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 comes to fruition thanks to an incredible team of artists and collaborators:
Written, Directed and Conceived by: Tingying Ma 马汀滢 is a New York-based bilingual theater maker. Her site-specific choreographic piece Studies has been performed at Nostrand LIRR station, Brooklyn in May 2016. In 2015, the first installment of the Shujin Trilogy: S/K was produced at Signature Theatre, NY. A graduate of Central Academy of Drama in Beijing, China, she is a candidate at Columbia University MFA theatre playwriting program, mentored by Charles Mee, David Henry Hwang, and Ong Keng Sen.
Dramaturg/Co-Producer: Kang Kang 康康 is a dramaturg with a background in criticism, writing, translation and curatorial practice. She has contributed to The Brooklyn Rail, LEAP Magazine, Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, among other publications. She formed the ensemble of Future Host with Tingying Ma and collaborate on Studies and Future Host. She holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature & Society from Columbia University.
Producer: 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.
Spatial Sound Composition & Production: Kamron Saniee is an electronic musician and producer based in New York. He graduated summa cum laude in mathematics from Princeton University in 2013, having previously trained as a classical violinist with master pedagogues Cyrus Forough and Shirley Givens, with additional studies in composition and performance at Mannes Conservatory pre-college. He has presented his 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”. This fall he attended Red Bull Music Academy 2016 in Montréal as one of 40 young producers selected internationally for the yearly academy.
Live Music Composition: C. Spencer Yeh was born in 1975 in Taipei, Taiwan. In 2009, Yeh’s first solo exhibition, Standard Definition, was presented at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati. Yeh has toured and performed widely, and has recently presented work at the 2014 Liverpool Biennial; the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston; the Pérez Art Museum, Miami; the Kinomuzeum at the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; the Kunsthalle Stavanger, Norway; and in New York City at The Stone; The Kitchen; and ISSUE Project Room, among many other performances and presentations. He collaborated with Triple Canopy for the 2014 Whitney Biennial. In Fall 2014 Yeh was featured in a Modern Mondays at the Museum of Modern Art, NY. Recent recorded works include Ambient, with Robert Piotrowicz, 1975 (as C. Spencer Yeh), Transitions (as CS Yeh), and Wake Up Awesome, with Okkyung Lee and Lasse Marhaug. Yeh volunteers as a programmer and trailer editor for Spectacle Theater in Brooklyn, and co-organized Spectacle’s participation in NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial (2014), at the Museum of Arts and Design. He is a contributing editor to BOMB magazine. Yeh is a 2015 Artist-in-Residence at ISSUE Project Room, Brooklyn.
Live Sound Engineering: 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.
Quartet: Rachel Ai( Violin) , John Wang( Violin), Rachel Yan ( Viola), Joshua Yi ( Cello).
Chorus: Quan Xiao 全笑, Evageline Jiayi Zhang 张嘉懿, Yaxuan Hu 胡雅萱, Maya Yu Zhang 张宇, Bao Dai 保岱, Taole Zhu 朱陶乐
Choir: Bo Cai 蔡博, Xiangting Feng 冯襄婷, Tianyi Lu 芦天翊, He Huang 黄河, Lu Lu 卢璐, Elsa Sun, Tianyang Xu 许天阳, Yi Yang 杨易, Zixiaofan Yang 杨子小帆, Lipei Yu 余力培, Kun Yuan 袁琨, Yunkai Zhai 翟运开, Liaoran Zhang 张了然
Jan 20-22, 2017, Premiere, Knockdown Center, New York
Friday, January 20, 2017 – 8:00pm [buy ticket]Saturday, January 21, 2017 – 3:00pm [buy ticket]Sunday, January 22, 2017 – 6:00pm [buy ticket]
Feb 13 - 14, 2017, International tour, BankART, Yokohama
Monday, February 13, 2017 [ buy tickets]
16:00 / 17:00 / 18:00 / 19:00 / 20:00
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 [buy tickets]
12:00 / 13:00 / 15:00 / 16:00 / 17:00 / 18:00 / 19:00
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Cover image: Little Bell (1964) dir. Xie Tian