What is the goal for RIOT Machine?
RIOT Machine advocates individuality. It is not exactly a collective as we don’t have a singular way of working. Rather, it is knowing that there are artistic individuals and using platforms such as the Art Book Fair to put these people out there.
How do you work together?
We started off as three artists who wanted to offer a space for like-minded individuals to express their ideas in a supportive environment. We gathered artists from school and guided them towards extending their practice on print. We held meetings where each artist were able to share their ideas and works. Such sessions were similar to critique sessions in school and we thought that it was important to keep such discussions going to receive constructive feedback from different perspectives before publishing the works.
What are the different art forms available in RIOT Machine?
All of us are very different. You have the photographers, illustrators and research artists. We are all trying to find ways to put everything we want to explore through print without limiting ourselves to a particular media or art form. We keep it open and offer our suggestions to each other. That’s the beauty of it - photographers and illustrators may have different viewpoints when it comes to creating, so in that sense we can build up our art perfectly based on the different viewpoints.
How does the existence of the group motivate you to push boundaries as individual artists?
We work very differently artistically. On a daily basis, you are usually thinking about and looking at the world through your own pair of eyes. Sitting down and talking about each other’s artistic practices - that’s when you really understand everyone’s approach to life and how differently everyone else sees the world. Just being exposed to that gets you thinking about the everyday life and how you can approach your own practice. At the end of each meeting, we always have something to work on or explore.
What can we expect from you at Singapore Art Book Fair 2016?
Aqilah has a zine called Post-Teen Girl. It explores different the perspectives and experience of a girl who just entered adulthood. The zine is full of drawings, text explorations and a lot of photographic layering. You will also find research-based art. Clarisse Bu spent some time researching and analyzing benches in SOTA and how people socialize and communicate with each other. In essence, there will be a very wide variety of art and themes from RIOT Machine at the fair.
Say something to the fairgoers!
This is coming from the fact that Aqilah just watched a documentary from Pakistan. We have to start appreciating and saving water. And educate ourselves on the issue of global warming! Start protecting the environment. We don’t have works based on these themes but I feel like these are the things artists should discuss more actively.