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CITIES FOR PEOPLE is the pilot edition of NTU CCA Ideas Fest, a 10-day programme of projects, workshops, and events culminating in a three-day Public Summit.

5th Jan, 2017

PRESS RELEASE

CITIES FOR PEOPLE NTU CCA Ideas Fest 2016/17 13 – 22 January 2017

Projects, Workshops, Events 13 – 22 January 2017

Public Summit 19 – 21 January 2017

NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore Block 43 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 109443

CITIES FOR PEOPLE is the pilot edition of NTU CCA Ideas Fest, an annual platform to catalyse critical exchange of ideas and encourage thinking “out of the box”. It is a bottom-up approach linking the artistic and academic communities with grassroots initiatives. This pilot edition expands artistic interventions and engages contemporary issues such as air, water, food, environment, and social interaction, in connection to artistic and cultural fields, academic research, and design applications.

The 10-day programme, coinciding with Singapore Art Week 2017 and Art After Dark at Gillman Barracks, comprises a conglomerate of performances, public installations, participatory projects and social experiments, urban farming initiatives, public dialogues, and a variety of workshops.

It cumulates in a three-day Public Summit that brings together a prominent group of architects, theorists, researchers, curators, and community groups from around the world to discuss and exchange ideas about urbanism, environment, modes of exchange, critical spatial practices, and to envision a future city. CITIES FOR PEOPLE offers a platform to contemplate the possibilities for our shared space, reformulate our demands accordingly, and project solutions and desires for the future.

Highlights of CITIES FOR PEOPLE include:

Datang Untuk Kembali (Arriving to Return), a “procession” by artist duo indieguerillas, fashion designer Lulu Lutfi Labibi, and music director Ari Wulu (all Indonesia). The performance mimics Sekaten, a traditional Javanese ceremony from Yogyakarta, and features clothes from Lulu Lutfi Labibi’s “_hYp3<y<lu5_” collection comprised of upcycled garments made of second-hand clothes from Singapore found in Indonesia;

The installation and participatory project 70 x 7 The Meal by artists Lucy Orta (United Kingdom/France) and Jorge Orta (Argentina/France) will cater to over 200 guests. “70 x 7” is here referring to the notion of infinity, since the meal is only a starting point for conversations and exchanges focusing on food, sustainability, and the environment, to be continued beyond the event. The menu is designed by Chef Russell Keith from Open Farm Community of Singapore’s Spa Esprit Group, using only locally sourced and sustainable produce;

World Cafe: Air, Land, and Water, a public dialogue session led by artist and architect Marjetica Potrč (Slovenia/Germany), where participants engage in discussions on topics of urgency relating to air, land, and water, projecting their desires for a Singapore 30 years from now. Participants will also have the chance to present the outcomes of their discussion to invited representatives from relevant state agencies;

The Underground Discussion Club by Apolonija Šušteršič (Slovenia/Germany) invites active agents from civil activist groups and other community and environment groups to discuss the issue of preservation of green spaces in Singapore, referencing Bukit Brown and MacRitchie Reservoir, among others;

Ocean Blue(s), a cross-disciplinary performance by artist Laura Anderson Barbata (Mexico/United States) and the African-Caribbean group Brooklyn Jumbies (United States), is based on first-hand experiences, research, and ancient wisdom. It charts the physical and emotional relationship with the ocean, highlighting the ocean as a habitat and important resource, especially for islands. The work combines dance, spoken word, stilt dancing, costuming, and music into a unique performance;

Rehearsal by Post-Museum (Singapore) is a social experiment stemming from the urge to incite and foster public discussions in Singapore, addressing the city and how to organise collectively. This iteration will take the form of a campsite at Gillman Barracks that invites the public to stay, eat, and live together over a period of three days and two nights;

The Harvesting is a NTU CCA Singapore initiated platform for knowledge exchange on food source that spans two weekends. It will feature urban farming initiatives and workshops by individuals, grassroots, and community groups in Singapore such as former Artist-in-Residence Xu Tan (China), Edible Garden City, Foodscape Collective, urban farmer Michelle Lai, and urban-rural researcher Victoria Marshall (all Singapore).

In addition to the aforementioned contributions, a three-day Public Summit will include NTU CCA Singapore’s Founding Director, Professor Ute Meta Bauer (Germany/Singapore); cultural theorist Regina Bittner (Germany), Head of Academy and Deputy Director, Bauhaus Dessau; architect and academic geographer Joshua Comaroff (United States/Singapore), Design Consultant, Lekker Design; architect and spatial theorist Yvonne P. Doderer (Germany), Professor for Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Applied Sciences, Düsseldorf; curator and author Lukas Feireiss (Germany); Sophie Goltz (Germany), Stadtkuratorin Hamburg (City curator); architect Nikolaus Hirsch (Germany); NTU CCA Singapore former Artist-in-Residence Matthew Mazzotta (United States); artist Ahmet Öğüt (Turkey); architecture historian Pai Hyungmin (South Korea), Co-Director, Imminent Commons, 1st Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2017 and Professor of Architecture, University of Seoul; food security expert Paul Teng (Singapore), Senior Fellow (Food Security), S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University; geographer and independent researcher Theresa Wong (Singapore); and Woon Tien Wei (Singapore), Co-Founder of social and cultural enterprise Post-Museum.

CITIES FOR PEOPLE, a term borrowed from Singapore architect William S. W Lim’s 1990 book with the same title, expands on some of the ideas Lim developed, particularly in relation to tropical environments and recycling, as well as his call for a humanistic architecture. Organised on the occasion of the exhibition Incomplete Urbanism: Attempts of Critical Spatial Practice, this event is an invitation to share and engage in cooperative projects and collective experiences that critically reflect on current challenges in urban development and future habitats.

NTU CCA Ideas Fest is conceived by Professor Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director of NTU CCA Singapore. Its pilot edition is co-curated by Khim Ong, Deputy Director, Exhibitions, Residencies, & Public Programmes.

For the full programme, please see the online schedule.

Image credit: Laura Anderson Barbata and the Brooklyn Jumbies, What Lives Beneath, 2016. Courtesy the artists.

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