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作曲家書寫了未來, 以便留下未來不會留下的印記

The composer composes the future so that the composition leaves the traces of the future which the future won't leave 王虹凱 Hong-Kai Wang

2012.10.20- 11.4

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立方計劃空間 重見 / 建社會 Re-envisioning Society 作曲家書寫了未來,以便留下未來不會留下的印記 The composer composes the future so that the composition leaves the traces of the future which the future won't leave 藝術家 Artist | 王虹凱 Hong-Kai WANG 策展 Curator | 鄭慧華 Amy CHENG

專案管理 Project Manager | 羅悅全 Jeph LO

行政助理 Exhibition Assistant | 董淑婷 Dale DONG

展場技術 Technical Support | 藝術戰爭公司 Art War Company

平面美術 Graphic Designer | 陳萱白 CHEN Hsuan-Pai, 羅悅全 Jeph LO 攝影 Photographer | 陳又維 You-Wei CHEN

翻譯 Translators | 張代偉 David CHANG, 黎斯庸 Sijung LAI, 王虹凱 Hong-Kai WANG 特別感謝 Special Thanks | 陳柏偉 Bo-Wei CHEN, 薛位山 Wilson HSUEH, 饒加恩 Chia-En JAO, 李晏禎 Jenny LEE, 林珮鈺 Pei-Yu LIN, 蔡家榛 Jia-Zhen TSAI, Leslie UREÑA, 王福瑞 Fujui WANG, 吳睿然 Ruei-Ran WU, 吳金黛 Jin-Dai WU 發行 Publisher | 立方計劃空間 TheCUBE Project Space 100 台北市羅斯福路四段 136 巷 1 弄 13 號 2 樓

2F, No. 13, Aly. 1, Ln. 136, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd., Taipei, 100, Taiwan +886 2 2368 9418

www.thecubespace.com info@thecube.tw

出版 Published 2012. 12

© 作品圖片版權所有 攝影者 Copyright of the photographs for the photographers 「重見/建社會」系列展覽贊助 | Re-envisioning Society Sponsor 2010 視覺藝術策展專案 2010 Production Grants to Independent Curators in Visual Arts 「作曲家...」展覽贊助 | 'The composer composes the future…' in part sponsored by Taipei City Cultural Bureau

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作曲家書寫了未來 , 以便留下未來不會留下的印記 以聲音為主要創作觀念與工具的王虹凱在《作曲家書寫了未來 , 以便留下未來不會留下的印記》,展出作品〈咱 的做工進行曲〉(2011 年發表於威尼斯雙年展台灣館 )、〈微聲計劃〉(2010) 的錄影文件與聲音裝置,以及一場 現場音樂會,這場音樂會是她〈破碎的管絃樂團-台北現場版〉的執行計劃,邀請鋼琴家 / 紐約大都會歌劇院 副指揮王佩瑤、台北愛樂管絃樂團小提琴首席盧耿鋒、前衛琵琶音樂家駱昭勻、古琴家 / 佛光大學哲學系教授 Wolfgang Schwabe,與黑手那卡西工人樂隊創團團長陳柏偉演出。 《作曲家書寫了未來 , 以便留下未來不會留下的印記》嘗試建構一個集體聆聽空間。在這空間裡 , 德國古典作曲 家巴哈、美國前衛作曲家羅伯・艾須里的音樂 , 及雲林虎尾糖廠工人的勞動聲音 , 提供了表演者、錄音者和觀眾 三種不同的聆聽文本和平台 , 探索在不同的社會政治關係裡 ,「聆聽」如何組織我們的集體感知經驗。 〈咱的做工進行曲〉(2011) 與雲林虎尾糖廠合作 , 邀請虎尾糖廠的退休員工與其配偶回到製糖期的工廠錄製聲 音圖景 , 經由一系列錄音工作坊從旁協助 , 學習掌握麥克風來收集廠區現任工人勞動的聲音 , 以及一起探索聆聽、 錄音和生產的經驗。 〈微聲計劃〉(2010) 的構想最早來自台北婦女救援基金會的邀請,為慰安婦阿嬤創作 , 改編羅伯・艾須里 1998 年的歌劇〈塵埃〉, 以劇場的跨領域創作為平台 , 通過語言和音樂的轉換 , 將一個發生在紐約街頭的想像情景移 植至台北市牯嶺街劇場 , 關注如何學習感同身受他人的痛苦。 〈破碎的管絃樂團─台北現場版〉(2012) 將奧地利現代作曲家荀伯格的名言「我的音樂並非真的很現代 , 只不 過被演奏得很不好」轉化成一個正式的表演原則 , 邀請專業的音樂家將王虹凱和她弟弟童年演奏巴哈〈聖母頌〉 的錄音重新於現場討論演繹。音樂家們共同的音樂素養在這裡被轉換成一種開放式的操演行為 , 無人引導的「表 演」裡 , 表演者和聆聽者參與了一個多層次音樂空間的構築。

