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Film Programme: Resonating Structures
18 Jul 2019, Thu - 17 Nov 2019, Sun 12:00 PM - 07:00 PM

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In the early 1970s, Siah Armajani’s experimentation with computer-based graphics paved the way not only for a new aesthetic field, but also expanded his artistic practice to new territories. Taking his film work on the exploration of structures and lines using computer graphics as a point of departure, this film series expands into a presentation of films by other filmmakers/ artists in a similar theme of “line structure” and three others of Armajani’s tropes of interests: bridges, houses, and gardens. (Links at bottom for more information.) Just as Armajani’s Dictionary for Building (1974–75) deconstructs the typology of domestic architecture, these films explore new meanings of functional, social, and visual concepts of architecture and space.

 

Event, 1970
Computer-generated 16mm film transferred to digital file, b&w, silent, 6 min 41 sec.
Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Gift of the artist, 2015.

 

To Perceive 10,000 Different Squares in 6 Minutes and 55 Seconds, 1970 
Computer-generated 16mm film transferred to digital file, b&w, silent, 7 min 37 sec.
Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Gift of the artist, 2015.

 

Before/After, 1970
Computer-generated 16mm film transferred to digital file, b&w, silent, 1 min 50 sec.
Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Gift of the artist, 2015.

 

Inside/Outside, 1970
Computer-generated 16mm film transferred to digital file, b&w, silent, 1 min 40 sec.
Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Gift of the artist, 2015.

 

Rotating Line, 1970
Computer-generated 16mm film transferred to digital file, b&w, silent, 1 min 26 sec.
Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Gift of the artist, 2015.

 

Line, 1970
Computer-generated 16mm film transferred to digital file, b&w, silent, 1 min 16 sec.
Courtesy of the artist and Rossi & Rossi, Hong Kong.

 

Since the 1960s, Siah Armajani has explored the use of technology as a medium as well as in the intersection of art with science. In 1970, he produced a series of experimental films using a computer capable of printing on 16mm celluloid at the Hybrid Computer Laboratory, University of Minnesota. In these films he generated moving lines and shapes using mathematical formulae and computer programming to create the illusion of three-dimensional space and time on one-dimensional surfaces that ultimately point to the functionalism of space, a consistent thread in Armajani’s work.

 

Event is an explicit example of such a connection as it brings together the notions of architecture’s social space through texts, equations, and diagrams. To Perceive 10,000 Different Squares in 6 Minutes and 55 Seconds presents ten thousand squares, each in a single frame in descending order of size; with the illusion of a single square hovering in space.Before/After suggests spatial and temporal ambiguity, depicted by two synchronised animated representations of movements over time. Inside/Outside explores the function of boundaries and the concept of closed and open systems in a space. Rotating Line illustrates the blurring of dimensional states within a space through the transition of a single point into a line that subsequently appears to rotate in and out of the screen. In Line, Armajani reflects upon the inadequacy of painting and sculpture in expressing ideas through the most basic aesthetic form.

 

These six films will be played on loop during opening hours from 18 July to 17 November, 2019. During this time, a presentation of films by other filmmakers/ artists, grouped according to the themes Line Structure, Bridges, Houses, and Gardens, will also be shown in conjunction with Siah Armajani’s films. For more information on film schedule, please visit the links below.

 

Image caption: Siah Armajani, Event, 1970, computer-generated 16mm film transferred to digital file, b&w, silent, 6 min 41 sec. Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Gift of the artist, 2015.

Open Call for Siah Armajani: Spaces for the Public. Spaces for Democracy.
20 Jul 2019, Sat - 3 Nov 2019, Sun

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As part of Siah Armajani: Spaces for the Public. Spaces for Democracy., NTU CCA Singapore is seeking interested individuals, groups, or organisations to engage with the artist’s works. The Sacco and Vanzetti Reading Room #3 is available to be used for readings, gatherings, discussions, workshops, or other events. Interested parties can appropriate the installation and exhibition space, including the books accompanying the installation, and respond to the exhibition and its title, the artist and the work, or related topics.

The list of authors of the books includes: Theodor Adorno, Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, John Berryman, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, John Dewey, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Luigi Galleani, Emma Goldman, Hafez, Martin Heidegger, Thomas Jefferson, Frank O’Hara, Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Rimbaud, Richard Rorty, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, Ahmad Shamlou, Henry David Thoreau, Alfred North Whitehead, Walt Whitman, and Nima Yooshij.

Interested groups are welcome to invite their own audience or to organise events. However, all inhabitations have to happen within the parameters of a public exhibition space.

The exhibition opening hours are Tuesday – Sunday, 12.00 – 7.00pm, but inhabitations may take place during the available timings below:

Monday to Friday, 10.00am – 7.00pm

Saturday and Sunday, 12.00 – 7.00pm

 

If you would like more information, have any questions, or are interested in using the space, please email NTUCCAExhibitions@ntu.edu.sg with the following:

– A description of your planned activity (100–150 words)

– Biography of facilitator or host (100 words)

– Preferred date(s) (and timings, if possible. Activities can be repeated if desired)

– Expected duration of planned activity (if possible)

– Expected profile and number of participants (if possible)

– Please also indicate if you need any equipment that we may be able to provide (e.g. chairs or audio equipment)

 

*Submissions will be reviewed and scheduled on a rolling basis.

