After a very successful first iteration of Climate Futures #1: Cultures, Climate Crisis and Disappearing Ecologies its second convening wants to build on its discussions and expand its understanding of the decline in cultural and ecological diversity in the region. It became very clear that such conversations require space and time to process complex issues, if we do not want to simplify and allow more than one way to process how people feel about their situations and want to be heard. Our futures require us to go beyond the status quo of current modes of operating. To not lose cultural knowledge and biodiversity Climate Futures #2: Belonging & Shared Responsibilities will share various narratives and practices that are already in place. It wants to further provide access to communities outside state and institutional structures to further nurture understanding of change in responsibilities and accountability.

The summit intents to further map how the climate crisis informs our contemporary world, and how diverse cultures can adjust or adapt without losing a sense of purpose. It comprises of discussions into alternative approaches to regional studies focusing on urgencies such as rising sea-levels and temperatures and the impact on natural resources of the region. A particular focus will be on areas such as the Mekong River and Delta (Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam) and its water street to Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines including the Straits that plays an essential role in the regions shared history.

The holistic approach of Climate Futures #1: Cultures, Climate Crisis and Disappearing Ecologies showed already how it can successfully stimulate a debate between artists, designers, and architects, scientists, environmentalists, as well as local voices and policy makers. We seek to reach out to an even wider public including younger scholars and practitioners, as well as community leaders and policy makers from the ASEAN region.

The future of our shared prosperity relies on our collective ability to create an inclusive and sustainable foundation for growth.

Read the programme brochure here.

Thursday, 26 October – Saturday 28 October 2023

Sokhalay Angkor Villa Resort, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Thursday, 26 October
Join the livestream here with the passcode 668981.

9:30am Registration & Coffee

10:00am Opening Addresses

Dr Piti Srisangnam, Executive Director, ASEAN Foundation

H.E. Min Chandynavuth, Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, Cambodia

Prof. Tim White, Vice President (International Engagement); President’s Chair in Materials Science and Engineering; Professor, School of Materials Science & Engineering.

Welcome and Introduction by co-curators Prof. Ute Meta Bauer (Germany/Singapore), Founding Director NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, and Professor School of Art, Design, and Media, NTU Singapore and Magdalena Magiera (Germany/Singapore), Curator Residencies and Programms, NTU Centre of Contemporary Art, Singapore

10:30am The Art of Living Lightly, Keynote Lecture by Rachaporn Choochuey (Thailand), Architect, Co-founder, Design Director, all(zone) ltd

11:40am Between Bots and the Biosphere: Machine Philosophy, Media Ecologies, and Digital Hieroglyphs for Climate Adaptation, Case Study by Nashin Mahtani (Indonesia), Director, PetaBencana.id

12:00pm An Uncommon History of The Common Fence: A Prologue (To the Coast), Case Study by Jason Wee (Singapore), Artist, Writer, Curator

12:20pm Sharing Climate Futures: Developing tools for climate care and action, Case Study by Prof. Ute Meta Bauer (Germany/Singapore), Founding Director NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, and Professor School of Art, Design, and Media, NTU Singapore

1:00pm Discussion with Rachaporn Choochuey (Thailand), Nashin Mahtani (Indonesia), and Jason Wee (Singapore). Moderated by Prof. Ute Meta Bauer (Germany/Singapore)

3:30pm Belonging & Sharing Responsibilities, Closed Workshop by Claudia Lasimbang a.k.a Yoggie, Technical Coordinator Watersheds and Communities, Forever Sabah, Philip Chin a.k.a. Linggit, Technical Coordinator Certified Sustainable Palm Oil, Forever Sabah, and Yee I-Lan (all Malaysia), artist

Friday, 27 October
Join the livestream here with the passcode 400242.

8:45am Registration & Coffee

9:00am Welcome & Introduction

9:10am Creative Digital Lab: how artists, cultural and creative professionals and technologists work together to explore the potentials of XR technology in protecting heritage, safeguarding intangible cultural heritage and contributing to climate action. Lecture by Kamonrat Mali Chayamarit (Thailand), Culture Programme Officer, Lao PDR alternate Focal Point, UNESCO Culture related Conventions Advocate

9:40am Ecology for Non-Futures, Case Study by Binna Choi (South-Korea), Artists, part of Unmake Lab

10:20am Climate impact on social process and social structure, Case study by Daovone Phonemanichane (Laos), Strengthening Climate Resilience Project Manager, Oxfam Mekong Regional Water Governance Program

