Saturday, December 27, 2008


Artists/managers of independent art spaces generally don’t receive formal arts management training though they are often leading cultural organisations that employ many people and exercise great influence and creative force in the local context . (Managing Cultural Centers, ASEF 2008)

Conceived as informal, loose, anarchic and spontaneous weekly gathering, the Wednesday Open Platform Residency (WOP) arose from the urgent need for a structured sustainable artistic program especially borne of the fragile and uncertain future that constantly face independent creative spaces like Green Papaya Art Projects. The rationale of the WOP is to develop creative strategies that address the common challenge of sustaining an artistic platform whilst effectively managing the limited resources available to us. At the same time, it aims to recognize the changing face of young-emerging Filipino art practitioners and scholars whose practice transgress the once easy category of artist and curator. The platform envisions a meeting ground where the selected artists/researchers negotiate the exigencies of artistic production, curatorial intervention and cultural management, through a creative residency that also supports their own personal artistic motivations and growth.


Initiated in 2007 as one-night affair to lubricate social, critical and scholarly connections among a tight-knit community of artists living in Manila who share similar concerns and momentum as regards to contemporary art practice. It modestly started out with the usual screenings, jam sessions artist conversations among musicians, filmmakers, performing and visual artists. Then evolving into much –anticipated weekly gathering for interventionist tactics, cross-disciplinary interaction and collaborations in varying artistic stages: with script readings, improvisation jams, lecture-demonstration, live talk shows and even ping-pong nights. It has since played a central role in the cultural and artistic life of the local community. Opening up spaces to discuss and participate in strategies that bridge the gap of managing independent initiatives whilst promoting creative-artistic agendas.

In April 2008, an open call for proposals, research and artistic tendencies was disseminated to the community of artists, students, cultural workers and emerging scholars of the field. It has been received with enthusiasm, considering that WOP remains to be the only multidisciplinary residency program in Manila, a megalopolis of eleven million people. With the support of Arts Network Asia, (ANA) six young artist/researchers from the fields of visual arts, literature, video, dance and the academe were then selected; each of them given two months to work at/in/with Green Papaya. While the program seeks to support the participants’ creative production they are advised to do so within the frame of co-curating a weekly public program as well. The artists shall also assist in documenting and archiving these events, meanwhile soliciting their reflexive insights on an online blog ( All the outputs of six resident artists will be presented in a book to be published after one year.

The residencies

The first residency took off in August 6 with Angelo Suarez’s Street Smarts. Street Smarts delves into the process that entails the production of text and ‘act of writing.’ The project revolves around the production of language, its practice, deceit and performativity. During the residency, Suarez took a psychogeographic tour of the city, documenting and/or provoking a series of textual tango with taxi drivers in the metro. The work probes into the idea of multiple authorship and the politics of cultural production that between the artist (himself) and the cab drivers he met during the duration of the project. Meanwhile supporting the frame of this research Poem are things, bring together local artists whose works and practice traverse the literary, performative and visual boundaries through weekly readings, performances, screenings, installations and critical play . Unwittingly mapping out existing performance practice, discourse, methodology and production of text within the local art community. The residency ran from August 6 to September 24. Report of the artist here.

The second residency followed, from October 1 to November 26 with Diego Maranan’s Visible Invisible, a creative research project proposing data visualization models useful for social and cultural advocacy. Maranan who is is both an artist and educator teaching at the University of the Philippines, used the residency to propose parallel working methods for social scientists, educators, cultural workers and artists working in the field of knowledge and cultural production. Central to his two-month residency were the one-on-one interactions he had with practitioners from various fields, giving technical advice and support on web design, data visualization, maximizing open-source portals and data management for advocacy. His report appears below

Andrea Teran’s residency Monthly Period Readings slightly veers from the proposed WOP residency rhythm. Instead she runs a once-month reading program in lieu of the straight two-month weekly programming, of which shall run for one year. The Monthly Period Readings started last December 2007, held every last Wednesday of each month established as a venue for a group of writers to read their current takings. However with the support received from ANA, Teran proposed to shift the focus of the readings to feature two young writers in conversation with each other as an avenue to discuss their poetics, styles, motivations, etc. The conversations are open to a public audience who are also invited to glimpse and engage into their artistic processes. For detailed report please go to here.

During the past four months, Teran has organized conversations between Adam David and Conchita Cruz, Lawrence Ypil and Pocholo Goita, Daryll Delgado and Israfel Fagela, and Marguerite de Leon and Yol Jamenda. These reading sessions continue to be followed by regular audience composed of students, enthusiasts and practitioners of Philippine contemporary literature. As of the present, the WOP Monthly Period Readings remains as the only intense discursive platform in Manila that is open to the public. Teran proposes to publish the conversation transcripts to be included in the WOP book at the end of the project.

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