Platforms: WeChat Official Account “Macalline Art Center” / Apple Podcast / Xiaoyuzhou

Speakers: outtolunchers, Saurabh Datta, Winnie Wu, Yi Xin Tong, Zhang Yuling, Ye Zitao, Liu Mengfei,zzyw, Yang Qingxiang (the list will be updated continuously)

“Cacotopia” is a podcast that brings together different perspectives and focuses on voices that may be easily overlooked in everyday life. Piercing music, savage howls, marginalized languages, painful groans, and obscure somniloquies touch a nerve when we are least expecting it. Like rays of light in the darkness, they are clear signals that inspire us and gradually become more distinct.

Standardized voices are disseminated in the mass media and they have become part of us. When we unconsciously hum popular songs, repeat things that internet celebrities have said, or learn the academic jargons, our voices become more homogenized. Therefore, learning to speak becomes difficult but important: How should we recover those plural selves and plural voices?

Every episode of Cacotopia will feature one to two artists, scholars, or researchers who will share with us their interdisciplinary creations, texts, and ideas. The podcast is both an exploration of the ontology of voices (the history and philosophy of voices) and an experimental act that uses the voice to explore our current circumstances. Cacotopia breaks with existing structures, encourages bodily freedom, and compels the silent to return to their own (non-)speech.

Cacotopia is jointly curated by Clement Huang and Chen Yujian, Assistant Curators at Macalline Art Center.

Stay at Home: 340m/s-Episode 1 Sound as the record of life

Episode 8—Yang Qingxiang: Rhythmanalizing Our Time

Episode 7—zzyw: Wandering Between the Computable and the Uncomputable

Episode 6—Realism in Games & Games in Contemporary Art – How should we criticize games?

Episode 5—Teaching Art in Rural Qinghai

On Olympics—Philhellenism and Naturism

Episode 4—Yi Xin Tong: Symphony by the Whales, Recordings from the Deep Throat

Episode 3—Winnie Wu: Is this Love? Loneliness, Romance and Paradox in the Age of Data

Qingming Special—Tomb Sweeping and Country Life, How Do We Commemorate Our Rural Memory Today?

Episode 2—Saurabh Datta: Could Machines Mimicking Human Behaviors Be Critical?

Episode 1—outtolunchers: Therapeutic Sound Art with AI Voice and Misplaced Words


The theme for the first episode is “Best-By Date.” A best-by date is a beautiful promise and a fuzzy boundary. Things that have passed this date are not necessarily rotten, but they have entered into a layered state, leaving us with a dilemma, unable to make a judgement. All kinds of unnecessary red lines have turned our lives into an expired can of food. Only the one who eats it can know what it tastes like. In this episode, we have invited creators with different backgrounds to record life’s best-by dates in sound and commemorate those moments that cannot be preserved long-term.


About Artworks and Guests:


Gwendoline Cho-ning Kam, independent curator, musical anthropologist, Aquarius, Hongkonger
SOK! (from 1:40)
“In the past and ongoing 52+ days, we have become ‘quality’ Shanghai plastik that has been defined, authenticated, preserved, and ensured by plastic.” (Headphones recommended)

Wang Runzhong, new stay-at-home dad, image maker, drinker
WX: 20220517 (from 6:53)
“When my wife and I take inventory of the items that have been used up, are in short supply, or are expired but we’re still using, we also take the opportunity to talk about our recent feelings and emotions. I recorded this process, but I filtered out the voices with software, leaving only the noise.”

Yixin Tong, artist
Shanghai -> Beijing (from 11:57)

Cao Fei, artist
A Crow Called Grandma (from 14:17)
“I’m Lisu from Liuku / Liuku in Lushui / Lushui in Nujiang / Nujiang in Yunnan / I’m from Yunnan...” I was certainly surprised when my son suddenly came out with this bit of rap. Isn’t that the route we took in 2006 when we went to Nujiang? A regional flavor that I can’t control is being revived and growing wild in this warped reality. It has transcended the cultural confines of region and this unexpected trend has comforted everyone online in this special moment.”

Xu Sixing, artist, sometime translator, sometime writer
Sounds from Last Month (from 16:14)
“I extracted a sound clip from a video, changed the file format to .raw, and opened it in Photoshop. I scribbled on the audio frequency image and saved it as a .raw file, then changed the file type to .mp3. Machines may not be able to read it based on the data sequence, but real people’s ears can always identify it.”

