State of Lying Flat: No Sound, No Self, No Fun 躺平的境界：无声，无我，无聊
About the Event 关于活动
In an era in which everyone emphasizes on self-fulfillment, most people have made the choice to “be yourself” and treat it as the ultimate creed to live a good single life. And those who choose to reject rat race and lie flat are subjected to criticism because they are deemed “negative” and don’t produce meaning.
In 4’33”, John Cage brought silence and environmental sound into full play. Silence was no longer the opposite of sound. Rather, it became a continuous form of time, just like sound. Likewise, music is not merely about sound. It’s also about the presence of the performer, engagement of the audience, the air, noise and smell of the overall environment. Under his influence, John Armleder manages to capture and develop the chance of fluidity and the interplay between the creator and the audience to the fullest. In his music intervention in elevator and furniture sculpture series, he bridges the gap between music and the ambience in which the music is played, and blurs the dichotomy between environment/background and performance/foreground.
The so-called silence is a definite object. It is neither emptiness nor nothingness. Instead, it turns into a “loud” meaning. In other words, the artist manages to substantialize silence, turning it into a known object that could be analyzed, acquired and consumed. In this regard, silence is a target, but fails to be recognized previously. Upon recognition, it becomes wonderful. In the case of John Cage, when value was attached to him, he was devoured and dispelled by middle-class culture.
“No sound” is soundless, not silence. It’s neither beautiful nor ugly. Just like that. When there’s no sound, the performer is still there. So are the audience. Time is carried in them. In time, an event without specific event happens. It is exactly how the floating sense of time is like. We need to stop bestowing value on things that are valueless. That’s the state of “lying down”.
About the Speaker 关于讲者
Yan Jun is a musician based in Beijing.He works on experimental music and improvised music, and uses noise, field recording, body and concept as materials.His work often sounds simple, not with much technique, and not quite like music.Sometimes he goes to audience’s home for playing a plastic bag.“I wish I was a piece of field recording.”