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P♥rtraire Familiya (featuring rawanXberdenyut, Aleezon,
Tuan Siami, A.I.den and Lé Luhur from NUS Museum's
South and Southeast Asia Collection and Autaspace)


‘Radio Malaya: Abridged Conversations About Art’
National University of Singapore (NUS) Museum). Photographed by jonathan tan.

Polymethyl methacrylate (Acrylic Tiger), epoxy resin (NicPro), chameleon carbon fibre polyvinyl chloride and polyacrylate adhesive (Vvivid XPO) on anodized aluminium alloy, polyurethane varnish on digital print on polyethylene vinyl (Oracle), honeycomb retroreflective tape (Grip-On),
non metalized reflective tape (Steve & Leif) on polymethyl methacrylate (Acrylic Tiger), 400 x 300 cm

“… the listener must not only listen,
but they must also contribute
to the act of composition.”

Eduardo Navas,
‘Remix Theory: Aesthetics of Sampling’,

How has our transitions from the physical world to the digital realm impacted our sense of order? Would there be sets of key differences between the world of tangible objects and the emerging world of non-physical informations? How has the “infosphere” continue to hack the mind? Could the physical abstraction of these images distill mis-informations as a strategy against a cultural extraction - a filtering from the attention economy?

The exercise samples photographic images of things that are of ‘unknown origin’ and ‘unknown value’ - provenances of objects employed from NUS Museum’s South and Southeast Asia collection, the internet, a screenshot of a 90s music video (Siti Nurhaliza’s ‘Aku Cinta Padamu’, 1997), alongside a screenshot of a manuscript of a written poem ‘Syair Dagang Berjual Beli’ (Tuan Siami, 1830), that is held within the Bibliothèque nationale de France but made digitally available through National Library Singapore’s eresources 
with sets of speculations. First, a pantun generated with an unnamed bot through A.I.den (chatGPT, 2023). Secondly, a family portrait.

In this composition, the remixed things are cultural samples, its arrangement is guided by the grids from a textile within the collection and printed onto a polyvinyl wall decal, referencing the material used specifically within advertising and mirroring the grids of the weave that inspired computational languages.

The title is a step to the ‘first stage of remix’ and these samples sets the perimeters to looking into Ancestrale Intels (AIs) within institutions, the Internet, hearsays and spaces that are ‘open-access’ within the present; acknowledging these things not as mere materials for an ‘aesthetic of remix’, but as interlocutors and collaborators for a ‘meta creative’ composition.

The work is a bluff, an interface for the viewer to reflect upon the conditions of mining for cultural authenticity amidst the oversampling of things, information and secrecies within the landscape of cultural production, amid the contemporary climate crisis. A buffer, perhaps from cultural extraction that continues within anthropology, ethnography and cultural studies. 

The images transferred onto polyvinyls were re-arranged together with interlocutors Aleezon and rawanXberdenyut by hand, complicating notions of authorship. The frames were assembled with Lee Khee San, an engineer by training, who has since 2015, been in collaboration with Fyerool and had dedicated himself to be a framer for 1998. 

The work is a commission in the permanent exhibition Radio Malaya: Abridged Conversations About Art at NUS Museum. Expanding beyond an earlier project [prep-room] After Ballads between 2017 and 2018