An Interview with Kang and Kong
31 October 2020, 8:00am-9:00am (London time)
28 November 2020, 11:00pm-12:00am (London time)
An Interview with Kang and Kong is part of artist Alfred Marasigan’s ongoing research on magic, virtuality, and belonging with livestreaming as medium. In collaboration with their civilian caretaker*, tortoises Kang and Kong’s presences will be broadcasted via a non-intrusive Instagram live moderated by the artist and hosted by Asia Art Activism (@asia.art.activism).
Compelled by the nebulous intersections between the artworld’s anthropocentric concerns, the intensely palpable climate crisis, the interspecies-induced pandemic, the consequent rise of and need for telepresence via Zoom, gaming, and various virtual communications, 2020’s prominent racial reckoning across all institutions, the enduring, mishandled, and politicized quarantine measures imposed by the Philippine government, Chinese astrology’s (四象) Black Tortoise of the North (玄武), Korean pop phenomena BLACKPINK’s semi-elemental-themed comeback, equatorial turtle migrations and their pan-cultural symbology, British Overseas Territory’s Saint Helena-based national 180-year-old icon Jonathan the Tortoise (Aldabrachelys gigantea), the southern hemisphere’s summer solstice, Norwegian slow tv, and the artist’s own frantic journey towards resituating oneself from the arctic to the tropics and reassembling home between countries alienated from each other in more ways than one, An Interview with Kang and Kong attempts to consult, through a ubiquitous format, one of the most enduring non-human animal species reach whose fates are inevitably intertwined with ours.
At their suburban, DENR-inspected** home of more than two years in Southern Luzon, the two tortoises (Centrochelys sulcata) may hold the answers to many complex questions about home, solidarity, and the futures we may never have. For 30 minutes to an hour at 4PM Manila time of October 31 and 7AM Manila time of November 28, online viewers are invited to listen in on the ensuing conversation and to participate via comments.
* Special thanks to Regina Coeli and Timmy Gabito for introducing the artist to Kang and Kong, providing a safe and well-equipped home to the tortoises, and assisting with production and research.
** The Philippine Government’s Department of Environmental and Natural Resources
Click through to read more about the artist: Alfred Marasigan