Future Host: A Speech Opera
Conceived, Written and Directed by Tingying Ma
Dramaturged and Produced by Kang Kang
Future Host [未来主人] (noun.) is an epithet commonly bestowed to children in officially Socialist states, which posit the youth as the agent, product, and site whereby the future actualizes itself. "Always already be ready", so they're told—a command of absolute urgency and ecstatic optimism. The coming shall overcome. In this repetitive cycle of speculation and deferral, time passes, life is left unlived, the here and now unlivable.
Premiering in New York in Jan 20 - 22, 2017 at Knockdown Center. Future Host: A Speech Opera is a collaboration of artists across disciplines from China and the U.S. Absent of actors, Future Host is featuring spatialized speech recordings and live performance of original music. The immersive acoustic spectacle transiently inhabits in the open, emptied chamber, which the audience experience by moving freely in space.
Future Host organizes itself around a communal disillusionment in the historically centralized relationships between the figures of God and man, man and child (Unmündig), and the frameworks with which one attempts to work through their past and present treacheries. Informed by its own formative experience in the aftermath of many a utopian project for the future, Future Host mobilizes the properties of sound/voice and structures of hearing/listening to explode the theater as a paradigmatic host of the real. Future Host organizes its present actions on the basis of its attachment and indebtedness to the Gesamtkunstwerk as embodied by Stockhausen and Gesang der Jünglinge, drawing a parallel between the conceits of high modernist aesthetics and Socialist Realism. In doing so, Future Host breaks the trinity of god, knowledge, and technē——twisting, instead, the dialectic between language and politics into an unreliable, vulnerable operation that carries through the performance.
Invoking the ancient Greek, pliable form of chorus, Future Host channels historical methods and patterns of speech-making via an original text——a landscape of failures as words go about their usual business of self-actualization and self-annihilation. A canny violence, as transient as the trajectory of an utterance being heard. Fragments of voices and ideas, disembodied as they are visceral, temporarily inhabit the vast, emptied space of the theater. Programmatic designs and aleatory encounters transform well-worn dialectics of individuality and collectivity into a fully sensorial, affective present——one defined by the irreducibility of human timber.
Through performance, Future Host is committed to creating an unknowable and unspeakable experience, which, over time, acquires an impenetrable mass. A growing, reflexive gaze back upon time past as it literally and inescapably stumbles into the future, to be replayed with difference. A history no longer demarcated by destruction.
Future Host: A Speech Opera is a collaboration of artists across disciplines from China and the U.S:
C. Spencer Yeh is recognized for his interdisciplinary activities and collaborations as an artist and composer, as well as his music project Burning Star Core. Recent presentations of work include solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati and Empty Gallery in Hong Kong; "The Companion" at the Liverpool Biennial, "Modern Mondays" at MoMA, "In Tones From Light to Dark" at Performa 13, "Synth Nights" at The Kitchen, "Excursus IV" at the ICA Philadelphia, "Great Tricks From Your Future" at D-CAF in Cairo Egypt, Borderline Festival in Athens Greece, Kinomuzeum at Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw Poland, LAMPO at the Renaissance Society Chicago IL, the Pérez Art Museum in Miami FL, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston TX, and a Jerome Foundation Commission from Roulette Intermedium. Yeh collaborated with Triple Canopy for their contribution to the Whitney Biennial in 2014.Yeh co-organized and coordinated Spectacle Theater’s residency as part of the Museum of Arts and Design’s NYC Makers: A MAD Biennial. His video works are distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix. He is a contributing editor to BOMB magazine and a 2015 Artist-in-Residence at ISSUE Project Room.
Kamron Saniee is an electronic musician and producer based in New York. He graduated summa cum laude in mathematics from Princeton University. He has presented electronic compositions and techno live sets in clubs and on the radio, and performed his multichannel spatial sound works in galleries in New York and Berlin. Recent collaborations include those with András Böröcz, providing a spatial soundtrack to the artist’s light-sculpture performance after Lászlo Moholy-Nagy, and with Lybes Dimem and Maxim Wolzyn at the Spatial Sound Institute in Budapest. He joined the organization of the CT::SWaM experimental concert series end of last year, contributing to the concert programming as well as to the collective’s radioshow on Clocktower Radio, “Broadband Echos”. He attended the annual Red Bull Music Academy in Montréal in 2016 as one of 40 young producers selected internationally.
Daniel Neumann is a Brooklyn-based sound artist, organizer and audio engineer, originally from Germany. He holds a master's degree in media art from the Academy of Visual Art Leipzig and also studied electronic music composition under Emanuele Casale in Catania, Italy. In his artistic practice he is using conceptual and often collaborative strategies to explore sound, sound material and its modulation through space, situation and media. Curatorially he runs an event series in NYC and Berlin (CT::SWaM) that engages in spatial sound works and focussed listening.
Maya Yu Zhang 张宇 is a performer, producer who primarily practices in film. Her self-produced works have been shown at Black Maria Film Festival, Milwaukee Underground Film Festival, Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia and Anthology Film Archive. A regular collaborator with Tingying Ma and Kang Kang, she works closely with the group to facilitate innovative approaches to independent art production. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College, Maya is currently a collaborative studio fellow at UnionDocs.
Co-Produced by Maya Yu Zhang
Spatial Sound Production: Kamron Saniee
Live Quartet Composition: C. Spencer Yeh
Live Sound Engineering: Daniel Neumann
Friday, January 20, 2017 – 8:00pm
Saturday, January 21, 2017 – 3:00pm
Sunday, January 22, 2017 – 6:00pm
Spatial Sound Production: Kamron Saniee
Live Sound Engineering: Fukuoka Katsunori
Monday, February 13, 2017
16:00 / 17:00 / 18:00 / 19:00 / 20:00
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
12:00 / 13:00 / 15:00 / 16:00 / 17:00 / 18:00 / 19:00
* Final showtimes on each day with live spatial sound accompaniment by Kamron Saniee