On interventions — or, space is only noise if you can see

On Places — Becoming Spaces
Centre for the Arts
NUS Museum

In this talk, I attempt to meditate on the notion of interventions, on the relationship between the one who intervenes and the site, peoples, spaces, sounds, of the intervention.

For, one of the major questions — one might even say that it is a main question if such a thing is possible; after all, questions take their own paths, journeys, quest —, so perhaps one question that the ‘Singapore as “Model” City?’ seminar embarks on is: ‘how can one intervene in a place?’ For, one must bear in mind that interventions involve, intervening enacts, a cut, a caesura, thus, a disruption — in the space, in the movements of the people, in the very rhythm of place itself. So, not just a question of approach, nor a merely technical question, a how to; but, more importantly, a question of how can one in the sense of not just the possibilities of and in interventions, but also a how can you do so, which brings with it a ‘how dare you’, which is also a ‘who the fuck are you’ to intervene in the spaces, places, lives, of others?

This talk was held as part of the Centre for the Art’s ‘NUS Arts Festival 2017’, and was moderated by Yanyun Chen.

Much thanks, and appreciation, to Sarah Tang, Ng Yen Ngee, and Mary Loh, from the CFA for their kind, warm, and generous, support.

This talk is dedicated to the students who have taken the seminar over the years: without their intelligence, creativity, and warmth — alongside their wonderful intervention projects — none of this would have been possible.



Jeremy Fernando is the Jean Baudrillard Fellow at The European Graduate School, where he is also a Reader in Contemporary Literature & Thought. He works in the intersections of literature, philosophy, and the media; and has written nineteen books — including Reading Blindly, Living with Art, Writing Death, and in fidelity. His works has been featured in magazines and journals such as Berfrois, CTheory, TimeOut, and VICE, amongst others; and he has been translated into Japanese, Italian, Spanish, and Serbian. Exploring other media has led him to film, music, and art; and his work has been exhibited in Seoul, Vienna, Hong Kong, and Singapore. He is the general editor of both Delere Press and the thematic magazine One Imperative; and is a Fellow of Tembusu College at the National University of Singapore.


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