Once Again, with Feeling

With Hardworking Goodlooking Tai Kwun Contemporary
10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
HKD $20 for entry to fair and all events

How can we train ourselves to listen in a way that enables us to continuously, collectively write and make use of history? And how can publications, which act as vessels for our impressions and convictions, also provide a medium for this listening, even as they involve the distortion, contamination, and revision of more or less faithful (which is to say promiscuous) memories? Hardworking Goodlooking—a studio and publishing “hauz” devoted to tropical aesthetics, vernacular artisanship, and the value of the invisible—will address these questions through a number of reenactments: a phone-call lecture, deep listening workshops, and acts of publication that previously have been presented elsewhere, in different contexts and for different audiences. (For more on Hardworking Goodlooking’s work, read cofounder Clara Balaguer’s essay “Tropico Vernacular,” published by Triple Canopy in 2016 following a talk on the relationship between Filipino graphic design and the legacy of dictatorship, postcolonial identity, and uneven economic development.)

The premise of Once Again, with Feeling is as follows: to forge meaningful memories, we must routinely repeat ourselves and others, scrutinize ourselves as we engage in these forms of repetition, and pay attention to those who are listening (and speaking) to us. Each time, we must reflect on all previous and prospective conversations, publications, configurations of bodies and voices, and how memory marks the distance between them. This recursive, unresolved relationship between listening and the performance of publishing is crucial to efforts to decolonize cultural production, embrace tropical models of collectivity, and defend against toxic political discourse—and at the core of Hardworking Goodlooking’s work.

Triple Canopy invited Hardworking Goodlooking to organize Once Again, with Feeling—which is hosted by Tai Kwun Contemporary’s Booked art-book fair—as part of the magazine’s ongoing work on the role of listening and the settings in which speech and sound can be heard and have a meaningful effect. (This work is centered on a yearlong residency at the Hammer Museum, which will lead to the publication of works as part of the forthcoming issue Two Ears and One Mouth, examining how we speak and listen and who has the right and capacity to be heard.)

Deromanticizing Self-Reliance

January 13
2–3 p.m.
3/F Talks and Performances Area

A deep-listening session (with a “Taoist face wash”) and a recorded conversation with the Rotterdam collective Woodstone Kugelblitz on improvisation in daily life, the myth of self-reliance, and models of collective self-organization. Followed by a mediated conversation moderated by Alexander Provan of Triple Canopy. (This act was previously staged at PrintRoom in Rotterdam, with a mobile-phone conversation moderated by the media theorist Florian Cramer, and was a component of a residency by Marc Fisher of the Chicago-based imprint Temporary Services.)

Pirate Deep Listening

January 12 and 13
10 a.m.–12 p.m.
3/F Talks and Performances Area
Registration required; email booked@taikwun.hk

A series of deep-listening workshops in homage to the experimental composer Pauline Oliveros, who developed and trademarked Deep Listening™, based on exercises appropriated from Asian spiritual practices. (This act was initially developed during HWGL’s Publishing as Practice residency at Ulises in Philadelphia. It was previously staged in Rotterdam, in collaboration with the artist Amy Suo Wu, for students of social practices at Willem de Kooning Academy and Experimental Publishing at Piet Zwart Institute.)

Reprinting a Conversation in Endless Loops

January 14–18
Closed to the public; for more information, email booked@taikwun.hk

A republishing sprint that will rework Hardworking Goodlooking’s essay on lathalas, a speculative term to describe independently printed matter from the Philippines. The essay reconstructs ideas from a conversation in 2017 between Czar Kristoff and Lobregat Balaguer. (This act was previously published as a postscript to Zines of Production [2017] and as an accompaniment to the PrintRoom conversation with Woodstone Kugelblitz. The essay created during this act will be republished by Temporary Services in 2019.)

  • Hardworking Goodlooking was established in 2013 as a publishing hauz devoted to the decolonization of tropical aesthetics, vernacular artisanship, and the value of the invisible. It is composed of Clara Balaguer, a cultural worker in the Netherlands; Kristian Henson and Dante Carlos, graphic designers in the United States; and Czar Kristoff, an artist in the Philippines. HWGL is an offshoot of the Office of Culture and Design, a platform for cultural social practice that was founded in 2010, based in Parañaque City, and laid to rest in 2018.