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Burcak Bingol Istanbul Biennale 2017 Follower Installation View

Burçak Bingöl, Follower, 2017

Issue 1

Smart Cities

Smart Cities surveys how the urban landscape is growing increasingly digital and how this impacts our personal lives and communities.

Chapter 1: I Got Nothing To Hide

"I Got Nothing To Hide" opens on issues of ownership, privacy and personal space online, on social media, and offline. The chapter contrasts prevailing cultural paradigms about digital human rights and AI adoption in the East and the West. Finally, it presents the official voice of Smart Nation Singapore from Head of the Programme, Kok Yam Tan.

Charles Lim Yi Yong, Cannot Take photographic artwork
A robot
Screenshot of an animation
A CCTV camera on a wall painted in flowers

Chapter 2: Intelligent Island

“Intelligent Island” provides a historical and cultural context that complicates the glossy surface of the Smart Nation paradigm. The chapter plots a trajectory of gradual computerisation since the 1980s that has led up to smart, present-day Singapore, and peers into the gaps — what was forgotten in this march towards the digital.

Debbie Ding, The Library of Pulau Saigon
Teow Yue Han, Performing the Smart Nation
Urich Lau, Code File: Three Domes, 2016

Chapter 3: Where Is My Data

“Where Is My Data?” asks exactly that, explaining the mechanisms of data flows. A short sci-fi story humanises the topic through the eyes of a physicist who feeds a super-computer with the visual data of every object on the planet. The chapter also surveys how open source has affected the electronic music industry, a sector that is all about collaboration and sharing.

Horizon 99 by lhtttt
Debbie Ding, Le Petit Arbre (Paris, 2012), 2012 drawing artwork
Felix Mollinga, Databall_, 2018

Chapter 4: From Singapore to Toronto

“From Singapore to Toronto” provides a global survey of the smart city dream, both in its pragmatic, present-day deployment and in its speculative, fictive form. A creative essay presents an outlandish, futuristic Singapore. Then a comparative dialogue with a national representative for Microsoft brings us face to face with the real challenges of smart city building around the world.

3-Part Pscyhobuilding
Maldives Vista

Chapter 5: Urban Resilience

“Urban Resilience” takes a look at how fringe communities at home and abroad are pushing back against the unseen yoke of the digital. The chapter opens with photographer’s Noh Suntag’s journal on South Korean villagers displaced by an international surveillance programme. In Singapore, so-far asks urban planners how they are coming to terms with “data-driven policy-making”, and recalls a rather unsettling omission in the smooth fabric of the Smart Nation.

Documentation of Google Street View. 
84 Onan Road
    Screen Enjamb (Impasse)
    the strAnge ball #BHD2404

    Chapter 6: I Got Everything to Hide

    The conclusion to so-far’s inaugural issue reckons with all of the learnings accumulated over the past several months, from the importance of data privacy and digital human rights, to the issues that smart cities are necessarily entangled with, from governance, citizenship, to local and migrant communities.

    Technologies of Care and XVI Quadriennale d’Arte
    Bug (Eye)
    Life Circuit