“Terms” comes from the word terminus. Latin for a boundary, a limit, an end.

“Made in China” once signified anxieties about the loss of hegemonic power in the West. Now, with China's slowing economy and rising labour costs, these fears have shifted onto Chinese counterfeiting and piracy which pose key threats to world trade. Indeed, global media seems to be fixated on stories which portray China as dangerous. It is not uncommon to see headlines describing China as “crazy” or to hear about China’s fake foods, bogus drugs, poor production standards and systemic corruption. Such spectacles brand China as a nation in crisis in the public imagination. But the circulation of these horror stories also help to mask the fact that “Made in China” products are pawns in a global economy, the rules of which are governed by powerful Western multinationals.

“Terms” denotes the conditions under which an agreement is made.

China’s counterfeiting industry has often been attributed by scholars to historical precedents which collapse profitability with ancient Chinese philosophy. Some have mapped the ideas of permeability and changeability within Taoist thought onto the prevalence of knock-off goods. Others have imputed copy culture to the arduous repetition of words required for mastering the Chinese language. However, linking acts of imitation to some sort of Chinese “sensibility” not only risks perpetuating Orientalist stereotypes but it fails to see counterfeiting as a transnational issue. Under the hostile standards of the World Trade Organisation which work to benefit the West, it is not surprising to see alternate modes of production spring up in China. Afterall, China is the largest manufacturer in the world and probably made the Nikes on your feet.

“Terms” alludes to a mutual relation but gestures towards stipulations, transactions and power plays rather than unconditional acts of love.

The counterfeit object is an incoherent sign without claims to authorship or integrity. Its meaning and value is hard to stabilise when entered into the public domain. A skilful imitation can emanate a magical aura whilst the more obvious illegitimate offspring likes to give you a knowing wink. The counterfeit is a slippery, porous and multi-dimensional symbol of resistance, a big momentary fuck-you to Terms and Conditions. But in this game of global trade, the counterfeit is too easily co-opted by those in power and subsumed back into the safety of late capitalism.

“Terms” is a throbbing mass of lo-res McDonald’s french fries skittering around Taobao. A lively organism moving in time with the sound of Youtube rips, free drum sample packs and Google-Translated audio. A cluster of false promises on the brink of explosion.


Terms 源於拉丁語的 Terminus,意指邊界、限制、結束。

「中國製造」曾經指向西方喪失霸權而引發的焦慮。 隨著中國的經濟放緩、勞動成本上升,過去對中國的焦慮逐漸轉移焦點,如今該國的仿冒和盜版產業被視為世界貿易的重大威脅。全球媒體似乎迷戀於將中國描寫為危險角色的種種故事。

「瘋狂」的中國頻繁出現於新聞頭條,也時常聽說該國的假冒食品、藥品、不良的生產標準和系統性的腐敗。這些敘事營造出一種景觀,在公眾的想像中,中國是一個處於危機中的國家。 而關於中國的恐怖故事之擴散有助於掩蓋「中國製造」在全球經濟中作為政治籌碼的事實,相關遊戲規則由強大的西方跨國公司所把持。

Terms 表示著達成協議的條件。

許多學者們認為中國的仿冒產業屬於一種在利益和中國古代哲學之間建立連繫的歷史先例。有些人將道家思想中的滲透性和可變性映射於今日仿冒品的盛行。 也有些人將復製文化(copy culture)回溯至漢語教學中重複詞彙的學習方法。 然而,將模仿這個行為與某種中國味道聯繫起來,不僅涉獵強化東方主義之刻板印象,且未能將仿冒現象推向一個跨國議題來談論。在世界貿易組織偏袒西方的標準下,中國出現其他生產方式也不足為奇。畢竟中國是世界上最大的製造商,你腳上穿的Nike或許就是中國製造。

Terms 所暗示的相互關係,並非無條件的愛,而關乎的是規則條例、交易、權力遊戲。

假冒的物品是一個缺乏連貫性的符號,沒有作者聲明,也沒有完整性。介入公共領域時,其含義和價值難以穩定。精巧的仿冒品散發出神奇的光環,而明顯非法的產物更喜歡對你會意地眨眼。 仿冒品是一個光滑、多孔和多維的抵抗象徵;面對著服務條款和條件,它以巨大的、瞬間的「fuckyou」作回應。 在這場全球貿易博弈中,假冒者容易被當權者所吸引,並被納入晚期資本主義的安全懷抱之中。

Terms 是在淘寶上肆虐的一群悸動的低畫素麥當勞薯條。一個生動的有機體,在時間中隨著Youtube上翻錄的聲音、免費的鼓聲取樣組合和谷歌翻譯的音頻移動。一堆虛假的承諾在爆炸的邊緣。


☯ ABOUT

Chun Yin Rainbow Chan
& Craig Stubbs-Race


Chun Yin Rainbow Chan works across music, performance and installation. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Sydney, Rainbow is interested in mistranslations, diaspora and the effects of globalisation on modern Chinese society. Her research engages with the authentic and the copy, exploring sites of exchange and desire which complicate Western notions of originality and appropriate consumption. Central to Rainbow's work is the circulation of knock-off objects, sounds and images in global media. Her work positions the fake as a complex sign that shapes new myths, values and contemporary commodity production.

Craig Stubbs-Race makes 3D models, motion graphics, websites, and animations.

☯ 關於

陳雋然 
& Craig Stubbs-Race



陳雋然的創作悠遊於音樂、表演、裝置等領域。出生於香港,成長於雪梨的她,對於誤譯、流離、全球化對華人當代社會的影響等議題極為關注。她所探討的主軸周旋於真品與複製之間,探索使原創性與合適消費的西方概念複雜化的交換及慾望場域,而仿冒品、聲音、影像在全球媒體的流通散播,則為其創作的核心。山寨版商品在她的作品中變成一種複合式符號,塑造出新的神話和價值,影響當代商品生產製作的走向。

Craig Stubbs-Race 製作3D模型、動態圖像、網站及動畫。



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 http://craigsr.com




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