10:40am When Nature has Economic Value, Case Study by Som Supaprinya (Thailand), Artist

11:20am Discussion with Kamonrat Mali Chayamarit (Thailand), Binna Choi (South-Korea), Daovone Phonemanichane (Laos), and Som Supaprinya (Thailand). Moderated by Bejamin Hampe (Australia), Project Director, KONNECT ASEAN

1:00pm Glimpse of Life on the Water, Closed Workshop Sessions by Sovann Ke (Cambodia), Project Manager, OSMOSE

Saturday, 28 October
Join the livestream here with the passcode 353177.

8:45am Registration & Coffee

9:00am Introduction & Welcome

9:15am Every (de)Force Evolves into A (de)Form, Lecture by Gahee Park (South-Korea), Curator, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul

10:00am Pedagogy, Community, Art: Bottom-up Urbanism at Phnom Penh’s Wat Chen Dam Daek, Case Study by Lyno Vuth (Cambodia), Artist, and Eva Lloyd (Australia), Lecturer, University of New South Wales (UNSW)

10:20am Luang Prabang: From Cultural Landscape into Practice, Case Study by Phonepaseth Keosomsak (Laos), Architect, Artist

11:00am Snare for Birds: Rebelling Against an Order of Things, Case Study by Kiri Dalena (Philipines), Artist

11:20am Travelling through time, Case Study by Malin Yim (Cambodia), Artist

11:40am The New Word for World is Archipelago, Case Study by Nice Buenaventura (Philippines), Artist

12:00pm Discussion with Nice Buenaventura (Philippines), Kiri Dalena (Philipines), Phonepaseth Keosomsak (Laos), Gahee Park (South-Korea), Lyno Vuth (Cambodia), and Malin Yim (Cambodia). Moderated by Magdalena Magiera (Germany/Singapore)

2:30pm Visit of Blue Art Centre. Welcome by Sareth Svay (Cambodia), Artists, Director, Blue Art Centre

3:00pm Closing workshop by Cynthia Ong (Malaysia), Chief Executive Facilitator Forever Sabah Institute, LEAP


Curated by NTU CCA Singapore

Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director and Magdalena Magiera, Curator, Residencies and Programmes

Supported by

ASEAN Secretariat

ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Fund

Mission of the Republic of Korea to ASEAN

ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting for Culture and Arts

Programme support by Ministry of Culture and Fine Art, Cambodia

PROJECT PARTNERS

ASEAN FOUNDATION

Since the formation of ASEAN in 1967, ASEAN has embarked on a journey to accelerate economic growth, social progress, and cultural development in the region. After three decades, ASEAN leaders recognised there remained inadequate shared prosperity, ASEAN awareness, and contact amongst the people of ASEAN. As a result, ASEAN leaders established the ASEAN Foundation during the ASEAN 30th Anniversary Commemorative Summit in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia on 15 December 1997.

KONNECT ASEAN

As the post-Cold War reality of a new world has taken shape and formed new directions and conversations, ASEAN has re-entered the contemporary art space via collaborative efforts between various ASEAN bodies. The Republic of Korea celebrated 30 years of diplomatic relations with ASEAN in 2019 and in the same year established KONNECT ASEAN, an ASEAN-Korea arts programme. Supported by the ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Fund and administered by the ASEAN Foundation, KONNECT ASEAN signals both an eagerness by ASEAN to revitalise its once integral role in contemporary visual arts and Korea’s sincerity in establishing closer ties with ASEAN.

The programme celebrates Southeast Asian and Korean arts using different platforms (exhibitions, education and conferences, public programmes, residencies, and publications and archives) to explore and discuss social, political, economic, and environmental issues in the region. The artists’ works and activities engages and strengthen the public’s understanding of ASEAN’s role in facilitating cultural diplomacy. Furthermore, the programme intends to connect with the three major stakeholder groups of government, business, and civil society to achieve the vision of an ASEAN Community. Outcomes provide permanent resources recording why ASEAN matters and its ongoing contribution to the region’s growth, prosperity, and stability.

NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Engineering, Business, Science, Medicine, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and Graduate colleges. NTU is also home to world-renowned autonomous institutes—the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering—and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).