展覽現場,攝影:陳又維 Installation view, photo by You-Wei Chen TheCUBE

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The composer composes the future so that the composition leaves the traces of the future which the future won't leave Hong-Kai Wang’s The composer composes the future so that the composition leaves the traces of the future

which the future won't leave exhibition builds on her research into listening and sound as forms of perceptual, cognitive organization.

Concerned with the modality of “collective listening,” The Composer… is structured as a polyphonic space

consisting of two reconfigured recent collaborative projects and a live performance, leading visitors through works by the German classical composer Johann Sebastian Bach and the American avant-garde composer Robert Ashley, as well as the sounds produced by sugar factory workers in Huwei, Yunlin (Taiwan).

In collaboration with Taisugar’s Huwei-based sugar plant, Music While We Work (2011) invites a group of retired factory workers and their spouses to return to the factory to make a soundscape as assisted by a series of

recording workshops, while the current employees are at work. Within this special situation, all of them explore a shared experience of listening, recording, and production.

At the invitation of the Taipei Women Rescue Foundation, Wang conceived Watching Dust (2010) as an adaptation of the American avant-garde composer Robert Ashley’s opera Dust (1998) for the surviving

Taiwanese comfort women. Originally presented at Guling Street Avant-Garde Theater, Watching Dust explores how we could learn to identify the pain of others in a collaborative effort to translate into our own language – both musically and linguistically – a New York-based fictitious scenario to Taipei.

The Broken Orchestra Live in Taipei (2012) uses the Austrian modern composer Arnold Schönberg’s famous

quip "My music is not really modern, just badly played" as its formal performative directive, by inviting several professional musicians to reinterpret a childhood recording of Bach’s ‘Ave Maria’ as performed by Hong-Kai

Wang and her brother. The work shares an impromptu discussion, rehearsal, and performance as the audience witnesses the construction of a unique musical space. Performers include Pei-Yao Wang (pianist/assistant conductor of the Metropolitan Opera, New York), Geng-Feng Lu (chief violinist of the Taipei Philharmonic

Orchestra), Chao-Yun Luo (avant-garde pipa soloist), Wolfgang Schwabe (guqin soloist/professor in philosophy of Fo-Guang University) and Bo-Wei Chen (composer/activist).

展覽現場,攝影:陳又維 Installation view, photo by You-Wei Chen

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〈咱的工作進行曲〉,2011,台灣,雲林虎尾,多頻道聲音影像裝置,攝影:陳又維

Music While We Work , Huwei, Yunlin, Taiwan, 2011, audio and video installation, photo by You-Wei Chen TheCUBE

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〈微聲計劃〉,2010,攝影:陳又維

Watching Dust , 2010, photo by You-Wei Chen

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〈破碎的管絃樂團─台北現場版〉,2012,演出者(由左至右)Wolfgang Schwabe、陳柏偉、盧耿鋒、王佩瑤、駱昭勻, 攝影: 陳又維

The Broken Orchestra Live in Taipei , 2012, performers (from left) Wolfgang Schwabe, Bo-Wei Chen, Geng-Feng Lu, Pei-Yao Wang, Chao-Yun Luo, photo by You-Wei Chen TheCUBE

