Free Jazz, NTU CCA Singapore’s inaugural programme brings together artists, curators, art critics and scholars to imagine and contribute to the thinking and envisioning of the potentials for this new Centre for Contemporary Art in Singapore. As the title suggests, Free Jazz is about improvisation, the ability to listen, to respond and engage into a less prescribed and controlled environment. Improvisation stands for a form of inquiry that can become an active tool to generate new possibilities for conceptualising and programming art institutions. Free Jazz at NTU CCA Singapore presents a series of paired presentations and juxtaposes different approaches into a single platform as a playful way to encourage conversational and performative interactions that can take spontaneous, fluid, unplanned moves.
This inaugural event will feature performances and video screenings from eminent and emerging artists from Singapore and the NTU School of Art Design and Media, including OFFCUFF, Lucy Davis, Grieve Perspective and Cultural Medallion Awardee Lee Wen together and Jason Wee in collaboration with Angie Seah, Karl Kerridge and Jordan Rais.
A panel of presentations by Ute Meta Bauer, Lee Weng Choy and Anca Rujoiu that gives an overview of the curators’ previous projects and areas of interest.
A paired presentation with Cosmin Costinas and Ade Darmawan on the local specificities and challenges in working in the wider region.
Ade Darmawan lives and works in Jakarta as an artist, curator and Director of ruangrupa. Established in 2000, ruangrupa is an artists’ initiative that focuses on visual arts and its social cultural contexts and its urban environments. As an artist and curator, Darmawan participated in many art projects and exhibitions in Indonesia and internationally. With ruangrupa as a collaborative platform, he has also participated in the Gwangju Biennale 2002, the Istanbul Biennale 2005, and the Asia Pacific Triennial 2012. From 2006-2009 he was a member of the Jakarta Arts Council, and in 2009 he became the artistic director of the Jakarta Biennale XIII-ARENA and was recently the executive director of Jakarta Biennale 2013.
Cosmin Costinas lives and works in Hong Kong as the Executive Director and Curator of Para/Site Art Space. He was the Curator of BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, Netherlands (2008-2011), co-curator (with Ekaterina Degot and David Riff) of the 1st Ural Industrial Biennial: Shockworkers of the Mobile Image, Ekaterinburg, 2010, and editor of documenta 12 Magazines, Kassel/Vienna (2005–2007). He co-authored the novel Philip (2007) and has contributed his writing to numerous magazines, books, and exhibition catalogs across the world. Cosmin has taught and lectured at different universities and art academies in Europe and Asia.
Mark Nash is an independent curator and writer and, until recently, Head of Department of Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art London. He collaborated with Okwui Enwezor on The Short Century (2002), and worked again with Enwezor and with Ute Meta Bauer on documenta XI (2002). With Bauer he worked on the 3rd Berlin Biennial (2004).
Zai Kuning is one of the pioneering experimental artists in Singapore who has redefined what it means to engage in multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary art forms. In 2000, he began his research on the lives of the Orang Laut, the sea gypsies of the Riau Archipelago in Indonesia, near Singapore. His research culminated in an internationally acclaimed documentary film RIAU (2003). He is currently working on a new documentary film project focused on the Mak Yong Mantang, an important form of Malay performing arts as it pre-dates Islam influence in the 14th century.
Bige Örer is the Director of the Istanbul Biennial. She has worked on the coordination of cultural and artistic projects for the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts since 2003. Örer also works as an independent expert in the European Union’s department, which evaluates cultural funds. She has acted as a consultant and a jury member for several cultural and artistic projects, is a member of the project Capacity Building for Cultural Policy in Turkey and a member of the team writing the alternative Cultural Policy Compendium of Turkey. Bige currently teaches at Istanbul Bilgi University.
A talk by Geert Lovink followed by a conversation with Lee Weng Choy and the launch of of a new issue of Article: the Singapore Biennale Review 2013 (publication of the International Association of Art Critics, AICA Singapore)
Geert Lovink is a media theorist, internet critic and author of Zero Comments (2007) and Networks Without a Cause (2012). Since 2004 he has been a researcher in the School for Communication and Media Design at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA) where he is the Founding Director of the Institute of Network Cultures. From 2004–2013 he taught in the New Media Master’s Programme at Mediastudies, University of Amsterdam, and is currently a Media Theory Professor at the European Graduate School (Saas-Fee) and Associated Member of the Centre for Digital Cultures at the Leuphana
A talk by Nikos Papastergiadis (Professor at the School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne) with a focus on contemporary art as a form of the cosmopolitan imaginary, followed by with a free improvisation of music and movement performance by the Bani Haykal trio.
Nikos Papastergiadis is Professor at the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. His current research focuses on the investigation of the historical transformation of contemporary art and cultural institutions by digital technology. His writings include Modernity as Exile (1993), Dialogues in the Diaspora (1998), The Turbulence of Migration (2000), Metaphor and Tension (2004), Spatial Aesthetics: Art Place and the Everyday (2006) and Cosmopolitanism and Culture (2012). His essays have been translated widely and in addition to academic publications, have appeared in art journals and exhibition catalogues, including those of the biennales of Sydney, Liverpool, Istanbul, Gwangju, Taipei, Lyon, Thessaloniki and documenta 13.
Bani Haykal writes/experiments with music and fiction, spanning various mediums, informed by his interest in sociocultural and political shifts.