The Network Within: Singapore’s Artscommunity e-group

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue


In 1999 Alvin Tan launched the Singapore Artscommunity e-group (‘artscom’). With over 2,000members, the artscom has been the site of sometimes passionate debates at the intersection of Singapore art and society. It constitutes a valuable forum for the free exchange of information andopinion in a Singaporean public sphere where the influence of the government can often be felt.Despite its advanced age (eight years is a long time in Internet years!), and despite periodic jeremiadsabout the ads-and-plugs to in-depth-discussion ratio, the Singapore artscom is still going strong,and is still the first port of call for artists who want to communicate with their peers or stay in touch when they are overseas. But what is perhaps most remarkable about the artscom is that it is successfully self-policed. Alvin adopts an extremely hands-off approach and has only excluded someone once;yet the artscom has hardly ever seen instances of the ‘trolling’ or extreme ‘flaming’ which havecondemned so many unmoderated email lists.In the following interview, long-time artscom participants Lucy Davis and Mathieu O’Neil discussthe artscom’s past, present and future with Alvin Tan
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-297
Number of pages20
JournalForum On Contemporary Art & Society
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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