Our website is the ‘auction’ page that also reflects more history and details about the items on auction and the press release for the pre-auction exhibition preview. The Print Documentation was the Exhibition Highlights Booklet that was provided for interested clients during the pre-auction preview, and have also been sent to registered VIP clients.
NOTE TO PROF: As we are using squarespace for the online documentation, it is a trial website and you just need to click “Visitor Access” and enter the CAPTCHA code to access the website! Sorry for the trouble! We promise it’s worth it.
We hope you enjoy! Thank you for the wonderful semester.
We organised a trip to Gillman Barracks for their Art After Dark event, the art precinct’s signature open house event that doubled as a 6th anniversary celebration. Involving artist open studios, exhibition openings, artist talks, and music performances, it allowed us to find out more about various artistic practices through the night.
A list of those who attended the field trip are: – Teo Zi Lin (Organiser) – Jhnn Ymn (Organiser) – Vashon Tnee Rihao – Joey Ng Zhi Yu – Reyna Mae Tamonan Corrales – Leong Jia En, Tracy
Artist Open Studios
The NTU Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) held their Residencies OPEN with the Art After Dark event, allowing us a glimpse into the creative process for a range of artistic practices, from found object to animation to soundscape.
It was particularly interesting to note the varying modes with which the artists utilised the studio spaces accorded to them — some simply used projections and screens in a largely empty studio space, while others crammed the space with in-progress sculptural works, texts, and objects. These differing methods suggested the highly individualised manner with which practitioners used studio spaces.
I viewed the film 2046, in which the titular science fiction world is situated via mise en abyme within the film’s storyworld: A futuristic realm governed by memory and loss, as crafted by the lovelorn writer, Chow. On a high-speed train out of 2046, the written protagonist is told of the existence of a series of android cabin attendants that cater to passengers’ every need — the only caveat being that one must never fall in love with them.
In a scene where one of the android attendants refuse to leave with the protagonist, I was quite taken with a minute design decision that manifest through the character’s costuming: A piece of one-sided, metallic earwear, glowing red along its underside, in consonance with the crimson-lit set. Its function is never explained, nor is it seen to be used by the character. Yet, its sleek appearance, along with the character’s figure behaviour and costuming, help to craft the figure of the android as the unfathomable technobeing incapable (?) of affection.
Within a cybernetic world where fabricated human hybrids with immensely long life spans are the norm, a small nomadic commune of elderly avant-garde art therapists exists on the fringes of society. Members of the commune have long refused to modify their internal biologies on ideological grounds. Instead, these elderly rebels rely on external, wearable technology to hide their actual age while assimilate into the mainstream.
The commune practices artmaking and remains closely bonded together, moving from place to place as a group. Together they cope with ageing, their pasts, and the realities of a cybernetic world that deems them outmoded through art therapy, using tools and equipment integrated into specialised jumpsuits. These specialised jumpsuits act as their wearable, portable studios.
The art therapists utilise the wearable studios that facilitate the commune’s artistic production in secrecy and on-the-go, and regulate the art therapist’s own emotional health — the commune is bonded through these continual acts of facilitated artmaking even with the inevitability of ageing.
The commune is outlawed and continually chased down by authorities, seen as a threat to public health with their unmodified, vulnerable, biological bodies.
Microfiction 1: Bartender
An alchemical bubbling of polyseuteroxane with saccharified synthetic starches… the bartender plays an important role in the morale of the cybernetic society. In a seedy dive bar within designated nightlife district, the bartender serves all sorts of citizens, from gleaming officiated bodies with smooth 3D modeled torsoes to the outlawed biopolitical bodies that skulk about softly.
Microfiction 2: Commune caught
The art commune is continually on the run – their external technologies and unmodified bodies are considered a health threat to the general population… but the commune knows that these updates, modifications, syntheses are unnecessary; all they need are their bodies, their tools, and their art. Yet, the city and its citizens, and citizen-police keep a look-out, obediently report whenever the ‘dangerous’ art commune is sighted.
