Sunday, 3 July 2011

Pleasures of the City

King’s Cross in London, Chow Kit in Kuala Lumpur, and Saritem in Bandung are three well-known ‘paradise’ for those hunting for sex services. But what this presentation is more interested in these places are not because they are red light districts of each city, but what do they offer in terms of spectacle of the everyday life, and what pleasures, apart from sexual, that can we experience from these three places?

Contemporary city life is punctuated with confetti-like events and random situations. From an old tourist nervously wandering around with local pimps in Saritem looking for hookers, to a group of gangsters walking through a dark tunnel beating up some guy (remember Alex and his gang in ‘A Clockwork Orange’?), to street vendors selling cheap smuggled kretek at Pasar Chow Kit, city spectacles and everyday actions are a fundamental part of society’s construction.

This presentation has neither specific objectives nor structure. It is just an attempt to share and reveal the latent pleasurable qualities that are offered by city life within places that are ‘notorious’, ‘dirty’, ‘decaying’ and so on. It is part fiction/ non-fiction narrative of the everyday mental mapping of positive and negative occurrences and their spatial associations with visual, signs, sounds and other human senses that leads to the application of 'shock doctrine' to the mind. It is an act of ‘stammering’ around the city, trying to ghostwrite their story invisibly, but invaluably.

Download the presentation.

*Thanks to David Hutama for introducing the idea of 'shock doctrine' to the presentation.

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