Larry and Martin began a series of weekly conversations in April which continued for two months (and are continuing still).
“As we talked, we also began to write, back-and-forth, and our writing took on its own conversational dynamics. We ended up cutting some of our written “duet” into a 20-minute performance we presented in the workshop. To draw attention to our words, we asked workshop participants to turn off their cameras and rename themselves with an asterisk, so that everyone was visually anonymous and we were speaking in the (Zoom) dark. This created, or so we hoped, the feel of a conversation at night, air drifting between rooms in a childhood home, stories passing through the Ventanilla.”
Aki, Anthony and Sidd decided on a different approach that reveals the mess and providence of collaboration, while leaving room for their individual positions as artist, historian and curator. In lieu of conversing or meeting with one another, their company happened through a chain of image, sound and video exchanges over email. Coming together, they reckoned with this cache of documents, and furthered the exercise by their own means of organising these images, sound, video and storylines. Approaches that came through are the significance of faithful re-telling by way of ordering the temporal sequence of exchanges, subversive mirroring of precedent images and the oracular potential of singular images that inhabit repositories of documents.
Artist Hilmi and Historian Naoko got together over numerous coffees and teas at various cafes in and around Middle Road in Singapore, to try to understand each other’s practice as artist and historian.
“The more we shared our work, the more we realised that our respective practices were strikingly similar. Before we knew it, we had already begun our journey of discovery about our ‘interweaving practices’, on how we could think about a joint creative endeavour.”
Poet Collier Nogues and artist James Jack have engaged in a series of creative conversations over the past three months. Collier composed new poems using the interactive storytelling app Twine and the VR web framework A-Frame, exploring networked, tidal, and immersive poetic forms. James created new graphite drawings on paper investigating the rhizomatic structures of mangroves interwoven with text(s) that resist land-centric colonial histories by putting sea spirits, maritime ways of life and ancestral roots back into the center. They shared these works in December 2021 with all DOCUMENT participants, from which brief discussion excerpts have been selected here along with samples of their works in progress.
"We began by talking about tidal fluctuations between Okinawa, Hong Kong and Singapore, which led us to think about our relationships to our local shorelines. Soon we found ourselves considering larger historical and political questions about access—and losing access—to the sea and land, particularly in the context of our shared affinity for demilitarization in the Pacific. The networked root systems of mangroves, with their embrace of contradictory currents, grounded our collaborative creative process."