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The Current Convening #3
Tabu / Tapu – Who Owns the Ocean?

A collaboration with TBA21–Academy
Part of Singapore Art Week 2018

25 Jan 2018, Thu - 27 Jan 2018, Sat
Block 43 Malan Road

Guest-of-Honour during reception on 26 January 2018:
Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources of Singapore


The Current Convening #3 Tabu / Tapu – Who Owns the Ocean? marks the culmination of TBA21–Academy The Current’s first cycle of expeditions, bringing together The Current Fellows; thought leaders from diverse disciplines; local agencies and activist NGOs. Through discursive events including talanoa discussions, case studies, workshops, provocations, as well as performative events, Convening #3 shares with a wider public the research and challenges generated through the format of such expeditions. It focuses on the modalities of exchange, addresses environmental urgencies, raises questions regarding responsibilities and ownership, and discusses whether rights of nature can be equal to human rights. Environmental researchers, conservationists, anthropologists, and policymakers will share a platform that invites active and creative participation on how we can understand and effect the development to international law, policies, culture, and environmental education.

Coinciding with NTU CCA Singapore’s current exhibition The Oceanic, featuring contributions by TBA21–Academy The Current Fellows from the first cycle of expeditions (2015–17), Convening #3 marks the culmination of inquiries on the vessel Dardanella to the Pacific archipelagos of Trobriand Islands in Papua New Guinea; the Tuamotus in French Polynesia; and the Lau Island Group in Fiji. 


The Current Convening #3 Tabu / Tapu – Who Owns the Ocean? has been conceived by Markus Reymann, Director of TBA21–Academy; Stefanie Hessler, Curator of TBA21–Academy; and Professor Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director of NTU CCA Singapore, and expedition leader of The Current’s first cycle.

Previous Convenings in the first cycle of The Current:
Convening #1 The Kula Ring in Kingston, Jamaica (16 – 17 March 2016)
Convening #2 Tuamotus, Distant Islands in Kochi, Kerala, India (13 – 15 December 2016)



Thursday, 25 January
[Closed talanoa sessions]


Friday, 26 January, 1.30 – 10.00pm

*Venue: The Single Screen, Block 43 Malan Road


Case Study by Taholo Kami (Tonga/Fiji), Special Advisor, Pacific Partnerships and International Civil Society, COP23 Presidency Secretariat of the Fijian government

Case Study by Dr Hervé Raimana Lallemant-Moe (French Polynesia), Law Department, University of French Polynesia

Short Provocations
Atif Akin (Turkey/United States), artist, designer, and Associate Professor, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, United States
Roko Josefa Cinavilkeba (Fiji), High Chief of the Yasayasamoala Island group
Andrew Foran (Australia/Fiji), Head, Pacific Centre for Environmental Governance, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Fiji
Armin Linke (Italy/Germany), photographer and filmmaker
Maureen Penjueli (Fiji), Coordinator, Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG)
Valérie Portefaix (France/Hong Kong), Director, MAP Office
Joey Tau (Fiji), media and campaign officer, Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG)
Jegan Vincent de Paul (Sri Lanka, Canada/Singapore), architect, artist, and NTU ADM/CCA Singapore PhD candidate

*Venue: Outside Block 43 Malan Road

Welcome Addresses
Professor Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director, NTU CCA Singapore
Markus Reymann, Director, TBA21–Academy
Professor Alan Chan, Dean, College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University
Guest-of-Honour: Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources of Singapore

Public Reception

*Venue: The Single Screen, Block 43 Malan Road

Place.Labour.Capital Publication Launch and Reception
Published by NTU CCA Singapore and Mousse Publishing

*Venue: Outside Block 43 Malan Road

I/E – the solo sessions
Sound Performance by Tarek Atoui (Lebanon/France), musician, composer, and sound artist

Tarek Atoui’s ongoing project I/E consists of recordings at major ports and harbours all over the world. Since 2015, the artist has recorded the activities, waters, and surroundings at Elefsina in Greece and the Mina Zayed port in Abu Dhabi.

For Atoui’s performance as part of The Current Convening #3, each of these recordings will serve as a sound capsule that functions similar to a multi-channel playback machine as well as a small modular synthesiser. Using specific instruments built by the artist, Atoui will be playing with the sounds of these locations and morphing them with other electro-acoustic devices.

The sounds used in I/E – the solo sessions will be augmented with recordings from Singapore’s waterfront and added to Atoui’s solo presentation at NTU CCA Singapore in March 2018 to create one of the main layers of the exhibition.


Saturday, 27 January, 11.00am – 6.00pm

*Venue: Outside Block 43 Malan Road

Discursive Brunch 70 x 7 The Meal Act XLI (41) by Lucy + Jorge Orta (United Kingdom/France, Argentina/France) and restaurateur Ken Loon (Singapore), The Naked Finn

(Free admission; by registration only

Lucy + Jorge Orta’s discursive brunch draws from the tradition of communal eating to create a platform that explores questions relating to the ocean, such as the entitlements of resources, its waters, food security, as well as ownership of oceanic practices, materials, and images.

This special meal is developed in collaboration with restaurateur Ken Loon of Singapore’s The Naked Finn, who has locally sourced the ingredients, each of which will be explained and related back to the wider conversation of Singapore’s food sources, its specific environment and infrastructure.

*Venue: The Single Screen, Block 43 Malan Road


Case Study by Dr Cresantia Frances Koya Vaka’uta (Fiji), Director, Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies & Pacific Heritage Hub, UNESCO Faculty of Arts, Law and Education, The University of the South Pacific, Fiji

Case Study by Dr Cynthia Chou (Singapore/United States), Professor, Department of Anthropology, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, University of Iowa, United States

Short Provocations
Laura Anderson Barbata (Mexico/United States), artist
Barney Broomfield (United Kingdom/United States), filmmaker
Dr Guigone Camus (France), anthropologist
Newell Harry (Australia), artist
Dr Kristy H. A. Kang (United States/Singapore), media artist, and Assistant Professor, School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Dr PerMagnus Lindborg (Sweden/Singapore), composer, sound artist, and researcher
Tuan Andrew Nguyen (Vietnam), artist
Filipa Ramos (Portugal/United Kingdom), art writer, curator, and Editor-in-Chief, art-agenda
Lisa Rave (United Kingdom/Germany), artist and filmmaker
SUPERFLEX (Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, Jakob Fenger, and Rasmus Nielsen) (Denmark), artists

Tidalectics: Imagining an Oceanic Worldview through Art and Science Publication Launch and Reception
Published by MIT Press and TBA21–Academy



Image credit: Lisa Rave, Lau Islands, Fiji, 2017, documentation. Courtesy the artist.

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