recent work

TONIGHT — 2015.03.03
Double Book Launch
Fantasies of the Library and Land & Animal and & Nonanimal
intercalations: paginated exhibition series 1 and 2
Anna-Sophie Springer in Conversation with Dian Ina and Farah Wardani
ruangrupa Jalan Tebet Timur Dalam No.6
12820 Jakarta Indonesia
7-9 PM

To celebrate the launch of intercalations 1 and 2, please join us for a conversation with Anna-Sophie Springer, Dian Ina, and Farah Wardani, moderated by Etienne Turpin, about the role of the archives in contemporary art and curatorial practices, and the curatorial trajectories of current artistic research projects in Indonesia.

Dian Ina is the Manager of Galeri Salihara at Komunitas Salihara in Jakarta.
Farah Wardani is an art historian, curator, writer, and director of Indonesian Visual Art Archive in Yogyakarta.
Anna-Sophie Springer is an editor, curator, and co-director of K. Verlag, based in Berlin.
Etienne Turpin is a philosopher and director of anexact office based in Jakarta.

email _
mobile _ +62 819 08830664

pdf with more info

The intercalations: paginated exhibition series was conceived and developed by Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin for the SYNAPSE International Curators’ Network of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, Germany. Produced in association with SYNAPSE co-founders Kirsten Einfeldt and Daniela Wolf, the series is co-published and distributed by K. Verlag and HKW with financial support from the Schering Stiftung.

Upcoming 2015.03.11
A Natural History of Data Polities
Australian Center for Cultural Environmental Research
Department of Geography & Sustainable Communities
University of Wollongong NSW Australia
Campus B41.157

I will present some of my recent research in Indonesia which examines how power relations are revealed and transformed by practices of collecting. I will discuss several of my curatorial collaborations addressing the history of colonial collections in Southeast Asia and the production of natural history as a form of knowledge, including For a Minor Ornithology and 125,600 Specimens of Natural History. I will then discuss my current project at the SMART Infrastructure Facility—, co-directed by Dr Tomas Holderness—which uses community-based data collection through open source platforms to promote community and environmental resilience in Jakarta, Indonesia. By addressing the relationship between the will to knowledge and the construction of data collections, I hope to encourage a discussion of postnatural and postcolonial practices that foster new data polities and support mutual aid, interspecies solidarities, and resilient ecologies.

intercalations 1 & 2 Released
in partnership with K. Verlag & the Haus der Kulturen der Welt

Fantasies of the Library, edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin
(Berlin: K. Verlag & Haus der Kulturen der Welt, January 2015)
with contributions by Kirsten Einfeldt, Adam Hyde, Erin Kissane, Hammad Nasar, Megan Shaw Prelinger, Rick Prelinger, Anna-Sophie Springer, Charles Stankievech, Etienne Turpin, Andrew Norman Wilson, Daniela Wolf, and Joanna Zylinska.
Issuu version

Land & Animal & Nonanimal, edited by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin
(Berlin: K. Verlag & Haus der Kulturen der Welt, January 2015) with contributions by Mitch Akiyama, Bianca Baldi, Seth Denizen, Thom van Dooren, Natasha Ginwala, Arvo Leo, Richard Pell & Lauren Allen (Center for Postnatural History), Karthik Pandian & Andros Zins-Browne, Robert Zhao Renhui (Institute of Critical Zoology), Axel Strachhnoy, and Etienne Turpin.
Issuu version

Read more about the intercalations: paginated exhibition series
Purchase books from K. Verlag

University of Wollongong Students Arrive to Map Floods
with & BPBD DKI Jakarta
supported by the New Colombo Plan

"W" for Wollongong (and "M" for Michigan from Visiting Researcher @f_sedlar) during visit to Katulampa Water Gate south of Jakarta with PPGT Universitas Indonesia and BPBD DKI Jakarta.

As the water levels in Jakarta continue to rise, Governor Ahok calls on Jakarta citizens to tweet flood information @petajkt using the #banjir.

Launch of
with the SMART Infrastructure Facility, BPBD DKI Jakarta, and Twitter Inc.
Jakarta Indonesia

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View the complete photo set by Tatyana Kusumo (anexact office)
Download the official press release

Section | Cut Interview with Etienne Turpin
for the launch of

From Section Cut:

Etienne is currently in Jakarta, where he co-directs, a research project studying the social consequences of infrastructure transformation as a result of rapid development and climate change. Through community engagement, institutional ethnography, and novel approaches to social media platforms, data gathering, and designed engagement, Etienne’s research develops new tools, techniques, and methods to help democratize processes of urban transformation by meaningfully engaging the concerns and capacities of the urban poor.

Listen to the interview here.

Crowdsoucing Flood Data to Survive Climate Change

by Dr Etienne Turpin
Gedung Pasca Sarjana 4th Floor
Kampus Universitas Indonesia Salemba
hosted by Kajian Perkembangan Perkotaan
Program Pasca Sarjana Universitas Indonesia

Jumping north in Jakarta Utara; courtesy of Etienne Turpin.

