The Napping Wizard Sessions
Interview: Moo Kwon Han
In this episode I talk with multi-media artist Moo Kwon Han about his recent exhibition, DRUM, at the Gyeongin Art Museum in Seoul, Korea. To make this work, he was granted access to multiple power facilities, many of them nuclear, all in South Korea. In our conversation we unravel the works in the exhibition, from the initial inspirational image of a detail of yellow drums containing radioactively contaminated clothing – a mere fraction of the total drums in this facility – all the way through to a final musical score that encapsulates both the path and the contents of the exhibition. When we see artworks in museums and galleries, it’s like looking at a lightening strike. We’re amazed by the instantaneous moment and evidence of what was created, but we really don’t understand what went into its making. In our conversation, I draw out the creative path Han followed in constructing Drum. I encourage you to look at his website before listening: https://www.hanmookwon.com/drum.
Mookwon Han was born in Gyeongju, Korea, and currently lives in New York. He has had solo shows at Kumho Museum of Art, Seoul (2017, 2020 forthcoming), Doosan Gallery New York (2009), CUE Art Foundation New York (2009), and Gyeongin (Kyung-In) Art Museum, Seoul (2000, 2019). Han’s work has been included in group exhibitions at Cube Museum, Seongnam; NY Media Center (2017); The Fondazione Filiberto Menna, Salerno, Italy; Galeria U Jezuitow, Poznan, Poland; Bund18 Creative Center, Shanghai, China; Coreana Museum, Seoul, Korea; Nation Centre for Performing Art, Asia Society Mumbai Centre, Mumbai, India; Metropolitan Pavilion, NY; David Zwirner Gallery, NY; Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery/ Asia Society Museum NYC; Unit B Gallery, San Antonio: Hoam Gallery and National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul.
Han received an MFA from the School of Visual Arts NYC (2006), attended the Skowhegan School (2008) and participated in residencies at Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (2015-16), Seoul Foundation for Art and Culture (2013-14), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Program (2011-12), LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island (2010), Art OMI (2009) and CUE Art Foundation(2008) and was a Smack Mellon Hot Pick. He was awarded a Korea Hydro Nuclear Power, Co. and Gyeongju Cultural Foundation Grant (2020), Puffin Foundation Grant, and New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellowship in Digital/Electronic Arts (2009) and joined as a review panelist (2014/2017).
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7. Jaws Live Action YMCA03:42
6. Interview: Farideh Sakhaeifar01:19:37On April 02, 2021 I spoke with Farideh Sakhaeifar about her exhibition You are in the War Zone at Trotter and Sholer in New York’s Lower East Side and her residency at Koda Lab in Brooklyn. The presentations introduce several of her visual experiments from the last decade as a kind of survey. Her work explores various themes from the Middle East and her native Iran, and the differences and complexities of living in the United States since 2009. How does the media influence the way we see our position in the world? Having known Farideh since 2013, I take cues from the exhibition as opportunities to go off script into the past and future of her work and how she has handled the remarkable year that 2020 has been. Audio excerpts from Halabja, 1988, with sound design by Sadra Shahab and narration by Maryam Ghoreishiand vocal excerpt by Hussein Smko from the Hekler event The People’s Tribunal.You are in the War Zone was organized jointly by Trotter and Sholer: https://trotterandsholer.com/exhibition/you-are-in-the-war-zone/and Koda Lab: https://www.kodalab.org/with contributions and collaborations from Hekler: https://www.hekler.org/Details about Farideh and her work can also be found here: https://faridehsakhaeifar.com/I recommend you browse the website as we discuss the work and follow along with the images of the titles we introduce.