Microfiction 3: Lovers
At the top of Monsoon Towers a cybernetic yuppie couple gaze down at the city from their air-purified, chrome-surfaced apartment… They receive personalised messages of recent sightings of the illegal art commune. Safe in Monsoon Towers, with its security systems, privacy updates, cashless payments, the couple pays no heed and switches on their personal holographic entertainment systems.
Revised Microfiction (Based on Microfiction 2): Citizen-Police
The modified mind is clear and precise, no room for error, synapses blinking, autoanalysis complete to the one-hundredth of a second, all under 0.70082699341 units of time (standard measurement as adjusted for seismic geoshifts and post-neolunar patterns). Looping about the vaporous pools of data gathered as skeins within cloud storage systems above, below, and within, Citizen-Police 000000023918_3481.874PZT’s embedded transducing chip hidden within flesh picks up audio waveforms lapping against the cochlear. Tides come in, tides go out, brackish flows intermingle and the hertz make themselves legible as electronic signals blinking across the spine, tingling across modified membranes and polyethylene endoskeletons.
A song that has no reason to exist in present analogue soundsystem forms, no reason to echo out in the alleyways of Street 184.558202A (intersecting Avenue 99238.61U). Citizen-Police 000000023918_3481.874PZT is keenly aware of what this could mean – their logic card does the necessary calculations, re-orientations, telepresence siting, and séances, they gaze from beyond the dense overgrowth of satellite TV antennae to see the outlawed commune, with their clumsy technologies sitting over their aged, withering bodies, the cables and protrusions, the machinery so unlike his smooth, synthetic, spa-treated & regularly moisturised polysiloxane flesh (toner removes sebum produced during the night and balances your skin’s pH.). They are making, making those artefacts long ago rejected as outmoded art, how trite, confusing, utterly repugnant – no sight of systems, of computation, no conceptual basis, no theoretical grounding.
Without even 0.70082699341 units’ of hesitation, Citizen-Police 000000023918_3481.874PZT sends out the electromagnetic signal for reinforcements.
Cover Art 世纪秘辛： ＳＥＣＲＥＴ HOLLYWOOD HAUNTINGS： CYBWAR
With the art therapy practitioner we’d interacted with, our group decided to develop several prompts that were related to art-making and ideas related to the elderly.
Within our group, we each came up with an activity related to art-making and the elderly. These centred around abstract visualisation, word association, and photography.
Design Probe: Workbook with 3 activities, each self-recorded
Goal: To investigate attitudes towards art therapy for the elderly as a creative practice and ageing from the perspectives of an art therapist and general populace
Visualisation of practice
Through the abstraction of your emotions, experiences, influences, and relationships to wider contexts, represent your practice through colour, line, shape, pattern, or any combination of visual elements – as long as you do not use written words. You may use any number of pages you wish.
On a separate page from your visualisation, write out and document the thought processes behind your visualisation.
Mental model of ageing and the elderly
You are given a list of 7 words below. Based on your own interpretation and understanding of their meanings, implications and/or relationship(s), create one or more word trees using the words as prompts. You should come up with at least 10 other words to create your word tree(s), excluding the given prompts. You may use any number of pages you wish.
Imagine that you are an elderly person.
Take 2 photographs of objects or elements around you that were integrated to accommodate the various needs of the elderly. (e.g. ramps and railings for the elderly who are unable to navigate up the stairs)
Take 3 photographs of everyday things or features around you that you feel might pose a problem to the elderly in any way.
These activities were then compiled into a workbook form, which was provided to a practitioner.
I was able to meet an art therapist who works in multiple mediums, tailoring her approach to her client’s needs. As such, her tools spanned across multiple artistic mediums, such as for watercolour and collage.
Watercolour set (pans and tubes)
Different types of paper
Images for collaging
She talked about how she worked predominantly with the elderly now, and emphasised the use of artistic processes and creation to engage their attention. To her, it was important to emphasise that art therapy was not about creating final works, per se, but allowing one to engage with the processes of making to spur further positive effects such as thinking, engagement, and openness to share about personal processes. These would act as gateways towards sociability and introversion, allowing one to develop a sensitivity to their internal worlds and harvesting that positively through art-making.