Feng Hangtian, independent music industry professional 
Artificial Deadline (from 22:20)
“Humans define the ‘best’ date by which to use something based on the most practical of needs. Substances are slowly changing, and the overripe are weeded out in the competition. Under fixed rules, as the artificial deadline looms, people, love, a banana in the fridge, and a yellowed cloth gradually wither away. It’s a birthday, and a countdown.”

Li Suchao, Macalline Art Center researcher
The Practice of Everyday Life (from 27:00)
“Sixty days of riffs”

In this episode of Cacotopia, we are glad to have invited professor Yang Qingxiang, deputy dean of the School of Liberal Arts, Renmin University of China. Yang’s historiography of Contemporary Chinese Literature composes of two distinct periods: the "1980s literature” as the original point, and "the post-80s generation literature” as its rebellious offshoot. In this conversation, we probe into the same history by bringing out “rhythmanalysis”, a method outlined by Lefebvre for analyzing the rhythms of urban spaces.

About the Speaker

Yang Qingxiang, born in 1980s, contemporary poet and critic. Professor and doctoral supervisor of Renmin University of China. Author of poem collections The World Is ZeroI Choose to Cry and Love You, and the book What Should They Do As Post-80s, etc.

New York-based artist duo zzyw (Qi Zhenzhen and Wang Yang) has been exploring the boundary of the "computable" and the "uncomputable" since their formation. In this episode of Cacotopia, we are pleased to invite them to explore the issue of computation from an artistic perspective. As a new media art and research collective, they also share their views on the current new media works.

About the Guests

zzyw is an art and research collective formed by Yang Wang and Zhenzhen Qi in New York, 2017. It produces software applications, simulation, and text as instruments to examine the cultural, political, and educational imprints of computation. 

zzyw has been a member of NEW INC, a cultural and tech incubator at the New Museum in New York, and they have also been tech resident artists at Pioneer Works, a center for art and innovation in Brooklyn, NY. They are currently working as resident artists at Babycastles, an independent game agency in New York. Their research-oriented media art projects have been exhibited at the New Museum of Art Rhizome in New York, the National Art Museum of China, the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art, the Shanghai Pudong Art Museum, and the Knockdown Center in New York.

In addition to their work as artists, Wang Yang works as an engineer and designer in the laboratory department of Rockwell Group Architects in New York during the day. Qi Zhenzhen is pursuing a Ph.D. in Education (EdD) while teaching Computational Media at Columbia University.


Recently, major Chinese game companies have implemented stringent measures to set limits to the time that minors spend on computer games. Now that the game industry is larger than the movie industry, media and institutions in the art world are becoming increasingly interested in concepts such as “metaverse", "game media", "game experience", and "artificial intelligence". In this episode, we proceed from a question: can games positively change reality and achieve certain social functions?

About the Guests

Dr. Liu Mengfei is a player, gaming historian/archivist, gamification designer, game researcher

YE Zitao is a game designer and writer from NExT Studios of Tencent Games, He is also the host of the independent media lab "Luorijian", and its podcast , and an excellent answerer in the direction of games and game design in Zhihu. He is actively promoting the cross-border connection, clarification and creative activities between video games and humanities, art and technology ; recent topics of interest include philosophy, artificial intelligence, architecture, interactive music, etc. He graduated from Nanjing University and went on an exchange trip to l'Université Paris-Diderot, and has an interdisciplinary background in history, philosophy, art and cultural creativity, and IAS (Institute of Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Science).

From July 12th this year, Plate Space invited 6 Yushu Tibetan artists to carry out a 12-day primary school art teaching project in Qumarlêb County, Qinghai Autonomous Prefecture. This project was supported by the local education bureau of Qumarlêb.

In this episode, we have the opportunity to remotely communicate with the 7 participants who were teaching in Qumarlêb, including Chen Tianzhuo, Guan Yun, Hai Jiao, Zhang Yuchen, Xiao Hanqiu, Zhang Jingya, and Liu Chang. Between words and phrases, emerges the significance of this short-term teaching to the local students as well as to the artists.

