Los-Angeles-born Artist Mika Tajima’s Installation Project in Istanbul Comments on the Massive Social Impact of Smart Cities Around the World
Mika Tajima: Emotion Commune
May 28 – July 2, 2016
Istanbul Textile Traders Market
Presented by Protocinema
Los Angeles-born artist Mika Tajima presents Emotion Commune in the artist-run space known as 5533, inside Istanbul’s Textile Traders Market. Tajima’s installation delves into the cyber psyche of New Songdo City, South Korea, reputed as a “smart city” because of its high level of digital connectivity (read: massive use of technology). Live tweets from the city scroll across a screen on one wall. A computer algorithm interprets the tweets as a positive or negative aggregate, channeling the results to the store’s lighting system. If tweets are positive, the space glows in a hot pink light. If negative, the lighting turns to rose. In this way, the lighting visualizes the human emotions of the community. The room itself becomes the stand-in for a collective expression of rage or excitement.
This installation uses data to comment on the social impact of a growing practice among governments globally. At the same time cities are optimizing social media and smart technologies to improve the municipal infrastructure and enhance the quality of life, they are reading people’s emotions and opinions and controlling behaviors. The city of İstanbul, Turkey, is heading in the same direction.
Based in Istanbul and New York, Protocinema is an itinerant art initiative that creates opportunities for emerging and established artists to produce site-sensitive projects in temporal exhibition spaces around the world. Emotion Commune is the finale in Proto5533, a year-long series of exhibitions presented in Istanbul.
Begüm Erginbay, this week’s Fresh VUE contributor, has been working with the İstanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) since 2014. Each week, Erginbay introduces a Fresh Talk episode in a special broadcast series on Radio TV Online at Istanbul University.