A new media art project explores cultural tensions in Amsterdam as part of Mediamatic’s Noord exhibition.
The rise of locative media offers further indication that identity and location offer numerous meditations on cultural tensions. This is the zeitgeist inspiring a group artists exploring North Amsterdam, a transitional area traditionally filled with artists and a multi-cultural population.
Contemporary art and new media institute Mediamatic has invited us (Golfstromen) and 21 other Egyptian, Middle Eastern and Dutch artists and designers to explore the North of Amsterdam. We spent this summer mapping the borough’s visible and invisible locations, people and data flows, and research its history and future. Our collective work has resulted in an exhibition and gives rise to the first Arabic travel guide to The Netherlands. We created the strategy game Gentrification Battlefield.
Ten years ago only a few dared to cross the IJ river to occupy an abandoned hangar. Meanwhile, the frontline of ‘gentrification’ has moved. The NDSM Wharf is firmly in the hands of the invading forces led by companies such as MTV. And also the car repair shops of Buiksloterham and Nieuwendammerham lose ground to creative companies with concrete poured floors and apple green chairs. To give insight in how the gentrification evolves, we decided to present the process as if it were a battle. In collaboration with animator Coen Rens we created the official Amsterdam-Noord Gentrification Battlefield Map. The result is an animation which shows a simulated isometric real-time-strategy game where the old and new inhabitants are fighting over possession of the land.
Watch a sample of the game below:
Gentrification Battlefield and the Noord Exhibition is on display at Mediamatic through November 9th.