lasalle

Reflections on Singapore

I returned from a workshop at Lasalle College of Art about two weeks ago. I’d say it took me around a week to recover from some sort of travel malaise… I’ll keep the post concise and relevant to the work that we did there. To give just a bit of context first, I’ll say that Singapore is very interesting and strange. I found it highly disorienting to travel for so long, and arrive in a place that was so familiar to the US, in the sense of having a large mix of cultures and English being the primary language. That said, Singapore certainly does have it’s unique points, relating to it’s colonial history and geographical location/context. The most attractive part of the trip was exploring the cultural neighborhoods, and observing the mix of different cultures living together.

The workshop was a good opportunity to test out the style of working outlined in previous posts: prompt myself based on a function and invent tools to serve that function. Explore interactivity using the tools in video or photography… I collaborated with Nova again and we decided to do a photo essay on being lost in a foreign city. We were inspired by a casual knowledge of some situationist derive techniques. The project we came up with was Objects for Enhancing the Experience of being Lost. It is described on my website here.

This was a stimulating way of working. The objects were all made quickly with materials we found around the city. It was a really stimulating way of engaging with a new city, as well. We visited flea markets, etc. that we might not have otherwise and got a glipse at alternative lives in Singapore. In the end we were happy with the work because it was quick, fun and thought provoking. I am happy about it because it was a good way to test out some ideas for my thesis. And now, I also have a large “data set” to play with. For example, I’ve been experimenting with the idea of making instructional graphics around the objects. Some kind of abstract “manual” that could slip into the briefcase. Could this be a way of supplementing works in a series like this? Or does it make it too pedantic? I’m not without criticism of the process, but I’m interested in following that train of thought through to completion. I’ll post the graphics when they are done, along with thoughts.

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