5. NoP: Leshonkii27:27The following is a transcript from a lecture I delivered at A Night of Philosophy, a free event that hosted 62 international philosophers and 12 artists on April 24, 2015 from 7pm to 7am simultaneously at the French Embassy and The Ukrainian Institute on New York City’s Upper East Side. I was invited as an artist, and I chose the subject of the shape-shifting character Leshonkii, of Ukrainian, Russian and Slavic folklore, to adapt to the site of the Ukrainian Institute. As an artist, the logical shape to shift into was that of a philosopher. I delivered my lecture in a crowded auditorium on The Philosophy of the Comic and Tickling at 03:50 am. I have no audio or video documentation of the event, so this is a post-performance presentation. The laugh tracks and supplemental audio was included in the live performance.
4. NoP: The Usage of Words25:16In this reading from The Night of Philosophy in 2019 on October 06 at 03:00 am at the New School for Social Research in New York City, Cia Rinne was listed on the program with a presentation titled softly The Usage of Words. Listening to Cia Rinne’s poems is like channel flipping through international TV stations with the desire to reduce the mass of verbal waste by limiting each channel to just a single word. But infinity is infinity no matter the limits you put on how much fun you’re having with it. Minimalism pretends to seek silence, but it accumulates too much joy along the way. Cia Rinne is a multi-lingual Swedish-born poet and artist based in Berlin. Her publications include zaroum, notes for soloists and l’usage du mot. For 6 years she documented the lives of Roma communities in Hungary, India, Greece, Romania, France, Russia and Finland while she collaborated on a book titled, “The Roma Journeys.” Her visual, literary and acoustic works have been included in various international exhibitions. More can be found below:http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Rinne.phpSamples from: Steve Reich, Different Trains, Electric Counterpoint – 3. After The War; Samuel Becket from Aspen 5&6; and Cia Rinne from Notes for Soloists with sound design by Sebastian Eskildsen, 2011
3. NoP: Onkalo or the Contamination of Eternity46:23In this lecture from The Night of Philosophy in 2019 at 05:00 am on October 06 at the New School for Social Research in New York City, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Nicolas de Warren, discusses our debt of plastic and nuclear waste. While many of us dream about augmented technology and the possibility of becoming cyborgs in the future, Dr. de Warren considers a different transformation of homo sapiens. With the prevalence, distribution and breakdown of plastics and nuclear waste into micro and nanoparticles, it is likely that we will consume so much as a species that future homo sapiens will indeed become part organic and part something else. Our waste habits produce an uncontrolled Kippleization – a term de Warren borrows from Philip K. Dick – that is guaranteed to transform the bodies of humans 100,000 years in the future. That is close to twice as long as homo sapiens have roamed the earth. The pyramids in Egypt are much younger than that, and yet the lazy gift we will saddle our descendants with will be far more cursed than the tombs of the pharaohs. In another Sci-Fi nod, this time to the Strugatsky brothers, de Warren compares us to disrespectful roadside picnickers - we have not taken from the forest everything that we brought in. Our campsite remains a mess.Nicolas de Warren is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Penn State University. He has published extensively on phenomenological subjects such as Original Forgiveness, Husserl’s Awakening to Speech, Emmanuel Levinas and the Evil of Being, Sartre’s Phenomenology of Dreaming and Towards a Phenomenological Analysis of Virtual Fictions.
