Speaker: Iram Ghufran
Lu Xinghua (School of Humanities, Tongji University)
Liang Jie (Shanghai University of Finance and Economics)
Wu Jueren (Pingyao International Film Festival)
The presentation is an over view of project and a few of the core concepts. The project situates itself in the world of transnational trade in plastic goods in Yiwu the largest small-commodity market in the world today. The city provides a range of essential products like toothbrushes, packaging and tarpaulins, and attracts buyers from across the global South. These low-cost plastic goods of Yiwu form the basis of my interest in plastic as a material. Considered the “substrata of advanced capitalism” (Davis, 1995) plastic has been one of the most vilified materials of the 21st century. Yet, I feel that it is also a material of mimesis and simulation. Replicas of human hair, nails, breasts, flowers, fruit, foliage, earth and rock are abundant in this market. I would like to use this context of cheap plasticity to enter the debate on technology and futurity. If the future has come in the shape of Sophia and Samantha, high end personalized robots costing up to $20,000, then the future has also come in the shape of $1 flying fairies, sunflowers, and palm trees. Yiwu, with its plasticity and transnational character is a site to think of futures of multiplicity and simultaneity.
The project will constitute the creation of a speculative documentary environment that explores this complex manufacturing and trading landscape as a laboratory of our ‘post human’ future.