Internal Memo - Weedists (2019). Artist book printed on off-white recycled paper, chapters stitched in red thread, W175 x H125 mm, 44 pages.
...Logs stand as essential archives to the ongoing practice of Weedists. Traditionally, work logs symbolise the capitalist' s strategy of standardising and quantifying labour effort into measurable units, as well as a tool of censorship to dictate and exploit one' s daily routine and autonomy. It usually records one’s work hours which will be a direct determinant to one’s remuneration, sublimating human capital into the unit of time devoted. This military form exudes a violent beauty of clarity, generalisation and simplification, the basic attributes that are regarded as essential values of capitalism.
The linguistic linearity probed by result-driven capitalism has also become a heated subject of investigation within the field of anthropology. This echoes Walter Benjamin' s view on history 'as a story to redeem' (Benjamin, 1940) and Donna Haraway' s cyborg writing - 'retelling original stories to subvert the central myths of the origin of Western culture' (Haraway, 1985). The mushroom enthusiast and anthropologist, Anna Tsing, has developed a narrative-driven framework of spoken stories in order to challenge the dominance of evidence-based scientific reasoning in writing and learning about ethnography and natural history (Tsing, 2015).
In a discussion in 1972 on 'intellectuals and power', Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze argued that practice should not be simply seen as an application of theory, but that theory is necessarily a practice of 'the struggle against the forms of power'. The two concepts are much entangled with each other as what is necessary to be challenged the most is often the prohibitive structure of speaking. A theorist, in this vein, will usually forgo one' s own representation and lose one' s subjectivity in order to anchor a new set of vision that sets one free from the established dogma.
Considering the above discussion in terms of narratives, the Weedists have decided to deploy an empirical recording system of logs in order to avoid a singular approach of ideological debate, but set foot in reality and experience the Weedists' infant beliefs through real-life encounters and lessons, to listen to the other hidden Weedists in society and stand in solidarity with the weeds in different corners of our environment (full text upon request).
The Weedist's Chant (2018). Mixed-media live performance.
Performance documentation excerpt, 01:31mins.
'LiveFriday: Spellbound', Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 2018; 'Window Projection Showcase', Ruskin Studios Bullingdon Road, Oxford, 2018.
Composer - Tom Metcalf
Spoken Words Artist - Kirsty Clark
Performer - Michelle Chin, Jessie Palmer, Ran Shi, Adam Story
The Weedist's Practice (2018). Performance lecture.
Documentation shots: 'Oxbridge HK Postgraduate Symposium', HKU Graduate House, Hong Kong, 2018.