 

**Please note this open call is not a commission for a work or an engagement of services and therefore no fees are offered.

 

Image caption: Siah Armajani, Sacco and Vanzetti Reading Room #3, 1988. Installation view of the exhibition Siah Armajani: Follow This Line, Walker Art Center, September 9 – December 30, 2018. Courtesy Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Photo by Bobby Rogers.

Film Programme: Resonating Structures (Houses)
24 Sep 2019, Tue - 3 Nov 2019, Sun

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SCHEDULE

24 September – 6 October 2019: Ant Farm, Inflatables Illustrated, 1971­–2003

8 October – 20 October 2019: Dan Graham, Pavilions Compilation, 2014

22 October – 3 November 2019: Carsten Nicolai, Future Past Perfect Pt. 2 (Cité Radieuse),2007

 

FILM SYNOPSIS

24 September – 6 October 2019

Ant Farm, Inflatables Illustrated
United States, 1971­–2003

B&w and colour, sound, 21 min 20 sec

As a critique of consumerism and reaction to Brutalist architecture, Ant Farm created a utopian, inflatable architecture that was participatory and communal, cheap, and easy to transport and assemble. It had been used to host festivals, conferences, or installed as university campuses. Without a fixed structure, these inflatables challenged the notions of a building as well as the reliance on expert knowledge of architects. The film, which brings its audience through the steps of making a small inflatable using basic materials found in a kitchen, is an example of “open source,” in which concepts are made accessible to the public.

 

8 October – 20 October 2019

Dan Graham, Pavilions Compilation
United States, 2014

Colour, sound, 31 min

This film surveys Dan Graham’s series of sculptures Pavilions, created since the late 1970s, with documentary footage of the works in different cities. Created on a human scale out of glass or mirror, they serve as instruments of perception as viewers become both the object of spectacle as well as the subject or spectator of themselves reflected in the glass walls. Representing a hybrid between a quasi-functional space and an installation, art and architecture, public and private realms, the sculptures reflect Graham’s investigation into the social phenomenology and performativity of the viewer with the art object.

 

22 October – 3 November 2019

Carsten Nicolai, Future Past Perfect Pt. 2 (Cité Radieuse)
Germany, 2007

Digital film line, colour, sound, 7 min 43 sec.

Shot at Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation (built in 1952) in Marseille, a classic example of Brutalist architecture, the film focuses first on the exterior of the building followed by its interior before ending at its rooftop. Twice, the film’s calm atmosphere is disrupted by a rapid, flashing sequence, achieving a cinematic effect while engineering the elements of time, space, and social relations.

 

BIOGRAPHIES

Ant Farm (United States) was founded in 1968 in San Francisco by architects Chip Lord and Doug Michels as a countercultural collective intersecting between media art and architecture. Their influential work, which integrated art into everyday life with an ironic humour, highlighted environmental degradation, promoted sustainability, and challenged the ideologies and pervasiveness of American mass media, culture, and consumerism. They disbanded in 1978 after a fire destroyed their studio.

Dan Graham (United States) is an influential pioneer of conceptual art and performance-related video art. His multi-disciplinary practice, spanning across curating, writing, performance, installation, video, photography, and architecture, aligns itself with popular culture more than contemporary art. His work is informed by a social awareness, often working with hybrids that oscillate between quasi-functional spaces and installations to expose processes of perception, of which his freestanding, sculptural structures called Pavilions are an example. NTU CCA Singapore collaborated with Mapletree to permanently install Elliptical Pavilion (2017) at Mapletree Business City II.

Carsten Nicolai (Germany) is a cross-disciplinary artist whose work intersects art, music, and science. He introduced the dimensions of time and temporality and concepts of ephemerality in his work as well as experiments with sound and light frequencies in the mid-1990s. He is interested in the subject of human consciousness and how the complex phenomena of micro and macrosystems, and abstract concepts of physics, influence someone’s behaviour. For his musical outputs, he uses the pseudonym Alva Noto.

 

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This film screening is part of the Film Programme: Resonating Structures, which features six of Siah Armajani’s computer-generated short films from the 1970s. For more information on Siah Armajani’s short films, and for the schedules of other screenings within Resonating Structures, please refer to links below.

 

Image caption: Carsten Nicolai, Future Past Perfect Pt. 2 (Cité Radieuse), 2007, Digital film line, colour, sound, 7 min 43 sec. Courtesy the artist, Galerie EIGEN + ART Leipzig/Berlin, and Pace Gallery.