2. NoP: Racial Justice27:50In this lecture from The Night of Philosophy in 2019 on October 06 at 01:00 am at the New School for Social Research in New York City, professor of philosophy at CUNY Graduate Center Charles W. Mills spoke on the topic of Racial Justice. Dr. Mills charges the conceptions of T-justice (over-arching theories of Justice) by the Western European male canon of analytic philosophy with not accommodating G-justice (justice for those grouped as women, people of color, working class and LGBTQIA+, to name a few). Rather than taking the abolitionist road and starting from scratch, Mills takes the critical theory approach and finds salvageable material in, for instance, John Rawls’ Theory of Justice. Just as we continually try to amend the Constitution of the United States which was written by and for rich, Anglo-Saxon, slave-holding men, Mills suggests that we can reconstruct bits from the white supremacist tradition of analytic philosophy in order to make things right for other folks. He sees one path to corrective justice through a re-imagining of Rawls’ Veil of Ignorance and conceiving Justice for, what he calls, ill-ordered societies.Charles W. Mills works in the general area of social and political philosophy, particularly in oppositional political theory as centered on class, gender, and race. He is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters, as well as five books. His books include The Racial Contract (1997); Blackness Visible: Essays on Philosophy and Race (1998); From Class to Race: Essays in White Marxism and Black Radicalism (2003); Contract and Domination (co-authored with Carole Pateman, 2007); Radical Theory, Caribbean Reality: Race, Class and Social Domination (2010) and the forthcoming, Black Rights/White Wrongs: The Critique of Racial Liberalism. Dr. Mills is a professor of Philosophy at CUNY Graduate Center in NYC.His full essay on Racial Justice can be found at the Aristotelian Society: https://academic.oup.com/aristoteliansupp/article/92/1/69/5032731
1. NoP: Field Recordings41:58On October 05-06 from 7pm to 7am at The New School of Social Research, I was invited to participate in The Night of Philosophy. Rather than do something live, I chose to record the 12-hour evening. The night hosted 50 philosophers and 50 artists in multiple venues at the New School scheduled in half-hour shifts. I couldn’t be everywhere at once, so the Field Recordings I play are of what I was able to hear. Other attendants certainly had different experiences. Samples of lectures in this 30-minute episode come from, in no particular order: Philosophy as Radical Innovation by Markus Gabriel; Forgetting the Holocaust by Omri Boehm; Domestic Bliss: Philosophy and Family by Meghan Robison; Army of Ravens by Drucilla Cornell presented by Benoît Challand; A Feminist Social Imagery: A New Topography of Space by Maria Pia Lara; Do We Perceive the Same Colors? by John Morrison; Human Rights: On the Foundation of Ecological Socialism by Jay Bernstein; The New Age of Reputation by Gloria Origgi; Racial Justice by Charles Mills; Nothing New by Jack Halberstam; Black Existentialism by Lewis R. Gordon; The Usage of Words by Cia Rinne; Commitment to the Bit: On Andrea Chu by McKenzie Wark; Onkalo or the Contamination of Eternity by Nicolas de Warren; Realism, Objectivity and Evaluation by Justin Clarke-Doane.Multimedia performances included: Musicircus (John Cage’s work presented by the College of Performing Arts directed by Blair McMillen and performed by students in the New School creative community, includes vocal, keyboard and saxophone); Bowie Singalong and Dance (presented by Simon Critchley and DJ Zenon Marko); Nightclub (DJ sets accompanied by a full reading of the first volume of Vernon Subutex, a French novel by Virgina Desppentes, concept by Meriam Korichi, excerpt with Vanessa Place); Collective Task (international group of artists and poets developing networking as an art practice excerpts with Vanessa Place and others); impromptu piano solos by Lewis R. Gordon; Wilhelm Reich’s The Emotional Plague (performed with two pianos, two voices, cello and audience participation with Morgan Bassichis and Ethan Philbrick); Sunrise Raga (Ehren Hanson and Jay Gandhi).
7. One Song: Even A Fool Learns to Love52:33Even a Fool Learns to Love, now that’s a David Bowie song that most people haven’t heard of. We also didn’t know there was a link between Life On Mars? and My Way. What? Frank Sinatra and David Bowie? Or is it Paul Anka and Claude Francois? Or maybe it’s Barbara Streisand and Sid Vicious. It gets confusing. In this episode I unravel how David Bowie made Life on Mars? as a parody and a revenge song of My Way.This episode includes found footage of David Bowie and Paul Anka interviews, various samples of Even a Fool Learns to Love, Comme d’Habitude, My Way and Life on Mars?, also Maya Beisler, Seu Jorge and Barbara Streisand performing Life on Mars? The end features Elise Ald covering Comme d’Habitude, Nina Simone covering My Way and AURORA covering Life on Mars?
6. Pheasants14:34Pheasants should have arms.