Under the NTU Smart Campus vision, the University harnesses the power of digital technology and tech-enabled solutions to support better learning and living experiences, the discovery of new knowledge, and the sustainability of resources. Ranked amongst the world’s top universities, the University’s main campus is also frequently listed among the world’s most beautiful. Known for its sustainability, over 95% of its building projects are certified Green Mark Platinum. Apart from its main campus, NTU also has a medical campus in Novena, Singapore’s healthcare district. For more information, visit ntu.edu.sg.

NTU CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART SINGAPORE

Situated within Singapore’s premier art precinct Gillman Barracks, NTU CCA Singapore is a pioneering institution that has been instrumental in shaping the contemporary art landscape in Singapore and beyond. With a focus on fostering creativity, innovation, and critical thinking, the Centre’s programmes have consistently challenged the status quo, encouraging artists to explore new realms of artistic expression. For more information, visit ntu.ccasingapore.org.

Image: Climate Futures #1, Jakarta (Indonesia), 2022. Courtesy NTU CCA Singapore, Konnect ASEAN & ASEAN Foundation.

Priyageetha Dia is an arts practitioner who experiments with time-based media, 3D animation and game engine software. Her practice addresses the transnational migration of ethnic communities and the intersections of the colonial production with land, labour and capital in Southeast Asia through speculative methods and counter-narratives. She has been invited to participate in several exhibitions including the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India (2022); Attention Seeker, La Trobe Art Institute, Bendigo, Australia (2022); An Exercise of Meaning in a Glitch Season, National Gallery Singapore (2020); 2219: Futures Imagined, ArtScience Museum Singapore (2019). She was a recipient of the IMPART Art Award in 2019.

The migratory movements of her ancestral lineage from Southern India to Malaysia, and later to Singapore, sparked Priyageetha’s deep-seated engagement in South Asian diasporic histories, the labour relations that underlie plantation agriculture in Malaya and the vast terrain of colonial narratives. Interweaving these research threads in her multimedia practice, her works figure alternative histories that empower subaltern forms of existence. 

During her residency at Jan Van Eyck Academie, the artist is interested in delving deeper into the emergence and expansion of agro-industrial plantation projects, the dispossession and displacement of lands and communities in Southeast Asia, and their relation to The Netherlands through archival research. Moreover, the residency will provide her with a supportive environment to articulate critical viewpoints and counter-narratives through her ongoing and self-led experiments with computer-generated imagery (CGI), animation technologies and game engine software while also allowing her to gain an understanding of issues related to contemporary transnational interactions within Southeast Asia and Europe.

Through the wide-angle lens of her research-based methodology, the artist will traverse the symbolic mapping of this migrant diaspora’s socio-cultural realities emblazoned in official accounts. She will focus on issues of exploitation and gender exclusion and employ computer-generated imagery and postcolonial linguistics to devise new storytelling approaches that subvert the hegemony of colonial epistemologies and bring to the surface silenced narratives, particularly those of Tamizh women.

Starting off the second season of AiRCAST, we hand over the microphone to curator and writer Anca Rujoiu to interview our Artist-in-Residence Priyageetha Dia. Priyageetha and Anca are fresh out of a year-long collaboration that culminated in Forget Me, Forget Me Not (2022), Priyageetha’s solo exhibition curated by Anca which opened last May. In this conversation they share about the background research, interests, and aesthetic strategies behind the new body of work presented in the exhibition. They also expand upon the significance of colonial histories and marginalised communities, agency and empowerment, as well as media and materials in Priyageetha’s practice.

Spanning moving image, sculpture, as well as performance and installation, the practice of Priyageetha Dia (b. 1992, Singapore) addresses identity politics by questioning dominant narratives, material histories, and socio-spatial relations. In the past few years, she has been experimenting with world-making gestures that rehash stories of repression and envision alternative futures. Her works have been included in several group exhibitions including Attention Seeker, La Trobe Art Institute, Bendigo, Australia (2022); An Exercise of Meaning in a Glitch Season, National Gallery Singapore (2020); 2219: Futures Imagined, ArtScience Museum Singapore (2019).

Anca Rujoiu is a Romanian curator and editor who has been living and working in Singapore since 2013. Taking an artist-centred approach, she is committed to artistic practices beyond the West and to what falls through the cracks within its borders. She was a member of the founding team of NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, as Curator of Exhibitions (2013–15) and Head of Publications (2016–18) and she has curated numerous exhibitions, public programs, and publishing projects.  Currently, she is a Ph.D. candidate at Monash University with a research focused on institution building, artists-led institutions, and transnational exchanges.

