Dr. Elisha Masemann: Artistic Intervention in the Data-driven ‘Smart’ City

Kia ora, I’m Elisha Masemann and I’m currently a remote researcher based in my home country, New Zealand. My research field is contemporary urban and visual art, with an interest in the intersections of art, architecture, urbanism and socio-cultural theory in the context of today’s rapidly changing cities. In Münster, I will analyse an emerging aspect of this field, the ‘smart city,’ by way of artistic praxis. I’m interested in how the interdisciplinary humanities responds to nascent forms of ‘virtual productivity’ and regimes of ‘constant visibility’ that increasingly attend or inscribe the human condition in the data-driven city. A key objective is to develop and expand analysis of public art interventions that initiate platforms for digitally-networked participation in the city using technology. I’m interested in how artists expose latent or virtual networks to make the data-driven city evident in physical space and inspire new or unexpected spatial possibilities. I’m excited to be working with the internationally recognised Skulptur Projekte Archives for this project; they are an invaluable resource and barometer of urban and cultural changes in Münster’s public spaces.

I’ve always been fascinated by cities, urban histories, cultures and societies. Although I spend a lot of time researching cities today (as well as art), they were quite foreign places at a young age because I was raised in a small country town a long way from any city. Today I love to discover cities as much love to explore in nature!