XITY [sit-ee] /ˈsɪti/
1. An artistic inquiry conceptualised by Matthew Goh investigating the relationship between the city and its inhabitants, whereby "X" is a variable aspect of the urban environment to be reimagined, or an inhabitant responding to the city.
2. An artistic laboratory where performing bodies animate prototype apparatus (inspired by kinetic sculptures), in order to invoke a reflective space for us to (re)discover different facets of our unique city-inhabitant relationships.
In your scheduled 45-minute visit, you are invited to witness and probe these artists’ impressions of the embodied and subliminal experiences we share of living in the city: ranging from how we organically navigate urban infrastructure and its elusive pulses, to negotiating the (in)conspicuous presence of urban density.
4 Phases of Artistic Inquiry (to date)
“We value the quality of the unpredictable as one of the key virtues of the city. We want to get lost in cities, we don’t want them to be comprehensible all at once. We want to discover them gradually, to understand their layers of complexity.”
-- Deyan Sudjic, The Language of Cities
Research at XITY involves constant exploration and development concerning the relationship between the [x]ity and its inhabitants. Since April 2020, we have undergone 4 phases of artistic inquiry, each with its own set of Research Questions (RQ). The following pages are an insight to the behind-the-scenes of our journey.
April 2020 - June 2020
RQ1: How can the artists identify and question our personal relationship with the architecture of the Singapore city space?
During the Circuit Breaker in Singapore, our pioneering three artists (Matthew, Stephanie and Si Xuan) worked asynchronously to explore each of their personal relationships, using the Singapore city space as a stimulus.
Click here to follow the early stages of XITY's artistic inquiry.
November 2020 - Present
RQ4: How can the artists and performing bodies animate prototype apparatus (inspired by kinetic sculptures), in order to invoke a reflective space for us to (re)discover different facets of our unique city-inhabitant relationships?
Working towards the live presentation of XITY's artistic inquiry, conceptualiser Matthew Goh sought to fabricate several artistic prototypes for presentation. After several rounds of conceptual discussion, movement exploration and experimentation with materials drawn from Phase 2 explorations, the artistic team began to single out the following prototype apparatus to be animated by performing bodies for public sharing, which you will witness over the course of the 45-minute presentation.
Click here to find out more about each animated prototype apparatus: "mapping-x", "navigating-x" and "identifying-x", along with the archives of performers' reflections during the live presentation week.
September 2020 - January 2021
RQ3: How can the artists integrate a) research from Phase 1 and 2, b) multiple disciplines in order to develop working prototypes for an Augmented Reality application that physicalise and materialise phenomena of the inhabitants’ relationship with the city?
Introducing the XITY AR application available on mobile devices from January 2021: the culmination of Phase 3 developments. Here, we trace the genesis of the AR application concept, the key inspirations of material and movement emerging from Phases 1 and 2, and how they underwent in-studio development together with developers from VizioFly (an immersive media production company), before arriving at the final product.
Click here to learn more about the genesis, in-studio development, as well as the final AR product.
This presentation was part of a commissioned digital programme by Got to Move 2020, an initiative by the National Arts Council.
July 2020 - September 2020
RQ2: How can the artists integrate the movement practices and material fabrication to create prototypes that question and examine phenomena of the city and its inhabitants?
After a short break in June 2020, the artistic team (Matthew, Stephanie, Si Xuan) returned to the studio space to begin Phase 2 (in the context of both project and nation). Here, we share some of our key highlights in exploring and experimenting with movement practices and material fabrication, in order to create early prototypes that reflected our inquiry of the relationship between the city and its inhabitants.
Click here to follow 5 instances of prototype experimentation between material and movement studies.