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Acts of Life - Header© Getty Images/Ola Dusegard.

Nature & Urbanity
Acts of Life

Acts of Life: An interdisciplinary collaboration of NTU CCA Singapore and MCAD Manila commissioned by the Goethe-Institut

The digital transformation of almost all aspects of life has changed the domain of life itself; how we inhabit the everyday and its habitual, spiritual, material, technological worlds. With it, a radical transformation of spheres of knowledge comes across, which affects any critical reading of the world. Increasingly, there is a focus on entanglement and complicity, rather than the classic division between subject and object.

The critical research residency project Acts of Life looks into the deeper changes of such worlding (forming worlds) caused through our habitation of digital times: How does it affect the (post-) human perception on co-shaping/-constructing of nature as culture, and vice versa, in future (smart) urban environments? What is the future, and how does it relate to the ‘nature’ of the historical as well as non-digital histories?

Crossing time and spaces as it becomes a way of planetary inhabiting, Acts of Life wants to understand the intertwined idea of nature and culture, as a character that plays out differently in new urban settings between vulnerability and resilience, ephemerality and viscosity.


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Open Call

Open Call for Critical Research Residency in
Singapore and Manila

Residency in Manila, Philippines: 28 October – 11 November 2018
Residency in Singapore: 12 November – 25 November 2018
Presentation in Singapore: 24 January – 27 January 2019
Presentation in Manila: 31 January – 3 February 2019



We invite

We invite creative and interdisciplinary working scholars of related fields (e.g. art, design, architecture, urbanism, humanities, digital sciences, etc.) to participate in a short-term residency in both Singapore and the Philippines, Manila. The participants will work on their respective fields of research, together with selected counterparts of their interest, deploying conceptual, terminological, or methodological research tools.

Curatorial supervisors will further guide the participants through the residency period and the following presentation period with a focus on rethinking representation and display politics as key to making research public.

The selection committee and artistic team will consist of: 
  • Ute Meta Bauer (Founding Director NTU CCA Singapore, Prof., NTU Singapore, School of Art, Design and Media)
  • Joselina Cruz (Artistic Director, MCAD, Manila)
  • Patrick Flores (Prof. University of the Philippines, Dep. of Art, Curator of the Vargas Museum, Manila)
  • Sophie Goltz (Deputy Director Research and Academic Programmes, NTU CCA Singapore, Asst. Prof. NTU Singapore, School of Art, Design and Media)
  • Khim Ong (Deputy Director Curatorial Programmes, NTU CCA Singapore)
  • Han-Song Hiltmann (Director Goethe-Institut Singapore) and Dr. Ulrich Nowak (Director Goethe-Institut Manila)

Residency and Presentation

The residency duration is two weeks each, in Manila from 28 October to 11 November 2018 and Singapore from 12 November to 25 November 2018.

Within this timeframe, an intensive workshop in both places will bring the following question closer into focus:
  • How have digital technologies and Internet culture shaped contemporary interpretation and translation of the nature/culture complex in the arts?
  • Have digital times resulted in a shift from artistic representation of the physical world to creative construction of supernatural and hyper cultural realities?
  • What role does historical, traditional, or indigenous knowledge of nature and culture play in the future of world making and acts of life in general?
​ Selected candidates will also have the chance to present their research projects from 24 to 27 January 2019 in Singapore and 31 January to 3 February 2019 in Manila, in a series of events conceived by the artistic team.
The residency grant includes travel expenses (international and regional economy flights), accommodation, per diem during the residency period, and a production budget for final presentations.


We invite creative and interdisciplinary working scholars of related fields (e.g. art, design, architecture, urbanism, humanities, digital sciences, etc.) who live and work in Southeast Asia and/or Germany to apply.
  • 1 x Proposal for project or production to be further developed or completed during the residency period to investigate their subject collaboratively (max 500 words)
  • 1 x CV including examples of previous work and engagements (texts, images; video links, websites in 1 PDF).
  • Full contact details (including e-mail, mobile / WhatsApp contact, and address)
The deadline for application is 15 June 2018. Selected candidates will be notified in late June.


Please email the documents to

(total size not larger than 10 MB)

For any further information please contact Amrit Dhillon

Data Protection Declaration and Declaration of Consent

Please note that by contacting us, you agree to receive information sent by our organisation and partners about our events, services and notifications, by way of emailers, text messages or calls.
You agree that the Goethe-Institut and the partners may collect, save, use and disclose your personal data, as provided by you, or obtained by our organisation as a result of your contact, in accordance with Singapore's Personal Data Protection Act 2012 and our data protection policy.

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