In(ter)dependent studies

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In(ter)dependent studies is an initiative, inviting collaborators to study independently, but somewhat together. It reflects upon ideas about independence, personal development and “studying”, and the purposes and purposelessness of such endeavours. It questions, for instance, the meaning when such pursuits are associated with institutions, certifications, and structure, the status of “independent” and “students”, and studying as an occupation. 

This initiative begins with an invitation to take part, as a collaborator or otherwise “independent student”. A collaborator in this initiative will undertake a largely non-obligatory, self-monitored, and self-motivated studying endeavour over a month. The subject and curriculum, and learning goals, is up to individual personal planning and discretion. A collaborator may choose to interact or engage with each other, as much or as little, for example, to work on further project collaborations. The “outcome” of the programme is the process itself and thus, open-ended, as dependent on the collaborators’ interactions and actions and inactions.

This is clearly reflected in the way the invitation and the programme details are consistently revised based on various input. See the latest version here, and the past versions here.

The term, “independent student”, refers to the “independent studies” courses offered by educational institutions, whereby students undertake a course of study with little or no direct supervision, and also to other statuses such as “independent artists”, “independent researcher”, or “independent curators”, that also commonly refers to freelancers. 

This initiative is in part prompted by the exhibition, Siah Armajani:Spaces for the Public. Spaces for Democracy, at CCA, and its accompanying open call.  Read more about it here.


This over-a-month-long programme suggests for collaborators to spend three hours daily at various locations, with the recommended timing of around 2pm until 5pm, with the following suggested schedule:

1 to 7 Sept (Sun to Sat) at Any space/place 
Note: In Singapore, Teachers’ day used to be on 1 Sept, but now it’s on 6 Sept (first Friday in Sept).

8 to 14 Sept (Sun to Sat) at The NTU CCA exhibition/ gallery, especially the Sacco and Vanzetti Reading Room #3
Generally, the works that include seats may be physically interacted with. The pencils and books may be used. Ask the gallery staff if in doubt. Singapore “school holidays”. CCA is closed on Monday, 9 Sept. Opening hours: Tue-Sun 12–7 pm Fri 12–9 pm

15 to 21 Sept (Sun to Sat) at any library of choice.
Recommended to use any of the “researchers’ tables” in the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library at Bugis. They grant access upon application at the information counters, NLB will ask you to fill up a simple form, then give you an ID to display at the study. Check opening hours here:  National library at Bugis open from 10am -9 pm.

22 to 28 Sept (Sun to Sat) at home or equivalent private space

29 to 5 Oct (Sun to Sat) Any space/place 
In Singapore, Children’s day used to be on 1 Oct, but now it’s on 4 Oct (first Friday in Oct).

4 Oct Friday Sharing session
Nearing the end of this process, collaborators may come together to share about the experience or what you have learnt, (e.g. titles you are reading), although it is not mandatory for anyone to take part either. Venue and content to be determined later. 

  • Action required

    • Generally, the invitation is just for collaborators to study something quite independently, but somewhat together. The method, process, and materials are mere suggestions and non-mandatory. The initiative is about facilitating this process, offering some coordination and minimal structure.

  • Attendance?

    • No attendance will be taken. 

    • Although the recommendation is for spending three hours daily, from around 2pm to 5pm, and over the said period, indie students have complete discretion, there will be no formal monitoring process.

    • Accordingly, there is no suggested studying time of the day, as one may also want to change timing, upon review. Indie students may choose to coordinate with each other, upon connection.

    • Those who would like to take part but cannot be physically present or commit for all the sessions and locations may still choose to do so, since nothing is compulsory.

      • One may even choose to join even after the programme begins.

  • Participation?

    • To facilitate possible interaction between collaborators, you may choose to register here. 

    • The form requests for some details like, profile, research interests, and contact details, and indications if the details should be shared. For instance, perhaps profiles. 

    • Collaborators have to manage their own level of participation, eg, open for interaction or discussion with others or not. 

    • Please note that standard rules and limitations at the venues apply (e.g. no food and drink in gallery or library).

  • Learning materials

    • Collaborators are welcome to activate the books and (selected) structure at the exhibition or the libraries, or bring other studying materials. 

      • List of books at CCA and some relevant materials is available here: 

      • It does not have to be books, it can be through other materials, or studying process.

    • If one does not know how or where to start, consider starting by studying how or where to start.

  • Outcome: This is left open-ended and up to the direction of the collaboration. But a large part of it is this constantly evolving process itself.

  • Repeat: These details are subject to changes, e.g. after various inputs’, of collaborators etc.

The latest version of this document may be accessed at
Previous versions may be accessed here:

This post is the one based on version 5.2 of 30 Aug 2019.

Check out the list of participants and then the blog for updates and reflection.