The management of flood infrastructure in Jakarta, Indonesia, is a topic of tremendous complexity. While many researchers work to solve coastal inundation issues and develop proposals for the massive sea wall to address land subsidence and the rising sea level, the issue of urban flooding will persist without new methods for understanding and responding to flooding that results from rapid urbanization and increased precipitation and weather intensification as a result of climate change. is a pioneering web-based flood data collection platform that uses open source software to gather, select, and sort information about flood situations through social media. Developed by the OSGeo Lab and the GeoSocial Intelligence Research Group at the SMART Infrastructure Facility, University of Wollongong, in collaboration with BPBD DKI Jakarta, Twitter Inc., and Jakarta-based community organizations, the platform uses big data mining, crowdsourcing, and designed engagement through social media to address urgent flooding issues.

In this lecture, Dr Turpin will present the project as an alternative approach to flood mitigation and climate adaptation. They will argue that surviving climate change requires new methods for civic co-management that can facilitate assessment, response, and recovery through preparedness, participation, and cooperation. By involving Jakarta’s social media-savvy citizens in the monitoring of flood conditions, provides a real-time, low-cost, and highly effective way to address flooding in the city. This lecture anticipates the major public launch for the platform (details below), hosted by BPBD DKI Jakarta, with guests from the SMART Infrastructure Facility, Twitter Inc., and participating DKI Jakarta agencies and community organizations.

2014.10.29 Australia Launch
SMART Infrastructure Facility
Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences
University of Wollongong

The Jakarta Emergency Management Agency (BPBD DKI Jakarta) visited the University of Wollongong, with support from the University of Wollongong Global Challenges Program, for training with the team in anticipation of the monsoon deployment of OSS and public platform.

For the Australian launch, Prof. Pascal Perez, Research Director of the SMART Infrastructure Facility, University of Wollongong, hosted a series of speakers who addressed the importance of this international collaboration, including: Mr Garry Bowditch, CEO SMART Infrastructure Facility, University of Wollongong; Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery OAM; Mr Ryan Park MP, Member for Keira; Prof. Chris Cook, Executive Dean, Engineering and Information Sciences;
and Prof. Judy Raper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), University of Wollongong. Co-Principal Investigators invited Prof. Judy Raper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) to send the first official tweet.

University of Wollongong Global Challenges Project Fund Award winners Tomas Holderness, Etienne Turpin, Olivia Dun and Rodney Clarke, with MP Ryan Park (far left) and Prof. Judy Raper (far right).

The Australian launch of also occasioned the launch of a new site,, which collects papers, lectures, and other contextual information about the research project; the Co-PIs also released their Year 1 Research Highlights Report, available for download in the Press section of

2014.10.22 - 2014.11.07
Inundation: Jakarta
Paul H. Cocker Gallery
Faculty of Architectural Science
Ryerson University
325 Church Street
Toronto Canada

Inundation: Jakarta studio after closing conversation in Jakarta, Indonesia.

As Southeast Asia’s most populous and dense metropolitan conurbation, with the second largest urban footprint in the world, Jakarta is a city of remarkable complexity. Recent trends in urbanization and development, extreme pollution, weather intensification, seasonal flooding, and sea level rise make it a key site for researching architecture’s agency within the complex urban systems of the 21st century. Through careful research with communities along the Ciliwung River and other relevant districts in the city, together we co-produced proposals that address the megacity’s unstable geography of water to promote more equitable urban development. The Inundation: Jakarta design research studio was premised on collaborative, multidisciplinary, community driven data collection. Such an approach required substantial research and careful design strategies. The studio was a very rare opportunity for architecture students to make actionable the results of a multi-year intercultural, intergenerational, and multidisciplinary collaborative research project on inundation and its ecological, social, and spatial consequences.

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The Inundation: Jakarta studio research was directed by
Scott Sørli, Ryerson University
Etienne Turpin, University of Wollongong/PetaJakarta
Tomas Holderness, University of Wollongong/PetaJakarta
Sara Dean, University of California Berkeley/PetaJakarta

Stratigraphy & Urbanism
A Dialogue Between Simon Price (British Geological Survey) & Etienne Turpin (anexact office)
for A Matter Theatre
Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Berlin Germany

Etienne and Simon discuss the porophilia of geoscientists, subterranean infrastructures, the poropolitics of the undercommons, and the ethics of underground research. [Comments about Buddhist geologists from Mars are made in reference to Bronislaw Szerszynski's brilliant performance and text: "Liberation Through Hearing in the Planetary Transition: Funerary Practices in Twenty-Second-Century #Mangalayana Buddhism," published in Grain Vapor Ray.]

HKW Abstract: What is the geological character of a city? Excavating and analyzing the subsurface zone of the urban landscape, the applied geoscientist Simon Price establishes an underground morphology of anthropic centers. His dialogue partner, philosopher and urban researcher Dr Etienne Turpin, advocates “a geologic turn in architecture,” promoting a more speculative, multidisciplinary, and activist research practice at the intersection of the urban, the environmental, and the political. Comparing their empirical fieldwork, this dialogue traces the methods and practices that inform approaches to the city as both an archival assembly of the Anthropocene as well as the ground for politicized architectural theory.

