Cacotopia x Future Host | Scripture: Bi-monthly Podcast

Artists: Future Host (Tingying Ma and Kang Kang)

This podcast belongs to Future Host’s on-going writing project “Scripture”. “Scripture” is a book of speculative fiction inspired by The Book of Mountains and Seas, an ancient Taoist classic. The fiction unfolds in two directions: Qinyuan, a diminutive bee-bird, sexes and assassinates its way out of the mythological landscape. In another world, the son of a master potter from Jingdezhen wanders in the western world as SHE, with insoluble mud on her hands. Chapters from “Scripture” will be released in English and Chinese concurrently with the podcast. 

 

About the artists

Future Host (Tingying Ma and Kang Kang) is an artist duo who consider the world as emotive and sentient that can only be processed through epistemic inquiries. 

Future Host’s work has been presented at the Museum of Chinese in America, New York; International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP), New York; Ullens Center of Contemporary Art (UCCA), Beijing; Ming Contemporary Art Museum (MCAM), Shanghai. A finalist for the 2018 Huayu Art Award, their practice has been supported by Shandaken Projects: Governors Island and LMCC: Arts Center. Their writing has been published or is forthcoming by Wendy’s Subway, New York, T Magazine China, LEAP. Their publication The Insatiable can be found at Printed Matter, New York. 

Credits

Fiction writing by Future Host (Tingying Ma and Kang Kang)
Fiction Chinese Translation: He Pan 
Podcast Produced by Tingying Ma 
Podcast Theme Music Composition by Thoom aka Zeynab Marwan (@thoom_report)
Podcast Assistant: Lauren Wolchik 
Podcast Technical Consultant: Zhen Qin
Cover image by Sam Lubicz (@slubicz)
Graphic Design: Matt Tecson (@one________________winged)

Episode 6: w/Zairong Xiang (Queering, Yinyang Transdualism and Anti-genesis)

Episode 5: w/Jessika Khazrik (Poly-cosmology, Trans-millennium Thinking and Healing)

Episode 4: w/Eren İleri (Escape, Disembodied Masculinity and Anti-space) ft. 33EMYBW

Episode 3: w/Kara Güt (Intimacy, Magic and Modding ) ft. Via-app

Episode 2: w/Ohyung (Fear, Embodiment and Leaving Behind)

Episode 1: w/Bassem Saad (Toxicity, Entropy and Hope) ft. Nene H

Audio

Episode 6: w/Zairong Xiang (Queering, Yingyang Transdualism and Anti-genesis)

In the last episode of the series,  I’m joined by the other half of Future Host, Connie Kang, and scholar, curator Zairong Xiang in a reading and discussion about our on-going speculative fiction Scripture. How can we unmoor the tradition of yin-yang from the straitjacket of heteronormative gender binarism? How can we form a philosophical understanding from within, which responds to but is not subjected to the western notion of queering? How can we reanimate the openness, porosity and complexity of the classics, such as the Book of Mountains and Seas, to re-narrate a genesis that is not singular, but multiple and polyphonic? Bilingual literary practice affords the critical distance that enables us to make an ally out of a primordial text and to develop intimate re-interpretations through storytelling. Moving comparatively in Chinese and English, our fiction writing creates space where queering and decolonization necessarily go hand in hand to produce one more, or yet another, misreading of all known categories.

Zairong Xiang is a scholar and curator. He is an assistant professor of Comparative Literature and the Associate Director of Art at Duke Kunshan University. He is the author of Queer Ancient Ways: A Decolonial Exploration (Punctum, 2018), As a scholar, his research intersects feminisms and queer theories, literary and visual studies in their decolonial variants in Spanish, English, Chinese, French, and Nahuatl. He is strongly committed to the decolonization of knowledge through transregional, transhistorical, transdisciplinary and translingual dialogue. https://www.xiangzairong.com/

 

In case you didn’t notice, the theme song of the podcast is composed by the crazily talented Lebanese-American producer Thoom (Zeynab Marwan @thoom_report) whose music is outstandingly refined, pregnant with anachronistic textures, as if it were a cannibalistic feast with rigorous table manner—predatory, frenetic, yet orchestrated. https://ffm.to/thoomtony

Mentionings:
Queer Ancient Ways: A Decolonial Exploration, Zairong Xiang / “Shuangshuang,” Future Host / “Kui,” Future Host / Queering Chinese Society: Urban Space, Popular Culture and Social Policy, Wei Wei / “On Decolonisation and the University” (Textual Practice, Volume 35, 2021), Priyamvada Gopal / Treatise on Febrile Diseases Caused by Cold, Zhang Zhongjing (150 CE) / new materialism

