Rockbund Art Museum 上海外滩美术馆

CPA Season 3: Cicada Metal Drawl Powerlines 亚洲策展实践第三辑:“蝉金属拖腔电线”

1 January 2021 – 31 December 2021
2021年 1月 1日 – 2021年 12月 31日

Metal Drawl Powerlines Cicada

Metal Drawl Cicada Powerlines

Powerlines Cicada Metal Drawl

Powerlines Metal Drawl Cicada

Cicada Powerlines Metal Drawl

Cicada Metal Drawl Powerlines

As we explore the topic Institution Building from Season 2 more deeply, we begin to consider the myriad possibilities for how art institutions can exist, operate, and execute projects. In the current landscape, where institutional curation demonstrates notable conceptual rigidity and limitations, our primary focus is to break the impasse by seeking effective, contemporary means and broadening curatorial practices within Asia. Concurrently, the global COVID-19 pandemic has posed various obstacles to fieldwork research, which is traditionally based on physical spaces. In 2021, the Curatorial Practices in Asia (CPA) research platform, through online collaboration, invited Dubai-based artist Xie Lantian* as the project curator and organizer to launch a series of interventions into the museum system. Metal Drawl Powerlines Cicada… is a cross-platform ecosystem encompassing both online and offline spaces, unfolding a series of vocal assemblies that whirl like a tornado.

True to the project’s title, elements set in different forms of combination and sequence that belong to the unique individual memories and life scenes of the participants – such as powerlines, cicadas, and metal drawl – blur the project’s nature and subjectivity. As a result, it is difficult to define the project through exhibitions, research, or artistic creation. Simultaneously, curators will no longer occupy a central position, with all project participants contributing their curatorial practices.

Metal Drawl Powerlines Cicada consists of six ecological components:

Scratch disk, hosted on a home server located in Delhi, India, is the “inspiration repository” for the project. It contains the ideas and materials contributed by all project members and is kept updated as the project progresses. Within Scratch disk, you can find reading materials and creative process records that help you understand the project's background, as well as screenshots from team group chats and even images of the kitten Popeye staying in the museum office. Occasionally, you may encounter server errors, which might be due to sudden power outages in Delhi – as described on the Scratch disk website, “it is unstable, precarious, and always under construction.”

Episodes, primarily released on online streaming platforms, present pieces made by different artists interwoven like subplots in a story, each developing independently yet interconnected. Ingeniously employing diverse viewing and interaction methods of the streaming era, the series breathes new life into the artists’ work while prompting the museum to reflect on and adjust its working method in the internet age.

The protagonist of the eponymous series Metal Drawl Powerlines Cicada is Hemant Sreekumar, a sound artist from Bangalore, India. He specializes in integrating noise into experimental music, crafting auditory environments with parametrically generated sounds. In this series, he simulates a sonic environment intertwined with cicada calls and electrical hums. The series is live-streamed on YouTube and broadcast on Bilibili and WeChat Video, displaying a grayscale filter on the distorted screen and adding a unique reverb effect to the sound as it echoes through the museum conference room before being transmitted to the computer.

To be movementary, a series jointly created by Delhi artist Bhagwati Prasad and Dubai curator Sabih Ahmed, comprises five episodes. In this series, the two collaborators, residing in different regions, appear together on a Zoom meeting. Utilizing the platform’s multi-channel video capabilities, they establish intertextual narratives between text and images. Sabih reads texts in both English and Hindi from the book Trickster City, which features articles related to the urban life in Delhi. At the same time, Bhagwati interprets the texts by capturing objects at home and street scenes through simple camera movements in the first-person perspective. The series is live-streamed on YouTube and Bilibili during evenings in West Asia and East Asia, providing viewers with a glimpse into the leisure life of art professionals.

The series SPLICE is an experimental music album created by Splice, consisting of five tracks. Splice, an artistic and curatorial practice duo formed by Delhi artists Rohini Devasher and Pallavi Paul, recently focused on the dissection and combination of speculative concepts related to ecology. In this series, they employ various sound effects to construct imagined plant structures, such as the growth of apical buds and lateral roots. Elements closely associated with plant ecology, including glass, air, and water, are also portrayed in other tracks.

Episodes will continue to be updated over the next two months. New protagonists and episodes will join the project lineup, including Hong Kong art researcher Huang Yunting and Delhi artist Suvani Suri, among others.

Newsletter, authored by Wing Chan, an independent writer based in Hong Kong and London, is sent to the subscribers of RAM mail list. Concurrently, through the “translation” of the email content, museum curator Xu Tiantian and curatorial assistant Ke Qiwen embark on experimental collaborations with Wing, addressing topics such as “gap of language,” “creating neologisms,” and “cross-language reading barriers.”

