WIP with Dr. Margaret Tan


4 October, 6pm
Student Common Lounge, Level 1

Register here.

“It is the created object which thinks us, and which sometimes thinks better than we do, and quicker than we do: which thinks us before we have thought it” Jean Baudrillard,The Intelligence of Evil and the Lucidity Pact, 42.

The Smart Apron is an artwork that materialised in 2004 under a five-month Artist-in-Labs residency programme in Switzerland. It is a technologically-enhanced apron that sought to address the issue of foreign domestic workers and their working environment in Singapore. Although many will regard this work as complete, to me this created object is still very much a work-in-progress. It speaks not only of where I came from but also where I am going: what started out as a feminist artefact on technological empowerment has become a technological probe into certain feminist politics and Singapore’s latest IT policy called the iN2015 Masterplan. This talk traces the journey I have taken thus far, mapping the thoughts and politics that inform who I am and what I am becoming – a work-in-progress.

The Tembusu (Fagraea fragrans) is a large evergreen tree in the family Gentianaceae. It is native to Southeast Asia. Its trunk is dark brown, with deeply fissured bark, looking somewhat like a bittergourd. It grows in an irregular shape from 10 to 25m high. Its leaves are light green and oval in shape. Its yellowish flowers have a distinct fragrance and the fruits of the tree are bitter tasting red berries, which are eaten by birds and fruit bats.