PerForm Open Academy of Arts and Activations

PerForm Open Academy of Arts and Activations


March 22, 2023
PerForm Open Academy of Arts and Activations
Live marathon of 14 Global South Fellows
Keynote: April 13, 7:30–11pm
Workshops: April 14–15
Open Academy Marathon: April 15–16
72-13 Mohamed Sultan Road
Singapore 239007

T +65 6737 7213
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Free admission with registration here. The inaugural PerForm​ Open Academy of Arts and Activations: a porous space bridging solidarities and knowledges in the precarious present.

PerForm Open Academy of Arts and Activations is the inaugural live gathering of 14 PerForm fellows from the Global South—Africa, Arab World, Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, South America—and its diaspora. These fellows, intersectional practitioners across diverse disciplines of curation, research, education, visual culture, performance, will present their strategies for activating contexts and communities.

PerForm is conceptualised and led by T:>Works Artistic Director, Dr. Ong Keng Sen. This fellowship platform began in March 2021 through the format of digital keynotes by Singapore fellows. 

With PerForm, T:>Works aims to cut across silos, disciplines, and fields to support contextualised research, situated practices, and translocal knowledge production as shared resources for the future. In particular, PerForm focuses on the arts practitioner as a thought leader engaged in care and repair, actively bridging histories, the precarious present, and world-creating. 

For PerForm Open Academy of Arts and Activations, Dr. Ong draws inspiration from his seminal work investigating nomadic alternative universities and world-creating in the arts: The Flying Circus Project (1996–2013), as well as the Curator’s Academy (2018–22) including the Berlin collaboration with Maxim Gorki Theater.

PerForm Open Academy redefines an academy by embracing an openness which opposes hierarchical learning, refuses elite membership, and ultimately unpacks the institution into a porous space. It aspires towards planetary consciousness. Achille Mbembe wrote: “For me, the planetary immediately evokes a connection between life and its futures on the one hand, and the Earth on the other hand. What comes to my mind is the biophysical organic material and mineral order—a geological magma-filled rock topped with the entangled orders of physical, organic phenomena such as plants, animals, minerals and so forth, as well as the artifacts and things and tools we have invented…I probably owe that to my interest in the animist metaphysics of precolonial Africa. That’s the archive I draw on to propose this kind of understanding of the planetary as so closely linked to life, which itself is an indivisible process.” [1]

Dr. Ong elaborates, “the idea of openness and porosity is even more important when we evaluate and redefine how we sustain liveability on Earth. We have arrived at a complex fusion of life and the Earth, rather than a separation of human and non-human. In particular, the planetary refers explicitly to the artefacts, things, and tools which the human has invented such as notations, writings, books, objects, stills, moving image recordings and the digital. There is also a connection made between animism and metaphysics, bringing in a spiritual, irrational realm which the human and non-human do not necessarily rationally include. Our emphasis in PerForm is living, multiplicity, and transformation on this geological magma-filled rock.”

Central to the PerForm Open Academy of Arts and Activations is a marathon format on April 15 stretching from 11am to 1am the next day. This marathon format has its precedents in the legacy of T:>Works’ The Flying Circus Project (1996–2013).

The 14 Global South Fellows are: Aouefa Amoussouvi, Chidumaga Uzoma Orji, Giuliana Kiersz, Helia Hamedani, Keren Lasme, Ladji Kone, Martha Luisa Hernández Cadenas, Mona Benyamin, Nirlyn Seijas, Rah Naqvi, Renan Laru-an, Rola Khayyat, Soukaina Aboulaoula and Tara Fatehi. 

PerForm Open Academy of Arts and Activations is presented by T:>Works, an independent and international arts company based in Singapore at its space 72-13.

Event details
 by Art Labor—an arts collective based in Ho Chi Minh City on April 13. Workshops by various Fellows on April 14 & 15. Open Academy Marathon: a 14-hr presentation marathon starting at 11am on April 15 and ending at 1am on April 16.

Endnote: [1] Achille Mbembe, “How To Develop A Planetary Consciousness,” Interview with Nils Gilman and Jonathan S. Blake, Noema Magazine, Berggruen Institute, accessed February 10, 2023, source.

RSVP for PerForm Open Academy of Arts and Activations
March 22, 2023

Thank you for your RSVP.

T:>Works will be in touch.


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