Worksite — Elderly care centres, Field trip sites
Her practice was diverse in working both with physical centres where elderly would take part in therapy in a group setting, and more individual sessions which involved field trips to spaces such as parks which would allow them to paint subject matter like flowers.
She actually had 2 bags to lug her tools around with! She mentioned things such as needing large art equipment, as large paper sizes were important for elderly to have the space to manipulate materials with.
We then engaged in a quick art therapy like session, which involved us making anything we wanted for a set period of time. Afterwards, we would talk about our works and processes and how that would tease out interesting notions about our own personal psyche.
Overall, some difficulties faced by her were as follows —
Transporting of materials
Seating for the art therapist — her clients were usually wheelchair-bound, but she herself didn’t have spaces to rest
Lack of suitable spaces for clients to paint outdoors — whether wheelchair accessibility issues, or the space being too crowded, which led to her clients feeling too shy
I had the chance to meet with a practitioner who is really passionate about making small craft items, from hand-woven cozies to clay sculpting and miniature figure making. As such, the tools used were wide and varying. Some of the tools I captured were as follows —
Different coloured thread
Since I had no experience with these crafts, we decided to start with a more simple craft — cozies for customising pens. Because of the small size of these crafts, a simple table would function as worksite.
Worksite — Crafts table
She began by demonstrating to me one personalised pen cozy she was already working on, with her friend’s name on it. First, she cut out sections of coloured thread to be interwoven with black thread.
By looping black thread around a section of a pen covered in double sided tape, she was then able interweaving pieces of differently coloured thread together. The pattern within which they would be interwoven would be based on the existing weaving pattern samples provided on a piece of paper.
Once she was done with one iteration, she let me try completing the rest of the letters. While I fumbled at first and had to refer to the samples provided a lot, I was able to get the hang of it in the end.
The final step to sealing the cozy up was to apply some glue and wind the sticky thread around the pen and leave it to dry. Unfortunately, my handling of the glue was rather poor and it left some marks on the final product.
Some of the difficulties faced were as follows —
Many implements and tools needed, such as scissors, penknife, glue, string, tape, pens.
I recently had the chance to meet with the curator of an independent arts space to talk about curation and the technical details of exhibition making. The exhibition being shown when we met dealt with the notion of conservation – about Singapore’s ceaseless march towards upgrading, redevelopment, progress, and its subsequent failure to preserve spaces; how such losses are woven into wider sociocultural discourses on the production/instrumentalisation of heritage, national identity, and nostalgia. The show had a heavy emphasis on new media works, involving 3 video works and a VR installation.
Our interactions took the form of a curatorial workshop – he posed me the question of how I would curate the show myself, with a particular focus on reformulating the existing elements of the show to improve the exhibition experience. The main tools in exhibition making are as follows –
Media equipment (projectors, screens, speakers)
Worksite — Gallery:
First, I went through the exhibition myself, examining the worksite of the gallery space and taking note of these elements.
Visitors would enter the glass doors of the gallery to be confronted by a darkened gallery filled with soil brought over from Bukit Brown cemetery, talismans and gravestones from Bukit Brown peeking out from the dirt. Positioned over these piles of dirt were the video works – an erected screen with projection would greet the visitor on the right, and inscribed on a lit-up section of the wall was an essay – the curator’s notes for the show.
He explained that the essay would frame the entire show from the beginning and reduce the need to light up other sections in the gallery for additional labels, contributing to the atmosphere of the gallery. Text, he said, often served as anchor points for visitors in exhibitions. Having the main text at the beginning encouraged the viewer to circulate the space and revisit works and the text to make full sense of the exhibition.
The next work was a triptych of screens lined against the wall. He pointed out the wiring of the screens, which is an important consideration in exhibitions — how the wiring of components can be tucked away or made as unobtrusive as possible. He also expressed his wish for better installation of sound equipment for this video work, explaining the choice of screens instead of projections (the other two works in the room were already large projections, thus the need to scale down this work).
He also pointed out the horizontality of the work with its tracking camera movements, which encouraged the flow of visitors through the space and gave the exhibition a sense of directional quality.
