As the city enters a lockdown, many communities that already bear the brunt of risk and attrition, with little access to state and societal support, have been made more vulnerable. Differentials of race, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, and nationality are brought to the fore and must not be ignored.
During this time of social distancing, a house is still not a home for many.
Recirculations redirects attention to the ongoing initiatives people have created for support and survival in this time, through contributions by fellow cultural workers, whether professionally or informally.
The idea is that contributed works are presented on this page alongside cultural workers’ specific “asks” to encourage support for ongoing community efforts.
We’ve already collated a growing list of ongoing efforts and initiatives that you may support on the Amplifications page, here: softwallstuds.space/Amplifications
We encourage visitors viewing the works here to support the efforts listed at the link above or at the “asks” section below, in your own capacity. Upon doing so, one may ‘register’ as a supporter in the next section.
There is no buying, selling, or auctioning of the works/contributions on this page. Instead, show your support:
1. Contribute to ongoing efforts listed at the Amplifications page, or at the “Asks” by cultural workers. Do this in your own capacity, whether via funds, groceries, hygiene products, secondhand IT equipment, time and labour, or any other needs.
2. Keep some form of documentation of your support (for example, a transaction advice or a personal testimony).
3. ‘Register’ as a supporter by filling up this form with your contact details, your mode of support, and your documentation: https://forms.gle/b649yN4BKYa7MNag7
4. We’ll keep you updated via email when your support has been registered: You’ll be provided the instructions to access supporter only works, updated over new asks and contributions and works that have changed across time. Thank you!
Parameters for contributions: We are interested in residues—annotations, reference pictures, archives, leftovers, b-sides, drafts et al. of your creative practice—and/or in entwinement with our respective lives—that perhaps feel especially resonant at this point in time.
A thought keyed into “notes”; the first stroke of a downscaled painting practice; a child’s tantrum; daily rituals; a practice seen in a new way. We wish to draw attention to the poetics and temporality of leftovers, wastes, ephemera, errata;
Material scatters that seem unimportant, unfinished, but which nonetheless fill the substrata and periphery of our lives, while also drawing attention to very real and urgent needs in this point in time.
These are nudges towards reframing, repurposing and rehabilitating, in part not to overburden individuals in respective times of stress, but also to tap into an energy of reflection, recontextualisation and play. We hope this exercise is one way of directly addressing material needs at this point in time, while taking creative coordinates and re-orientations from the submissions that complexify our understandings of this time and the structures that surge forward (or recede), hopefully forming a fretwork that leaven, breathe, break, heal, splice, think and feel anew.
Alongside your work, your “asks” will be published. You could provide your patreon or paynow details, if you need financial support to tide through this difficult period; list down organizations that you would like for people to support; or an action you wish supporters would perform.
If you have a work you would like to contribute, please fill up this form:
We will keep you posted, and thank you!
An articulation of needs and/or wants from cultural workers who have contributed works to Recirculations, for specific communities and/or themselves.
Lai Yu Tong: Hello everyone, I finally got down to making some physical copies of a few Cosmologists albums that I made over the years. Each album is going for $50 (the price is flexible, let me know what you can afford) and the full amount will be redistributed through the wares mutual aid spreadsheet. You may text me at 83667623 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to an album or would like to chat. Take care everyone.
Salty Ng Xi Jie:The next time you go out for a walk or to get groceries, move slowly, breathe deeply. See that the sky is still the same. Make eye contact with strangers and send them telepathic messages of warmth and conviviality. Alternatively, stand at the toilet paper section of your local grocery store and have gentle (and technically illegal) conversations with fellow shoppers about their preferred brand (you can talk about thickness, softness, ply level, embossed pattern, value for money).
Jill J. Tan and Teo Xiao Ting:Blow some bubbles, take some pictures of them and/or their traces. Have fun and share the images with us on your social media platforms with the hashtag #bubblebreaker ~
Berny Tan: The ability to practice social distancing is a form of privilege. While the state has chosen to use the phrase 'safe distancing measures', distancing cannot always be conducted 'safely'. The act itself could threaten lives, and not just livelihoods. If you are able, please consider donating to NGOs assisting marginalised communities for whom distancing isn't always 'safe' – HOME, TWC2, and HealthServe to support migrant workers; AWARE to support victims of domestic violence; and those who have fallen through the cracks and are asking for help via wares' mutual aid spreadsheet.
