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C-LAB Forum|A Future Slowly Cancelled

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As we have just wrapped up the first 2 decades of the 21st Century, our projections of the future are already loaded with references to the past. From the archival turn and reenactments of history in contemporary art, popular film and television works such as Period Dramas and Imperial Palace Dramas, to diverse subcultures related to popular music genres like City Pop, Neo-psychedelia, and Vaporwave—contemporary cultures are getting better and better at novelties made from historical materials. Anachronism becomes the norm.

The Internet serves as an important medium for present-day nostalgia. Within this biggest database in human history, specific historical trends are excavated, archived, genrefied, and amplified in circulation. Conventionally, “nostalgia” is directed towards a reality that has been personally experienced. However, in the post-internet era, we are more likely to be exposed to stylized historical texts nowadays that easily evoke our nostalgia for historical moments we have never lived.

Starting with comebacks made by historical styles in a post-internet era, this forum reflects on the hauntology of contemporary cultural production. The title of the forum is derived from “the slow cancellation of the future,” the phrase coined by Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi and was later used by the late cultural theorist Mark Fisher, underscores the fact that contemporary capitalist society gradually rids people of their imagination of “the grand vision of the future.” The sense of “newness” proposed by modernism in the last century are now replaced by never-ending “upgrades.”

During the slow cancellation of the future, we feel somewhat outdated all the time, while we also get slightly anxious about such obsolescence. If this is what yields a new type of nostalgia, how are our cultural memories remixed, translated, and re-made amidst the shifts? What is the structure(s) of feeling behind it? When past countercultures, too, have become references to specific time periods for nostalgic commodities, how should we ponder the possibilities of defiance? Simultaneous Chinese-English interpretation throughout the forum (3/18–3/19). For more information, please refer to the Event Booklet.



3/17 (Fri.) Special Screening

Ghost Dance
Ken McMULLEN | 1983 | Color, B&W | 100min
Post-screening Talk | CHANG Shih-Lun


3/18 (Sat.) FORUM - DAY 1

▒ Session 1 ▒

Both the Devil and the Blue Sea” - Nostalgia in Xianxia Dramas and Chinese Period Dramas, as well as Fast-Food Romance

Produced through “Cultural Approaches”— Historical Worlds That Never Existed
Prof. LAI Ho-Wang

──Panel Discussion──
Moderator | CHENG Pin-Hong
Panelists | Prof. LAI Ho-Wang, Sibyl HUANG

▒ Keynote Speech ▒

The Slow Cancellation of the Future: Hyperstasis, Recreativity, and the Retromania Critique Reconsidered
Discussant | CHANG Shih-Lun

▒ Session 2 ▒

Cloud Time and Block Time
LEE Chia-Lin

Ghosts in the Machine: Addiction, Wellbeing and the Left Online

──Panel Discussion──
Moderator | HSU Shih-Yu
Panelists | LEE Chia-Lin、Mike WATSON


3/19 (Sun.) FORUM - DAY 2

▒ Keynote Speech ▒

Acid Communism and Psychedelic Politics in Asia
Yoshitaka MORI
Discussant | HO Tung-Hung

▒ Session 3 ▒

The Rise and Fall of the Electronic Music in the Chinese Museum-club Complex: a Hauntological Biography
Zian CHEN X Alvin LI

Old-Time Mainstream and Present-Day Niche: Chemistry Between City Pop and Taiwanese Cultural Scenes
Infong (CHEN Yan-Shouh)

There is no Underground but Clouds: Vaporwave and Its Internet Of Sounds
Jeph LO

──Panel Discussion──
Moderator | JIAN Miao-Ju
Panelists | Zian CHEN, Alvin LI, Infong (CHEN Yan-Shouh), Jeph LO, WANG Hsin-Chuan


── Keynote Speech, Speakers Info──

Simon Reynolds is the author of eight books about pop culture, including Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture (1998), Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-84 (2005), Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction to Its Own Past (2011), and Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and its Legacy (2016).  Born in London, he has lived since the mid-1990s in the United States, first in New York and then since 2010 in Los Angeles. Reynolds currently divides his time between teaching in the Experimental Pop program at the California Institute of the Arts and writing for magazines like The New York TimesThe Guardian, Pitchfork, and The Wire.  He also maintains a cluster of blogs centered around the hub Blissblog,