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一場討論的開始 2012 年 9 月 24 日,於台北

陳柏偉與王虹凱、鄭慧華、羅悅全的對談

王:因為你長期透過音樂從事社會運動的組織工作,我想從「集體聆聽」的角度和你談談社會運動。「集體聆聽」 就是「在一起聆聽」,這五個字聽起來似乎很簡單,裡面可以探討的含義其實很豐富。我們今天可以先來聊社 會運動裡的「我們」是誰 。 陳:一般來說,在社會運動裡,會很容易地說出「我們要求 ...」、「我們認為 ...」,可是每個人在說「我們」的時候,

並沒有去辨明「我們」是誰。當運動在一種激緒高漲的氛圍下,「我們」到底是誰其實不重要。對參與者來說, 重要的是,誰出來說「我們」,他 / 她會覺得這個「我們」指涉的好像是一個和我一樣的「我們」,但這不真實。 說到「我們」的時候,其實這在輿論的公共空間裡是沒有被說清楚的。你說的「我們」到底是誰?在社會運動 裡面,可能很多人認為這問題不重要,它是不辯自明的。但當它變成不辯自明,沒有人要仔細探究的時候,你 會發現在很多議題的訴求會失去焦點。我認為,「我們是誰」之所以重要,是因為這個問題關乎這些運動的參 與者,他們在社會裡的位置是什麼。那為何社會位置這麼重要?因為這是一個實質上利益的問題,利益可能是 經濟上的利益,或是比較抽象的個人權利,或是自由民主的利益。但當運動的基層組織工作沒有做得很好的時

陳柏偉於〈破碎的交響樂團 - 台北現場版〉中演出,攝影:張又維 Bo-Wei Chen performs in The Broken Orchestra Live in Taipei , photo by You-Wei Chen

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候,「我們」其實是個含混的概念--一方面是欺騙外面,用一個模糊的概念在對外述說;另一方面,對自己 而言,「我們」的說法蒙蔽了參與者對自己的權益、利益的進一步認識。雖然分清楚「我們是誰」是很重要的, 但怎麼樣去展開討論,也是困難的工作。當你開始去探討「我們是誰」的時候,其實是危險性蠻大、蠻刺激的 過程。 王:危險性大是因為? 陳:比如說,在「我們台灣人」這個前提下團結起來,一切就很好推行,所有事情都是為台灣人的利益。但當 你開始辨明台灣人裡有底層的台灣人、有當大老闆的台灣人、有小商人的台灣人,「我們」裡面還有這麼多不 同利益的屬性的時候,要挑明地講我們之間內部的差異,危險就出現了--原先設想大家要團結在這名字下的 旗幟不見了。如果用不理性的態度來面對,它就是一種危險。可是,如果能夠看清楚我和你的差異,這個運動 就可能深化,並且更有力地推進。這裡說的「危險」,端看你想像這運動要達到什麼目標。如果朝向虛幻的方 向與目標,可能只會滿足所謂「我們」其中一部分人的利益,而掩蓋了其他人的利益,但你卻說不出話來,因 為「我們都是台灣人」。我說的危險,是你會看不到人民內部真正的矛盾、差異和現實的狀況。 王:身為一個社會運動工作者,你如何看待這些矛盾? 陳:我必須看清楚這些矛盾,而且不只是要看清楚他們的矛盾,也要看清楚我自己和他們之間的矛盾,不同的 人之間的差異是什麼。

鄭:你怎麼談共同體這件事?有一個想像的共同體嗎? 陳:如果是想像的共同體,那當然有共同體,因為建立共同體就是一個想像的過程。不是說想像的共同體不好, 重要的是,它透過什麼方式被想像出來。「台灣人」也是一個想像的共同體,可是它不夠精確,能做更細緻的