Botanical Hack _ Berlin
Workshop with Stefania Druga (HacKIDemia) & Etienne Turpin (anexact office)
A Matter Theatre
Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Berlin Germany

Urban land reclamation for food production requires the development of accessible research tools to help assess and map soil properties. The network HacKIDemia develops DIY soil sensors to enable communities to plan and plant civic gardens and at the same time analyze and monitor potential sites for growing consumable plants. This demonstration consists of a collaborative assembly process co-developed by HacKIDemia and anexact office, applied research with a student research team, and a public proposition in the form of a group report: a detailed park-to-garden proposal to the HKW audience.

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Why were there tigers?
essay by Etienne Turpin
in Grain Vapor Ray: Textures of the Anthropocene
edited by Katrin Klingan, Ashkan Sepahvand, Christoph Rosol, Bernd M. Scherer
(Berlin: HKW / Revolver Publishing, 2014; Cambridge: MIT Press, 2015)

Captive tiger feeding at the infamous Pata Zoo, Bangkok, Thailand (2013).

Among the litany of philosophical metaphors intended to relay the experience of loss related to the fleeting condition of meaningfulness, Georges Bataille, in his theoretical introduction to The Accursed Share [La part maudite], offers an exemplary, halting simile: tigers are to space what sex is to time. If Bataille’s metaphoric riddle seems in opposition to the more perspicuously argued claims of traditional economists, this is no doubt because his intention is to destroy, with his theory of general economy, the ubiquitous presumptions of traditional economic logic. As with nearly all of his literary works, in even this most abstract and philosophical text Bataille captures our attention with descriptions of the flesh, all the better to entangle our desire with matters of conceptual concern. A third pair of terms further implicates the sociality of bodies: for Bataille, as sex is to time, and as tigers are to space, potlatch is to society—a prolific arena for a flourishing of extremity and expenditure. This essay examines Bataille’s premonitory contribution to a theory of the Anthropocene by considering the notion of expenditure within the context of his philosophy of a general economy.
Read more ...

Design for Civic Co-management:
A GeoSocial Intelligence Approach to Crowdsourcing Urban Data

lecture by Etienne Turpin
Sensing Practices
Citizen Sense Seminar Series 2014-2015
Department of Sociology
Goldsmiths College
16h00 researchers test GeoSocial Rapid Assessment Survey Platform (#GRASP) for post-flood damage assessments as children look on in Bukit Duri, Jakarta, Indonesia.

In the data-rich environments of contemporary megacities, free and open source software (FOSS) platforms can help make legible trends, transformations, and opportunities regarding community resilience. Critical for the development of such platforms are questions about how citizens are mobilized through designed engagement, how their participation is validated, and how the insights revealed are integrated into new governance models that enable and encourage political transparency, participatory budgeting, and civic co-management. The lecture will present recent and ongoing #bigdata research from the GeoSocial Intelligence Research Group (GSI) at the SMART Infrastructure Facility, University of Wollongong, and the 'Data Made Me Do It' Research Initiative at the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design. Supported by the FOSS platform CogniCity, developed by the SMART OSGeo Lab, GSI is coordinating infrastructure research through the social media platform Twitter as part of the Joint Pilot Study with the Jakarta Emergency Management Agency and the United Nations Pulse Lab Jakarta. At the College of Environmental Design, faculty and students are experimenting with CogniCity as new tool for urban research in the domains of environmental design and urban planning. In both projects, the aim is to accelerate the transition from social media data mining to a GeoSocial Intelligence Framework and thereby promote the democratic co-management complex urban environments through the integration of small and big data sources and methods.

Contested Territories: Design & Spatial Politics
Workshop organized by Etienne Turpin, Godofredo Pereira, and Adrian Lahoud
The Bartlett School of Architecture UCL
London UK

In Defense of Urban Poverty:
Data, Design, and Mutual Aid
lecture by Etienne Turpin
Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
University of Westminster
12:00 Room TBA

View from UAV survey, looking over the Waduk Pluit in Jakarta Utara, Jakarta, Indonesia; courtesy of PetaJakarta Visiting Researcher Frank Sedlar (University of Michigan).

The presentation will examine several forms of political violence as revealed by the current DKI Jakarta government’s plan for widespread “normalization.” This normalization plan—whereby Jakarta’s urban poor are first blamed for congestion, overcrowding, and recurrent flooding, and then violently displaced, only to be replaced by more affluent and ecologically imperiling settlements—will be read as an aesthetic strategy for “urban renewal” characteristic of neoliberal capitalism in the Anthropocene. This strategy is, fundamentally, an attempt to decisively and coercively separate “urbanism” from “poverty.” Rather than posing a critique of such coercive processes of dispossession, I will attempt in the lecture to show how a data-driven design research practice can create modes of interference among these processes. I will suggest how design, as a practice of social emancipation, can meaningfully confront political violence by advancing strategic forms of solidarity, mutual aid, and community mobilization.