Episode 5: w/Jessika Khazrik (Poly-cosmology, Trans-millennium Thinking and Healing)

I can’t wait to share this conversation with you. Jessika Khazrik’s practice lies in the perfect junction with this podcast’s framework. In her presence, I also get to rehearse several intuitive thoughts I had while conceiving this podcast. Jessika and I had a trans-millennium conversation about polymaths in the Abbasid period, the Book of Mountains and Seas, and music’s universalisms and knowledge production in an age of ignorance. Sometimes Jessika spoke through her synthesizer; her zencastr signal from Berlin was choppy. I stumbled to talk as fast as she could as if we were jamming in her father’s jazz bar. Our shared theatre background seeped in, as if we were in the backstage of the first act of a great conspiracy.  

Writing a blurb for this episode is a mission impossible. I give up...... I have to say that Jessika Khazrik emboldened me to be all over the place but also to be in continuum, in reverberations, in conversations, to be pervasive, porous, to infiltrate, to camouflage, to transform. I’m grateful to find a cosmological friendship this way, it makes everything I do much more meaningful. What you hear in this episode is a track from Jessika’s project hypervideo anti-ads, Pharmakopoeiahttps://pharmakopoeia.society.systems/

Tighten your seatbelt, it’s a fast ride.

Jessika’s Works:
Jessika Khazrik’s hypervideo anti-ads Pharmakopoeia
Jessika Khazrik’s script of On the Reconfiguration of This Universe 
Jessika Khazrik’s thesis Who knows where: a treatise on indisciplinary thinking 

Mentionings:  
The Book of Mountains and Seas (4th century BC) / Al-Kindi’s frequency analysis and statistics (8th century AD) / Book of Optics by Ibn al-Haytham (9th Century) / Al-Hamawi (12th-13th century) / Al-Qazwini’s The Wonders of Creatures and the Marvels of Creation (13th century) / The Unfinished World: And Other Stories by Amber Sparks / Agnotology / The auricular approach of writing / Ecotoxicology / Aristotle’s Problemata / Yuk Hui’s idea of cosmotechnics / Science and Civilisation in China by Joseph Needham / The Egyptian god of Thoth / The Magic of the State by Michael Taussig/ Against Domestication by Jacques Camatte / Jacques Rancière / Cybertron / How to Wreck a Nice Beach: The Vocoder from World War II to Hip-Hop, The Machine Speaks by Dave Tompkins 

Episode 4: w/Eren İleri (Escape, Disembodied Masculinity and Anti-space) ft. 33EMYBW

33EMYBW (@33emybw) is the most visionary producer of our time. The opening track, Adam Bank, is a rhythmic manifestation of the non-anthropocentric critic.Closing track Drum 3 is a contemporary version of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of The Bumblebee.

Fast, flurried, adrenaline-pumping. These tracks come from the album Arthropods, which traverses light years and reaches the outer planets. It sounds like an all-encompassing matrilineal cacophony I’ve long been anticipating.
https://svbkvlt.bandcamp.com/album/arthropods

In today’s episode, Eren(@eren_ileri_) talked to me like I were a homo sapiens who's just woken up from a 200,000-year hibernation-dream. He told me two versions of reality that pertains to outer space expeditions. One was factual but maddening; the other, a big fat lie. In speculation, Eren would also start a Facebook campaign called “indigenous bacteria go first” – please donate. Eren İleri is an artist and researcher from Istanbul, currently chewing on the question of disembodiment in the imaginations of outer space.
https://erenileri.info/ 

Tracks by 33EMYBW 
- Adam Bank 
- Drum 3 

From album: Arthropods (October 2019) released by SVBKVLT 

Mentionings: 
Star Citizen (Cloud Imperium Games) / No Man’s Sky (Hello Games) / Observation (No Code) / Factoria (Wube Software) / Christopher Mcaky and Robert Zubrin / Social Darwinists believe in “survival of the fittest” / The Conquest of Space and the Stature of Man by Hannah Arendt / Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution by Peter Kropotkin / Erdoğan’s Turkish space program / SpaceX by Elon Musk / Blue Origin by Jeff Bezos / Cosmopolitics by Isabelle Stengers / Outer Worlds: The Persistence of Race in movement “Beyond The human” by Zakiyyah Iman Jackson / Sebastian Möring

Episode 3: w/Kara Güt (Intimacy, Magic and Modding ) ft. Via-app

What you will hear is an exclusive edition of an unreleased track by Brooklyn-based producer Dylan Scheer aka Via-app (@appetizr). Via is an omniscient musician. I’m afraid my semantic cleverness would never do justice to their meta-universe. The track Eschatological Download / Breath from Beyond, is a sensory response to the protests last summer.

