Who are they?
“INTER—MISSION is an art collective dedicated to discourses of technology in art initiated in 2016 by Urich LAU and TEOW Yue Han. Focusing on interdisciplinary and collaborative works in video art, audiovisual, performance, installation and interactive art. The collective aims to inhabit the gap between technologically engaged artworks, artists and audiences.” – from their website
From this statement, we understand that this is an initiative started by a group of artist that discusses the use of technology in art in their works .
“INTER—MISSION builds transnational networks to promote sustained dialogue and engagement with media practices. It creates a space that encourages collaboration, reflection and participation in our ever-changing technological environment through interactive performances, installation, video screenings, international and interdisciplinary dialogues, and knowledge sharing.” – from their website
Quite self-explanatory. They use various mediums in their artworks that are meant to engage with the audience.
The lapse project
As with the rest of their artworks, the Lapse Project focuses on technology in art. However, it focuses on the Singapore context regarding the accelerated digitisation of the environment. In my opinion, this is probably in relation to Singapore’s future plans to be a SMART nation.
Using digital manipulation, the installation highlights the idea of “lapse” by erasing Singapore’s art museums displayed through various mediums. Personally, I feel that this is a commentary on the disappearance of Singapore’s identity with the advancement in technology.
In this virtual reality experience, viewers are situated where the Arts House stood, that had been “digitally erased”. As an important historical monument in Singapore, viewers were to reflect on the disappearance of the building.
What stood out in this artwork was the medium chosen.
The virtual reality experience provided viewers with a different perspective and when viewers remove this goggles, they return back to reality. It is interesting because the experience in VR shows the absence of the Arts House, however, the exhibition was being held inside the Arts House. So, when viewers remove the goggles, they are immediately made aware of the presence of the building that they are currently situated at. I believe that the artwork could possibly have a different impact if it was in a different building.
Visitors from 24 hours ago are reflected on the CRT monitor – the past and present seem to coexist in the same space. I believe this is befitting in the context of the venue the exhibition was located in. The Arts House has a long history and is now being used as an art venue. The memories of the past are still reflected in the walls and interior of the building but the building now holds new meaning to the present.
In this artwork, various monuments, such as the National Museum, National Gallery, and Singapore Art Museum are digitally erased.
You know the phrase “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”?
I felt that this exhibition exemplifies that. Often times, these buildings are overlooked, but the absence of these 3 cultural institutions will become apparent and leave a big gap in the surroundings. Personally, as much as I’m aware of the existence and historic significance of these buildings, I’m not “appreciative” of them. I would just walk past and don’t pay much attention to it.
This made me wonder, why is it that we only take notice when it’s gone?
I may not have visited this exhibition in person, but the message of the exhibition is very clear. It seemed like very thought-provoking artworks that encourage visitors to reflect on the significance of the history and cultures of the buildings in Singapore and how technology might impact this impression in the future.