Shanzhai Lyric

Shanzhai Lyric is a body of research focusing on radical logistics and linguistics through the prism of technological aberration and nonofficial cultures. The project takes inspiration from the experimental English of shanzhai t-shirts made in China and proliferating across the globe to examine how the language of counterfeit uses mimicry, hybridity, and permutation to both revel in and reveal the artifice of global hierarchies. An ever-growing archive of poetry-garments circulates in the form of poetry-lecture, publication, installation and archive.

This work has been presented in unofficial and official spaces that include Amant, Times Museum, INIVA/Stuart Hall Library, Women’s Art Library, Abrons Arts Center, SculptureCenter, Artists Space, MoMA PS1, MIT School of Architecture and Planning, Printed Matter, Harvard (AFVS), Clearview Ltd, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Selected publications include essays in The New Inquiry, Viscose, The Serving Library, Capilano Review, Vulture and ArtReview Asia. In the fall of 2020, Shanzhai Lyric founded the fictional office entity Canal Street Research Association from which they continue to problematize the bounds of ownership and property through bootleg as method. The Canal Street Research Association has lived in various disused spaces along Canal street including a storefront (2020), an empty office building (2021), and a basement (2022).

The LES Studio Program is supported in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.