Parallel Space, Urban Space, Media Space

Scott Lash | Shenzhen, 2008

Saturday, January 12 2008| Shenzhen Biennale site
Session 1 | Parallel Space

Scott Lash (London Social theorist);
Doreen Heng Liu (Guangzhou/Hong Kong Architect);
Huang Wei Wen (Shenzhen Planner);
Laurence LIAUW (Hong Kong);
Map Office (Hong Kong Artist/Architect);
Xiao-Du Liu / Meng Yan (Shenzhen Architects).

Public and private: the PRD and China

Is there public space in China? The individual versus ‘the relation’ as the basic unit of urban space. The ‘urban village’ not as the village in the city, but as a source of potential, of energy, of a new type of changing order, put on ‘the chaos’; as (partly) ordered chaos. Shenzhen and the PRD as possible new types of public space. Global and regional flows and the transformation of the PRD. Critique of neo-liberalism in the PRD. Washington consensus versus Beijing consensus. China as an alternative model for globalization. The mix of public and private in the Chinese model: Communist capitalism or capitalist communism?

Valérie Portefaix, MAP Office | Shenzhen, 2008

Session 2 | Urban Space

Michel Keith (London urbanist),
Du Juan(Architect, Hong Kong);
Li Xiang Ning (Shanghai architecture theorist),;
Le Zheng (Director, Shenzhen Academy of Social Science);
Margaret Crawford (Harvard urbanist/planning theorist);
Mao Zhu-Chen (2010 EXPO Bureau Official, Shanghai);
Zhu Yimin (Architect, Guangzhou).

The city is conventionally understood through its place in western thought as a notion that is simultaneously cultural and conceptual, economic and demographic. But a sense of western urbanism has been driven by the organisation of the political imaginaries and the horizons of built form that implicitly appeals to the city and the state as the institutional poles that organise the social world. In the 21st century it is less clear that this way of thinking about cities addresses the ethical imperatives, the economic realities or the cultural drivers of the megacities that have come increasingly to characterise the human condition. In this sense we might look to the experience of contemporary China to understand different genealogies of the city and alternative trajectories of the urban. The sense of how the city comes in to being an economic or social actor, how the mass of humanity create a sense of people as infrastructure, and the dense cultural networks create new senses of what is possible all emphasise the potential of the 21st century to draw more on its potential; or the ‘city yet to come’.

Parallel Space Forum | Shenzhen, 2008

Session 3 | Media Space

Jiang Jun (Chief-Editor of Urban China);
Bert de Munyck (Architect/Writer, movingcities, Beijing);
Els Silvrants(Curator of Theatre in Motion, Beijing);
Feng Yuan (Urban Critic, Guangzhou);
Hu Fang (Curator of Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou);
Liu Yan (Beijing/Rotterdam Media Curator);
Wu Jiehui, Lu Yang (Hangzhou artists).

The increasingly mediated nature of our everyday experience has at times complicated the relationship between the virtual and the real. A sense of media space infuses the contemporary city and the possibilities of architecture. What does this mean for China’s new media art? Media art: an Eastern aesthetic? How does this inform the ways in which contemporary publication structures the virtual, the magazine evolves, the blogger emerges, portals, games and file sharing on a world scale develop.

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