This blog post is part of the Random Sampling Singapore project. The Project aims to sample 100 places on the island of Singapore over a one year period in order to gain an unbiased and holistic view of the city state.
On a Sunday morning in November I met with the musician Christoph Wichert in Bukit Panjang. It was a blind date for him with a fellow countrywoman 🇦🇹.
2 weeks before I saw him from a far distance standing on stage at Esplanade for the Austrian national day. He was blowing into a strange looking instrument and whooshing into the microphone. The instrument was a bassoon – not abnormal in a classic music orchestra, but the tones he wormed out of this wind instrument were extraordinary. It was combined with recordings and electronics and it was mind blowing.
The song he presented is a coproduction with Tanja Brüggemann which is called after a imaginative faunal boundary. The name of the song is ‘Wallace line’ after the transitional zone between Asia and Australia Alfred Russel Wallace was describing in 1859. It marks the differences between species found in this area because of the deep water barrier between the Australian and the Asian continental shelf areas. No crossing of species over land were possible for the last 50 Million years.
The coordinate Christoph chose when I approached him to participate at the random Sampling Singapore project was 23. I forgot to ask him why he chose this number. As soon I scanned the area at google maps I knew that it wasn’t an easy one. The coordinate was at an entrance of an army camp in the north-west of Singapore along the old Choa Chu Kang road. There was a bus station right in front of it, so we took a double decker bus to reach it. We drove through a street with HDB’s under constructions.
It was a Sunday morning and nobody else was around in this area. We crossed the street and were standing right on the spot. It is military zone, so we didn’t took photos or other recordings. We looked around us and between us and the trainings area were multiple fences. Symmetrical grills and barbed wire in silver grey was protecting the clean and tidy area.
I asked Christoph to sample the area and gave him the sample poach. It wasn’t easy to find something because there weren’t lots of things around. Suddenly he found a blue plastic mesh hose. Maybe the wind carried it there, because it seemed a bit displaced on the pathway. It was about 1 meter long and sealed on both sides. He carefully coiled it up and we zipped it into a sample bag.
After the sampling we waked along the Old Chang Kee road and discovered lots of interesting things. There was a textile fragment on the roadside but it wasn’t made of fiber and we also saw a mock-tree, which I learned is to train your hiding skills.
We also came across cemeteries from all kind of religions, each of them so special and peaceful.
The blue mesh is made of a polymer linear thread, crochet woven into a hose or sleeve.
Thinking of what this hose or sleeve could have been used for I recognized that a mesh is nothing else than a fence or a barrier. It protects something we choose to be inside and excludes something on the other side. It forms a blue line in between. On both through the line separated zones is now space for developing independently from each other.
23 fish are swimming in an ocean. 8 auspicious fish are swimming inside of the square with a border of blue mesh. In the mesh is a hole filled with beaded microchips. Outside are 15 fish swimming in circles. Some are attracted to the chips. Some are not.