LIBRARIANS-IN-RESIDENCE READING GROUP #3
'WILDNESS' part II
Asymmetry HQ, 102a Albion Drive, London E8 4LY
Following last month’s reading group focused on Jack Halberstam’s writing on wildness and the indigenous aesthetics of bewilderment, the second wildness reading group brings together more practitioners’ take on the theme of the wild to expand our conversation. In Radicalism in the Wilderness: International Contemporaneity and 1960s Art in Japan, Reiko Tomii revisits a visionary exhibition in Central Japan of 'formless emissions' organised by the late conceptualist Matsuzwa Yutaka; the launching of a huge fibreglass egg—'an image of liberation'—from the southernmost tip of Japan's main island by The Play; and gorgeous colour field abstractions painted by GUN on accumulating snow on the river beds of the Shinano River. By examining the work of these three key figures in the Japanese art of the 1960s, Tomii proposes a different conception of wildness as at once a spatiotemporal demarcation and an artistic-epistemological position. Another text we are sharing is Bitcoin Mining and Field Recordings of Ethnic Minorities (2018), a film by Chinese artist Liu Chuang combining found and filmed footage with a voiceover narrative in the endangered Sino-Tibetan Muya language to trace millennia of extractive statecraft and colonialism in China. The film stages conversations between multiple human and non-human actors, such as decentralised currency and centralised power structures, as well as anarchist communities and empires.
Apart from the reading materials, we encourage participants to think of a work—a text, an artwork, a film, a poem, a happening, and more—that best embodies the aesthetic of wildness, whatever that means to you, to share with the reading group.
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'Wildness Part II' is convened by librarian-in-residence Alvin Li.
Core reading materials for 'Wildness Part II':
Reiko Tomii, Radicalism in the Wilderness: International Contemporaneity and 1960s Art in Japan, MIT Press, 2018
Liu Chuang, Bitcoin Mining and Field Recordings of Ethnic Minorities, 2018, 40 min
Image: Liu Chuang, Bitcoin Mining and Field Recordings of Ethnic Minorities, 2018, 6k (5760 x 1080), colour, sound, 40', courtesy of the artist.