Re-engineering GeoSocial Intelligence:
Hacking Urban Data to Crowdsource Equitable Climate Co-adaptation

lecture by Etienne Turpin
Lancaster Environment Center
LEC Training Rooms 1-2
Gordon Manley Building
Lancaster University

Evacuation safety rope lines, installed by community, Bukit Duri, Jakarta, Indonesia, January 2014; integrating “small” and “big” urban data sources for disaster response is critical component of the FOSS project.

In the data-rich environment of complex urban systems, free and open source software (FOSS) platforms can make legible trends, transformations, and opportunities for climate co-adaptation. Critical for the development of such platforms are questions about how urban data is effectively crowdsourced; how the collection processes and the integration of scales can produce nontrivial data visualizations; and, how the insights revealed should be integrated into new governance models that enable and encourage political transparency, participatory budgeting, and civic co-management. The lecture will present recent #bigdata research from the GeoSocial Intelligence Research Group (GSI) at the SMART Infrastructure Facility, which is attempting to re-engineer social media data mining to enable equitable climate co-adaptation. Supported by their FOSS platform, GSI/SMART is coordinating interventive infrastructure research through the social media platform Twitter as part of the Joint Pilot Study, in collaboration with the Jakarta Emergency Management Agency and the United Nations Pulse Lab Jakarta. The lecture will advocate for an accelerated turn from geospatial data mining toward a GeoSocial Intelligence Framework for the equitable co-management of infrastructure to address climate change.

2014.10.01 Awarded University of Wollongong
Global Challenges Project Funding

View from UAV survey, looking West from Jakarta Pusat, Jakarta, Indonesia; courtesy of PetaJakarta Visiting Researcher Frank Sedlar (University of Michigan).

The PetaJakarta: Joint Pilot Study on Social Media and Urban Resilience was awarded Project Funding from the University of Wollongong Global Challenge of Sustaining Coastal and Marine Zones. The funding will support a workshop with the Jakarta Emergency Management Agency (BPBD DKI Jakarta) at the SMART Infrastructure Facility, as well as the set up of the PetaJakarta Field Office in Jakarta, Indonesia.

A GeoSocial Intelligence Framework for Studying & Promoting Resilience to
Seasonal Flooding in Jakarta, Indonesia

conference presentation by Tomas Holderness & Etienne Turpin
2nd International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure
hosted by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
Vienna Austria

Jakarta residents living along the North coast are increasingly confronted by rapid development processes that challenge more traditional means for resilience to flooding and extreme weather events. is a web-based platform developed to harness the power of social media to gather, sort, and display information about flooding for Jakarta residents in real time. The platform runs on the open source software CogniCity—an OSS platform developed by the SMART Infrastructure Facility, University of Wollongong—which allows data to be collected and disseminated by community members through their location-enabled mobile devices. The project uses a GeoSocial Intelligence Framework to approach the complexity of Jakarta’s entangled hydraulic, hydrological and meteorological systems and thereby converts the noise of social media into knowledge about urban infrastructure and situational conditions related to flooding and inundation. In this paper, we will discuss their GeoSocial Intelligence Framework as it applies to their current research in Jakarta. We will also present our preliminary findings from their 2014 Twitter #DataGrant, which has allowed them to develop a correlative analysis between historic social media information, the Jakarta government’s flood maps, and the infrastructure used to manage critical flood emergencies. Finally, they will speculate on several future applications of the CogniCity OSS and suggest how it might be developed to further promote an integrated civic co-management platform with the support of business, industry, government and community organizations.

Prototypes for Designed Engagement:
Big Data and Design Strategies

a workshop by Etienne Turpin, Sara Dean, and Tomas Holderness workshop
College of Arts, Media and Design, Northeastern University Boston, USA

Big data technologies and ubiquitous connectivity have revealed new potential operations for design practice. Beyond new tools and platforms that engage crowd-sourced and real-time data, big data technologies open up new ways of approaching design, new methods of practice, and new engagements with cities and publics. At the same time, the global population is urbanizing, and the Global South is ‘coming online’ with increasing access to cheap connective technologies. It is projected that one billion new users will come online in the Global South in 2015, radically changing the makeup of the digital publics and offering new opportunities for participatory civic structures. This workshop will examine some of the prototypes for integrating big data into design practice, emphasizing participatory, responsive, iterative, and collective design strategies within a changing global environment., co-directed by Etienne Turpin and Tomas Holderness, in collaboration with design director Sara Dean, is a multidisciplinary project which uses direct public engagement through social media to gather and assess real-time information about flood conditions and civic infrastructure. This bottom up approach to critical information sharing within the city and enables the formation of a responsive, activist public through transparent public information systems. Etienne, Sara, and Tomas will share some insights, strategies, and software for the next generation of research on complex urban systems.

During the workshop, students will learn about the applicability, transferability, and adaptability of emerging methods for the integration of participation strategies, social media, big data mapping, and crowdsourcing strategies through a series of exemplary projects and perspectives. The workshop will explain how new tools, techniques, and critical strategies for designing within this emergent urban phenomenon and global connectivity, and what big data offers artists, designers, and researchers designing for the near future.

