Publication

  • World of Variation, 1970/2020 — Revisiting the i Press Series on the Human Environment
    Thomas F. McNulty and Mary Otis Stevens
    Authors
    Ute Meta Bauer, Karin G. Oen, and Pelin Tan
    Editors
    NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, 2021
  • GRANTEE
    NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore
    GRANT YEAR
    2020

Mary Otis Stevens and Thomas McNulty, cover of "World of Variation," 1970

Mary Otis Stevens, a Cambridge-based architect and graduate from MIT, founded the i Press Series on the Human Environment in 1968 alongside partner Thomas F. McNulty. Over the next six years, they published five volumes on architecture and urban design, each of which situated these fields within questions of social, political, and cultural practices, as well as emerging discourses around environment and globalization. These volumes have all been out of print for decades; this project aims not only to republish World of Variation—which contains fresh urgency for architecture and planning today—but also to revisit the issues it confronts through new interviews with Stevens as well as critical commentary, commissioned as new afterwords that situate this work historically. This project is an opportunity to reintroduce this crucial work into contemporary debates around planning, sustainable architecture, and urban development on the local, national, and global scales.

Ute Meta Bauer is the founding director of the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) Singapore, a national research centre for contemporary art, and since 2013 is a tenured professor at the School of Art, Design and Media. At the NTU CCA Singapore, Bauer has curated and cocurated The Posthuman City: Climates. Habitats. Environments (2019–20); Trees of Life: Knowledge in Material (2018); The Oceanic (2017–18); Tarek Atoui: The Ground: From the Land to the Sea (2018); Charles Lim Li Yong: SEA STATE (2016); and Allan Sekula: Fish Story, to be continued (2015). In 2015, she and Paul Ha, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) List Centre for Visual Art, cocurated Joan Jonas’ works for the US Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale; the exhibition received a Special Mention in the juried awards for national pavilions. Bauer has edited numerous publications, including The Impossibility of Mapping (Urban Asia) (NTU CCA Singapore and World Scientific Publishing, 2020); Place.Labour.Capital. (NTU CCA Singapore and Mousse Publishing, 2018); and Tomás Saraceno: Arachnid Orchestra. Jam Sessions (NTU CCA Singapore, 2017).

Pelin Tan the Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Arts, Design and Social Research (CAD+SR), Boston, US (2020–21). Previously she was associate professor of architecture at Mardin Artuklu University, Mardin, Turkey (2013–18); and  visiting associate professor at the University of Cyprus, Nicosia (2018); Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2016); Hong Kong Design Trust (2016–17); and the Japan Foundation, Tokyo (2012). She served as guest curator for the I-DEA archival project at Matera 2019, European Capital of Culture, Matera, Italy, and is on the curatorial board of IBA Stuttgart 2027. Tan is the lead author of the chapter "Towards an Urban Society,” in Rethinking Society for the 21st Century: Report of the International Panel on Social Progress (Cambridge University Press, 2018). As part of the Artikisler Collective, she coedited Autonomous Archiving (dpr-barcelona, 2016) and contributed articles to Swamps and the New Imagination (MIT Press & Sternberg Press, forthcoming); Climates: Architecture and the Planetary Imaginary (Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, 2016); and 2000+: Urgencies in Architectural Theory (Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, 2015).

Karin G. Oen is deputy director, curatorial programmes at the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) Singapore and teaches in NTU’s graduate programme in museum studies and curatorial practices. She served as associate curator of contemporary art at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (2015–19) and led exhibition projects including Collected Letters (2016); Divine Bodies (2018); and Haroon Mirza: The Night Journey (2018). Prior to her time in San Francisco, Oen was a curator at the Crow Museum of Asian Art in Dallas, TX and taught courses on modern and contemporary Asian art at the University of North Texas and the University of Texas at Dallas. She was previously a museum educator for Asian art at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA and oversaw the curatorial program, artists’ residencies, and artist-in-industry program at ArtWorks!, a contemporary art center in New Bedford, MA. Oen holds a doctorate in history, theory, and criticism of art and architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology; a master’s in modern art history, connoisseurship, and art market history from Christie’s Education; and a bachelor’s in urban studies and art history from Stanford University.

A leading international art institution, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore is a platform, host, and partner creating and driven by dynamic thinking in its three-fold constellation: exhibitions, residencies program, and research and academic education. A national research centre for contemporary art of Nanyang Technological University, the Centre positions itself as a space for critical discourse and encourages new ways of thinking about spaces of the curatorial in Southeast Asia and beyond. It brings forth innovative and experimental forms of artistic and curatorial practices that intersect the present and histories of contemporary art embedded in sociopolitical spheres with other fields of knowledge.