Art media

Free Spore Art Week exhibition: VR Experience — witnessing signs of ecological collapse and extinction from the earth

Singapore – Since its first iteration in 2013, Free Jazz has pushed the boundaries and broadened the pressing concerns of our time. Free Jazz IV. Geomancers continues this approach, presenting works of art ranging from virtual reality to video, performance and sound as an exercise in planetary consciousness.

The exhibition showcases important artistic practices from around the world that are deeply invested in creating environmental awareness and that share an understanding of the world as a vulnerable, yet resilient, mesh of coexistences, correlations, and co-creations.

As with geomancy, curators believe these works of art can help us read the signs our planet is trying to send us and that they can inspire a stronger commitment to create a sustainable future for life on Earth.

Along with scientists, environmental activists, enlightened policymakers and members of civil society, contemporary artists are increasingly concerned about the future prospects of ecological collapse and planetary survival.

They approach these issues through the language of art, creating images, sounds, stories and experiences that allow us to make emotional and cognitive connections with the environment and to participate in the planetary intelligence of the Earth.

Arising from NTU CCA Singapore’s continued engagement with the overarching subject of Climates.Habitats.Environments., Free Jazz IV. Geomancers bring together a selection of creative practitioners who are clearly attentive to these emergencies.

Designed for Singapore Art Week 2022, this program consists of a series of film screenings, a virtual reality installation, a performance and a sound installation. Some of the works of art on display focus on signs of terrestrial disappearance, others indicate pathways for resilience and strategies for regeneration.

All of the work is the result of long-term research and in-depth fieldwork and, when presented together, engenders a kaleidoscopic glimpse into the multiple forms of ecological entanglements.

Admission to all programs and events is free, unless otherwise specified.


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Shared around the phenomenology of endangered environments, the work of Kade Paterson and Daniel Steegmann Mangane explore different types of sensory engagement with forest ecologies.

Katie Paterson, To Burn, Forest, Fire, 2021, performance, incense. IHME Helsinki Commission 2021 Photo: Veikko Somerpuro. Courtesy of the artist.

Based on partly scientific, partly speculative investigation, Paterson To’s performance Burn, Forest, Fire condenses spatial distance and abyssal temporalities into an ephemeral olfactory experience that allows participants to encounter the scent of two forests, the first and the last forest on Earth.

Using technological developments to explore new possibilities of representation and relationship with the cosmos, Phantom (kingdom of all animals and all beasts is my name) by Steegmann Mangrané transforms a fraction of the endangered Amazon rainforest into a reality virtual immersive environment.

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, Phantom (The Kingdom of All Animals and Beasts is My Name), 2014–2015, virtual reality headset, Unity 3D forest scan, motion capture technology, custom ceiling grid, image of the virtual reality environment, photo of VR environment. Developed by ScanLAB Projects, London Courtesy of the artist; Esther Schipper, Berlin; and Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo.

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The lush forest ecosystem is made spectral through moving constellations of data points that subtly reconfigure the viewer’s relationship to reality.

that of Katie Paterson Burn, Forest, Fire is an IHME 2021 Commission.


Located offsite on the green roof at Marina Barrage east Jana Winderenthe sound installation of Listen through dead zones.

Jana Winderen, Listening Through the Dead Zones, 2021, sound installation, installation view at the Helsinki Rowing Stadium. The work was originally created in collaboration with Tony Myatt as a 14-channel audio installation for the IHME Helsinki 2020 Commission. Photo: Veikko Somerpuro. Courtesy of the artist.

Made up of field recordings of underwater soundscapes in different seas of the world, the work awakens our sonic imaginations to the rapidly expanding phenomenon of “dead zones”, areas where aquatic life is doomed by insufficient concentrations of water. oxygen caused by human activity.

Listen through dead zones is a member of the IHME 2020 Commission. Location partner: PUB Singapore’s National Water Agency.


Taking place in the newly inaugurated screening room of NTU CCA Singapore, this selection of video works will be presented in what was once one of the Centre’s residence studios, which is now converted into a cinematic space.

Ecological disturbances in the largely urbanized context of Singapore’s surface on land, land, sky and sea like a palimpsest, a video co-created by Zarina Mohammed and Zachary Chan who performs a meandering meditation on the loss, but also the resilience, of ecological and spiritual realities faced with the sprawl of modern infrastructure.

