Panel Discussion

Aerial Witness

5 PM

  • Berlin: 11am, 31 March
  • Jakarta & Bangkok: 5pm, 31 March
  • Singapore: 6pm, 31 March

Live on these channels:

Goethe-Institut Indonesien

Galeri Nasional Indonesia
Goethe-Institut Indonesien
Goethe-Institut Singapore
Goethe-Institut Thailand
Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin
MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum
Singapore Art Museum

The remote-controlled airborne camera that aids in film-making, conservation, and activism seems a far cry from the aerial weapon deployed by imperial states. But a closer look reveals how the drone—consumer product or otherwise—is constantly entangled in issues of power, relations, and visibility. For the three artists on this panel, the drone is employed as a witness to statecraft, ecological collapse, and hidden labor. It appears variously as a tool, character, and symbol in the artists’ varied videos, relational- and performance-based works.

The distance of its aerial vision reveals our world at scale and contrasts with artefacts and perspectives gathered from the ground: locating viewers between a zoomed-out, systemic view and a zoomed-in scrutiny of memory and consequence. In this panel we will begin with what drone vision reveals about the planet and the state, exploring how each artist uses aerial witnessing to contest or complicate official narratives.
The artists are participants of the Nation, Narration, Narcosis: Collecting Entanglements and Embodied Histories at Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin. It is part of the long-term project initiated by the Goethe-Institut and a collaboration with Galeri Nasional Indonesia, MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, and Singapore Art Museum. Curated by Anna-Catharina Gebbers, Gridthiya Gaweewong, Grace Samboh and June Yap, the research and exhibition project questions official and hegemonic narrations while creating space for the coexistence of a multiplicity of counter-narratives.
The panel situates the artistic practices presented in the exhibition Nation, Narration, Narcosis within a larger historical and socio-political context of increasing technologisation by taking on a meta-perspective of drone affordances, not as an instrument but as a constitutive agent in the making of narratives. By exploring artistic perspectives of technology, we speculate on its potentialities from a position of relationship rather than separateness inherent in dualism.


Anna-Catharina Gebbers is a Collection Curator for Contemporary Art at the Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin.


Stephanie Comilang is a Filipina-Canadian artist and filmmaker working in Toronto and Berlin. Her work concerns the concept of home, often dealing with ideas of diaspora and migration. Through video as a medium, Comilang explores the conditions migrants face, in particular exploitation and the adversity they endure when leaving a country for reasons out of their own control. Comilang has screened her work at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Asia Art Archive in New York, SALTS Basel, UCLA, and the GHOST:2561 Bangkok Video and Performance Art Triennale among other venues.

Tita Salina is a self-taught artist based in Jakarta. Her initial work places the imagination through performative intervention in the midst of chaotic public space of megapolitan Jakarta, which faces the dilemma of uncontrolled urbanization and pollution. Together with partner artist Irwan Ahmett, she is currently working on a long-term project related to geopolitical turmoil in the Ring of Fire - Pacific Rim, the most prone region to natural disasters as well as traumatic consequences which is caused by the persistent ideological violence. High mobility as the main vehicle to participate in residency programs, research, field study and exhibitions in specific areas, which is paradoxical such as some heavenly yet deadly beautiful places on earth. Tita wants to find answers about planetary anxieties in regard to human existence by means of evolutionary perspective and to produce knowledge through arts related to injustice, humanity and ecology.

Ho Tzu Nyen is a contemporary artist and filmmaker based in Singapore. His works involve film, video, performance and immersive multimedia installations, bringing together fact and myth to mobilize different understandings of Southeast Asia’s history, politics, and religion, often premised upon a complex set of references from art history, to theatre, cinema, and philosophy. Ho has shown internationally at major exhibitions such as the Aichi Triennale, Japan (2019), the Sharjah Biennial 14, United Arab Emirates (2019), and the Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2018). In 2011, Ho represented Singapore at the 54th Venice Biennale at the Singapore Pavilion, presenting the work The Cloud of Unknowing.


Alex Quicho is a London-based writer from Manila. Her first book, Small Gods (Zero Books, 2021), explores the drone’s myriad forms through contemporary art, and her essays appear in The White Review, Wired, The New Inquiry, Bookforum, Art Review, C Magazine, Real Life, and others. She has produced talks and texts for institutions including Singapore Art Museum, Power Station of Art, Julia Stoschek Collection, and the Rennie Museum. She studied critical writing at the Royal College of Art.

Collecting Entanglements And Embodied Histories

a dialogue between the collections of Galeri Nasional Indonesia, MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, and Singapore Art Museum. Initiated by the Goethe-Institut, the project manifests as four exhibitions with distinctive curatorial narratives in the four collaborating institutions, regular online public programs livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube, a video essay series by art practitioners on selected artists and more. The curatorial team consists of Anna-Catharina Gebbers, Grace Samboh, Gridthiya Gaweewong, and June Yap.


Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan Galeri Nasional Indonesia MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum Nationalgalerie Berlin Singapore Art Museum