Ming Lin & Alexandra Tatarsky
The accumulated traces possess no claim to authenticity. Instead, they demonstrate a commitment to constant change that effaces individual subjectivity, replacing it with an unspooling image of process.
The collaborative project of Shanzhai Lyric offers pleasure in text as a "sanctioned Babel," ** a mode of reading that itself becomes a form of authorship by further inscribing meanings from and into the ambiguous cross-section of voices, what Susan Hiller calls "a fruitful incoherence." ***
Similar to zen painting, the Shanzhai Lyric makes no attempt at mimesis. Rather, it produces a reflection of emptiness that is filled with acticveness. "High quality emptiness" **** is an experience of pure nothingness (無). A feeling of wholeness is attained through an acceptance of not knowing, by learning to transcend a desire for rationality. Sustained engagement with the resultant illegibility enables a practice of radical empathy, of continual opening towards the seemingly nonsensical as a guide in new modes of imagining.
**Roland Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text
***Susan Hiler, A Fruitful Incoherence: Dialogues with Artists on Internationalism
****Helen Westgeest, Zen in the Fifties: Interaction in Art between East and West