[proto:type] 2014
Yogyakarta Meeting on Open Culture and Critical Making
presented by HONF, CATEC, and r0g_media

Dutch map of Batavia in 1667 showing development of canals for flood management;
the inheritance of these path dependencies in Jakarta requires an open culture approach to foster community-led action; image from the Tropenmuseum collection.

[proto:type] B // Open Systems and Critical ICT4D
13 June 2014
10h00 - 12h00
NDalem Mangkubumen, Widya Mataram University, Yogyakarta
Moderator : Gregorius Subanar
Panel: #prototype14 #ICT4D
Craig Warren Smith
Etienne Turpin
Eku Wand
Sanata Dharma
Biondi S Sima

Jakarta: Architecture + Adaptation
book launch at ruangrupa
with Rudolf Mrazek, Hilmar Farid, and Etienne Turpin
moderated by Mirwan Andan
ruangrupa Jalan Tebet Timur Dalam No.6
12820 Jakarta Indonesia

We invite you to attend a discussion at ruangrupa about the social and political history of Jakarta which brings together historians, academics, and activists. In addition to the discussion, this occasion will be the launch of the book Jakarta: Architecture + Adaptation, co-edited by Etienne Turpin, Adam Bobbette, and Meredith Miller.

Speakers in the discussion include:
_ Rudolf Mrazek, historian, professor of history at the University of Michigan, author of A Certain Age: Colonial Jakarta through the Memories of Its Intellectuals.
_ Hilmar Farid, historian at the Indonesian Institute of Social History, Cultural Studies Program at FIB-Universitas Indonesia, and the author of Story of Three Statue.
_ Etienne Turpin, writer, activist, and co-editor of Jakarta: Architecture + Adaptation.

This discussion will be conducted in English; space is limited due to room capacity.

#Inundation3 studio begins with anexact office

Open Architecture for Resilient Urban Development:
Constructing a GeoSocial Intelligence Framework

a research studio with Scott Sørli, Department of Architectural Science, Ryerson University
& Etienne Turpin, Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Wollongong
in collaboration with anexact office, SMART Infrastructure Facility, Ciliwung Merdeka,
and Ciliwung Institute

To kick off the #Inundation3 studio, students, faculty, and research coordinators ventured to East Java to visit the Ijen stratovolcano complex, the Kawah Ijen crater, and to share stories with PWS, UPC & LOCOA leaders preparing for the Southeast Asian community organizers' meeting in Surabaya.

Open Source Cities:
Next Generation Community Mapping & Open Data Infrastructure

organized by Melissa Cate Christ & Etienne Turpin
Asia Art Archive Booth P1 Art Basel
Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre
Saturday 17 May 2014 14:00-15:30

Asia Art Archive's Open Platform for Art Basel Hong Kong.

Community-led mapping practices have become an integral part of architecture and design, geography and urban studies, and artistic, curatorial, and social scientific research. In order to study the transformation of urban systems, researchers can no longer rely on inherited, proprietary maps; the next generation of urban scholars are learning to map the city with new tools and, together with residents, develop public, open source, and open access resources for civic co-management and participatory democracy.

Essential for this work is developing a better understanding of how new open source software (OSS) and open data management tools can respond to community-led activities; such a dialogue must happen in both directions to allow the technical advancement to keep pace with community action and to allow community organizers to benefit from new OSS tools. During the Open Source Cities session at Open Platform, we will examine new methods of OSS development as means for community transformation, preservation, and resistance in an era of relentless urban “renewal” and development.

We welcome community organizers and planners in need of better mapping tools; technical experts working on open soft software development; and, funding bodies and government agencies who can support the development of these tools.

Presenters include:
+ Dr. Tomas Holderness, 2014 Twitter #DataGrant Recipient & Geomatics Research Fellow,
SMART Infrastructure Facility
+ Mart van de Ven, Co-founder & Director, and Darcy Christ, Journalism and Policy Analyst,
Open Data Hong Kong
+ Paul Zimmerman, Founder & CEO, Designing Hong Kong
+ Gabrielle Kirstein, Executive Director, Feeding HK
+ Benjamin Sin, Team Leader, Caritas Community Development Project

More information here
Download the flyer here

SMART Data Collection:
Developing a GeoSocial Intelligence Framework for
Studying Resilience in Complex Urban Systems

organized by Dr. Tomas Holderness & Dr. Etienne Turpin
SMART Infrastructure Facility
Faculty of Engineering & Information Sciences
University of Wollongong
Wednesday, 7 May 2014, 10:00 – 16:00
Sydney Business School, Level 8, No. 1 Macquarie Place, Sydney NSW Australia

Screen shot of Beta version testing of community flood map.

Cutting edge research on complex urban systems now hinges on the critical connection among several strategic areas for analysis: big data, social media, and crowdsourcing. While big data has been a recurrent buzz word for academic researchers, the integration of complex data sets for predictive analytics requires more than mere volume. Similarly, the explosive growth in social media usage, which has given researchers access to an unprecedented volume of data, continues to demand better tools for predictive analysis. Meanwhile, although crowdsourcing methods of data collection have met with some success, the full potential for integrated feedback networks among crowdsourcing tools remains to be fully explored. This workshop brings together leaders from government, industry, and international and community-led organizations to discuss the next generation of smart data collection through a GeoSocial Intelligence Framework.