Jenny Cheng:I ask that this Covid-19 pandemic helps us realise that we ought to have more compassion, respect and inclusion towards people, especially foreign workers, and it is time people think about how we have not been treating them right. If you are able, please consider volunteering or donating to organisations such as HOME, TCW2, Itsrainingraincoats, and HealthServe.
Jill J. Tan: In the spirit of this ongoing collaboration with my mother, I ask that those of us who are able support artists making work centered around children (https://give.asia/campaign/rolling-on-artist-residency#/).
Aki Hassan: “Ensure that you are firstly prioritised and that you're taking care of yourself. Reach out to your immediate circle of friends and acquaintances when you are able to. Check-in and offer support within your capacity. I would like to use this opportunity to signal-boost organisations and communities that support our trans & lgbtq+ siblings. Get in touch and lookout for ways to continue (financially) supporting them. Some that I have in mind are: The T Project / Oogachaga / UK QTIBIPOC Emergency relief & Hardship Fund / Small Trans Library Grocery Fund / Queer Care Net. ❤️”
Ryan Lim Zi Yi:
“If you feel that you are able to provide any form of support to the urgent needs of people who are badly affected by this pandemic crisis, please do check out and help spread these links to the people you know: tinyurl.com/waresmutualaid and https://softwallstuds.space/Amplifications. Let us all start looking out for each other and lend a helping hand for those in need.”
non:“There has been a wellspring of charity during this time of crisis, and at the kernel of these expressions of care, generosity, and mutual aid is an implicit recognition of mutual entanglement—we're not so much isolated from one another after all. However, charity should not eclipse over the need for critique, especially in a city so bereft and impoverished in political consciousness. In a city that demonizes dissent. That pits activists against each other. Much of this pandemic has revealed that the state is fragile, desperate to hold onto its face-saving narratives and massaged statistics than come to an apology. It smacks of deeply ingrained political rot.
My ask is that alongside supporting much-needed community initiatives, listen and amplify the counter-narratives. I will only recommend organizations here, such as New Naratif (who are in need of funds), TWC2’s reportage on migrant worker issues during this time, The Online Citizen, but there are many journalists and activists out there who have been speaking truth to power. Read, debate, take care of yourselves and one another.”
Johann Yamin:“Please do check for any urgent needs on mutual aid sheets (such as wares’) listed at the Amplifications page to see if you’re able to provide support; or donate to organisations doing critical work to support the migrant community, such as HOME or TWC2, if you have the capacity.”
Huiying Ng:“Please: Leave me a note about care: propagation, giving and receiving it, about the packages you send love in. Send this to me at huiying.n[at]gmail.com with the Subject Title “Seeds are Vectors because…” I will work with Foodscape Pages to produce a series of posts for caring, to be disseminated in the coming months as supportive assurance, food for feelings in the time of covid.
Share and follow Foodscape Pages on instagram, as a space which will be publishing material on seed, care, food, and soil in May through June.
Support mutual aid efforts and organizations providing meals at this time here.”
Contributions from cultural workers. These are the accumulations of residues—annotations, reference pictures, archives, leftovers, b-sides, drafts et al. of creative practices—and/or in entwinement with our respective lives—that perhaps feel especially resonant at this point in time.
Lai Yu Tong
Christina & Sergej (2018)
A slightly different album from the rest, made mostly from synthesiser loops and various recorded samples. It's a slow album mostly of drones. An album of elements and breaths.
Album recorded on an old classical guitar (my first guitar passed down from mum) in the bomb shelter on a warm night some Augusts ago.
Learning (Grandma's Piano) (2018)
An album dear to my heart and one I do not listen to. Recorded on iPhone, containing my first attempts at playing the piano.
