Re-Mix, 2017-2018

Public work

photo prints on wall

Re-Mix, Work in progress
Photo : Andrade Jault Gabriel

Re-Mix, Paris, 2018

Re-Mix, Berlin, 2017

Re-Mix, Berlin, 2017

Re-Mix, Berlin, 2017

Re-Mix, Berlin, 2017

Re-Mix, Berlin, 2017

Re-Mix, Berlin, 2017


Jazoo Yang belongs to a long linage of urban art Tricksters, of often displaced solitary street Coyotes dedicated to undermining, disrupting and subverting the continued neo liberal march towards a Totalitarian control of our public space and urban spatial order.  Tricksters, like Coyotes, are consummate Romantics, boundary crossers disrupting the Classical order, climbing walls, scaling fences, evading sophisticated surveillance cameras and subverting defence systems, they are a great nuisance to have around but paradoxically they are also indispensable heroes. The Urban Interventionist shows us that participation is key; that the self/other/space/place boundary is nebulous, fluid, sonic like, but will remain static, without resonance, without an act. It is this “Act”, what Psychologist Karl Groos terms “the pleasure of being a cause” that forms the basis of our sense of agency and self, an agency that when denied to young children, can lead to them becoming almost catatonic. We are creatures who require projects that enable us to transform the environment around us. To touch, feel, change. The most brilliant of our street artists are exploring and testing out a kind of lived utopianism that includes a desire for communion in one form or another. To touch, feel and change us. It’s a romantic ideal, one that pours scorn on ordered classicism, it is a refusal to conform, to obey, the Trickster in a Hi Vis jacket cultivating, re-mixing and transforming habits of the everyday. Becoming infrastructure in a very fundamental way, demanding action as much as contemplation. This is art as therapy for the broken city itself.

There is a vicarious pleasure for the city dweller in stumbling across these types of urban hacks, in wondering why a fellow citizen felt compelled to create such a glitch in our urban environment, in watching them feel out, test and then finally commit to breaking the rules, to transgressing the codified boundaries of both the sanctioned and unsanctioned, confusing the polarities and offering a substantive rather than symbolic response to our ever increasing sense of displacement.  A sense of which, for this generation is perhaps what existentialism was to the 1950’s. Another time of vast disruptive change to boundaries and connections in which the countercultural Trickster thrived. As more and more are being forced from their homes and their lands, by either war or “redevelopment”, many are fighting their displacement with place. As a source of social interaction in a new city, public spaces are where healing and connection can take place, particularly for refugees and recent immigrants but also for the enforced itinerant zero hour contract worker. We’re creating a generation of city dwellers unmoored from the safe harbour of economic and community stability. Resistance to redevelopment and gentrification arrives in many forms, it means more than holding out against authority and stifling cultural hegemonies, at its most potent, and especially with a more ludic resistance, it has the power to invert authority, to turn upside down usual meaning, inverting ideas and perceptions of power.  It can turn the oppressive power of municipal and state authority against itself. And it can do it with little in the way of resources.

Critical to the importance of the Re-Mix series is an understanding that rather than clinging to the old ideologies that no longer reflect our new realities, of the sanctioned and unsanctioned, the municipal power box and the tag, we must recombine, to re-mix, to create a more fluid and nebulous system using elements from both systems of Monism and Dualism. This state of struggle, of re-invention, continually demands new paths and connections as the existing ones are blocked by state, institutional and corporate players that benefit from existing conditions. Urban interventionists play a vital role in envisioning these new routes, less authors of their own work, identity and meaning, and more co-authors of our own; offering new and better ways of thinking, feeling, and acting around problems of space and place, meaning and meaninglessness, self and society, ethics, purpose, and value.

Faced with a world lacking the stable ground that previous generations could base and build movements around, a world now constantly disrupted by social media, questionable celebrities, media, images, politicians, institutions and identities, Jazoo Yang offers us a way out, both creating and occupying what biologist Gilles Clement terms “A Third Landscape”, a space existing between ploughed and un-ploughed, developed and undeveloped, the self and other, the sanctioned and unsanctioned, an act that retains a clear message, that agency is still possible, no matter the opposing forces. She shows that as artist and city dweller, you can and should participate in creating the security of Place whilst retaining the freedom of Space. The Remix series is a low frequency revolution, spreading not through contaminated neo liberal “place making” but through a street level resonance across geographical and hegemonical boundaries, like its musical equivalent, something constituted here, resonates with the same waves emitted by another act constituted elsewhere. It takes the shape of music, whose focal points, though dispersed in time and space, succeed in imposing the rhythm of their own vibrations everywhere. It is this multitude of continuous interventions, of kicks and hi hats and glitches and basslines that formed the original power of street art, a series of constant ephemeral insurrections whose repetitions create a body of work that resonates according to its own rules, forever increasing in density.

The remix series contains the possibility to affect the ebb and flow of the streets occupants around a glitch, a bolder of disruption forcing the mainstream to take note. The bolder stands in solitude against the dislocation of neighbourhood and home, against the gentrification of the imagination by a middle class acceptance and promotion that consumer Capitalism is the only game in town, a game that in the urban context, leads to further dislocation. What Mark Fisher called “Capitalist Realism," which he describes as "the widespread sense that not only is capitalism the only viable political and economic system, but also that it is now impossible even to imagine a coherent alternative to it”, so let’s remix this.

There is a subversive quality, a sense of Romantic adventure in the urban hack, a recognition that the Government and its attendant cultural institutions, despite their vast resources, are fallible. This free manifestation of citizens ideas, of intervening creatively in public space outside current doctrines of place making, offer an opportunity to challenge the re-encoding of cultural space along lines of order and privilege manifest in the style that underpins current attempts to anesthetize public space with the same mundane aesthetics of middle class authority.

There are cracks…dislocations, exiles, existentialism externalized as spatial event, an understanding that the world we inhabit is not fixed, that it can be dismantled and pieced together again, you can play with it, construct, reconstruct and deconstruct, like music, like a song, the street is a story that can be told in many different ways, remixed…infinitely.

- Martyn Reed (Nuart Founder), 2018