Objects such as tombstones and talismans were on display with labels. He explained the use of objects being interspersed with artworks as just an interesting point of contrast/interaction, whether materially or conceptually. He talked about the use of spotlights instead of profile-cut, shaped lights, and how distance and position of lights can be played with to light an object well.
The final video work sat above another mound of dirt. Here, a chair was placed for viewers to sit. The curator talked about the chair as a means of allowing the viewer to linger for a longer period of time to appreciate a work, also talking about the silhouette it produces when a visitor sits in front of the large projection. Other considerations, such as painting the wall or fabricating a scrim to the specific aspect ratio of the video work were talked about when installing a projection.
We then sat down to talk about how I would have curated the show instead, given the earlier tools described. After considering everything, I sketched out a new layout within my notes:
The exhibition layout I planned didn’t change so much — I did think of, however, the following changes:
Sectioning the wall text better so it spatially corroborated with the works on display
Bringing out artefacts towards the centre of the room and scattering them out more so that not all works are wall-based
Switching the wall on which the triptych work was presented, such that there was a more immediate visual flow for the audience, bringing the screens down from the wall and placing them with the dirt for a more affective quality. Also, providing chairs such that people could linger with this work more as well.
Bringing the dirt more towards the centre of the gallery such that visitors would have a more visceral experience of walking through dirt to sit down and view the final video work.
Overall, some of the challenges one faces are:
Poor sound quality/acoustics in galleries
Technical limitations — what lights, equipment do you have available?
Working with artists produces a different outcome each time, must be able to build relationships and adapt
The story world I’ve been thinking of is borne of the licentious mixing together of ideas from several texts — media theory, philosophy, literature, glitch — perhaps literalising or abstracting concepts, transmorgifying the inane and the disparate into a fibre-optic bouquet of trashy digital waste.
1. Fleshing out the story world:
Characters: The unknown narrator. And the archaeologist, an unfathomable figure who collects media artefacts of the past. The notion of the archaeologist contains rich associations for me:
“Foucault’s contribution to the archaeology of knowledge and culture was to emphasize it as a methodology for excavating conditions of existence. Archaeology here means digging into the background reasons why a certain object, statement, discourse or, for instance in our case, media apparatus or use habit is able to be born and be picked up and sustain itself in a cultural situation. Kittler builds on Foucault’s ideas and has demanded a more media technological understanding of such archaeological work: such conditions of existence not only are discursive, or institutional, but relate to media networks, as well as scientific discoveries. Kittler wanted to look at technical media in the way Foucault was reading archives of books and written documents. What if we start to read media technology in the same way that Foucault exposed cultural practices and discourses to an analysis of how they were born and made possible in certain settings?” Jussi Parikka, What is Media Archeology? (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2012), 6.
Important technology/antecedent technology: The world exists in a time not too distant from the present but also steeped heavily in technologies of the past. Important technologies would be antecedent technologies — camera obscuras, magic lanterns, phantasmagorias, panoramas, daguerreotypes, thaumatropcs, anorthoscopes, phenakistoscopes, praxinoscopes, mutoscopes, stereoscopes, screens, cameras, projectors, cathode ray tube televisions, flat screen televisions, monitors, central processing units…
Speculative utopic/dystopic cyborg erotica
3. Written story:
Membrana excavatory: The churning of topsoil, unsheathing of earth, I watch helplessly as you prise apart crevices to enter loam, consider the blinding intimacies of striae left gaping-exposed. Screens blackened and dead are lodged within mounds of dirt – obtuse, blocky forms constituting slurried soilscapes, dioramas of asphalt chunks and deflection coils. The cathode ray tubes here no longer hum or crackle: From black box to black box, it is the way of things – the yield of the historical, the amalgamate of frenetic versioning, of in-built obsolescence, of mythic technocultures laid to rest.
The archaeologist bears their head low, the ocularity of the present moment offers nothing to provide comfort or respite. Plastic spires that jut and heave, metallo-oxidized air resting thick within alveoli… Nomenclature is a slippery thing. The garden of digital vastness, the phantom of the analogue cinematic, graveyards for scanlined images that no longer glow. The electronics beg for you to notice the things they have meticulously hidden.  Who else will cradle bouquets of cathodes and anodes? Florets of phosphor vibrating, mycelial network of coagulated electromagnetic waves, only the intrepid archeologist pushes their sticky bodies through.
