re-imagining the city

A year long touring programme to highlight how the arts and design can shape cities

In collaboration with the British Council, onedotzero curated and produced Re-Imagining the City, an 18 month touring project designed to highlight how nurturing creative industries and communities can lead to urban regeneration within cities, leaving a positive legacy for future generations.

This was set against a backdrop of massive change in city living – for the first time in human history over 50% of the worlds population was now living in urban environments. It was estimated that two million people a month were moving to a city across Asia.

In 2006 the British Council approached onedotzero to create and curate a series of events as part of their creative cities programme, a three year cultural and artistic partnership between the East Asian region and the UK to develop creative cities with successful knowledge economies where global citizens can thrive.

Building on onedotzero’s ongoing explorations into the contemporary city, the built environment, artists role in city shaping, onedotzero conceived and developed Re-Imagining the City. A touring series of events that focussed on our shared urban future through the eyes of creatives and artists: designers, musicians, architects, and filmmakers.

The engine of the project was for British artists to collaborate with artists from East Asia in a series of activities to capture the essence of the urban expansion on film and in sound across the region in a unique and vital way whilst also contextualizing this with screenings, and discussions.

The tour reached nine countries and 12 cities across the East Asian and Pacific region, collaborating with an estimated 200 creatives on panel discussions, artist residencies, screening programmes, live shows and media coverage and interviews. onedotzero selected London-based multi-media creatives D-Fuse worked with local filmmakers, designers and musicians on exchange residencies in eleven cities across Asia and Australasia throughout 2007 and 2008.

The idea was to attempt a combination of capturing the perspective of the outsider view with an insiders knowledge. An exchange of skills and methodologies were transferred and loyal and pan regional network was developed and encouraged.

One of the main outcome of these residencies and exchanged was ‘Surface’; a multi-screen Live Cinema performance which documented each city through the eyes of the local and guest artists, evolving with each stage of the tour.

A ‘final’ version renamed ‘Endless Cities’ was performed at the BFI London IMAX during onedotzero_adventures in motion in 2008 bringing it full circle back to the UK. These live performances were contextualized through a series of screenings, panel discussions, residencies and workshops, encouraging industry leaders, academics, artists and members of the public to engage in the debate about how art and design can help to influence and shape cities.

Re-Imagining the City formed an integral part of the British Council’s Creative Cities, a three-year cultural and artistic partnership between East Asia and the UK to develop creative cities with successful knowledge economies where global citizens can thrive.

Re-Imagining the City Publication

In production is a publication as a further project outcome of Re-Imagining the City in conjunction with IdN in Hong Kong. The book offers an unparalleled opportunity to present an array of stunning work generated from this pan-Asia Pacific tour. In addition extensions that support and explore the themes of the contemporary city experience, the impact of regeneration, migration flows, creative capital and urbanization of the city and the built environment are included. It will be presented across motion, photography, graphics, writing and imagery in a stunning multi-format volume.

Re-Imagining the City touring dates

17-18 October 2007: Auckland, New Zealand
30 November-2 December 2007: Seoul, South Korea
18-19 January 2008: Hanoi, Vietnam
21 January 2008: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietman
25-28 January 2008: Chiang Mai, Thailand
26-27 January 2008: Bangkok, Thailand
26-27 March 2008: Melbourne, Australia
28-29 March 2008: Brisbane, Australia
31 March - 6 April 2008: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
9-11 May 2008: Kaohsiung, Taiwan
5-10 August 2008: Bandung, Indonesia
15 November 2008: London, UK