Two Deaths, Paranoia, & the Moving Blues (2020)
An album recorded on 3-string acoustic guitar with intimate samples of home. Recorded as we were preparing for a move in March.
Salty Ng Xi Jie
1. It was at that time quite inconceivable to have been allowed to bring outside food into prison. We were filming a cooking show as part of a conceptual art project in a Portland, Oregon correctional facility. In a symbol of compliance, I bring packaging out so the prison guards can tick this trash off their item checklist when I leave. I save whatever I can for my home kitchen. This ended up being my travel toiletries bag. It is a talismanic reminder of the fun me and my collaborators had in a sterile classroom filming the making of cheese-brick burritos and magic cheesecakes - the gleefulness they exhibited in dehumanising conditions.
2. This pass saves me from going through the metal detector and being escorted every time. The US Department of Corrections has suspended all visits and volunteer programs due to covid. It is unclear when they will ever continue. I worry about the health and safety of those imprisoned, especially my collaborators, inside.
3. Used as a discussion prompt for Senior Women’s Erotica Club, my vibrator henceforth carries the encouragement, vulnerability and friendship of the older women in the Club. Now a companion during covid times when apart from lover on the other side of Earth.
4. What is the future of busking in pandemic times? (prop from Singapore Minstrel; the Minstrel can no longer work)
5. How does time feel, how does hair grow during lockdown?
6. Pre-zoom cleansing / post-performance ritual
Jill J. Tan and Teo Xiao Ting
Upon returning to Singapore on April 30th 2020, we [Jill and Xiao Ting] found ourselves quarantined in Swissotel the Stamford on the same day, 26 floors apart. Instagram algorithms facilitated our first contact with each other, and notified us of our shared location.
The rest came into existence, into this exchange, buoyed by literal and affective bubbles. We met for the first time in person, in the hotel lobby, after being released from the Stay Hotel Notice, taking care to be at least 1 metre apart.
A crowdsourced visual record of safe distancing markers in Singapore.
Jenny Cheng (with Jill J. Tan)
Upon Jenny’s request, Jill began collecting her used daily contact lenses for a year while living in Chicago. The resulting sculptural pieces Jenny made with these contact lenses, which hardened in storage and were then rehydrated for shaping and colouring, foreground the grotesqueness of biological mattering and contact, and the intimacy of handling them, as belied by their resultant forms of pastel colour sheets and flowers. The act of collecting from a distance also began a performance of archiving connective organic and inorganic tissue as circulating the mother-child relation that strains and sprouts intimacies over space and time.
These are selected images documenting my processes of making prior to covid-19. I was working towards an installation for my final degree show in Glasgow School of Art. When this pandemic transformed into a global crisis, there were sudden closures and stricter measures made on borders and movement. I left my life back in Glasgow without having a chance to have a closure. I was not able to say goodbye to my friends as we were discouraged to leave our flats. I had to leave my books and work-in-progress behind, in my studio. Looking back, it makes me wonder when I will have access to art-making tools and resources again.
Ryan Lim Zi Yi
Someone once asked me, “Are these phrases important or are they just like murmurs?”. She said that it felt like they were eventually going to be read out by someone so they become and feel important. To be honest, I don’t know if they were ever important to begin with. They were never something I wanted to say, maybe just something to remember, something to keep in mind, like an attitude. Perhaps she’s right, they could be like murmurs, just waiting to be heard.
2020Experimental Encounters with Chand and Mengju
A tentacle-washing video by miss anthropy (urs truly) in a eutrophic oceanic soupy world, defeating the purpose of tentacle-washing in the first place. What happens when miss anthropy comes to this realization...?
Taking the form of a branching interactive fiction, players explore the remnants of a decrepit mycological research facility.
This was written at the start of the Circuit Breaker, amidst a bout of frustration about the pausing of public sociality, already so hard-won in Singapore, and amidst anxieties about the virus. It was later made into a sheet for circulation.
Please: Use this seed! Print it, share it. Use it. Organise a remote seed sharing exchange. An online seed swap. Steal the words for your own genetic swap—something to remind ourselves that life is viral in many ways.
Direct this to friends who would be interested. Download the sheet here.