Yoshitaka MORI
Dr. Yoshitaka Mōri is Professor of Sociology, Cultural Studies and Media Studies at Tokyo University of the Arts. Born in 1963. BA in Economics (Kyoto University), MA in Media and Communications and Ph.D. in Sociology (Goldsmiths College, University of London). His research interests are postmodern culture, media, contemporary art, the city and transnationalism. His publications include, Banksy, Kobunsha, 2019, Sutorīt no Shisō (The Philosophy in the Streets) NHK Publications, 2009 and Popyurā Ongaku to Shihonshugi (Popular Music and Capitalism) Serica Shobō, 2005/2012 (in Japanese) and “J-Pop Goes the World: A New Global Fandom in the Age of Digital Media”, Made in Japan: Studies in Popular Music, T. Mitsui (Ed), Routledge, 2014, and “New Collectivism, Participation and Politics after the East Japan Great Earthquake”, World Art, Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 5/2, 2015, “Culture=Politics: The Emergence of New Cultural Forms of Protest in the age of Freeter”, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, vol.6 No.1, Routledge: London, pp.17-29, 2005 (in English). The Chinese version of Popular Music and Capitalism is now available.

── Session Speech, Speakers Info──

Writer, theater critic, Huang is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Architecture at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU). She graduated from Shih Hsin University with double bachelor degrees in Journalism and Chinese Literature. Later, she received double master’s degrees from the Department of Chinese Literature and the Institute of Art Studies at NCKU, as well as two Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Chinese Literature and the Department of Architecture at NCKU. Her two Ph.D. dissertations are: After Lyric and Off-modern: On the Encounter Between Architecture and Literature from Lin Whei-Yin and Wang Da-hong and The Off-Modern of Lyric: What We Talk About When We Talk About Nostalgia──A Study on Chun Ying Lin’s Fictions. Her research interests include modern literature, modern/contemporary literary theories, visual narrative and cultural studies, cross-disciplinary studies, modern/contemporary history of architecture and architectural theories. She is the author of Double Voices/Double Identity: The Splitting of the Subject in the Contemporary Films (Showwe: Taipei, 2016).

Prof. LAI Ho-Wang
Spokesperson of the Manifesto of Autogenous Aerial Kinetic Energy. Often referred to as “Professor Ho-Wang,” Lai shares interests in technology, art, new media, cultural phenomena and Cryptozoology.

LEE Chia-Lin
Lee Chia-Lin graduated from the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, National Taiwan University, and the Institute of Contemporary Art & Social Thoughts, China Academy of Art. She is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Fine Arts at Taipei National University of the Arts. Her research focuses on the culture, media and art developed and created in the digital era. As the founder of ZIMU CULTURE, Lee also works on curatorial projects and publishes books.

Mike Watson (PhD from Goldsmiths College) is a theorist, critic and curator who is principally focused on the relation between culture, new media and politics. He has written for Jacobin, Radical Philosophy, ArtReview, Artforum, and Hyperallergic and has curated events at the 55th and 56th Venice Biennale, and Manifesta 12, Palermo. In September 2022 he published his third book with Zer0 Books, The Memeing of Mark Fisher: How the Frankfurt School Foresaw Capitalist Realism. In January 2023 he published an essay in the collection Nietzsche and the Politics of Reaction (Palgrave). He teaches at The University of Oulu, Finland.

Based in Shanghai and Taipei, Zian Chen collaborates with artists and writers to develop alternative frameworks for thinking and speculation. He is one of the founding members of Pailang Museum of Settler Selves (2022–), an editor-in-residence for Compost in ICA NYU Shanghai (2021–2022), as well as one of the editors for Heichi Magazine (2020–22), Made in Public (2022) and Arrow Factory: The Last Five Years (2020). He has curated Production Fever 2008: Study Materials in Nida Art Colony, Nida (2022), among others. (website |

Alvin LI
Alvin Li is a writer and curator. With Hera Chan, he is Adjunct Curator, Greater China, Supported by the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, at Tate. He also serves as a contributing editor for frieze magazine. Formerly, he was English Editor at UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, and worked as an editor of LEAP magazine. In 2015 he co-founded CINEMQ, an independent, non-profit film and publishing platform dedicated to Chinese and East Asian independent queer film productions. He’s based between London and Shanghai (website |

Infong (CHEN Yan-Shouh)
Music critic and former editor at music magazine, White Wabbit Records Express, Chen publishes his writings across online platforms and other media. He received his master’s degree in Music Industry Studies from the University of Liverpool. CHEN enjoys music scenes and he is interested in cross-regional approaches to East Asian Studies.