Contributors: Priyageetha Dia, Anca Rujoiu
Editor: Anna Lovecchio
Programme Manager: Nadia Amalina
Sound Engineer: Ashwin Menon
Intro & Outro Music: Yuen Chee Wai
Cover Image & Design: Arabelle Zhuang, Kristine Tan

CREDITS
03’03”: Audio excerpt from WE.REMAIN.IN.MULTIPLE.MOTIONS_MALAYA, 2022. Courtesy the artist.
17’17”: Audio excerpt from WE.REMAIN.IN.MULTIPLE.MOTIONS_MALAYA, 2022. Courtesy the artist.
19’10”: Audio excerpt from WE.REMAIN.IN.MULTIPLE.MOTIONS_MALAYA, 2022. Courtesy the artist.
32’07”: Audio excerpt from WE.REMAIN.IN.MULTIPLE.MOTIONS_MALAYA, 2022. Courtesy the artist.

[See Full Transcript]

From its first iteration in 2013, Free Jazz has pushed boundaries and expanded upon pressing concerns of our times. Free Jazz IV. Geomancers continues this approach, featuring artworks ranging from virtual reality to video, performance, and sound as an exercise in planetary awareness. The exhibition presents significant artistic practices from across the globe that are deeply invested in creating an environmental consciousness and that share an understanding of the world as a vulnerable, yet resilient, mesh of coexistences, correlations, and co-creations. As with geomancy, these artworks can help us to read the signs that our planet is trying to send us and that they can inspire a stronger commitment to create a sustainable future for life on Earth.

Alongside scientists, environmental activists, enlightened policy makers and civil society members, contemporary artists are increasingly concerned with future prospects of ecological collapse and planetary survival. They address these issues through the language of art, creating images, sounds, narratives, and experiences that allow us to establish affective and cognitive connections with the environment and partake in the planetary intelligence of the Earth. Stemming from NTU CCA Singapore’s ongoing engagement with the overarching subject of Climates.Habitats. Environments., Free Jazz IV. Geomancers brings together a selection of creative practitioners who are distinctly alert to these urgencies.

Conceived for Singapore Art Week 2022, this programme consists of a film screening series, a virtual reality installation, a performance and a sound installation. Some of the featured artworks zero in on signs of earthly demise, others indicate pathways of resilience and strategies for regeneration. All the works result from long-term research and extensive fieldwork and, when presented together, they engender a kaleidoscopic overview of the multitudinous forms of ecological entanglements.

Artists: Martha Atienza (Philippines), Ursula Biemann (Switzerland), Carolina Caycedo & David de Rozas (United Kingdom; Spain/United States), Chu Hao Pei (Singapore), Liu Chuang (China), Pedro Neves Marques (Portugal), Katie Paterson (Scotland), Rice Brewing Sisters Club (South Korea), Daniel Steegmann Mangrané (Spain/Brazil), Jana Winderen (Norway), Zarina Muhammad & Zachary Chan (Singapore), and Robert Zhao Renhui (Singapore).

Exhibition Information

Katie Paterson
To Burn, Forest, Fire, 2021, performance
Performance schedule: 14, 15, 18, 22, and 23 January, 6.30 – 7.00pm
Block 37 Malan Road, #01-04, Gillman Barracks
Entrance is on a first-come first-served basis up to the capacity allowed by the
prevailing social distancing measures. Audience to arrive at least 15 minutes
before the performance starts. Please note that the performance entails the
burning of incense inside an indoor space.
Please see our Facebook event for the latest updates.

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané
Phantom (kingdom of all the animals and all the beasts is my name)
2014–2015, VR installation
Tuesday to Sunday, 12.00 – 7.00pm
Fridays, 12.00 – 9.00pm
Block 38 Malan Road, #01-07, Gillman Barracks
Please see our Facebook event for the latest updates.

Jana Winderen
Listening through the Dead Zones, 2021, sound installation, 20 min, on loop.
Monday to Thursday: 8.00am to 9.00pm (last entry 8.00pm)
Fridays to Sundays: 8.00am to 10.00pm (last entry 9.00pm)
Please see our Facebook event for the latest updates.