Talk: Okwui Enwezor, Documenta11 and Trans-Cultural Curating by Ute Meta Bauer with Dr Marc Glöde and Rubén de la Nuez
1 Nov 2019, Fri 03:00 PM - 06:00 PM

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Early this year, internationally renowned Nigerian curator Okwui Enwezor passed away. Among his many ground-breaking curatorial endeavours, Documenta11 (Kassel, Germany, 2002) is regarded as foundational in the history of contemporary global art exhibition and the access of non-Western art in the Western institutional art mainstream. As the artistic director of Documenta11, Enwezor formed an internationally integrated curatorial team. Professor Ute Meta Bauer will talk about her experience, as one of the appointed curators, at Documenta11 and her close working relationship with Okwui Enwezor. The talk will be followed by a discussion with students from NTU ADM’s Master of Arts in Museum Studies and Curatorial Practices programme, that will address their experience at the Biennale Jogja XV 2019

 

BIOGRAPHIES 

Ute Meta Bauer (Germany/Singapore) is the Founding Director of the NTU CCA Singapore, and Professor, School of Art, Design and Media, NTU, Singapore. Previously, she was Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, where she also served as Founding Director of the MIT Program in Art, Culture, and Technology (2005–13). For more than three decades, Bauer has curated exhibitions and presentations, connecting contemporary art, film, video, and sound through transdisciplinary formats including Documenta11 (2002), 3rd Berlin biennale for contemporary art (2004), and the US Pavilion for the 56th Venice Biennale (2015). 

Dr Marc Glöde (Germany/Singapore) is a curator, critic and film scholar. He is currently an Assistant Professor, School of Art, Design and Media, NTU, Singapore and Co-Director of the Master of Arts in Museum Studies and Curatorial Practices. He received his PhD at The Free University Berlin (FU Berlin). He taught at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden, FU Berlin, Academy of Fine Arts Berlin, and as Assistant Professor at the ETH Zürich. He curated the exhibition “STILL/MOVING/STILL – The History of Slide Projection in the Arts” at Knokke, Belgium. He was a senior curator of Art Film, Art Basel’s film program from 2008 – 2014. He was co-editor of Umwidmungen (2005), Synästhesie-Effekte (2011) and his writings are widely published.

Rubén de la Nuez (Cuba/Singapore) is an art theorist and art critic specialising in contemporary visual arts. He is currently a Lecturer at the School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He holds an MA in Art History from the University of Havana, Cuba. He was a UNESCO Research Fellow at the Theory Department, Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht, The Netherlands. He has taught in graduate and post-graduate programmes in a number of academic institutions, including the University of Havana, Cuba; the Sichuan International Studies University, China; the University of Twenthe, Enschede, The Netherlands; and the Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Singapore.

 

Image: Okwui Enwezor in front of the Museum Fridericianum during Documenta11, 2002. Photo: Ryzard Kasiewic. Courtesy Documenta Archive.

Workshop: Writing for Change by writer and educator Dr Yeo Wei Wei
2 Nov 2019, Sat 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

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Registration required via Peatix: writingforchange.peatix.com

Fee: $12

Developed for ages 17 to 22.

 

Literature and philosophy have been guiding lights for the artist Siah Armajani since young. Sharing Armajani’s conviction in reading and writing for change to the self and society, this workshop will focus on creative writing as self-communing and engagement with the world.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Dr Yeo Wei Wei (Singapore) is a writer, translator, and educator. She has 20 years of experience in teaching, and has worked with students at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels. Literature and Creative Writing were her areas of specialisation at SOTA, NUS, and NTU. In 2017 she graduated with Distinction in her MA in Creative Writing (Prose Fiction) from the University of East Anglia. She was awarded the National Arts Council Postgraduate Scholarship in 2016 to pursue the MA. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Cambridge. Her collection of short stories These Foolish Things & Other Stories was published by Ethos Books in 2015.

 

Image: Photo by Vivien Yap for Book-a-Writer

 

 

What is Deep Sea Mining?
2 Nov 2019, Sat - 19 Jan 2020, Sun

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By inhabitants in collaboration with Margarida Mendes

Deep sea mining is a new frontier of resource extraction located on the ocean seabed. It is set to begin in the next few years, as the technology is currently under development. Mining companies are, at present, leasing areas for exploitation in national and international waters in order to assess the potential to extract minerals and metals such as manganese, cobalt, gold, copper, iron, and other rare earth elements. The main geological sites targeted are areas rich in polymetallic nodules, seamounts, and hydrothermal vents; areas typically found where tectonic plates meet. The areas to be mined could cover parts of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Clarion Clipperton Zone in the Pacific Ocean in international waters, and national waters off the islands of Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, New Zealand, Japan, and the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. Assessment of the impact on deep sea ecosystems is underway, though their cumulative effects remain difficult to comprehend given the unprecedented variety and expanse of the mining sites targeted. At the same time, local and indigenous communities living in these regions are not being adequately consulted.

The prospects of this form of mining re-actualise a colonial, frontier mentality and are redefining extractivist economies for the twenty-first century. What is Deep Sea Mining? addresses both knowledge of the deep sea and ocean governance, but also efforts to defend a sustained ocean literacy beyond the United Nations’ “blue economy” at a time when the deep ocean, its species, and its resources remain largely unmapped and understudied.

 

Episode 1, Tools for Ocean Literacy, is historical and geographical introduction to deep sea mining, playing with Charles and Ray Eames’ 1977 film Powers of Ten.

Episode 2, Deep Frontiers, tells a story about knowledge of the seabed and its alien life, written by anthropologist Stefan Helmreich.

Episode 3, The Azore Case, focuses on the Portuguese Azores nine island archipelago, following European Union plans to mine in the region, based on a series of interviews with marine biologists and politicians conducted in the islands.

Episode 4, A Glossary on Mining, offers a brief glossary of terms that can be used to better tackle the issue of mining reserves and monopolies on land, which in turn may lead to the potential threat of deep sea mining.

