The Swamp

The benevolence of the swamp lies in its utter chaos. It is known for leaving the authoritative role indefinitely empty to endorse subterranean forces. It doesn't decide where it drains or leaks, when it dries up. The swamp can be many things at the same time, but its surface refuses reflection and does not divulge any of its hidden characteristics. The surface inertia belies its erosion by the underground, where burrows, lairs, tunnels and slits constitute an imbroglio. Water trickles down, seeping through millions of ephemeral interlocking holes. Beings crawl and twist and carve out concaves and convexes. There are no rules with which to declare domination.  

The swamp forgoes and abstains from governing through regulation or management. In the whispering of the underground streams, living beings dig, drill and converge into one another, never going out of sync. Every stimulus can evoke something unexpected, that is to say, causality and consequentiality are defunct in the swamp. 

The swamp forces the most intricate form of co-dependency onto every form of life. Time leaks through, never fully accessible. There is no longer the progression from day to day, season to season—every moment is glued into a cohesive, complex lapse, where beings drift collectively. Even if the swamp’s affordances are not sufficient, it is a place to learn to live with those who have incompatible coping mechanisms and simply make do. It’s constantly devouring volumes and hoarding spaces in treacherous and circuitous fashion.

It could be rather hypnotizing to look at from above, like a lucid dream in motion. 


The Macalline Center of Art (MACA) is a non-profit art institution located in the 798 Art District of Beijing and officially inaugurated its space on January 15, 2022. Occupying a two-story building with a total area of 900 square meters, MACA unites artists, curators, and other art and cultural practitioners from around the world. Through its diverse, ongoing, and collaborative approaches, the Center establishes a new site on the contemporary art scene. Guided by the “work of artists” and backed by interdisciplinary research, the Center aims to bring together a community passionate about art and devoted to the “contemporary” moment so as to respond proactively to our rapidly evolving times.