Green Roof, Marina Barrage, 8 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018951
The sound installation is located on the Green Roof at Marina Barrage, above the
Sustainable Singapore Gallery, accessible either via the walking ramp or the elevator.
Once on the rooftop, visitors will find the work in the proximity of the glass house, on
the southern edge of the rooftop. Visitors are encouraged to take the time to pause and
experience Listening to the Dead Zones while facing the open sea.

Screening Programme

Friday, 14 and 21 January 2022, 12.00 – 9.00pm
Session I: 12.00 – 2.50pm
Session II: 3.00 – 5.50pm
Session III: 6.00 – 8.50pm

Tuesday to Sunday, 15 – 23 January 2022, 12.00 – 7.00pm
Session I: 12.00 – 3.20pm (intermission: 1.30 – 2.00pm)
Session II: 3.30 – 6.50pm (intermission: 5.00 – 5.30pm)

Block 38 Malan Road, #01-06, Gillman Barracks
Films will be screened in the order as below during each session.
Please see our Facebook event for the latest updates.

Martha Atienza
Panangatan 11°09’53.3”N 123°42’40.5”E
2019-10-24, 9min

Zarina Muhammad & Zachary Chan
earth, land, sky and sea as palimpsest, 17 min 37 sec

Rice Brewing Sisters Club
Mountain Storytellers, Storytelling Mountains: A Tale Theatre, 15 min 37 sec

Carolina Caycedo & David de Rozas
The Teaching of the Hands, 47 min

Pedro Neves Marques
Semente Exterminadora [Exterminator Seed], 28 min

Ursula Biemann
Acoustic Ocean, 18 min

Liu Chuang
Can Sound be Currency?, 19 min 43 sec

Chu Hao Pei
Inventing Miracle: The Rice to Power, 9 min 59 sec

Robert Zhao Renhui
And A Great Sign Appeared, 4 min 52 sec

Free Jazz IV. Geomancers is supported by National Arts Council Singapore and Nicoletta Fiorucci Russo De Li Galli. NTU CCA Singapore also wishes to thank our collaborators IHME Helsinki, and PUB Singapore’s National Water Agency at Marina Barrage.

“To live and die well together in a thick present,” quotes the seminal text Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Cthulhucene by Donna Haraway. In this text, Haraway responds to the rising sense of alarm surrounding ecological discourses on the Anthropocene and the Capitalocene. The book is a proposal to move instead towards the discursive framework of the Cthulhucene—an ecological epoch that, for Haraway, “eschews futurism” and remains resolutely with the present and all its problems; one that stays with the trouble and finds kin within it.

To consider the global ecosystem as a network of entangled and interconnected life-forces, the ecological imminence is also an imminence of existence. It begins with disappearance—of water, of trees, of entire habitats and species—all turned to vapour and thin air. And yet thin air in a thick present takes vapour as a beginning, too: vapour cycles through time, becoming cloud, becoming rainfall, becoming water-body again. Taking the Earth’s hydrologic cycle—that is, the sequence of processes detailing the cyclical movement of water on and off the Earth’s surface—as its entry-point, Vapour Islands: to live and die well together in a thick present* is an archipelago of thematic “islands,” in which each island corresponds to one of the four main stages of the hydrologic cycle: evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and percolation. Interacting with books and research materials from the Centre’s Public Resource Platform while thinking through the cycle of water, this presentation moves through and between loss and regain, release and redistribution, to consider the ways in which thin air can be transformed into a present thick with possibility.

Currently, more than half of the world’s human population lives in urban areas. Urban growth poses challenges to the various city dwellers, and creates material demands that cause lasting damage to the wider environment. The climate crisis is already announcing threatening scenarios particularly for coastal regions and megacities located at coastlines. Global urbanisation and the exploitation of resources happen on the expense of human and other species alike. The Posthuman City features artists who propose a shift in perspective.

Taking NTU CCA Singapore’s overarching research topic Climates.Habitats.Environments. as point of departure, the exhibition The Posthuman City considers the possibilities of a conscious sharing of resources, and a respectful and mindful coexistence between humans and other species. Through imaginative propositions at the intersection of art, design, and architecture, the selected artists engage questions addressing issues of sustainability, water scarcity, invisible communities, nature as a form of culture, and suggest the implementation of lived indigenous knowledges. Examining the urban fabric in its condition as a habitat for a diversity of life forms, the featured works range from installations to time-based media.

Lucy + Jorge Orta, OrtaWater – Portable Water Fountain, 2005. Courtesy the artists.