The archaeologist collects, and that afternoon, archival was the only means of mitigating this fever.  Nothing so saturated as the constituent cybernetic data bodies intermingling, cloud storage servers scattering across landscapes emptied of message.
 “Yet to hide a passion totally (or even to hide, more simply, its excess) is inconceivable: not because the human subject is too weak, but because passion is in essence made to be seen: the hiding must be seen: I want you to know that I am hiding something from you, that is the active paradox I must resolve: at one and the same time it must be known and not known: I want you to know that I don’t want to show my feelings: that is the message I address to the other. Larvatus prodeo: I advance pointing to my mask: I set a mask upon my passion, but with a discreet ( and wily) finger I designate this mask.” Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, trans. Richard Howard (New York: Hill and Wang, 1978), 42-43.
 “It is to burn with a passion. It is never to rest, interminably, from searching for the archive right where it slips away. It is to run after the archive, even if there’s too much of it, right where something in it anarchives itself. It is to have a compulsive, repetitive, and nostalgic desire for the archive, an irrepressible desire to return to the origin, a homesickness, a nostalgia for the return to the most archaic place of absolute commencement. No desire, no passion, no drive, no compulsion, indeed no repetition compulsion, no “mal-de” can arise for a person who is not already, in one way or another, en mal d’archive. Now the principle of the internal division of the Freudian gesture, and thus of the Freudian concept of the archive, is that at the moment when psychoanalysis formalizes the conditions of archive fever and of the archive itself, it repeats the very thing it resists or which it makes its object.” Jacques Derrida, Archive fever: A Freudian impression, (University of Chicago Press, 1996), 57.
Touché – Wearable pods for musicians, artists, and performers
Practice it works in
Designed by Marie Tricaud for performers, musicians and listeners, Touché is a set of wearable pods that is intended to be used in any situation that features live music, such as festivals or musical performances. It thus has a particular focus on the artistic experience of music and sound, allowing those with a musical practice to be more sensitive to the sense of touch, with aims of creating an “immersive synaesthetic concert”.
Its specific use
Allowing musicians to compose and perform live music as temperature and vibrations on the user’s skin via wearable modules, Touché consists of multiple plastic pods that are meant to be attached to bare skin. They may be removed and inserted within a console that allows the musician/performer to program each pod to emit a specific sequence of stimuli.
Given that these are small pods attached to skin, the design affords for a great deal of mobility as it does not inhibit movement and seems to be as unobstrusive to movement as possible. Considering the contexts it is meant to be utilised in (music festivals, etc), it is likely that a lot of movement will take place, necessitating such a design. It is mentioned that the current working prototype relies on wires to connect the pads, which might limit mobility, while the designer is working towards a wireless version.
Utility vs Fashionability
While not particularly subtle or ‘invisible’, as some wearables attempt to be, the pods and the console are aesthetically very cohesive – blocky, colourful – and work in tandem with the playful nature of the project. In terms of utility, it plays a more artistic function, and seems to have a good balance of both utility and aesthetic.
Vibeat devices – For the deaf to experience music through touch
Practice it works in
Designed by Liron Gino for deaf and hard-of-hearing people to listen to music, this set of devices also has a particular focus on the experience on sound and its tactile nature, though geared more towards the experience of music for the deaf.
Its specific use
Featuring a set of devices that include a bracelet, a necklace, and a pin, all with circular modules attached, the Vibeat collection is able to translate tracks into vibrations, connecting to a music source via Bluetooth, with different units reacting to the differing ranges and frequencies within notes to generate vibrations at differing rates. Users are thus able to experience music through touch alone.
As the devices are rather elegantly designed as unobtrusive accessories, such as a necklace or bracelet, mobility seems to be retained by the user even through the use of the device.
Utility vs Fashionability
Similar to the above example, it seems to also serve utility in the sense that it is able to modulate musical experience, though for a different community. Through rather sleek design, it is able to maintain a good balance between utility and aesthetic.