At the SMART Infrastructure Facility, researchers working in multidisciplinary project teams are advancing a robust GeoSocial Intelligence Framework to move the study of complex urban systems from the noise of social media to the knowledge of predictive analytics by integrating the use of big data analysis and community-led crowdsourcing for the study and improvement of civic infrastructure. The project, initiated by Dr. Etienne Turpin and Dr. Tomas Holderness, has hastened the construction of an open source software platform, called CogniCity, to help optimize data collection regarding critical flood information and develop new forms of feedback for the civic co-management of flood infrastructure in Jakarta, Indonesia. Dr. Turpin and Dr. Holderness are honored to host an esteemed group of leading researchers to share the insights, strategies, and software needed for the next generation of research on complex urban systems.

During this one day workshop, participants will hear presentations from leading scientists, organizers, and project coordinators and discuss the applicability, transferability, and adaptability of emerging methods for the integration of social media data, big data predictive analysis, and crowdsourcing strategies. While the overall aim of SMART is to use these complementary fields of research to better understand the resilience of both infrastructure and communities to extreme weather events and climate transformation, the value of developing integrated open source software platforms for geo-referencing big data and social media extends well beyond civil and environmental engineering. SMART invites researchers from all backgrounds concerned with developing new tools for studying emergent urban phenomenon to join us in this workshop to discuss the potential of an integrated GeoSocial Intelligence Framework.

Download the event flyer here

Double Book Launch of Scapegoat 06 & Architecture in the Anthropocene

Toronto Saturday 26 April 8PM until late
11 WILLISON SQUARE (southwest of Dundas & Spadina)
door $10 or $20 with 1 journal + 1 book + 1 drink
great djs + cheap drinks + dirty dancing

>> Scapegoat: Architecture | Landscape | Political Economy
Issue 06 – Mexico D.F./NAFTA (Winter/Spring 2014)
edited by Gardi Emmelhainz, Jane Hutton, and Marcin Kedzior

Marking twenty years since the enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), SCAPEGOAT focuses its seventh issue on MEXICO D.F. The issue examines Mexico’s capital city as one of many loci through which to read the spa¬tial morphologies of the political and economic realignment of the Northern Hemisphere. The issue includes features, projects, and book reviews from designers, planners, ecologists, philoso¬phers and artists studying the spatial implica¬tions of the Agreement on Mexico, Canada, the United States and elsewhere. SCAPEGOAT Issue 06 – MEXICO D.F./ NAFTA contributors include Diane E. Davis, Dawn Hoogeveen, Carolina Alba, Javier Toscano, Ivonne Santoyo Orozco, Will Straw, Pilar Calveiro, Silvia Ribeiro, Sayak Valencia, Paola Aguirre Carla Herrera-Prats, Sergey Pigach, Carolyn Deuschle, Lauren Elachi, Yutsil Cruz, Alfonso Hernandez, Eduardo Abaroa, Gustavo Lipkau, Fabiola Torres, Raymond Craib, Miguel Ventura, Daniela Gil Esteva, Silvia Gruner, Isadora Hastings, Gerson Huerta García, Livia Corona, Rodrigo Escandón Cesarman, José Esparza Chong Cuy, Guillermo González Ceballos, Tania Osorio Harp, Layla Emmelhainz, Sara Cowles, Alan Smart, and Lara Nielsen.

SCAPEGOAT: Architecture | Landscape | Political Economy is an independent, not-for-profit, bi-annual journal designed to create a context for research and development regarding design practice, historical investigation, and theoretical inquiry.

>> Architecture in the Anthropocene:
Encounters Among Design, Deep Time, Science and Philosophy

edited by Etienne Turpin
Open Humanities Press

Research regarding the significance and consequence of anthropogenic transformations of the earth’s land, oceans, biosphere and climate have demonstrated that, from a wide variety of perspectives, it is very likely that humans have initiated a new geological epoch, their own. First labeled the Anthropocene by the chemist Paul Crutzen, the consideration of the merits of the Anthropocene thesis by the International Commission on Stratigraphy and the International Union of Geological Sciences has also garnered the attention of philosophers, historians, and legal scholars, as well as an increasing number of researchers from a range of scientific backgrounds. Architecture in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Design, Deep Time, Science and Philosophy intensifies the potential of this multidisciplinary discourse by bringing together essays, conversations, and design proposals that respond to the “geological imperative” for contemporary architecture scholarship and practice. With contributions by Sara Dean, Michael C.C. Lin, John Palmesino, Ann-Sofi Rönnskog, Nabil Ahmed, Seth Denizen, Adam Bobbette, Emily Cheng, Eyal Weizman, Heather Davis, Jane Wolff, Amy Catania Kulper, Jane Hutton, Chester Rennie, Elizabeth Grosz, Lisa Hirmer, Mark Dorrian, Eleanor Kaufman, Meghan Archer, Isabelle Stengers, Guy Zimmerman, Amy Norris, Clinton Langevin, François Roche, Paulo Tavares.