Jeph LO
Jeph Lo is one of the co-founders of TheCube Project Space in Taipei. He co-curated Altering Nativism: Sound Cultures in Post-war Taiwan (2014) and worked as the chief editor for the exhibition’s catalogue. He also directed and curated Sound Meridians - Cultural Counter-mapping through Sound: Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia (2020), the exhibition and the website, and Sonic Shaman—TheCube Forum Music Festival (2022). Lo edited Walk the Music: Taipei Music Map Since ‘90 (2000) as well as translated Altered State: The Story of Ecstasy Culture and Acid House (2002). Since 2016, Lo has been working as the chief editor and the leading organizer of the website, Sound Traces: Taiwan Modern Sound Cultures Archive (, and the streaming radio project, Talking Drums Radio.

── Discussant, Moderator, Panelists Info──

CHANG Shih-Lun
Chang Shih-Lun is an independent art critic and a visual culture researcher. He graduated from the National Chengchi University with a masters degree in Journalism, and is a Ph.D. candidate at the Centre for Cultural Studies in Goldsmiths College, University of London. Apart from being the curator of "An Open Ending: Huang Hua-Cheng" (2020, Taipei Fine Arts Museum), he is also the author of Reclaiming Reality: On the Historical Formation of Taiwanese Photography (2021) and the translator of Another Way of Telling: A Possible Theory of Photography (John Berger & Jean Mohr) and The Photograph as Contemporary Art (Charlotte Cotton). Chang’s research interests include history of visual culture, contemporary art, music criticism, film studies, and the relationship between cold war and artistic modernity. He is currently working on various long-term projects regarding the history of Taiwanese photography and visual culture.

HO Tung-Hung
Currently an associate professor at the Department of Psychology at Fu Jen Catholic University, Ho received his Ph.D. degree in sociology from Lancaster University. His research focuses on independent music scenes and culture in Taiwan. Altering Nativism: Sound Cultures in Post-war Taiwan, a recent exhibition for which he works as a co-curator, has been awarded The Annual Grand Prize of the 13th Taishin Arts Award.

CHENG Pin-Hung
CHENG Pin-Hung, a film critic, lecturer, festival programmer for New Taipei City Film Festival (2012-2014) and short film curator/consultant for Kaohsiung Film Festival (2013-2019). Known by the pen name of Ryan, Cheng has published extensively online and in various media outlets. Cheng is the author of The Love and Death of Taiwan Cinema (2010) and Taiwan Cinema in Transition: In Search of True Taiwan Spirit (2019), as well as the producer of the documentary short Flow (2018). He has served on the jury for Taiwan's domestic film fund, as well as Golden Horse Awards, Golden Bell Awards, Golden Harvest Awards and Taipei Film Awards.

Shih-Yu HSU
Hsu Shih-Yu studied Communication Engineering and Visual Art Administration at National Central University in Taiwan and New York University. Her research field includes image, media and new material feminism. She co-founded bi-lingual online media art platform SCREEN in 2015 and was the executive assistant of Taiwan Pavilion in Venice Biennale 2017. She was the curator at Taipei Contemporary Art Center in 2018–2021. Hsu is an independent researcher and writer. Her writing on art has been published on several publications including Artforum.cnArtist MagazineArt InvestmentLeapNo Man’s Land and Yishu.

JIAN Miao-Ju
JIAN Miao-Ju is a professor of communication at National Chung Cheng University, Chia-yi, Taiwan. Her research interests range from culture and political economy of reality TV programs to indie-music scenes and DIY culture in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and East Asia. Her English publications include The legendary live venues and the changing music scenes in Taipei and Beijing: Underworld and D22 (2017), The survival struggle and resistant politics of a DIY music career in East Asia: Case studies of China and Taiwan (2018) and How Taiwanese Indie Music Embraces the World (2020).

WANG Hsin-Chuan
As a writer, Wang mainly works with music-related topics. He graduated from the Department of Arts and Design at National Taipei University of Education and has worked in record shops and music media for about 10 years. Wang’s research focuses on the development of independent music scenes in Taiwan and relevant historical contextualization. His works include “Taiwanese Songs Marching Forward: 30 Years of New Taiwanese Songs,” a special feature for Fountain Magazine, and “Culturally Out of Time: A Preliminary Study on Creative Strategies of Haruomi Hosono and Mong Tong”. He also assisted with the scriptwriting for Shotgun History. His writings are widely seen across different platforms, such as Blow, The Big Issue, Shopping Design, KKBOX, New Ears Music, VICE China, most of which are compiled on his Facebook fanpage, “Wawamusic.”



Supervisor|Ministry of Culture
Organizer |Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab


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▶ The Schedule depends on the Actual Situation.
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