MANILA, Philippines – For the past 5 years, there has been a bloom of independent art initiatives in Manila.
They have no physical spaces yet are introducing critical projects via the Internet and social networks, making use of our growing familiarity with Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere.
Funding for projects is now done through crowdfunding or crowdsourcing. One’s own networks are utilized with the help of online payment methods like Amazon or Paypal that are accessible to anyone with Internet access.
Technology-based initiatives (online and social media) endeavor to collect open-source information, organize discussions, solo art projects, curatorial projects and contemporary discussions in the midst of Manila’s diverse political, cultural, social and economic orientations.
They have learned to navigate past funding schemes through free resources online, mobilizing projects without and beyond physical spaces.
Here are some of them:
1) Generation Loss
Initiated by video and new media curator Merv Espina, it is an ongoing series of dialogues, screenings and exhibitions that seek to posit parallel traditions and tendencies of experimental cinema and video.
For more information, contact Merv Espina at 0921-6653943 or email email@example.com.
2) Visual Pond
It programs exhibitions and artist talks and deals with contemporary artists working on video and technology-based projects regionally.
It doesn’t have a physical office space but can still organize exhibitions by partnering with commercial galleries and institutions all over Manila.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is a cross-cultural multi-local curatorial project initiatied by independent curator Dayang Yraola. It works on themes that are commonly associated with the “discourse of city” in Southeast Asia.
The project reaches cities such as Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong and, of course, Manila. It attempts to instigate conversations relating to the glocal (defined as “thinking globally, acting locally” by Headhunt.com) as a social construct.
For more information, contact Dayang Yraola at 0928-4314867 or email email@example.com or makasining @yahoo.com.
Initiatited by artist and curator Tengal Drilon, it is a festival dedicated to contemporary electronic, digital and experimental sonic art, as well the diverse range of artistic activities in the context of digital culture in Southeast Asia.
The festival is organized by SABAW Media Art Kitchen, a non-profit organization whose primary interests lie in curatorial and research-based production towards the intersections of art and technology.
For more information, contact SABAW Media Hub at 0917-5191511, 0920-6045559 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
5) Capital Eye
An online service by art writer Irwin Cruz that provides information on events, opportunities and news on the contemporary art scene.
It also creates an informal visual documentation of art events happening in Manila on Facebook and Twitter.
It is an independent organization of young researchers and writers (recent graduates) who aim to document the recent history of Philippine contemporary art.
In light of the fact that contemporary art discussion is being handled by particular “stakeholders” in the contemporary art community, DiscLab seeks to posit critical discussion of art by mapping art histories or engaging the market through questionnaires and interviews with more established art historians and critics.
It is a contemporary art platform online that contains information on exhibitions, events and places as well as artists in Manila.
The website is a resource of writings on current discussions and collaborations that are developing beyond available publications or mainstream spaces.
It also features an archive of resources relevant to the present climate of cultural interchanges in contemporary art.
Planting Rice also curates experimental or archival exhibitions relevant to the current art community.
Lian Ladia is an independent curator and writer based in Quezon City.