Episode 5, The Papua New Guinea Case, addresses the plans to mine off the coast of Papua New Guinea as well as the long activist struggle by local communities across the Pacific against deep sea mining. Episode 5 will be premiered at NTU CCA Singapore, simultaneously in the Lab space and online on social media and the websites of NTU CCA Singapore’s website, the funding and partner institution TBA21 – Academy’s website, and inhabitants-tv.

 

BIOGRAPHY

inhabitants (Portugal/United States) is an online channel for exploratory video and documentary reporting. Founded in New York in late 2015 by visual artists Mariana Silva and Pedro Neves Marques, inhabitants produces and streams short-form videos intended for free, online distribution. All episodes are available at www.inhabitants-tv.org, as well as on Vimeo, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

What is Deep Sea Mining? was developed in collaboration with Margarida Mendes, curator and activist from Lisbon, Portugal, consultant of Sciaena NGO and founding member of Oceano Livre, an environmental movement against deep sea mining. What is Deep Sea Mining? is a web series and art project commissioned by TBA21–Academy.

 

Image: inhabitants with Margarida Mendes, What is Deep Sea Mining? Episode 3: The Azores Case, 2019. Courtesy the artists. 

 

 

Film Programme: Resonating Structures (Gardens)
5 Nov 2019, Tue - 17 Nov 2019, Sun

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Marie Menken, Glimpse of the Garden
United States 1957

16mm film transferred to digital file, colour, sound, 5 min

Glimpse of the Garden is an experimental film that transports its audiences to a garden, with the chirping of birds forming its soundtrack. It gives a glimpse of the vastness of the landscape which includes a lake, while also showing pure visuals of flowers and plants filmed through a powerful magnifying glass. At most times, the pace is fast, with shots appearing to be taken randomly or from a flying insect’s perspective. In 1958, the film won an award at the Exposition Universelle et Internationale at Brussels. In 2007, the film was nominated for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in Washington.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Marie Menken (United States) was an underground experimental filmmaker known as “the mother of the avant-garde,” having influenced and worked with internationally renowned artists such as Andy Warhol. She progressed from painting to filmmaking in 1945, when she made her first avant-garde film using a handheld Bolex camera. Since then, she was celebrated for her intuitive, free-form cinematic style and for taking filmmaking to a new direction with the way she created poetic patterns of light, colour, and texture. Her films are fragmentary encounters with friends, landscapes, and her urban surroundings. 

 

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This film screening is part of the Film Programme: Resonating Structures, which features six of Siah Armajani’s computer-generated short films from the 1970s. For more information on Siah Armajani’s short films, and for the schedules of other screenings within Resonating Structures, please refer to links below.

 

Image Caption: Marie Menken, Glimpse of the Garden, 1957, 16mm film transferred to digital file, colour, sound, 5 min. Courtesy The Film-Makers’ Cooperative.

Symposium: Techno-Optimism and Eco-Hacktivism
23 Nov 2019, Sat 02:00 PM - 07:30 PM

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2.00 – 2.15pm
Introduction by Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director, NTU CCA Singapore, and Professor, NTU ADM, and Laura Miotto, Associate Professor, NTU ADM

2.15 – 3.00pm
Lecture: On Garages and Genes, or the rise and fall of the California ideology
by Hallam Stevens, Associate Professor, School of Biological Sciences, NTU

Much of today’s biotech was created in the image of Silicon Valley. The first genetic engineers emerged in California in the 1970s and the industry continues to bear the imprint of its origins. But Silicon Valley’s attitude towards technology is coming under increasing pressure—the world is beginning to push back against “tech bros” and social media monopolies. What does this mean for bioscience? Could we perhaps find other ways of working with and manipulating biomatter and living things that move beyond the worlds of venture capital, startups, and IPOs? Could such models even provide clues for new ways of living with others in the Chthulucene? 

3.20 – 5.00pm
Presentation and Conversation: Eco-Hacktivism
with Irene Agrivina, artist; inhabitants, artists; Serina Abdul Rahman, Visiting Fellow, ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore; and Janelle Thompson, Associate Professor, Asian School of the Environment, NTU; moderated by Dr Karin Oen, Deputy Director, Curatorial Programmes, NTU CCA Singapore

With practices at the intersection of art and activism, Irene Agrivina and inhabitants will share more about their works, on view in the Exhibition Hall and the Lab respectively. While Agrivina teaches local women communities in Indonesia how to transform wastewater into valuable goods, inhabitants informs a wider public about the threats of seabed mining. Environmental researchers Serina Abdul Rahman and Janelle Thompson will present their findings on floral and faunal marine communities, as well assustainable and ecological solutions regarding natural resources.