They use Jewish mysticism as a point of reference and a conduit for extra-dimensional communication. Their closing track for the episode is my all-time favorite Toxicon, a total rejection of military and industrial toxicities imposed on the earth and its inhabitants. It’s a profound pleasure to be devoured by this sonic behemoth, to contemplate, rinse off, and come back to life.
https://soundcloud.com/viaapp7/

Meanwhile, in another simulacrum, I witnessed the most romantic thing: two NPCs falling off a cliff with their mouths connected. Media artist Kara Güt (@baby_peach123456789) told me, this form of intimacy is the result of a stack of malfunctioning mods. In this episode, I talk to Kara about life without a body and how we could possibly embrace it. We use the online RPG game Skyrim as a site of discussion, and try to parse out what soft and hard magic means in reality.
https://karagut.info/

Trigger warning: if you are afraid of dragons, be cautious around the first third of the episode – no one was harmed.

Tracks by Via-app 
Eschatalogical Download / Breath from Beyond 
Toxicon 

Mentionings: 
The Elder Scroll: Skyrim / Bethesda Game Studios / Steam workshop / Immersive lover’s comfort / Brandon Sanderson / Soft magic system vs Hard magic system / Red dead redemption (RDR)

Episode 2: w/Ohyung (Fear, Embodiment and Leaving Behind)

I’m amazed and I think you will be too. How Ohyung’s peaceful and temperamental voice contrast with their stage presence, let alone their ambitious, eclectic music production.

There is no one like Ohyung, so sincere, unpretentious and unfiltered. They told me that in order to perform live, they fused themselves with the lyrics they wrote. Together we stuttered so much in the recording. Our shared imposter syndrome showed up in the gaps between our words. We discussed embodiment, fear and leaving behind. 3 tracks from Ohyung will be featured in the episode, turn up the volume, and cover your ears with toilet paper for the best effect. 
https://robrus.li/ohyung

Tracks by Ohyung: 
- Shenme Gui (feat. Space Meow Doll & Qing Liberty)
- N1FWM (feat. Charlie Sheena, Gia Shakur)
- Sick (feat. Toyomansi)

Albums:
PROTECTOR, Released April 2020, Physical & Digital by London label Chinabot;
Untitled (Chinese Man with Flame), Released June 2018, Physical & Digital by LA label Deathbomb Arc.

Mentionings:  
Odd Future / Death Grips / Dreamcrusher / Dean Blunt / Princess Nokia / Butch Dawson / JPEGMAFIA / Film Atlantic’s soundtrack by Fatima Al Qadiri / Illustrious pearl aka Wo Chan / Adele Computer / Wing On Wo / Stray dogs at The Lot radio 

Episode 1: w/Bassem Saad (Toxicity, Entropy and Hope) ft. Nene H

Bassem Saad (@bassem_s_) is a Beirut artist and writer trained in architecture. Reading Bassem’s No Entropy Cassandra 2020 in the beginning of the pandemic was an illumination. His writing and practice is personal,localized while being hyper-reflective in its planetary and historical consciousness.

The trilemma of his non-binary existence in global south was conveyed beautifully in his story Syringe Spindle Scepter. In this toxic, disastrous, post-truth world, I look to Bassem's exemplary queer existance, and sought to have a conversation with him since the inception of the pod.
http://www.bassemsaad.com/

Also featured in this episode are two tracks from Beste Aydin aka Nene H(@nenishka.h),a female producer from Istanbul, who defies techno’s hedonistic tendency and utilizes it as ammunition for political actions. She samples the “Chilean feminist protest chant” against misogyny in the Middle East, and addresses issues around Israel's illegal annexation of private Palestinian land by amplifying its invisible warfare. The loaded intensity and electrifying feverishness are meant to be corporeal. Your eardrums might hurt a little bit.

Tracks: 
- un violador en tu camino
- Palestine

Mentionings:  
Normandy Landfill / The kafala system / Anti-Racism Movement (ARM) / Friedrich Hayek / C. S. Holling / Walid Sadek / Ounsi el-Hajj

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.