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Istanbul calls for art works and on urbanization

ISTANBUL-Hürriyet Daily News | 8/6/2010 12:00:00 AM |

The AmberFestival invites submissions and applications for interactive installations under the “DATACITY” theme. The deadline for registration is August 20.

The AmberFestival invites submissions and applications for interactive installations under the “DATACITY”  theme. The deadline for registration is August 20. 

The call is an international one, the works selected from the submissions will be displayed between Nov. 5 and 14 in Istanbul in the frame of the amber'10 Art and Technology Festival. The selected artworks by artists from Turkey will be supported for further development if this is deemed necessary and possible.

 The AmberFestival especially seeks interactive installations designed for an outdoor exhibition.

[HH] Meaning of “Datacity

For the first time in history, the world’s urban population surpassed its rural counterpart. Cities have become the predominant habitat of humanity. The requirements of rapidly growing cities, coupled with the contemporary technological possibilities bring about new urban reality that is data. amber’10 takes up the relationship between city and data as its festival theme.

It is no accident that the rise of statistics as a science coincided with the rise of the modern city as a social form during the industrial revolution. When statistical methods of data production and measurement coupled with reproductive techniques such as photography and printing, the modern city entered into imaginary circulation simultaneously with its double, its image. From its beginnings, the modern city emerged both as a reality and a representation that were interrelated in such a manner that it became hard to tell one from the other.

In this historical process, contemporaneous with the Enlightenment and Industrial capitalism, the ability to understand the city became conditional on processing and thinking through the data it produced. Data has become a crucial factor in urban social relations and politics.

The capacity to produce and process all kinds of data has increased tremendously with the rise of new technologies in the last three decades. Capitalist parliamentary democracy, as it exists today, demands transparency, efficiency and absolute security as the conditions of its mechanism and has at its service the wide possibilities offered by new technologies to meet these demands. This coupling brought about the strategic importance of data in today’s World. We know and define the city through the images made up of its data. The collection, storage and processing of the vast amount of data has become an everyday practice that is both visible and invisible, threatening to some and absolutely beneficial to others in a field ranging from law to ethics, human rights to health.

With the theme title Datacity, amber’10 proposes to define the modern city as a data cluster in addition to however else the city form may be defined today. We call on artists to interpret the life forms, production and consumption patterns and politics of the Datacity from the vantage point of arts and technology.  Submissions are accepted at http://submissions.amberplatform.org

[HH] Urbanization movement in Istanbul

Currently, as the world is driven into a chaotic environment, the word “urbanization” becomes more important.

However, it is also hard to live with it. Istanbul is one clear example of the rapid urbanization concept with its growing population. The city also stands as a good example of urbanization movements of the 2000s. However, sometimes, people cannot stop to ask how the city will deal with its increasing population.

Urbanization that created with the pull and push factors is determined by the time period since 1950 until 2015 in Istanbul. Population and public policy problems are also examined by the population accumulation in other big cities, with Istanbul as the most notable example in Turkey.

Currently, Istanbul’s population is still growing and municipalities, on the other hand, try to deal with this issue that at times can seem problematic.

However, according to some experts, the  system in which municipalities deal with the urban population growth is so wrong.

During the last 10 years, shanty towns (gecekondus in Turkish) have started to disappear.

However, shanty houses were a good example of “communal living” in Istanbul.

Now with the new living places in Istanbul; such as luxury residences, the city’s shanty town culture gives its place to the bourgeoisie, while this situation separates the society into two different and opposing classes.

This causes a huge spatial difference between the rich and poor and enables a different society, according to experts.

Mobility comes with many problems such as traffic. As the city excludes its citizens, dividing them into different social class groups.

As the daily lives of people in their everyday spaces separate in relation to their social status, the low-wage earning population is stigmatized to have a tendency for illegal events, because of their low-profile life conditions, enabling more social exclusion.

Even though the main aim is to make a suitable living space for both rich and poor inhabitants of the city, it seems impossible with the new developing urbanization trends.

 Once shanty houses become expensive residences of high income people, the situation creates an estranged society within Istanbul.

Not only residences but also shopping centers that cater to those living in such places give birth to a new social representation of space in Istanbul.

 With all the surging shopping centers Istanbul readies to become a more estranged city than ever. The new developing projects of shopping centers are expected to divide society even more. While high income people do not enter the places that low waged people used to, perceptions of who belongs where are expected to become more evident in the future.

However, this problem can be hard to overcome. The municipalities continue to cater to high end residences, while poor people are driven to the outskirt districts of the city.

Even though Istanbul is one of the largest metropolitan areas of the world, the city struggles with its destiny.

The urbanization renewal projects mainly rules over the old town and old parts of the city, such as Galata, Beyoğlu, Balat and Fener.

The old inhabitants of these districts have sold their homes for low costs to rich developers as the urban transformation process is expected to continue.

It seems like more problems are waiting for Istanbul.

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