5.30 – 7.00pm
Lecture: Termite Economies
by artist Nicholas Mangan, Senior Lecture, Department of Fine Art, Monash University

Nicholas Mangan will work through some of the research and histories that have informed the development of his project Termite Economies (phase 1), on view in The Posthuman City. The Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) researched termite behaviour in the hope that the insects might one day lead humans to gold deposits; a proposal to exploit the natural activity of termite colonies for economic gain. This anecdote compelled Mangan through both the production of the artwork and broader research to explore insect stigmergy, trophallaxis, automated mining ant colony optimization algorithms, cement pheromones, biometric futures, Termodoxia, superorganisms, and neural network rerouting.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Irene Agrivina (b. 1976, Indonesia) is an open systems advocate, technologist, artist, and educator. She is a graduate of the Graphic Design faculty at the Indonesia Institute of Art (ISI), and the Culture and Religion Master Program at Sanata Dharma University in Yogyakarta. As a founding member and current director of HONF (House of Natural Fiber), a Yogyakarta-based new media and technology laboratory created in 1998, Agrivina runs its Education Focus Programme (EFP) which focuses on the application and practical use in daily life of collaborative, cross-disciplinary, and technological actions responding to social, cultural, and environmental challenges. She has participated in numerous festivals such as re:publica, Transmediale, Pixelache, Mal Au Pixel, New Museum Triennial, and APAP 5. She has also exhibited her work and given lectures around the world in cities such as Vienna, New York, Paris, London, Tokyo, Berlin, Prague, and Singapore. In 2013 she co-founded XXLab, an all-female collective focusing on arts, science, and free technology as a second generation of HONF’s spin-off communities. Their projectSoya C(o)u(l)ture(2014) was crowned a winner of the 2015 Prix Ars Electronica awards, a prestigious European Commission-supported competition for cyberarts in Austria.

Ute Meta Bauer (Germany/Singapore) is the Founding Director of the NTU CCA Singapore, and Professor, School of Art, Design and Media, NTU, Singapore. Previously, she was Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, where she also served as Founding Director of the MIT Program in Art, Culture, and Technology (2005–13). For more than three decades, Bauer has curated exhibitions and presentations, connecting contemporary art, film, video, and sound through transdisciplinary formats including Documenta11 (2002), 3rd berlin biennale for contemporary art (2004), and the US Pavilion for the 56th Venice Biennale (2015).

inhabitants (Portugal/United States) is an online channel for exploratory video and documentary reporting. Founded in New York in late 2015 by visual artists Mariana Silva and Pedro Neves Marques, inhabitants produces and streams short-form videos intended for free, online distribution. All episodes are available at www.inhabitants-tv.org, as well as on Vimeo, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

Nicholas Mangan (b. 1979, Australia) is a multi-disciplinary artist who lives and works in Melbourne. He is senior lecturer at Monash University. Through a practice bridging drawing, sculpture, film, and installation, Mangan creates politically astute and disconcerting assemblages that address some of the most galvanising issues of our time; the ongoing impacts of colonialism, humanity’s fraught relationship with the natural environment, and the complex and evolving dynamics of the global political economy. His recent solo exhibitions include Limits to Growth, Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), Melbourne, the Institute of Modern Art (IMA), Brisbane, Kunst-Werke Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin, Dowse Art Museum, Wellington (2016); Ancient Lights, Chisenhale Gallery, London, (2015); Some Kinds of Duration, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, (2012). His work has been included in major international exhibitions including Biennale of Sydney(2018); Let’s Talk About the Weather: Art and Ecology in A Time of Crisis, Guangdong Times Museum, Guangzhou (2018); 74 million million million tons, Sculpture Center, New York (2018); The National 2017: new Australian art, AGNSW, Sydney (2017); 4.543 BILLION. The Matter of matter, CAPC, Bordeaux, (2017); New Museum Triennial: Surround Audience, New York (2015); 9th Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre (2013); and the 13th Istanbul Biennial (2013).

Laura Miotto (Italy/Singapore) is Associate Professor at the School of Art, Design and Media (ADM) at Nanyang Technological University, and co-chair of the MA programme in Museum Studies and Curatorial Practices at ADM. She is also Design Director of GSM Project in Singapore, an international firm specialised in exhibition design originating from Montréal, Canada. With 20 years of experience in the design field, both as a creative director and an architectural designer, Miotto has worked on exhibitions focusing on heritage interpretation and sensorial design strategies in the context of museums, thematic galleries, and public spaces.

Serina Abdul Rahman (Singapore/Malaysia) is a conservation scientist and environmental anthropologist. Her research interests lie in human, floral, and faunal marine communities, as well as their interaction and preservation. She specialises in sustainable development and education; community empowerment; environmental issues; and innovations; including development for urban and rural poor. In 2004, she moved to Malaysia to dedicate her time to marine environmental organisations and island/coastal communities. In 2009, she co-founded Kelab Alami, a community organisation in a fishing village in Johor to empower the community through environmental education for habitat conservation. Since 2015, the programme evolved to focus on community capacity-building.

Hallam Stevens (Australia/Singapore) is Associate Professor of History in the School of Humanities at Nanyang Technological University and the Associate Director of the NTU Institute of Science and Technology For Humanity. He is the author of Life out of Sequence: a data-driven history of bioinformatics (Chicago, 2013), Biotechnology & Society: an introduction (Chicago, 2016), and the co-editor of Postgenomics: Perspectives on Life After the Genome (Duke, 2015). At NTU he teaches courses on the history of the life sciences and the history of information technology.

