Saturday, 11 February 2017

Sound Work: "Social Justice for All for Some" in Technoculture (with artist's statement and link)

About This Work
The idea for this piece came when attempting to explore the effects of repetition of phrases that are in danger of becoming meaningless clichés, in this case making a statement in the driest of voices: computer-generated ones in English, French, and German. I originally planned to use a text-to-speech program, but after testing the Google Translation voices I decided to try them. The limitation I found was that the voices for non-European languages are not kept as current and polished as the European ones, which sounded very neutral (so proper almost uptight) and full of expected intonation that naturalizes the repeated phrases. This plays against the defamiliarizing effects of the synthesizer and collaged recordings.
The collage in effect attempts to present the fact of inequality under capitalism and its production of poverty to enrich the few while destroying the material security of lives as lived under neoliberalism, where "the market" is deemed to have authoritative (but elusive) agency. As people accept this subjection to capital a regular disavowal of human (and nonhuman) life occurs, breaking the social contract and care for our communities. The dissonant synthesizer intends to express this sentiment. In the process of editing, a connection to ecological concerns arose (due to extreme air pollution blowing across the Taiwan Strait), leading me to include summer mountain cicadas.
This experimental track features various multi-layered digitally synthesized analog synthesizer melodies (using a Korg Volca Beat run through a "KingKorg" synthesizer), sounds of subway doors closing as recorded in Osaka, mountain cicada recorded in nearby Yangmingshan National Park, as well as synthetic voices in several languages. This work combines my love of keyboards and conceptual art with my ongoing work in poetry and spoken word recording. Comments and questions are very welcome: interpoetics at gmail dot com
Sound Work: "Social Justice for All for Some"

Friday, 10 February 2017

Poetry Blogs and the Posthuman in Postcolonial Taiwan

Tamkang Review 46.2 (June 2016): 135-159.
DOI: 10.6184/TKR201606-7

This article engages the use of poetry blogs in light of the critical writ- ings of Alain Badiou, Jodi Dean, Cary Wolfe, Katherine Hayles and others who shed light on how posthuman autopoietic relationality forms means of conceptualizing how postcolonial subjects may overcome the oppressive leg- acies of outside rule and restore a sense of sovereignty through transnational networks. These Taiwanese poets—Chiau-Shin Ngo (吳昭新) and Kuei- shien Lee (李魁賢)—present work in Mandarin, Taiwanese, Japanese and English translation speaking to issues of politics and aesthetics in contempo- rary Taiwan. Their poetry blogs are shown to continue to reorient the legacies of occupying regimes that excluded Taiwanese from positions of power until the late 1980s. This paper explores how poetic form and the blog medium provide an extension of uses of poetry in posthuman prosthetic networks to form tactics aimed at displacing the KMT apparatus while serving as tools of decolonization and the renegotiation of international affiliations.

Keywords: Postcolonialism, Taiwan, posthumanism, poetry by Taiwanese, social media, Taiwanese politics

摘 要
本文根據 Alain Badiou, Jodi Dean, Cary Wolfe, Katherine Hayles 等批評家之 理論來探討部落格詩的運用。上述理論家闡明後人類自我生成之理論可形成讓 後殖民主體得以克服被外在規則壓迫的後遺症,並透過跨國家網絡,恢復某種 程度的主體性。吳昭新及李魁賢這些台灣詩人均發表針對當代台灣政治與美學 議題之中文、閩南語、日文與英文譯文之詩歌。對於影響至八零年代末期那些 外來政權所遺留下的壓迫傳統,這些部落格均持續挑戰與反抗。本文探討詩的 形式與部落格媒介何能在後人類的修復網絡中形成戰略,好擴大詩的運用而置 換國家機器,並同時能當作是去殖民與重新協商國際聯盟的工具。
關鍵字:後殖民、台灣、後人類學、台灣詩人作品、社群媒體、部落格、台灣 政治