All posts for the month June, 2013

hacked matter web

Supported by: Shanghai Studies Society, NYU Shanghai, ISTC UC Irvine, Xinchejian

Organizers: Silvia Lindtner, Anna Greenspan, David Li

10/19/13 -10/20/13: Shanghai
This workshop will take place in conjunction with the 2013 Shanghai Maker Carnival. Its goal is to explore the role that China is playing in the visions and practices of contemporary ‘maker’ culture. Current rhetoric tends to portray manufacturing in China as dominated by enormous, impersonal factories that pump out products that are invented and designed elsewhere. Many dramatically contrast this with the ‘return to manufacturing’ embodied in contemporary ‘maker’ culture that is celebrated for a creativity that traces its roots back to the 1960/70s US Internet counterculture. Hacked Matter aims to challenge such rigid dichotomies and globalizing narratives by focusing on how the professionalizing of ‘maker’ culture is developing increasingly intimate relations with the small-scale factory owners and micro-entrepreneurs that make up China’s core of hardware manufacturing. This exploration implicitly questions distinctions such as copy versus quality, DIY versus professional, ‘made in’ versus ‘created in,’ and dominant culture versus counterculture. Our aim is to produce alternative narratives of China’s role within the bottom-up technological innovations that are currently being produced by a global ‘maker’ culture.

In order to facilitate this rethinking we will engage with science fiction narratives, which shape technological innovation and have long imagined a particular future for Asia. One specific focus is on the dichotomy—most vividly depicted in Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner—that separates a shadowy street culture filled with hackers and noodle shops from a far removed, high-end corporate realm that towers in the skyscrapers above.  Our aim in incorporating such speculative visions is both to reflect upon the role science fiction plays in the making of technological futures and to consider the ways that these stories are complicated by the contemporary practice of global hardware production.

Hacked Matter Part II will consist of four parts:

1) a tour through Maker Carnival;
2) a series of public lectures that will take place alongside the Maker Carnival, in the main auditorium at the Knowledge Innovation Center (KIC);
3) a visit to the small- to mid-size manufacturing sites and markets in the Minhang District;
4) a final day of participant led discussion and activities

Provisional Schedule:

Part I, Saturday 10/19

Morning: A Tour through Maker Carnival

Part II, Saturday 10/19

3-5pm: Panel discussion at KIC auditorium

Part III, Sunday, 10/20:

Morning: Visit to Jiuxing market in Minhang

Part IV, Sunday, 10/20

3-5pm: Panel discussion at KIC auditorium

Part V, Monday, 10/21

Workshop Reflection & Activities at NYU Shanghai.



Calling all designers, artists, scholars, students and foodies of all types to come map, document, co-create, re-invent and preserve Shanghai’s street food.

First meet up (brainstorming session):  Sunday June. 23. 4pm. Xinchejian 1035 Changle Lu, 2nd floor (nr Ulumuqi Lu)
moveable feasts1(small)

Street food is an essential part of urban culture.  The greatest cities all have street food. In its rich variety Shanghai’s street food is a true testament to the hybrid culture of this migrant metropolis. Yet, while elsewhere a street food movement is growing, Shanghai’s street food is under threat. IT IS TIME TO ACT.

  1. We declare Shanghai’s street food must be saved!
  2. We dream of a street food true to a new age — tasty, fast, cheap and convenient and also healthy, safe and clean.
  3. We honor the makeshift creativity and micro-entrepreneurship of the street.
  4. We mourn all that has been lost in the name of ‘cleaning up the street’ (Xiangyang Lu, Wujiang Lu, Tianping Lu etc…)
  5. We celebrate the art and mastery of city’s best street chefs
  6. We imagine night markets and alleyways filled with new culinary mutations.
  7.  We thrive off the intensity of street markets, which give cities life and deplore the sterility of shopping malls with their fast food courts and restaurant chains.
  8. The Future Metropolis must have street food!