Dr Janelle Thompson (United States/Singapore) is an environmental microbiologist whose research and teaching drive towards careful stewardship of energy and water. Her ongoing work harnesses bacteria as indicators of water quality and for bioproduction of renewable fuels. She holds graduate degrees from Stanford University and MIT and is newly appointed as an Associate Professor at the Asian School of the Environment, NTU, and Principal Investigator (PI) at the Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering. In previous roles she taught Environmental Engineering at MIT and was Associate Director and PI at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology.

 

Image: Photo by Hallam Stevens.

Workshop: DIY Eco-prints on Bio-Leather by artist Irene Agrivina
24 Nov 2019, Sun 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM

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Registration required via Peatix: ecoprints.peatix.com

Fee: $25

 

Get a hands-on experience in making your very own eco-prints using easily available materials such as flowers and leaves. You will get the opportunity to print on SOYA C(O)U(L)TURE, a bio-leather derived from the byproduct of soy production. This is a Bring Your Own Flowers workshop!

 

BIOGRAPHY

Artist, technologist, and educator Irene Agrivina (Indonesia) works at the intersection between art, science and technology. A founding member and current co-director of House of Natural Fiber (HONF) in Yogyakarta, she is engaged in collaborative, cross-disciplinary, and multimedia actions responding to social, cultural, and environmental challenges. Her projects have been presented internationally at IFVA New Media Art Festival, Hong Kong (2017); 5th Anyang Public Art Project, South Korea (2016); Ars Electronica Festival, Linz, Austria (2015) and Pixelache Festival, Helsinki, Finland (2013).

 

Image courtesy the artist.

Residencies Studio Sessions: Mapping a glacier and the world wars, Artist talk by Baptist Coelho (India), Artist-in-Residence
26 Nov 2019, Tue 07:00 PM - 08:30 PM

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Since 1984, India and Pakistan have been guarding their territories on the Siachen Glacier claiming sovereignty over this remote zone in the Himalayas with temperatures as low as -60°C. Over the years, Baptist Coelho’s research on this glacial conflict have come to encompass manifold aspects such as the day-to-day life of soldiers and Ladakhi porters. The presentation will also touch upon the artist’s ongoing research in India’s involvement with and contribution to the two world wars through a selection of artworks that probe beyond the surface to complicate, counter, and rethink histories. In conclusion, Coelho will share his recent findings on the Rani of Jhansi Regiment and the Indian National Army (INA), two military units established in Singapore during the second world war.

The talk will take place in the artist’s studio.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Over the past decade, the practice of Baptist Coelho (b. 1977, India) has revolved around the unspoken narratives and intricate trajectories of the Siachen Glacier, a conflict zone between India and Pakistan. His work also often addresses India’s involvement in the two world wars. Through extended archival and ethnographic research, he engages a variety of subjects to probe the physical, psychological, and emotional implications engendered by conflicts, wars, states of conscriptions, and acts of heroism. His works have been exhibited internationally at JSLH Art Gallery, Sonipat, India (2019); Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2018); and Somerset House, London, United Kingdom (2016) among other venues. Coelho was awarded the Sovereign Asian Art Prize in 2016.

 

Image: Baptist Coelho, They agreed to eat biscuits and European bread, but our regiment refused, 2019, performance view. Photo by Emilie Costa. Courtesy the artist, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris and Project 88, Mumbai.

Film Programme: The Posthuman City
26 Nov 2019, Tue - 9 Feb 2020, Sun

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This film programme accompanies the exhibition, The Posthuman City. Climates. Habitats. Environments. It involves a selection of 11 artist films that expand on the exhibition’s topics, as well as two sci-fi classics.

Screening on loop during opening hours.

 

26 November – 1 December 2019
Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Waste Flow, 1984
Video, colour, 58 minutes

Waste Flow is one of two videos chronicling Ukeles’s ground-breaking performance Touch Sanitation(1978–80), in which she shook hands with over 8,500 New York City Sanitation workers to appreciate and destigmatise their labour. The film portrays a large grid of coloured photographic prints, and sundry text-based archival materials depicting the performance work.

 

3 – 8 December 2019
De Rijke/De Rooij, Bantar Gebang, 2000
35mm film, colour, sound, 10 min

This film consists of a single static view of a shanty town built on a vast rubbish dump near Jakarta, Indonesia. It begins in semidarkness before dawn, to broad daylight, and ends with the light shifting from dreamy twilight to daybreak. The entrance to the walled shanty town is framed in the centre, where roads intersect with people walking along them. The structure of the image is revealed and sobering even, as the viewer observes its details and actions in the changing light.

 

10 – 15 December 2019
Lucy Walker, Waste Land, 2010
Colour, sound, 99 min

This feature documentary follows Vik Muniz, a Brazilian artist and photographer, on an emotional journey from Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest landfill on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, to the heights of international art stardom. Muniz collaborates with “catadores,” pickers of recyclable materials who live on the landfill, to create photographic images of themselves out of garbage. The process portrays their plight; at the same time, the resulting work highlights their dignity, the transformative power of art, and the beauty of the human spirit.