Stressing the vital importance of clean water and the challenges of its scarcity around the world, the artist and design duo Lucy + Jorge Orta have developed a long-term project on water collection, purification, and distribution. OrtaWater focuses on the general issues surrounding clean water and the privatisation and corporate control effecting access to it. Starting from a rigorous analysis of this crucial resource through visual and textual research and collaborative workshops with engineers, Lucy + Jorge Orta create sculptures, large-scale installations, and public artworks, that are both artefacts and functional design. One angle of their research—low-cost water purification devices enabling filthy water to be pumped and filtered directly from local sources—is translated into Portable Water Fountain (2005) and Mobile Intervention Unit (2007). These devices have been used to purify and distribute water from the Venice’s Canal Grande (2005) and the Huang Pu River in Shanghai (2012), among others, and now from the creek that runs through Gillman Barracks.

Similarly combating water pollution, Irene Agrivina’s Soya C(o)u(l)ture is a mixed media installation that demonstrates how to transform wastewater from tofu and tempeh production into usable biomaterials, such as fuel, fertiliser, and leather-like fabrics. Soya C(o)u(l)ture was developed in collaboration with XXLab, an all-female transdisciplinary collective that Agrivina co-founded. Usually, large amounts of wastewater pollute the water in the rivers surrounding the plants, which in turn causes cholera and skin and bowel diseases in humans. Soya C(o)u(l)ture intends to divert this wastewater from tofu factories and put it in a homegrown starter culture medium to create useful products. A biological process using various bacteria and cell cultures, for instance Acetobacter xylinum, generates alternative energy sources, foodstuffs, and biological material. This process creates cellulose sheets that can either be used for consumption—nata de coco, a variant made of coconut water, is a popular snack food—or further processed (pressed, dried, enhanced with colouring and coating) to make clothing and craft materials. This biological procedure can be reproduced in any household using normal kitchen utensils in combination with open-source software and simple hardware. In this way, the project could provide women in poverty-stricken regions with opportunities to increase their income.

Pierre Huyghe, Untitled (Human Mask) (film still), 2014. Courtesy the artist; Marian Goodman Gallery, New York; Hauser & Wirth, London; Esther Schipper, Berlin; and Anna Lena Films, Paris.

Indigenous peoples of various territories around the world, with deep historical and cultural ties to their land, have preserved sustainable ways of living that respect the limits of the planet’s resources. The artist and architect Marjetica Potrč’s Earth Drawings refer to these unique indigenous cosmogonies and their essential knowledges, based on research done over the past 15 years, centred on indigenous communities, such as the Asháninkas (in the Brazilian state of Acre in Amazonia), the Aboriginal (in Australian), and the Sami (in northern Norway), The Earth Drawings, a series on paper, point to the growing alliances between indigenous groups and bottom-up initiatives in the effort to ensure a more resilient future, beyond the social and economic agreement of the neoliberal order. Potrč stresses that the world’s diverse societies, taken together, form an intelligent organism: when necessary, they self-generate new models of existence and coexistence—a precondition for human resilience on Earth. Sharing life experiences is, after all, a basic human condition. Coexistence on Earth requires new foundations that foreground collective ownership of the land and a socially-conscious individualism.

Animali Domestici, Bangkok Opportunistic Ecologies (detail), 2019. Courtesy the artists.

Planetary coexistence of species acknowledges the presence and agency of diverse forms of intelligence. The artist Nicholas Mangan is inspired by termites and their capacity to build sophisticated and dynamic architectures that provide a model for decentralised social and economic organisation. The starting point of Termite Economies (Phase 1) was the anecdote that Australia’s 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. Mangan, on the contrary, proposes that the termites’ way of living in colonies might suggest other complex and global-scale systems for people to live and work together, better regulating and metabolising human consumption, production, and digestion. Termite Economies combines footage Mangan filmed on locations in Western Australia, alongside archival video and table-mounted sculptures, to speculate on the use of termites as miners and ruminating on how capitalism puts nature to work. The 3D-printed models reference existing infrastructures, for instance an underground tunnelling system for Tindals Mining Centre, a gold mine in Western Australia. The idea was to produce a 1:100 scale model to train termites.