About the Guests

Teachers: Ma Haijiao, Zhang Jingya, Wang Yuchen, Xiao Hanqiu, Chen Tianzhuo, Guan Yun
Plate Space Manager: Liu Chang

In this episode of Cacotopia, art historian Zhang Yuling and PhD student Liu Yusi from the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College in the United States are guests of our program. We shared knowledge combing diverse ideas about body and sports spanning from ancient Greece to modern times.

About the Guests

Zhang Yuling, Ph.D. of art history in Panthéon-Sorbonne, scholar of art history and columnist.

In the 4th episode of Cacotopia, we have the opportunity to listen to artist Yi Xin Tong's new album “Human Whale Songs”. Yi Xin Tong uses his own voice to simulate the singing of whales, paying tribute to the album “Songs from the Deep” recorded by the Marine Mammal Fund. For him, this attempt to imitate whales produced a kind of music without occlusion. The acoustic product is gentle and erotic, which continues the “noise” experiments that he has initiated for some time.

About the Guest

Tong studied geology at China University of Geosciences. He creates sculptural and video installations to understand himself, to study human culture’s dynamic relationship with nature, and with a wry sense of humor, to intervene in societal beliefs in value, decency, and rationality.

This year, Tong makes resin sculptures in the kitchen during the day and shoots video in the wilderness at night.

In the 3rd episode of Cacotopia, we are very pleased to chat with a researcher, artist, and curator who claims to be on a "long holiday”. She is Winnie Wu, PhD candidate in film studies at HKBU, who shares with us her research on the topic of "love". As an artist, her video installation (In)visible Wounds (2018) captures the intimacy of family planning; as a researcher, she pays attention to the expression of love in different media. In her view, the concept of love is the result of complex social construction. Romantic love is full of paradoxes and becomes perhaps increasingly unattainable in this epoch of algorithms. To answer the question "What is love", it is better to ask the question in reverse: "What is not love?"

About the Guest

Winnie Wu has a BA in Visual Arts and an MFA in Documentary, currently working towards her PhD in film studies. Used to work as artist, curator, new media editor and teacher. Based in Hong Kong.

Qingming Special of “Cacotopia” Podcast: Qingming is when we return to our hometown. For Chinese people, it is full of nostalgic emotion. Eating cold food and sweeping tombs is in harmony with the countryside scenery in spring. What kind of memories and romantic imagination do we have about the countryside? How to use art to appropriately talk about the countryside? What kind of art practice in the country feels cordial and interesting? Today, we will chat about Qingming and countryside reveries, with Noah Chen and Huang Jiehua from art history background and Wang Jingsi from anthropology background.

In the second episode (in English) of “Cacotopia”, we are honored to have Saurabh Datta, working at Volkswagen Future Center Asia as Assistant Manager in Design Technology, to talk with us about two of his works, Chinese Whispers (2018) and Ears After All (2016), which both start from a daily observation of human auditory behavior and then follow up with mechanical simulation engineering plans.

About the Guest

Saurabh Datta's works involve sculptural and mostly critical communication of self observed nuances around behaviours and societies which are some how related to technology usage and consumption at various levels. 

He is part of collective, originated in Shanghai, China. 

He is also working at Volkswagen Future Center Asia as Assistant Manager in Design Technology, based out of Beijing, China.

In the first episode of "Cacotopia", we invited the artist group "outtolunchers" to share with us their new work "Lunch (Calibration)", which involves multidimensional issues such as diet, politics, and trauma healing. What is the boundary between injury and care? "outtolunchers" used Apple text-to-speech voice "AVA" to read their new work aloud.

outtolunchers is founded in 2020. We write and perform, make images and moving images. We care about individual feelings and day-to-day language.

About the Guests

outtolunchers is founded in 2020. We write and perform, make images and moving images. We care about individual feelings and day-to-day language.

Guo Tianyu, cross-disciplinary artist, writer, occasionally makes sound works. She is a researcher on socially-engaged art, and gender studies. 

Zhang Ee-Ren, artist, makes words, sounds, images, and performance. His works focus on words, words uttered, falsely uttered, false use, foul play, faux personal soliloquy, proclamations, enunciations, conversations, word plays of redundancy and redundancy, meanings and double meanings, as in literature, non-literature, everyday carried-out conversations, repetitive conversations of words, words, over and over and over and over and over and over.

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.