 

17 – 22 December 2019
Tejal Shah, Between the Waves, 2012
HD Video, colour and b&w, multi-channel sound

Five-channel video installation, adapted to two-channel (back-to-back loop)
Channel I, A Fable in Five Chapters, 26 min 15 sec
Channel II, Landfill Dance, 5 min
Channel III, Animation, 1 min 40 sec
Channel IV, Moon Burning, 26 min 15 sec
Channel V, Morse Code, 26 min 15 sec 

Between the Wavesportrays personal/political metaphors—embodiments of the queer, eco-sexual, inter-special, technological, spiritual, and scientific—within sensual, poetic, heterotopic landscapes. Neither bourgeois or asexual, the subjects can be read as assertively political in their local context, where freedom of speech and creative expression often face serious censorship. The immersive environments they are in represent spaces of refuge or expulsion, while their activities feel both archaic and futuristic, filled with urgency and agency. Multiple historic and mythological references are woven and problematised within the video. A Fable in Five Chapterstouches on the ecological importance and parthenogenetic nature of corals and reef fish; Landfill Danceexplores the potency of the geological, social, and cultural histories embedded in a landfill; Animationand Morse Codemove between low-tech animation to the use of iPhone Morse code application; and Moon Burninghighlights the cyclic nature of existence and impermanence, and the fluid entities of things and beings. 

 

24 – 29 December 2019
Ursula Biemann, Deep Weather, 2013
Video essay, colour, sound, 9 min

This video draws a connection between the relentless reach for fossil resources and the impact on broad indigenous populations in remote parts of the world. Water and oil form the undercurrents of all narrations as they are activating profound change in the planetary ecology. The work documents communities living in the Deltas of the Global South that are building protective mud embankments by hand without any mechanic help. In Bangladesh, such measures are taken when large parts of the country become submerged and water is declared a territory of citizenship for populations forced to live on water.

 

31 December 2019 – 5 January 2020
Jan Peter Hammer, Tilikum, 2013
HD-video, colour, sound, 45 min

The film charts the entangled history of behaviourism, neuroscience, animal training, interspecies affection, and English-speaking dolphins. Its narrative starts on 25 February 2010 with a 911 call. Seconds after having completed a live performance at SeaWorld Orlando, Florida, a trainer Dawn Brancheau was dragged underwater, drowned and dismembered by Tilikum, a bull orca. He was Tilikum’s third victim. The film reveals details about the entertainment-industrial complex which SeaWorld is a part of, and the connections between the earliest oceanic leisure centres and Cold War military research, from Hammer’s research on the incident.

 

7 – 12 January 2020
Jonathas de Andrade, O Peixe [The Fish], 2016
16mm film transferred to 2K video, sound, colour, 37 minutes

The film adopts an aesthetic style typically employed in ethnographic films by anthropologists from the 1960s and 70s when recording the cultures and traditions they study. In a series of vignettes shot on 16 mm film, we witness what seems to be an intimate ritual—one actually invented by the artist—among fishermen in a coastal village in North-eastern Brazil. The camera captures individual fishermen as they catch and then tenderly hold their prey to their chest until it stops breathing. There lurks an understanding that this gesture disguises violence as benevolence and suggests a symmetry between the power that humans wield over other life forms.

 

14 – 19 January 2020
Fabrizio Terranova, Donna Haraway: Story Telling for Earthly Survival, 2016
Colour, sound, 81 min

Donna Haraway is a prominent scholar in the field of science and technology, a feminist, and a science-fiction enthusiast who works at building a bridge between science and fiction. She became known in the 1980s through her work on gender, identity, and technology, which broke with the prevailing trends and opened the door to a frank and cheerful trans-species feminism. Haraway is a gifted storyteller who paints a rebellious and hopeful universe teeming with creatures and futuristic trans-species, in an era of disasters. The filmmaker Fabrizio Terranova visited Donna Haraway at her home in Southern California, producing this rare, candid, intellectual portrait of a highly original thinker. 

 

21 – 26 January 2020
Armin Linke, Pulau-pulau kelapa sawit, 2017
In collaboration with Giulia Bruno and Giuseppe Ielasi.
HD video, colour, sound, 95 min

With footage of oil palm plantations, active peat fires, and olive-related production sites in Java, Sumatra, and Kalimantan (Borneo), the film illustrates why the oil-farming business has grown so rapidly in Asia. Various stages of palm oil production are linked through provocative interviews with residents, activists, scientists, and government officials who express their often-conflicting views on the transformation of Indonesia into a palm oil nation. While the pace of production has positively impacted Indonesia’s GDP, the steep rise in demand for palm oil and its derivatives has dire consequences for Indonesia and its rainforests.

 

28 January – 2 February 2020
Liam Young, Seoul City Machine, 2019
Digital 3D film, sound, 7 min 41 sec

Seoul City Machine is an abstract sequence of vignettes, fragments and moments of a city where machines and technology are now the dominant inhabitants. It portrays the urban landscape of tomorrow; a city in which all of the fears and wonders of emerging technologies have come true. An AI chatbot voices its own creation story through its City Operating System to the citizens it affectionately manages. Using contemporary Seoul as a visual backdrop, the present-day city is overlaid with cinematic visual effects to depict an autonomous world where drones fill the sky, cars are driverless, streets are draped in augmented reality, and everyone is connected to everything.