In Bangkok Opportunistic Ecologies, the design practice Animali Domestici studied the urbanity of Bangkok from a non-anthropocentric perspective, focusing on the presence of pythons. Mapping the city through a snake’s experience, the resulting tapestry puts multiple beings of different species at the centre, displacing the human from its exceptionalism. The graphic realisation is freely inspired by the representation techniques, colour palettes, and composition of Thai traditional mural paintings. Their work process translates research and statistics on the Thai capital into multiple encapsulated narratives, including such elements as sewerage, canals, water swamps, and rain water “cracked” pipes—typical spots used by snakes, according to fire department experts—, as well as folkloric cultural practices like the numerology and superstitions connected to the shape and location of the animals.

In Untitled (Human Mask), the artist Pierre Huyghe films a monkey, Fuku-chan, who in real life has a work permit as a “waitress” in a traditional sake house in Tokyo. In the film, the animal is wearing a dress and a wig, as well as a white, human-like mask created by Huyghe. Made of resin, the mask is inspired by traditional Japanese Noh theatre masks, where only the main actor wears a mask, meant to show the essential traits of the character. The film’s first images are drone shots of a devastated landscape, that of Fukushima in 2011, after the earthquake-triggered tsunami caused the meltdown of three nuclear plant reactors. It then shifts to an empty restaurant and house, where we follow Fuku-chan moving around in the dark. Fuku-chan is seen acting, and seems to be waiting, shaking her leg, looking at her nails, playing with her hair. A cat appears, and we see close-ups of insects and cockroaches. Raising questions about the essence of human nature and of non-human forms of intelligence and communication, the work points at the prevailing relationship of domination between humans and other species.

Ines Doujak, Ghostpopulations, 2016–19. Courtesy the artist.

Ghostpopulations, a series of collages by the artist Ines Doujak, combines ill human bodies with flora and fauna, transforming drawings from 19th-century medical textbooks into provocative assemblages that investigate desperation as an economic force. Doujak points out that entire populations uproot and flee in the direction of the faintest glimmer of hope, only to find themselves in the worst of predicaments: abandoned and deported, sold, abused or stigmatised forever, circulating as extremely cheap and disposable commodities. While she is giving visibility to such marginalised, abused, and displaced populations, these collages draw a dystopian mirage, reminding us of the pending threat of pandemic illnesses.

Death, from a post-humanist perspective, is not only inevitable and part of life, but is an event that is already in our past. The artist and entrepreneur Jae Rhim Lee developed a burial suit as an environmentally-conscious alternative to conventional funerary processes, shifting the negative narratives around death. The presented Infinity Burial Suit, a handcrafted garment that is worn by the deceased, is completely biodegradable, and co-created with zero waste fashion designer Daniel Silverstein. In addition, the Forever Spot Pet Shroud is featured, also consisting of a built in bio­mix of mushrooms and other microorganisms that together do three things: aid in decomposition, work to neutralise toxins found in dead bodies, and transfer nutrients to plant life, enriching the earth and fostering new life. Highlighting the importance of decompiculture—the cultivation of waste-decomposing organisms—, this project also suggests a strong link between human resistance to mortality and climate change denial. She advocates for a post-mortem responsibility towards the natural world and a direct engagement with our own mortality, making funerals new beginnings instead of endpoints, becoming more emotionally and socially accessible.

A parable on economic crashes, financial trading, mixed martial arts, and general contemporary culture, artist and writer Hito Steyerl’s large-scale architectural environment features Liquidity Inc., a single-screen projection that uses water and liquidity as guiding tropes. Opening with the quote “be water, my friend” by martial arts legend and actor Bruce Lee, the film comments on the circulation of digital images, big data, information, financial assets, labour, and weather systems. The installation consists of a double-sided projection screen in front of a blue, wave-like ramp, where the viewers find themselves in “troubled water.” Steyerl merges CGI and green screen scenes with an assortment of embedded videos, swipes, clips, scrolls, and pop-up windows, that include the story of Jacob Wood, a former financial analyst who lost his job during the 2008 economic recession and decided to turn his mixed martial arts hobby into a new career. The intricate mesh of late capitalism structures needs to be hijacked in order to allow space for new ecological and sustainable policies that value people and life over profit.

The Posthuman City, through artistic propositions, intends to open a discussion about the imbalanced relationship between an anthropocentric thinking that puts the human at the centre, and the fact that the urban environment is a habitat for many life forms. In her book The Posthuman (2013), Rosi Braidotti calls for resilience, stating that “sustainability does assume faith in a future, and also a sense of responsibility for ‘passing on’ to future generations a world that is liveable and worth living in. A present that endures is a sustainable model of the future.”