Newsletter represents a daring endeavor to penetrate the institution’s core communication channels. As we send content that markedly diverges from current affairs newsletters and official correspondences, we also gain insights into the mechanisms and algorithms behind anti-spam filters on email platforms. Internally, this experience enables the museum team to re-familiarize themselves with the complexities of the digital environment; externally, it unlocks additional possibilities for the art institution's content production and engagement with the public.

Playlist, curated by Hong Kong-based curator Amiya Nagpal, is dedicated to assemble sounds and undergoes constant updates. It can serve as background music, accompaniment, a means to enliven the atmosphere, or maintain alertness. It may even be the perfect choice for those moments of distraction during work hours.

Incidents, convened by Aarushi Surana & Kaushal Sapre, are encounters with the public in unexpected forms and at unanticipated times.

Online Incidents are organized by the Out of Line group, who primarily utilizes text and voice communication on mobile devices as their creative medium. In this project, they have designed text content tailored to local contexts, sending it to visitors who have previously provided their phone numbers to the museum at designated times, like a distinctive, witty, and humorous greeting.

Personas, co-designed with Mo Mo Wu Wen, a design group based in Tokyo and Hangzhou, aim to disaggregate visual identity templatization and invoke a cross-user, cross-platform collective appearance for meeting, reflecting, and envisioning while delving deep into each surprise event, series, subscription email, playlist, and temporary storage. Metal Drawl Powerlines Cicada emphasizes collaborative wisdom; the invitations sent out multiply exponentially, surpassing imagination, yet remaining unified in intention. The mode of operation is flexible and centered on thought. The statement: don’t take action, just let things happen. The statement: create in collaboration. The statement: confidently assert yourself, engage in the battle, and be part of the world together with contemporaries and peers.












项目同名剧集《蝉金属拖腔电线》的主人公是来自印度班加罗尔的声音艺术家 Hemant Sreekumar。他擅长将噪声运用于实验音乐的创作中,利用参数生成的声音创建听觉情境。在这个剧集中,他用噪声模拟了一个蝉鸣和电流声交织着的声音环境。剧集在 YouTube 上进行直播,并同时以模拟时代的音画转导方式转播至哔哩哔哩和微信视频号:画面在失真的屏摄中仿佛叠上一道灰白的滤镜,而声音也回旋在美术馆会议室中,待它再传入电脑之后又加上了一道特别的混响效果。

剧集《瞬移》由印度德里艺术家 Bhagwati Prasad 和迪拜策展人 Sabih Ahmed 共同创作完成,共分为五集。在这组剧集中,身居不同地区的两人通过Zoom同屏现身,并利用平台天然的多频影像特性,建立起文本与图像的互文叙事:Sabih 用英语和印地语双语朗读的文本出自文集《捣蛋鬼之城》,书中的文章均与德里都市生活相关;Bhagwati 则以家中物件和街头情境作为拍摄对象,通过第一人称视角的简单镜头运动对文本作出阐释。剧集分别于西亚和东亚的傍晚在 YouTube 和哔哩哔哩上直播,让观众得以一窥艺术从业人员的业余生活。

剧集《阴影生态》是 Splice 创作的实验音乐专辑,共有五首曲目。Splice(意为“粘接”)是由德里艺术家 Rohini Devasher 和 Pallavi Paul 组成的艺术和策展实践组合,近期主要关注与生态相关的思辨概念的切割和组合。她们在这个剧集中用各种声音效果构建想象中的植物结构,比如顶芽与侧根的生长;与植物生态紧密相关的元素也在其他曲目中得以描绘,包括玻璃、空气和水。

剧集仍将在接下来的两个月间持续更新。新的主人公和剧集也将继续加入项目的阵容,包括香港的艺术研究员黄湲婷、德里艺术家 Suvani Suri 等。

订阅邮件的内容由 Wing Chan 撰写,她是一位工作生活于香港和伦敦的独立作家。任何订阅了美术馆邮件的公众都可能会收到一段由 Wing 撰写的文字。同时通过对邮件内容的“翻译”,美术馆策展人徐天天和策展助理柯淇雯也展开了与 Wing 针对“语言的缝隙”、“创造新字”、“跨语言阅读障碍”等话题的实验创作。


播放列表由现工作生活于香港的 Amiya Nagpal 策划。在这个集结声音的平台上,观众们可以点开这个不断更新的列表,将它作为背景音乐、伴奏曲目,用来活跃气氛或是保持清醒,甚至可以作为你上班摸鱼时间的最佳选择。

突发事件由 Aarushi Surana 和 Kaushal Sapre 共同策划,艺术家的创作将以意想不到的形式、在意想不到的时间与观众相遇。

线上的突发事件由 Out of Line 小组策划,他们以移动设备上的文字和语音通信为主要创作媒介。在本项目中他们设计了适合国内语境的文字内容,在特定的时间点发送给了曾经在美术馆留过手机号码的观众们,就像是一条特殊的、诙谐幽默的问候。


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