想像的空間不見了。說得比較誇張一點,人本來就有很多差異,要成為共同體,本來就需要一個建構的過程, 例如,民族主義的方法是先建構共同的起源的神話。但我覺得需要先看清我們之間的差異,而且差異是在某種 特定的共同社會文化脈絡下出現的,我們的「共同」是那個共同的社會文化脈絡。比方說,我是一個勞動者, 你是一個勞動者,而勞動者不是天生就是一個勞動者,它是在特定社會歷史脈絡下面,經過了某些事情,在某 個地區、什麼樣的產業,而長出了我們這樣的人。再仔細去看,會發現我們每個人在講自己經驗時,生命歷程 的故事各不相同,但仍然可以從中找到某些沿著現實經驗或歷史脈絡而來的共同點。我覺得這種共同體的建構 比較細緻,而不是一開始就喊著「我們都是台灣人」,我們的利益一樣。或是像以前常見的說法:我們是工人, 他們是知識份子,他們的經歷和我們不一樣,所以我們的利益應該自己決定,我的利益就是你的利益--我覺 得這個太粗糙,沒有先有一個仔細看清楚每個人獨特的經驗生成過程。因此,太早講共同體是有問題的。 王:在社會運動裡,你不但要去看清楚、辨別那些矛盾,也要去找出大家不同生命體的相同之處,那你如何用 音樂去訴求這種矛盾和相同的地方?

陳:那是一個還蠻長的過程。一開始進入社運的時候,也是很模糊地想像受苦、被壓迫的人民,所以那時候我

們(黑手那卡西工人樂隊)做出來的音樂反映了這個想像。我希望我的音樂可以透過這個特殊的形式反映出「我 們都是一體的」,音樂就這樣出來。但是有趣的是,不管再怎麼漂亮的神話,每個聽者都有自己的主體性,會 有不同的想像。群眾對我們的音樂會有不同的反應,有人覺得很爛、有人覺得很好、有人覺得你的歌只能在集 會遊行的時候用,也有人覺得說出了他們的心聲--但到底有沒有說出心聲,這個還得要討論。 我剛開始進去社運,對勞動人民也有虛幻的想像。可是當你真的接觸這些人--即使是用歌聲、音樂來接觸-- 就不能只是站在舞台上不斷地放送自己的想法給別人。我自己的經驗裡,不能永遠都只站在舞台上,還得要參 TheCUBE

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與他們日常的鬥爭與生活。譬如我在工會組織裡,發現這群工人跟我學生時代想像的勞動人民是不一樣的。這 群勞動人民有各自的利益盤算,有強勢的工人、弱勢的工人,有男性工人,女性工人。當我越接觸這些工人個 別的特別性,就越覺得自己沒法再做那種單一的、好像世界就應該這樣往前走的音樂。如果要用音樂介入他們 的生活,建立我和他們的關係,可能要有另外一個方式--我對這些人的感受,是真的要跟他們生活經驗息息 相關。所以我沒有辦法再做那種口號式的音樂,有別人去做可以了。我覺得更迫切的需要是,你到底要怎麼 思考、處理自己和工人的關係?如何用音樂來展現出你我之間的關係?那些比較細微的差異和共同的東西是什 麼?音樂對我來說的轉變是到這個程度。 王:你可以說一下你創作音樂的方法嗎? 陳:我覺得創作這件事其實蠻個人的,最後每個音怎麼蹦出來、連接出來是很個人的。 王:對你這樣回答,美國作曲家 John Cage 和英國作曲家 Cornelius Cardew 就會說,這種創作者的自我表達 其實是很中產的,因為自我表達也是一種階級意識。