Etienne Turpin is principal director of anexact office, a design research practice committed to multidisciplinary urban activism, artistic and curatorial experimentation, and applied philosophical inquiry, based in Jakarta, Indonesia.

>> UNPACK STUDIO is an art collective exhibition space & studio in the heart of Toronto. Our mission is to instruct, inform and inspire.

The Intelligence of Excess
a guest lecture by Etienne Turpin
MScDesign 6438 What is energy and how (else) might we think about it?
by Sanford Kwinter & Kiel Moe
Harvard GSD
Gund Hall 14:00-17:00

"Schizo-Eden," from an adaptation of Jan Breughel and Peter Paul Rubens, The Garden of Eden (1615)

The lecture will address the contribution of Georges Bataille to a theory of urbanism by way of the concept of expenditure. Bataille's articulation of a theory of general economy and his premonitory vision of the Anthropocene will help us to examine questions of desire, energetics, and waste within contemporary complex urban systems. Such questions will be addressed theoretically, but also, more importantly, as they play out in the context of Jakarta, Indonesia, where Etienne currently co-directs the project for urban resilience and climate adaptation. As the Fifth Assessment of the IPCC confirms that the sixth great planetary extinction is now well underway, the question of how to collaborate with excess is no longer an aesthetic paradigm but an art of survival on a planet afflicted by a suspicious, violent abundance.

PetaJakarta Receives Twitter #DataGrant for
"Using GeoSocial Intelligence to Model Urban Flooding in Jakarta, Indonesia" Proposal

From Twitter Engineering Blog:

"In February, we introduced the Twitter #DataGrants pilot program, with the goal of giving a handful of research institutions access to Twitter’s public and historical data. We are thrilled with the response from the research community — we received more than 1,300 proposals from more than 60 different countries, with more than half of the proposals coming from outside the U.S. After reviewing all of the proposals, we’ve selected six institutions, spanning four continents, to receive free datasets in order to move forward with their research."

Read more from the Twitter Engineering Blog here
Read our interview with the United Nations Pulse Blog here
Watch the video trailer here

PetaJakarta Receives UOW Global Challenges Strategic Funding

PetaJakarta researchers Ariel Shepherd, Tomas Holderness, and Widya Ramadhani during post-flood damage assessment survey in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The PetaJakarta research project was awarded Strategic Funding Support from the University of Wollongong Global Challenges 'Support Coastal and Marine Zones' Program. PetaJakarta brings together researchers in Australia and Jakarta with backgrounds in modelling, engineering, design and geo-social intelligence. Chief Investigator Dr. Etienne Turpin is a Vice-Chancellor’s Post Doctoral Research Fellow in the SMART Infrastructure Facility, where he is also the leader of the Geo-social Intelligence for Urban Resilience and Liveability Research Group. Chief Investigator Dr. Tomas Holderness is a Geomatics Research Fellow in the SMART Infrastructure Facility. Investigator Dr. Rohan Wickramasuriya is an expert in spatial simulation modelling in the SMART Infrastructure Facility. Investigator Professor Ian Buchanan is the Director of the Institute of Social Transformational Research in the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts. Investigator Associate Professor Rodney Clarke is the Manager of the Collaboration Laboratory (Co-Lab) at the SMART Infrastructure Facility and is based in the Faculty of Business. Investigator Associate Professor Katina Michael is based in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Science.

Read more about the Global Challenges here
Watch the video trailer here
Read our interview with the United Nations Pulse Blog here

Open Source City: Innovation & Urban Resilience from a GeoSocial Intelligence Perspective
by Etienne Turpin & Tomas Holderness
'Innovation and its Contestants,'
5th Annual Emerging Scholars Conference
Department of Art History and Communication Studies
McGill University, Montreal, Quebec

As cities evolve to become increasingly complex systems of people and interconnected infrastructure, the impacts of both extreme and long-term environmental change are significantly heightened. Understanding the resilience of urban systems and communities in an integrated manner is key to ensure the sustainability of cities, which face considerable climatic, economic, and socio-demographic challenges in the 21st century. As Southeast Asia’s most populous and most dense metropolitan conurbation, and the second largest urban footprint in the world, Jakarta’s residents are exposed to rapid transformations of urban structures and systems. Recent trends in weather intensification, sea level rise, extreme pollution, severe land subsidence, and river and coastal inundation make Jakarta a key site for researching and responding to the 21st century challenges of urban resilience. Moreover, the combination of Jakarta’s progressive municipal government, active civil society organizations, and increasing foreign capital investment all
suggest a unique potential for both transforming and improving the social life of residents through
a technologically-sophisticated, scientifically-innovative, and publicly accessible networked GeoSocial Intelligence Framework.

In this presentation, we will argue that although the proliferation of social media might first appear as so much noise for civil and information system engineers, with the proper open source software innovations for gathering, sorting, and analyzing data, this noise can be transformed into critical information for both understanding and promoting urban resilience and democratic practices. By connecting network models of urban infrastructure to crowd-sourced and social media-based data collection, and then making this information and analysis available through a public, web-based platform, our project links innovative areas of information science research and multiplies the potential of each by producing an innovative, open source framework for citizen-participation in the co-monitoring and co-management of urban systems.

