William Hunt

work, play, affect, praxis, by William Hunt

work, play, affect, praxis

My proposal is an ethnographic and cultural analysis of Remy Siu’s Foxconn Frequency (No.3): For Three Visibly Chinese Performers. The piece centres around three pianists who work through a series of tests based on piano pedagogical exercises. Each exercise must be completed correctly before the next can begin, resulting in an indeterminate, drawn out and perhaps tedious performance. The piece incorporates multimedia through projections of the performers’ facial expressions, 3-D printing and the poetry of a formerFoxconn worker. The performance is presented in light of and response to ongoing issues regarding worker suicide rates within factory districts in mainland China (particularly the Longua subdistrict in Shenzhen, which houses the Longua Science and Technology Park also known as “Foxconn City”).

I am proposing an analysis of genre and affective implications witnessed within the performance. Siu describes the piece as a work of “algorithmic theatre”, locating it in relation to numerous genres and practices (new music, multimedia and performance art, etc). The piece also explores ideas of interactivity (or perhaps interpassivity), negative affect, and suicide. My research will move through and alongside concepts found in Sianne Ngai, Erika Fischer-Lichte, Albert Camus and Robert Pfaller among others. I will think about the ways in which affect can be dispersed, represented, collected, etc., and how the act of performance can function in relation to global political issues.