that’s what I first produced. After a while I listened to more electronic, quieter music. I like fast music, but it’s more melodic as a general rule. I added more melody into my music, more baritone. My latest work has slowed down in comparison to my older music. In the past it’s always been very young, punkish, full of joy. Now, I like slower, blacker, darker music. Also, I like the Chinese influence. I cant explain it, I just like it. I add a little bit of Chinese music in everything.

Sulumi, via Intel×Vice’s Creators Project

via Wired

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A few more for good flavor:


  • Wild Wild Westernization: “16 Items They Only Sell at Chinese Walmarts” (Buzzfeed)
Henri Cartier-Bresson, Shanghai, 1948

Henri Cartier-Bresson – Shanghai, 1948

  • A glimpse into a Chinese toy factory.
Li Wei via the Guardian

Li Wei via the Guardian

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May 8, 2010


A quick one before a brief break this weekend:





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March 30, 2010

Art vs Audience

Core77 recently posted a couple of videos by Mike Figgis for the Tate Liverpool, in which an ‘average’ audience—presumably a demographically accurate cross-section of locals—shares their opinions about a canonical work of modern art. The first group of schoolkids is rather skeptical towards a Dan Flavin, which has been installed in their classroom for a day, and they’re equally baffled by Jeff Koons’ “Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank.” (More Koons below.)

Conversely, an older group seems to grasp the significance of Duchamp’s Fountain, as displayed in a public restroom, while remaining largely indifferent to the object itself, readily abstracting the idea from its physical manifestation.

I’m undecided as to whether their candid opinions are more or less authoritative than those of art historians or critics.

Read the rest of this entry »

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March 11, 2010

Antony Gormley – Event Horizon


This summer, London’s Antony Gormley presents the City of New York with Event Horizon, a public art installation at Madison Square Park. Although the official opening is still two weeks off (March 26), assistants have started installing the life-size statues this week. A total of 31 sculptures will hold vigil over Madison Square Park through August 15th. (Full press release here)


Ever the pragmatist (as far as blogs go), Gothamist speculates about jumper-related concerns.

More Event Horizon photos by James Ewing here.


I was glad that I had the opportunity to see Gormley’s Another Singularity at Gallery Continua in Beijing’s 798 Arts District last fall; the show has been extended until the end of this month. The pictures don’t even come close to doing it justice, but the exhibit was a felicitous introduction to the artist—apparently Gormley has always had an interest Chinese culture. (Related interview at Time Out Beijing.)

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January 28, 2010


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