About Concerned Citizens Programme
Closing date: 27 June 2017
The Substation is calling all concerned citizens, aged 18-30, from arts and non-arts backgrounds alike who are interested in the ways that urban space is used and produced, as well as how inhabitants of the city can take initiative in conceptualising and/or effecting interventions in our city.
About Discipline the City
Cities mirror us. What happens when our city becomes over-designed and over-regulated? Is there still space for diversity, or does the city tend towards some vague notion of a model citizen? Who has the right to the city and who doesn't?
Sometimes, control is heavy handed — police, barricades, closed circuit cameras — but more often than not, it happens in the invisible seams of its architecture. It's the spikes in public spaces to discourage loiterers, the railings in void decks to stop kids from playing football, the hedges that grow outwards to prevent you sitting on the curb. We get so used to it that we don't realise how little agency we have. Or we do, and we are helpless.
At The Substation, artists work alongside architects, designers, historians, urban planners to examine the precarity of urban life. The city, in its imperfection, even unruliness, offers multiple possibilities for those unwilling to accept this helplessness. It's in the margins, the in-betweens, and the elusive public and civic spaces that we might find our individual and collective identity. That we might find ways to make the city ours.
Why Concerned Citizens?
A concerned citizen seeks to be thoughtful and engaged members of the communities they live in. They are well-read and up-to-date with the pressing issues of the day. They are empathetic, able to view issues through multiple perspectives and enjoy creative problem-solving. Finally, they should be incurably curious about ideas and disciplines that might be outside of their usual wheelhouse.
We're seeking concerned citizens aged 18-30, who might have a restless yearning to get involved and initiate change but have yet to find an appropriate outlet for this energy.
Inquiry Questions for 2017
1. How is space produced and regulated in the city? For whom is the city made?
2. How might power relations underscore the production of space in a city?
3. How might public spaces in the city be made more inviting for all inhabitants to access, occupy and use?
4. To what extent is the built environment of the city compatible with the everyday routines of its inhabitants?
5. How might interventions or modifications make space for informal processes and practices of the everyday in a highly-regulated city?
Open Call commences
May – Jun 2017
End Jul 2017
22 Sep 2017
Sep – Nov 2017
Jan 2018 – Feb 2018
The programme is divided into three phases.
Phase I: Knowledge-building & Exploration (September 2017 to November 2017)
Participants of the Concerned Citizens Programme should be able to commit to meeting once a week on average. These meetings may take the form of reading sessions, lectures, discussions, excursions, as part of a process of knowledge-building and exploring topics of urban form and social life. During Phase I, guests from different disciplines will be brought in to share their expertise with the participants and conduct mini workshops.
Phase II: Independent research & Ideation
During December 2017 to early January 2018, participants will need to carry out independent research in order to be able to further refine their intended project/intervention.
Phase III: Prototyping & Fabrication
Participants reconvene with the artist-mentor in January 2018 to finalise the form of their final intervention and begin to design, prototyping and fabrication. Final projects can be implemented in groups or individually.
Projects will be presented in March 2018.
About the artist-mentor
Tan Guo-Liang is a visual artist and writer based in Singapore. He completed his MFA at Glasgow School of Art and was a guest student at The Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. His work has been exhibited and collected in Asia and Europe, including his first solo exhibition ‘Dead Play’ at Space Cottonseed and 'The Trouble With Painting Today' in Pump House Gallery, London. He is a recipient of the Singapore National Arts Council Scholarship for visual art and is a contributing writer on various art journals, catalogues and websites. More recently, he was an artist-in-residence at the NTU CCA residency and currently co-runs the project space Peninsular. He also teaches part-time at Lasalle College of the Arts.