Concrete Flux: Past issues 




Issue 05
[Upcoming] 2019 

Designed by Rectangle Studio

Since 2013 Concrete Flux 流泥 has been a platform for self-determined and unsolicited investigations into urban spaces across China. In Issue 5 we shift focus from the region to explore the possibilities of aesthetic journalism. The micro issue inaugurates a new direction for the publishing project, towards a sustained investigation into experimental documentary practices which address new visualities and vocabularies.

In the process of researching this issue we spoke to activist Ayşe Güleç, whose practice involves documenting the structural racism and violence that surrounds 10 murders linked to the National Socialist Underground (NSU) in Kassel, Germany, between 2000 and 2007. Despite the NSU’s involvement being “common knowledge” amongst the victims’ communities, the state did not recognise the murders as racist or linked to the neo-Nazi group. Today, the murders remain “unsolved”. In Güleç’s words, “if we have an aesthetics that does not register this, we need to unlearn and to relearn what we understand as aesthetics”.

Inspired by Ayşe and many others, issue 5 is an invitation to imagine new artistic and journalistic practices that can register “slow violence”, such as climate change, the politics of the post-colonial institution, or the silent forms of structural racism that haunt Kassel.

We began the journal with the coupling of words: aesthetics and journalism. Around which, we have gathered dissatisfied journalists, amateur documentary filmmakers, former student leaders, undisciplined practitioners and community activists. The resulting articles are accounts of, and experiments in, aesthetic journalism as media activism—through a restructuring of the “sensuous parameters of reality itself”. [1] 

[1] Judith Bulter, Frames of War

With contributions from: Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, Alfredo Cramerotti, Sophie Dyer, Ifor Duncan, Ana de Sousa, Solveig Suess 曲若汐, Twist Qu 曲Twist and Rectangle.





Issue 4: Suzhi


September, 2015
 



‘Suzhi’ is a word so ubiquitous in China that no one can define it. We hear it from the mouths of our professors, cab drivers, political leaders, colleagues and we see traces of it in television ads, on patriotic banners, and school gates. Well-behaved children have suzhi. So do the principled soldiery, the traveled and moneyed, the socially circumspect. But what does suzhi actually mean? While at its most basic, suzhi signifies upstanding character and propriety; to say that someone lacks or has suzhi carries with it a whole host of connotations involving place, class, and culture. But does it carry the same connotation to everyone? And, what does suzhi mean in the context of urbanisation?

With contributions from George Alabaster, Dorian Cavé 道旸, Patric Dreida, Susan Fang 方還如, Benjamin Haas, Cheryl Schmitz 潘美婷, Jeremy Tsang, QingQing Matt Turner, Sun Yanchu 孙彦初.



Issue 3: Escapism

October 2014


'After the dream they set out in search of that city; they never found it, but they found one another; they decided to build a city like the one in the dream.’ (Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino) 

The impetus for this issue was born out one of those conversations that take place in the city – during one of those moments where amidst the constant cacophony of the city, we find an other with whom we can share a moment of imagined quiet, and in the imagined quiet, allow errant thoughts to be formed into words and carelessly uttered.

“Do you ever feel like you’re besieged by an endless precession of images, imploring you like a belligerent Greek chorus to escape to some other place, a place with yellow earth or red sorghum - or even Chengdu - any place other than where you are?” inquired she, give or take a word or two, and allowing for the possibility that she used words other than these.

“Well, yes,” said we.

With contributions from Ye Cheng (Jiang Bin) 江彬(野城), Liang Ban 梁半, Jacob Dreyer, Michael Eddy, Alessandro Rolandi, Josh Feola, Yuan Fuca 富源, Gao Ling 高灵, Simon Kentgens, MAP Office, Hu Moran 胡默然, Zhu Dianqiong 朱殿琼, Nadine Stijns, Mukta Das.




Issue 2: Hybridity

March, 2014


Cities all over the world turn into local laboratories in which the ways of resolving … problems are improvised or purposefully designed and then put to test and either rejected or incorporated in daily practice. (Zygmunt Bauman, Globalization and Hybridity)

Hybridity is the mixing and melding of things – languages, cultures, knowledge, DNA – into new forms. It is a unceasing process in which what we may hold as true, original or natural lives out its life as something tainted by and influenced by other elements, as something other than what we understand it should be. Nothing lives in isolation, and hybridity is the very real outcome of this.

With contributions from Aaron Fox-Lerner, Cheryl Schmidt 潘美婷, Alessandro Rolandi, Solveig Suess, Suvi Rautio, Claudia Shrivastava, Ted Ledford, 凌明 Ming Lin, 谭镭 Raidum Tan, Wai Think-Tank WAI 智囊团, Martin Chorzempa, 李红强 Li Hongqiang, 沈祎 Shen Yi. 




Issue 01: Beijing

November 2013


Marco Polo once wrote of Beijing that “it is impossible to give a description that should do it justice.” And yet, Marco Polo did provide a rich description of 13th century Beijing. Concrete Flux believes that the urban China of the present day is still impossible to explain and to fully understand. But the journal will strive to create a forum for the free flow of thoughts on and an exploration of these remarkable urban environments.

The diversity of the submissions we received for the online Issue 1 should be apparent to the exploratory reader. From analysis to satire, video to poetry, the first issue does, as
we had hoped, encompass a very broad range of media and perspectives on the urban spaces of Beijing.

With contributions from Tom Arnstein, Thomas Batzenschlager, Patrick Conway, Andrew Cardoso, Michael Eddy, Pilar Escuder 系列, Stephen Gleadow, Céline Lamée and Noortje Boer, Aaron Fox-Lerner, Li Xin 李欣, Liu Chang 刘畅, Caitie Lynch, Daniel S. Miller, Matthew Niederhauser, Alessandro Rolandi, Weigang Song 刘畅.