The video installation is based on recorded material from smart city visits in South Korea, marketing material published by corporations and smart city initiatives. By decoding the visual and rhetorical language of “smartness”, the installation investigates ways to unveil the underlying power structures of smart cities and combines them to the observations that the artists made while visiting the actual sites. How is it to live in a corporatized smart city? How is life in Songdo, a city owned by Gale International, Posco and Morgan Stanley Real Estate? How is life in Masdar City, built by a future energy company with the same name? How is life in GIFT city, one of the 100 ‘Smart City Mission’ cities in India where companies lead by CEO’s and with local statesmen on advisory boards govern life? How does life in this cooperate test beds and demo-cities differ from the messy and complex cities we live in? How does a city with multiple histories and narratives differ from a city with a designed story?
The installation was finished during a work residency at BEK, Bergen, Norway. BEK – Bergen Centre for Electronic Arts – is a not for profit, interdisciplinary resource and research centre for work within the field of art and technology.