This panel discussion invites members of the FB Art Department to speak on the collaborative decisions that put together Open Form, a publication which celebrates the Facebook Artist in Residence (AIR) program’s recent five-year anniversary. Open Form traces the development of the AIR program from its roots in the counterculture of San Francisco Bay Area, to its integration within the company’s hacker culture. Featuring over 200 art commissions worldwide, the book serves to replicate immersive artistic experiences through the medium of the analogue book. Local AIR artists will also be present to share their views on creating analogue art in a digital world, and how the AIR experience has influenced their practice.
Genevieve Chua (Singapore) artist
Jessica Shaefer (United States), Art Programs & Partnerships Lead, Facebook
Speak Cryptic (Singapore), artist
Pey Chuan Tan (Singapore), Art Curator & Producer, Facebook
Moderated by Melanie Pocock (United Kingdom/Singapore), Writer, Curator, and Assistant Curator, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, LASALLE College of the Arts
Genevieve Chua (Singapore) is a painter who works primarily through abstraction. Chua employs a method of working that unfurls and reveals the painter’s process through diagram, palimpsest, syntax, and the glitch. While notions of nature and wilderness persist across several works, the form taken by her exhibitions—image, text, or object—is disrupted through painting. She created a site-specific installation for the Facebook Artist in Residence program at the Singapore office in 2018.
Jessica Shaefer (United States) is an independent curator and the head of public art programs and partnerships at Facebook. She is also the co-founder and former director of Sites Unseen,a public art non-profit organization that produces projects in alleyways in downtown San Francisco, as well as a co-founder of Mixed Use, a curatorial collective that presents nomadic exhibitions and artist-chef collaborations in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Previously, she was the director of a contemporary art gallery on New York City’s Lower East Side and was Communications Director at the public art non-profit organisation Creative Time in New York.
Speak Cryptic (Singapore), the professional alias of Farizwan Fajari, is an artist currently living and working in Singapore. Influenced by the visual language prevalent within punk and underground music, as well as his Singaporean Malay (of Baweanese descent) roots, he combines personal iconographies with a cast of characters developed over the years to build visual narratives that are inspired by his observations on current affairs and his immediate environment. Speak Cryptic was a Facebook Artist in Residence in 2018, creating site-specific murals for the Singapore office.
Pey Chuan Tan (Singapore) is a curator and producer for the Facebook Artist in Residence (AIR) program, working within the Asia-Pacific region to create site-specific installations at the company’s offices. She collaborates with a global network of artists, designers, and creatives, empowering them to build community into action by bringing diverse audiences together for creative and empathic connections. Pey Chuan is interested in the intersections between art and design, as well as seeking new avenues for integration and support of the arts in both public and private sectors.
Melanie Pocock (United Kingdom/Singapore) is a curator and writer. Since 2014, Pocock has been Assistant Curator at LASALLE’s Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, where she has curated Dissolving Margins (2018–19), Native Revisions (2017) and Countershadows (tactics in evasion) (2014), a series of group exhibitions exploring paradoxical aesthetics. In Singapore, she has curated solo projects by Genevieve Chua (2019), Jason Lim (2018), Boedi Widjaja (2016–17), Jack Tan (2015) and Michael Lee (2014). Pocock has published essays, articles, and reviews in international publications, and is the editor of Sulaiman (2014), the first monograph on the work of Malaysian artist Shooshie Sulaiman.
Image caption: (L-R) Pey Chuan Tan, Melanie Pocock, Speak Cryptic, Jessica Shaefer, and Genevieve Chua. Courtesy the panelists.