陳:但你總要表達,無產階級也應該自我表達啊!而且,到底是什麼樣動力催促成我表達出內心的東西?那是

個社會過程。被壓迫的工人其實很想說話。我在開勞教 (勞工教育1) 和聊天的時候,若講到他們很痛的地方, 他們是會說個不停的。中上層階級比較有機會,或被訓練知道應該如何講,而勞動階級,可能在這社會的分工 裡面,比較不被鼓勵去講出來。我每次作出歌曲,都是因為我經歷了、看到了一個社會現象。有時不單是看到, 而是我的確處在當時那種氛圍裡--可能是時代的氛圍,或是我親身經歷鬥爭的現場--感受到某種力量的流 動或不平等。那種從外而內的力量催促我去講什麼東西,我的音樂通常都是在這種情況裡蹦出來。 比如說我做〈微聲計劃〉2的時候,很難說那些歌曲都是我做的,因為那些音樂的產生是因為我參與了表演前 的工作坊,和演員、導演互相討論互動。準備過程是重要的,圍繞在我周遭的各種社會脈絡和資源聚集起來, 才有辦法作出歌曲。所以對我來說,創作不是我個人的才華,而是我所處的環境、所接收到各種社會性資源, 我將其轉化成一種很個人的方式表達出來。 王:你既是作曲家,也是社會運動者,你用音樂創作時,其實是在組織一種聆聽空間,因為你自己要先想像聽 者要聆聽的是什麼樣的音樂。我想問的是,你想要溝通的群眾是什麼樣的人?我覺得作曲家也是一種聆聽者, 而作曲和聆聽不應該被分開來看。 陳:你的意思是,我要講話,一定會有對象,縱使沒有想得很清楚,但在講話時,已經創造出一種空間了? 王:這其實就是你剛剛講的「社會過程」。 陳:那你已經講完了 !(笑)其實我沒有思考這樣的問題。就你剛剛所說的,作曲是一種組織過程,我用的方法 也是在某個程度上試驗。作曲,或是各種文化工具,不應該只是由某一群人負責詮釋,比如說,工人或什麼人 的社會狀況。如果工人可以直接參與文化生產過程,那可能性在哪裡?我們(黑手那卡西工人樂隊)的集體創 作就是這個意思。關於你說的「聆聽空間」,我的理解是:如果我們在設想「如何發聲?」,其實就隱含我在 想像我這些歌曲創造出什麼樣的聆聽空間。 王:還有包括跟你一起工作的人,也是在集體創造一種聆聽空間。 陳:對。 鄭:在社會運動的場合上,你要創作一個讓聆聽者可以被觸動或啓動某一種行動空間的能力,可是我們聽到大

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部分的聲音,媒體的聲音,以及從上而下政治宣傳的聲音,是不希望去觸動這些東西的,也就是說,他們希望 你聆聽之後是接受並馴服於那個結構… 王:一種無條件的接受。 鄭:但我覺得你們(黑手那卡西工人樂隊) 要做的聲音其實是,聽者不需要去接受黑手那卡西工人樂隊的組織 形式,而是讓聽者自己能夠產生組織形式的能力。我覺得這兩種聆聽是不同的,目的也非常不一樣。 台灣長期 以來,譬如國民黨的聲音政治操作,其實是想盡辦法阻絕那種有能動性的聆聽,音樂不能讓聽者產生組織的能 力,或看到現實的能力。 羅:也就是說,目前的文化治理會傾向鼓勵那種聽完當下產生娛樂效果,可消解現實生活問題的音樂。這點是 作得非常成功的,比如說,你問:「聽音樂的目的是什麼?」,絕大多數的人會說是要「輕鬆一下」,好一點 的會說「為了精神的昇華」,很少有人會希望從聆聽中得到行動的力量。 王:就好像,進步的聆聽空間不是要教你穿什麼樣的衣服,而是要影響你去思考要穿什麼樣的衣服,這兩種目 的是完全不一樣的。所以,集體的聆聽空間,其實就是一種社會政治空間。

註: 1. 工會安排關於勞動權益或勞動政策相關的課程。 2. 2010 年由王虹凱統籌,在台北牯嶺街小劇場演出的表演計劃〈Watching Dust〉。

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To Begin a Discussion

Taipei, September 24, 2012

Bo-Wei Chen in conversation with Hong-Kai Wang, Amy Cheng, and Jeph Lo

Wang: You have been a political activist through music for a long time. Today, I would like to discuss “political

activism” in terms of “collective listening” with you. “Collective listening” stands for “listening together”. It sounds very simple in a literal sense, yet is of rich implications. Firstly, let’s talk about who is the “we” that is together in political activism.