Curated by Ute Meta Bauer, Professor, NTU ADM, and Founding Director, NTU CCA Singapore, and Laura Miotto, Associate Professor, NTU ADM

The accompanying public programmes include seminars addressing techno-optimism and eco-hacktivism on 23 November 2019, and biodiver-city and urban futurism on 18 January 2020, deepening the discussion around posthumanism and the urban condition.

Hito Steyerl is a German filmmaker, artist and writer whose work explores the complexities of the digital world, art, capitalism, and the implications of Artificial Intelligence for society. Steyerl studied cinematography and documentary filmmaking at the Academy of Visual Arts in Tokyo, the University of Television and Film in Munich, and holds a Ph.D in philosophy from the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. The most formative parts of her education, however, include working as a stunt-girl and bouncer.

Hito Steyerl is interested in the proliferation and circulation of images in our globalized world. She often works with the format of the video essay, combining a heterogeneous range of material, including interviews, found footage, fictional dramatizations, pop-music sound tracks, and first-person voiceovers. Her work focuses on the intersection of media technology, political violence, and desire by using humor, charm, and reduced gravity as political means of expression. Her sources range from appropriated low-fi clips and sounds to mostly misquoted philosophical fittings. These elements are condensed in rambling essayistic speculation in both text and imagery. Through her oversensitivity to analogies, Steyerl both collects and creates stories describing realities that are stranger than fiction and reflected upon in galloping thought experiments. Her work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions including documenta 12, Taipei Biennial 2010, and 7th Shanghai Biennial. Her written essays have proliferated more on- than offline in journals such as e-flux and eipcp. She has published filmic and written essays centred around questions of globalization, urbanism, racism and nationalism. She is also involved in the movement of feminist migrants and women of colour in Germany.

Steyerl teaches New Media Art at University of the Arts in Berlin. As well as being a visiting professor for Cultural and Gender Studies, at University of Arts, Berlin, she has lectured at Goldsmith’s College, London and at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, among other institutions. A collection of her essays was published in The Wretched of the Screen (2012).

Nicholas Mangan is a multidisciplinary 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).

Lucy + Jorge Orta are a French husband-wife art duo made up of Lucy Orta (b. United Kingdom, 1966) and Jorge Orta (b. Argentina, 1953). Their collaborative visual arts practice employs a diversity of media including drawing, sculpture and performance to realize major bodies of work that address key social and ecological challenges of our time. Amongst their most emblematic bodies of work are: Refuge Wear and Body Architecture, portable minimum habitats bridging architecture and dress; Nexus Architecture investigates alternative models of the social link; The Gift, the biomedical ethics of organ donation and the heart as a metaphor for life; HortiRecycling and 70 x 7 The Meal question the local and global food chain and rituals of community feasting; OrtaWater and Clouds reflect on water scarcity and the problems arising from its pollution and corporate control; Antarctica considers the effects of climate change on migration; and Amazonia explores interwoven ecosystems and their value to our natural environment.

Lucy + Jorge Orta’s artwork has been the focus of important survey exhibitions, including: the Argentine representation at the 46th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition, Italy (1995); The Curve, Barbican Art Gallery, London, UK and Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice Biennale, Italy (2005); Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Holland (2006); Biennial of the End of the World, Ushuaia and the Antarctic Peninsula (2007); Hangar Bicocca spazio d’arte, Milan, Italy (2008); Natural History Museum, London, UK (2010); MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts, Rome, Italy and Shanghai Biennale, China (2012); Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK (2013); Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, USA and Parc de la Villette, Paris, France (2014); London Museum Ontario, Canada (2015); Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester and City Gallery and Museum, Peterborough, UK (2016); Humber Street Gallery, Hull, UK (2017); Ikon Gallery Birmingham, UK (2018).

Jae Rhim Lee is a visual artist, designer, researcher as well as the founder and director of the Infinity Burial Project. From developing city-wide soil remediation plans for the City of New Orleans to teaching art and design at MIT and building recycling systems, furniture and wearables, Jae Rhim’s work spans multiple disciplines, including art and design, city planning, psychology, and science. JR has lectured about and exhibited her work internationally and is the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including the Creative Capital Foundation, MIT, the MAK Center for Art +Architecture, and the Universitate der Kunste Berlin. She is a TED Fellow and Lecturer and Fellow at the ‘d.School’ (Hasso Plattner Institute of Design) at Stanford University.