Zarina Muhammad and Zachary Chan, earth, earth, sky and sea as a palimpsest, 2021, video, color, sound, 17 min 37 sec, still image. Courtesy of the artists.

A disturbance of natural patterns is also captured in And a great sign appeared, a short video made with cell phone images by Robert Zhao Renhui. Imbued with a feeling of apprehension, he documents an unusual aerial event that punctuated the horizon of the metropolis closed by the sea for a few days.

Robert Zhao Renhui, And A Great Sign Appeared, 2021, HD video, sound, color, 4 min 52 sec, still image. Courtesy of the artist.

With InvenLng Miracle: Rice in power, Chu Hao pei explores his interest in seed sovereignty by unpacking the relationship between rice and politics in Southeast Asia in the 1960s.

Chu Hao Pei, TasLng Sovereignty, 2021, a participatory project developed in collaboration with Appetite. Photo: From the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) image collection. Available under public license at

The weight of sea level rise and profit-driven development on small island communities in the Philippines is being captured by Martha atienza in Panangatan 11 ° 09’53.3 ”N 123 ° 42’40.5” E 2019-10-24 Thu 06:42 AM PST 1.29 meters high tide, 2019-10-12 Sat 10:26 AM PST 1.40 meters high tide, an experimental video devoid of narrative and sound that exposes the state of disrepair and decay that fishing villages grapple with due to human-induced changes.

Martha Atienza, Panangatan 11 ° 09’53.3 ”N 123 ° 42’40.5” E 2019-10-24 Thu 6:42 AM PST 1.29 meters High tide, 2019-10-12 Sat 10:26 AM PST 1.40 meters High tide, 2019, single-channel HD video, no sound, 9 min, still image. Courtesy of the artist and SILVERLENS.

Based on inclusive relational connections and kinship ties with non-human beings, Indigenous perspectives can significantly contribute to reorienting our understanding of the world in non-anthropocentric directions.

The practice of the South Korean eco-feminist collective Rice Brewing Sisters Club seeks to activate collective processes to explore new social relationships and environmental practices.

Rice Brewing Sisters Club, Cheopcheopdamdam Iyagigeuk / Mountain Storytellers, Storytelling Mountains: A Tale Theater, 2020, HD video, color, sound, 15 min 37 sec, still image. Courtesy of the artists. Daniel

Combining the performative, the playful and the poetic, their video Mountain Storytellers, Storytelling Mountains: a storytelling theater results from a co-creation process whereby residents of a rural South Korean community and other non-human actors stage local folk tales that suggest alternative forms of interspecific coexistence.

In the experimental documentary Teaching hands, Caroline caycedo and David de Rozas also appeal to the cosmological consciousness of indigenous peoples – expressed here by Juan Mancias, president of the Carrizo / Comecrudo tribe of Texas – to counter a colonial approach to land based on surveying techniques and extractivist plans.

Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas, The Teaching of the Hands, 2020, panoramic HD video, color, surround sound, 47 min, film still (detail). Courtesy of the artists.

The extent to which the different knowledge ecologies produced by ethnic minorities may be threatened by economic development is also discussed. Liu chuang‘s Can sound be a currency?, a video that investigates the entanglement between humans, the environment and the supernatural in a mountainous region of China’s Sichuan Province.

Liu Chuang, Can Sound be Currency?, 2021, video, 2K, color, stereo, 19:43, still image. Courtesy of the artist and Antenna Space.

Staggering narratives unfold in the video works of Pedro Neves Marques and Ursula Biemann stimulate the viewer’s imagination beyond conventional understandings of the world around us.

Ursula Biemann, AcousLc Ocean, 2018, video, 4K, color, sound, 18 min, still image. Courtesy of the artist.

Revolving around the relationships between human and non-human life forms, the works feature an Android and an Aquanaut respectively as the main characters.

Pedro Neves Marques, Semente Exterminadora [Exterminator Seed], 2017, video, 2K, color, sound, 28 min, still image, Brazilian Portuguese with English subtitles. Courtesy of the artist; Agencia da Curta Metragem; and Galleria Umberto di Marino.

The two create sci-fi settings in which viewers find themselves either navigating the moral complexity triggered by the blurred boundaries between the natural and the artificial (Neves Marques) or exploring the sonic and semiotic complexity of soundscapes beneath. -marines (Biemann).

Information / updates on the exhibition and screening can be found here: Exhibition · Free Jazz IV. Geomancers

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