Chen: Generally speaking, within political activism, it is very easy to make statements such as “we want…” and “we demand…” Yet, while everybody speaks about “us” so offhandedly, nobody tries to identify who exactly

“we” are. Amid the soaring passion, “who we are” does not really matter. For the participants, what really matters is who comes out to talk about “us”. Then, s/he would feel that this “we” refers to “me” and such. But this is not true. The idea of “we” has not been properly expounded in the public domain. Who is “we”? Many may deem this question irrelevant, because it is supposed to be self-evident. As a result, when no one wants to examine

it, you would find that many of the topical demands lose their focus. The importance of the question of “who

we are” concerns very much those who are involved. What are their positions in the society? Why is asking this question this important? This is a question regarding actual interests. The interests can be economic, or more

陳柏偉(右一)於〈咱的作工進行曲〉工作坊,攝影:王虹凱 Bo-Wei Chen (first right) leads the recording workshop in Music While We Work on site., photo by Hong-Kai Wang

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abstract personal, or liberal, democratic. When the foundation of a movement was not lay down properly, “we” becomes a confused concept. On one hand, it delivers a misdirected address and on the other hand prevents the participants from further understanding their own rights and interests. While it is very important to clarify

“who we are”, how to develop the discourse is no easy task. And, when you begin to explore that question, you are embarking on a journey filled with great danger and excitement. Wang: Where does the danger come from? Chen: For example, if we were to unify under the presupposition of “We the Taiwanese”, everything that is

to be done would seem easy to push, because it would be for the interests of the Taiwanese. But, when you begin to discern the differences between the lower socio-economic class, the corporate magnates and the

small entrepreneurs etc., you will realize that this “we” comprises so many different types of interests. Thus, the dangers arise as you set out to spell out these differences. You would find that the banner under which everyone is supposed to unify disappears. If we approach that irrationally, then the danger would ensue. However, if we are able to identity the differences between you and me, then this movement is likely to

advance on a more in-depth and powerful path. The danger I am talking about is shaped by the ultimate goal you envision to achieve. If you aim at an illusionary goal, it might end up fulfilling the interests of a portion of the so-called “us”, and therefore overlooking those of the rest. As a result, you would find yourself left mute

because we are all “Taiwanese”. The danger is that you are unable to see the true contradictions and differences in the reality lived by people.

Wang: As a political activist, how do you deal with these contradictions? Chen: I must see these contradictions clearly. I need to distinguish the contradictions not only among them, but also between them and myself - the differences between different people.

Cheng: How do you conceive of a “collectivity”? Is there a conceived community as such? Chen: If there is a conceived collectivity, then of course it exists. Constructing a collectivity is a speculative process. I am not suggesting that such an entity is a bad thing. Rather, what is at stake is how it is being

conceived. “Taiwanese” is a conceived collectivity as well, but the notion of it is not sufficiently precise. The space that allows for more elaborate speculation is being taken away. Let me exaggerate a bit. As human

being, we naturally inherit many differences. Becoming part of a collectivity inherently requires a process of

construction. For instance, nationalism uses the myth of a common origin. I think that we should first identify the differences among us. These differences are produced in certain shared cultural and social contexts. Our commonality is the shared cultural and social context. For example, I am a laborer and you are a laborer.

But, laborers were not born laborers- they come into being in a specific socio-historical context that informs what we experience in certain locality at certain industry. If you look closer, you would discover, that when

we each talk about our own experiences, our life stories are quite different from one to another. Yet certain

commonality based on the shared empirical or historical context still can be found. I believe that such discourse in constructing a collectivity is more elaborate than the mere proclamation of “We are all Taiwanese”. In the

past, statements such as “We are workers, they are intellectuals, so that their experiences must be different from ours. So of course we get to decide what is the best for us, because my interest is yours” were often heard. This kind of discourse is too simplistic. It neglects the singularity in everyone’s life experience. Thus, talking about collectivity too prematurely is truly problematic.

