Shanzhai Lyric, Poetic Research & Archive

Shanzhai Lyric, Poetic Research & Archive

The MIT NOMAS Lecture


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. Shanzhai Lyric circulate their ever-growing archive of poetry-garments in the form of poetry-lecture, publication, and installation. In the fall of 2020, Shanzhai Lyric founded the fictional office entity Canal Street Research Association from which they continue to problematize notions of ownership and property through bootleg as method. Their work has been presented in unofficial and official spaces including Amant, Times Museum, INIVA/Stuart Hall Library, Women’s Art Library, Abrons Arts Center, SculptureCenter, Artists Space, MoMA PS1, 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. 

Lectures are free and open to the public. Lectures will be held Thursdays at 6 PM ET in 7-429 (Long Lounge) and streamed online unless otherwise noted. Registration required to attend in-person. Register here or watch the webcast on Youtube.

In conjunction with their lecture, poetic research unit Shanzhai Lyric will also stage an artistic intervention in the MIT SA+P's Gallery 9, which will be on view April 13–May 5. Join the artists and MIT NOMAS for a (Mis)translation Workshop on April 14 from 1–3 PM in Gallery 9. MIT Gallery 9 is located in the lobby of the Samuel Tak Lee Building, at 105 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138. Learn more about the exhibit and related activities