This Is Scenius!

When Brian Eno had hair.

Genius is individual, Scenius is communal, so says ambient music saviour and producer extraordinaire, Brian Eno.

There’s a great interview with Eno at the Guardian regarding the concept and motivations of “Scenius”. But in a nutshell, what he’s saying is that as artists, we’re somehow trapped within the confines of solitude and control, that in art, we focus on the end, and the by-product is genius individuals.

With Scenius, Eno hopes to turn that concept around on it’s head by putting the spotlight on collaboration and improvisation, and saying “Hey, we have collective genius too!” What grabbed me in the interview, was the surrender we ought to place on the art, to let it sway us, rather than us swaying the art. Improvisation’s not a new concept in my book, but it’s nice to see that Eno, who is known to be painstakingly meticulous find new-found passion in this concept.

It reminds me of the time when I was doing filmmaking in university, and I worked with a brilliant director, and also just as meticulous. At first, it grated against me casual, improvisational “just let it happen” producer ethos. But the more I worked with him, the more his ethic rubbed off on me, that I realised, magic doesn’t just happen in great art. And as a producer, I had to catch up, fast.

You could say, we’ve come to similar conclusions, but started on different sides of the playing field. Thus, my artistic ethos has more or less evolved into this, “We can only prepare as much as we can – to the best of our ability, just to capture the muse should she choose to visit us.”

That is to say, improvisation alone is not enough in art. An amount of preparation has to go in, so that you can capture the magic that happens in collaboration or improvisation. Eno and his comrades have paid their dues, so he’s allowed to make his claims, for us who still need to practice.. haha, well practice away!

I guess “Scenius” can be summed up with the equation 1 + 1 = 3, and if you happen to be in the Brighton area in May, check out the Brighton Festival where Eno is Guest Artistic Director.


Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy™

Credit: MOJOKO

Now this looks interesting, an exhibition featuring 42 Singapore artists inspired by the works of Douglas Adams’ seminal work. I’m a big fan, so expect me to be down. Organised by MOJOKO aka Steve Lawler. His work looks pretty fab too!

When: From 15 April 2010 To 21 April 2010
Where: 02-02 BloodGroup+ Space, 32 Aliwal Street, Singapore
Facebook event here.


Get Ready To Get Inked


After a wildly successful Tat2 convention last year, the Singapore Tat2 Show returns in 2010! Over 3 days (Jan 8th – 10th) at Singapore Expo Hall 6B, this year promises to be bigger and more eclectic with more than 300 Tattoo artists from 30 countries the world over, highlights this year include Chris Garver (Miami Ink, True Tattoo, Love Hate Tattoo Studio), Kim Saigh (L.A. Ink, Cherry Bomb Tattoo), Bob Tyrell (L.A. Ink, London Ink), Matt Booth (Room 101), Jeremy (Traditional Borneo Style) and Kirby (Utopia Studios).

Also, while the booths will be abuzz with tattoo aficionados, both artists and fans alike, there will also be a Miss Tattoo Asia competition everyday, with the Finals on the last day. The headlining performance will also be by multiple Guinness World Record holder and contortionist, Rubberboy. This performance is something you do not want to miss, while at the press conference, we were given a small preview, and this man can bend and stretch in ways that will blow your mind! Rubberboy performs on the second day, Jan 9th, 2PM.

One of the highlights for me will be to check out the work of Jeremy Lo who has been practicing the traditional Borneo style of tattooing by knocking wood instead of using needles. In my conversations with him, I learned that traditional villagers see tattoos as a cultural rite of passage, that villagers who left their nest were tattooed with particular symbols, and as they traveled, they would collect more tattoos as symbols of knowledge. In fact, to people in a similar culture, they are able to read the tattoos of each other, and piece together that one person’s life story. As a dying art, artists like Jeremy are proving to be the link between the past and the future, bridging cultures together and learning from everyone.

So yes, I asked some of the artists what they thought about the certain stigmas that more conservative societies heap undeservingly on body art. Chris Garver says “If you like tattoos, then get one. If you don’t, well it doesn’t hurt you. Don’t worry about what other people do if it doesn’t affect you.” Kirby shares a similar sentiment in that “Having a tattoo doesn’t mean you’re bad. It doesn’t mean if you put on a tie, wear a suit or carry a file, it means you’re good.”

Well said, I think if there’s anything that comes from learning from people who express their art on their bodies, it’s don’t judge any book by its cover.


Tickets are priced at S$22 (1-Day Pass), S$60 (3-Day Pass)