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all these different lives. How do you use music to address these contradictions and commonalities? Chen: That is a rather long process. When I first got involved in the political activism, I too was vaguely

imagining the condition of the oppressed. Consequently, the music we produced at the time was a reflection of this vision. I wanted my music to take on this special form, so that it conveyed the notion of “we are in this

together.” Then, out comes the music. Even so, what is interesting is that people would always have their own sense of subjectivity no matter how beautifully the myth was created. They respond to our music differently,

some hate it, some like it, some find your songs only made for protests, and some really resonate to the musicwhether this is true or not is still a question though.

When you truly engage with these people through music, you cannot just stand on stage and constantly

channel your thoughts to the others. Based on my experience, other than being on stage, you have to get

involved in their daily struggles and lives. For example, at the worker unions, I learned that these workers were very different from what I had previously imagined. They have different factions, each of which comes with

their own agenda. Some are more dominant than others. There are men and women. The better I get to know their individualities, the more I realize I can no longer produce music that advocates a singular world view. If

my music were to truly enter their lives in order to establish a relationship with them, I had to find a different

approach to connect with them in their daily life. Therefore, I can no longer make the kind of music that is full

of slogans, which would have been done by others anyway. I deem the more urgent questions to ask are: how do you deliberate and deal with your relationship with the workers? How do you articulate this relationship?

What are those subtle, delicate differences and similarities among us? For me, this has been the change in my approach to music.

Wang: Can you talk about how you make music? Chen: I believe that creative work is a very personal thing. In the end, how to come up with each note and to connect them with one another is a very personal process.

Wang: The American composer John Cage and the British composer Cornelius Cardew both regarded selfexpression as entirely bourgeois. Self-expression is a form of class-consciousness too, don’t you think?

Chen: But, you still have to express. Proletariats are entitled to express themselves too! After all, what sets forth your heart to create an expression is a social process. The oppressed workers want to have their voices heard.

At the “laborer pedagogical workshop”1 I was instructing, when a conversation hit a spot where they hurt, they would not stop talking.

Upper-middle class is usually provided with more opportunities, or is better trained to know how to speak,

whereas the working class within the labor division of the society is less encouraged to speak up. Each song I

come up with stems from my experience as a witness to a particular social phenomenon. Sometimes not only do I witness it, I am also involved in it. Maybe it’s an atmosphere of an era that affects me, or maybe I happen

to be at where the real struggles take place and experience the force of inequality. This force propells me to say something. My music is usually brought out by these encounters.

For example, when I was writing music for Watching Dust 2 , I couldn’t say that I came up with it all on my own. The music drew upon many discussions and interactions I shared with the performers and the director in the

workshops, and was consequently generated by the convergence of the social resources and contexts around me. Therefore, the creative process does not stem from my personal talent, but rather from the environment I live in. In other words, all the social resources I have received are mutated into a personal output.

Wang: You are a composer as well as a political activist. When you make music, you are in a way organizing a

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listening space, because you have to imagine first what kind of music you want to listen to. So my question is: who is the audience you want to communicate with? I believe that the composer is a type of listener too, and that composing and listening ought not to be looked at separately.

Chen: Do you mean that, as I wish to speak, I already intend to address to someone, and therefore create a kind of space, despite that I may not be necessarily aware of it?

Wang: Yes, isn’t this the social process that you just mentioned? Chen: Then, you have already said it all! (Laughs) Actually, I’ve not placed too much thought on this question. Just as you suggested, composing music is a process of organization, which can somehow apply to the way I work too. Composing, or any other form of cultural expression, should not privilege only a few select people. Take workers or those living a similar social condition for example, if they could directly take part in cultural

production, what are the possibilities? That is what we mean by collective creativity. Now, in regard to the idea of “listening space” as you proposed, I understood it as in imagining a kind of listening space created by my music when we are thinking about the question of “how to make sound”.