 

4 – 9 February 2020
Karlos Gil, Uncanny Valley, 2019

The film is a dystopian sci-fi story that takes the replacement of waiters in Japanese restaurants by androids as its starting point. It explores complex existential problems due to the Uncanny Valley Hypothesis in the field of robotics: in which an android created too much in the image and likeness of a human faces rejection. The underlying themes of the video deal with the relationship between machines and humans based on the encounter between an android and its doppelgänger. Through this relationship and the implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in everyday life, the film reflects the socio-economic paradigm effects by the technological transformation.

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One-time screenings:

Thursday, 19 December 2019, 7.30pm
Fritz Lang, Metropolis, 1927
B&w, sound, 2h 53 min

This German expressionist science-fiction drama film presents a futuristic utopian city that exists above a grim underground world populated by exploited workers who runs the machinery that keeps the utopian world above functioning. Freder, the son of the city’s master is intrigued by a young woman named Maria, who brings a group of workers’ children to the city and eventually learns about their living conditions. Freder seeks to be a mediator between the separating classes and this puts him in conflict with his authoritative father. This quickly culminates into a revolution that spells disaster for those involved.

 

Thursday, 26 December 2019, 7.30pm
Ridley Scott, Blade Runner, 1982
Colour, sound, 117 min

In the year 2019, Rick Deckard, a Blade Runner and law enforcer, is forced out of retirement to hunt down and kill four illegally bio-engineered humans known as replicants before they kill more people. These replicants are androids that look virtually identical to human beings. They are designed with superior strength and higher intelligence but feel no emotions. Centred on the theme of humanity, the film examines the effects of technology on the environment and society; where other forms of natural life no longer exists and the future is depicted as both high-tech and hopeful in some places but decayed in others.

 

Image: Fabrizio Terranova, Donna Haraway: Story Telling for Earthly Survival, 2016, film still. Courtesy Fabrizio Terranova and Centre de l’Audiovisuel à Bruxelles.

Conference: Encounters with Southeast Asian Modernism
30 Nov 2019, Sat 02:00 PM - 07:00 PM

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Encounters with Southeast Asian Modernism sheds light on the history, significance and future of modernism in Jakarta, Phnom Penh, Singapore, and Yangon, in the context of the Bauhaus centenary 2019. Curators and contributors will give insights into their fields of research and present the project activities, as well as their spaces in their respective countries.

For more information on Encounters with Southeast Asian Modernismseam-encounters.net.

 

Image: Buddhist Library Yangon, National Sports Complex Phnom Penh, Hotel Indonesia Jakarta, Golden Mile Complex Singapore. Graphics by Alexander Lech.

In The Vitrine:

Nguyen Trinh Thi Landscape Series #1, 2013
28 May 2019, Tue - 1 Dec 2019, Sun 12:00 PM - 07:00 PM

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Interested in the idea of landscapes as a quiet witness to history, artist Nguyen Trinh Thi collects and compilates hundreds of images in which anonymous persons are portrayed pointing towards seemingly empty locations within a landscape. Taken by innumerable Vietnamese press photographers, figures are always captured in the same position, gesturing towards the landscape to indicate a past event, the location of something gone or something lost or missing. We are left with no information about the people and their specific thoughts or feelings, only their repetitious sameness of pointing towards an “evidence” within the silent landscape.

The land bearing witness to the volatile transitions in our geo-political, cultural, and social systems questions the extent of which unsustainable and environmentally-taxing practices effect the environment. Does a landscape harbour ill-feelings towards events and circumstances that have caused it harm? And if it were to break its silence, what forgotten stories would it reveal? Rather than disregarding the land, Nguyen’s photographs suggest these environments contain a plethora of unspoken histories. 

Nguyen’s works are built upon and are often generative of one another. Parallel to this presentation, two of her films, Vietnam the Movie (2015) and Fifth Cinema (2018), will be on view in The Single Screen from 28 May – 9 June and 11 – 23 June respectively. This screening is part of the Centre’s Film Screening Programme: Faces of Histories, 14 May – 17 July 2019.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Nguyen Trinh Thi (Vietnam) is a Hanoi-based filmmaker and moving image artist. Her diverse practice—traversing boundaries between film and video art, installation and performance—consistently engages with memory and history, and reflects on the roles and positions of art and artists in society and the environment. Nguyen studied journalism, photography, international relations, and ethnographic film in the United States. Her films and video art works have been shown at festivals and art exhibitions including Asia Pacific Triennale of Contemporary Art (APT9) in Brisbane (2018); Sydney Biennale 2018; Jeu de Paume, Paris; CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux; the Lyon Biennale 2015; Asian Art Biennial 2015, Taiwan; Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial 2014; Singapore Biennale 2013; Jakarta Biennale 2013; Oberhausen International Film Festival; and the Rotterdam International Film Festival. Nguyen is founder and director of Hanoi DOCLAB, an independent centre for documentary film and the moving image art since 2009. She previously showed at NTU CCA Singapore in the exhibition Ghosts and Spectres – Shadows of History (2017).

 

Image caption: Nguyen Trinh Thi, Mr. Nguyen Tan (on the left) and Mr. Huynh Ngoc Anh (of Phuoc My commune) are pointing to the direction of the river where dozens of people’s homes and gardens have been swallowed by the “patron god of the river.”, from Landscape Series #1, 2013, 20 photographs, colour and black-and-white; 35mm slide projection, 77 slides. Courtesy the artist.