Wang: Those who work with you are also creating a listening space collaboratively. Chen: Right. Cheng: In the arena of political activism, you want to create a space that can activate and mobilize the listeners. Yet, most of the sounds we hear, such as those of the mass media and the vertical political propaganda, are produced to counter that potentiality. Namely, they use the sounds to tame you into the system… Wang: And to accept it unconditionally. Cheng: In contrast, the music you (Black Hand Nakasi Workers’ Band) make does not impose your own form of organization on the listeners. Rather, you provide the listeners the means to creative their own organization.

These two types of listening are very different from one another, and so are their purposes. For a long time in Taiwan, for instance, the Kuomintang (The Nationalist Party) uses sounds as a means of political control that disables the listeners’ capability of self-organization and recognizing the reality.

Lo: The current cultural industry produces the kind of music that entertains and relieves you from the reality

temporarily. This has been done very effectively. For instance, most people would say that they listen to music for relaxation, or even for spiritual sublimation, in response to the question “why do you listen to music?”. Very few would wish to be empowered by listening and to go protest on the streets.

Wang: Analogically speaking, a progressive listening space would not try to dictate how you dress. On the

contrary, it would make you think about how you should dress. These two purposes are entirely different from one another. Therefore, a collective listening space is itself a socio-political space.

1. Courses related to labor rights and policies organized by the worker unions.

2. Watching Dust was produced by Hong-Kai Wang and shown at the Guling Street Avant-Garde Theatre. TheCUBE

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王虹凱 雲林虎尾人,臺大政治系和美國紐約新學院媒體研究所畢業,長期旅居歐美。作品主要以聲音做為概念性手段 來探索社會關係與架構新社會空間的可能性,著重集體合作與過程取向的製作方式。作品形式包括公共介入、 表演、工作坊、裝置等。 作品計劃曾於荷蘭阿姆斯特丹 Kunstvlaai 獨立藝術節、日本熊本當代美術館、加拿大蒙特婁 Leonard & Bina Ellen 美術館、意大利羅馬 Museo Pietro Cononica、捷克布拉格 DOX 當代藝術中心、第 54 屆義大利威尼斯 雙年展臺灣館、盧森堡 Casino Luxembourg 當代藝術中心、韓國仁川女性藝術家雙年展、西班牙馬德里 InPresentable 表演藝術節和 La Noche en Blanco 藝術節、台北雙年展等。 王虹凱接下來將在瑞典斯德哥爾摩 IASPIS 國際藝術村駐村,並於奧地利維也納荀伯格中心等地發表新作品計 劃。

Hong-Kai Wang Born in Yunlin, Taiwan, Hong-Kai Wang received a BA in Political Science from National Taiwan University (Taipei) and an MA in Media Studies from The New School University (New York).

Wang’s work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto

(Kumamoto, 2012), the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University (Montreal, 2012), Museo Pietro Cononica (Rome, 2012), Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain (Luxembourg, 2010), and La Casa

Encendida (Madrid, 2008). She has participated in exhibitions as Kunstvlaai: Festival of Independents (Amsterdam, 2012), Membra Disjecta for John Cage (Vienna, 2012), Taiwan Pavilion, the 54th Venice Biennale (2011),

International Incheon Women Artists’ Biennale (2009), La Noche en Blanco (Madrid, 2007), and Taipei Biennial: Dirty Yoga (2006).

Wang will be a resident artist at the Iaspis International Residency Program (Stockholm, 2012-2013). Upcoming projects will be shown at Arnold Schönberg Center (Vienna, 2013), and elsewhere.

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Profile for 立方計劃空間 TheCube Project Space

The composer composes the future so that the composition leaves the traces of the future...  

「重見/建社會」主題策劃展第七檔:王虹凱的《作曲家書寫了未來,以便留下未來不會留下的印記》,這是她於去年參加威尼斯雙年展台灣館展覽之後,首次在台灣的個展。 The seventh installment of the thematic exhibition Re-envision...

The composer composes the future so that the composition leaves the traces of the future...  

「重見/建社會」主題策劃展第七檔:王虹凱的《作曲家書寫了未來,以便留下未來不會留下的印記》,這是她於去年參加威尼斯雙年展台灣館展覽之後,首次在台灣的個展。 The seventh installment of the thematic exhibition Re-envision...

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