Combining 'Big' and 'Small' Data to Build Urban Resilience in Jakarta
Etienne Turpin & Tomas Holderness interviewed by Giulio Quaggiotto
for the United Nations Global Pulse Blog

The SMART Infrastructure Facility project aims to help communities tackle the chronic problem of flooding in the Indonesian capital, using a combination of crowdsourced data, social media and big data analysis. Pulse Lab Jakarta (PLJ) conducts Big Data for Development research and so we were interested to hear more from directors Etienne Turpin and Tomas Holderness about their perspectives on citizen engagement and the role that big and small data can play to increase urban resilience.

Read the interview
Watch the video

From Noise to Knowledge: Crowd-sourcing GeoSocial Intelligence in Jakarta's Urban Villages
by Etienne Turpin & Tomas Holderness
Association of American Geographers Annual Conference
Tampa USA

Session 4605 Environmental Justice Research
Contemporary Issues and Emerging Topics IV
Room: Room 5, TCC, First Floor (Paper Session)

Organized by Jayajit Chakraborty, University of South
Florida, and Sara Grineski, University of Texas at El Paso
Chaired by Bruce C Mitchell

Post-flood damage assessment survey with Infrastructure Facility and Ciliwung Institute, Ciliwung River, March, 2014.

In this paper, we consider several forms of political violence and postnatural urbanism as revealed by the current DKI Jakarta government’s plan for widespread “normalization.” This normalization plan—whereby Jakarta’s urban poor are first blamed for congestion, overcrowding, and recurrent flooding, and then violently displaced, only to be replaced by more affluent and ecologically imperiling settlements—is presented as a an aesthetic strategy for “urban renewal” characteristic of the auto-hypnosis of development under neoliberal capitalism. This strategy is, fundamentally, an attempt to decisively and coercively separate “urbanism” from “poverty.” Rather than posing a critique of such coercive processes of dispossession, we attempt in this paper to show how a design research practice can create modes of interference among these processes. We will suggest how platforms for crowd-sourcing "geosocial intelligence" can be used to promote social emancipation and develop civic co-management strategies for infrastructure and resources that meaningfully alleviate political violence by advancing strategic forms of urban solidarity and community mobilization.

Between a Rock and Hard Plastic: Art in the Anthropocene
Sylvère Lotringer in conversation with Heather Davis and Etienne Turpin
Human Resource Los Angeles

In 2008, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power dumped 400,000 black plastic balls into the the Ivanhoe Resevoir to block out the sunlight, which was said to be causing the formation of carcinogenic bromate in the water. Although bromide is naturally present in groundwater and chlorine is used to kill bacteria, sunlight created the conditions for potentially lethal consequences for the 600,000 customers in downtown and South Los Angeles served by the reservoir. With the addition of 3 million more black balls in the following months, the LADWP battled against the sunlight as it undertook a new, massive earthwork-a 55 million gallon underground reinforced concrete tank, stretching over 7 acres, and hidden by a landscaped park-as a buried replacement reservoir to eliminate bothe Silver Lake and the Ivanhoe Reservoir, which, as "open air" water storage sites, were said to be obsolete.

Covering the reservoir with millions of polyethylene balls as a stopgap measure to prevent the production of carcinogenic compounds while hastening to reduce whole ecosystems to mechanical, subterranean tanks suggests a few of the unintentional aesthetic maneuvers revealed in the Anthropocene. How does our understanding of human "intention" change as we enter the era of Anthropocene? What does the shift demand from contemporary artistic and curatorial practices? What conceits does the this transformation demand from our aesthetic regimes? Art in the Anthropocene editors Heather Davis and Etienne Turpin will discuss the aesthetic implications of the Anthropocene with Sylvère Lotringer by considering the relative mineralogy and plasticity of recent installation, video, and literary works.

Navigating Postnatural Spatial Politics: Jakarta as the City of the Anthropocene
by Etienne Turpin & Tomas Holderness
Association of Asian Studies Annual Conference
Philadelphia USA

Flooding in Bukit Duri, Jakarta, in January 2013; photograph courtesy of Ariel Shepherd.

As Southeast Asia’s most populous and most dense metropolitan conurbation, and the second largest urban footprint in the world, Jakarta , Indonesia, is a city of remarkable complexity. However, recent trends in weather intensification, sea level rise, extreme river pollution, river flooding, and coastal inundation have helped create, through multiplicative effects, one of the key sites for researching the combined effects of ecological and urban transformation as they influence 21st century Southeast Asian metropolitan existence. Our work examines the intersections of extreme environmental circumstances, especially the problem of inundation, and creative engineering and architectural production. Focusing on highly-dense urban locations that face the regular and damaging occurrence of inundation, our project harnesses the power of social media to understand pressures on infrastructure in the city. Our paper will explain our current research in Jakarta and develop the themes of the postnatural and hypercomplexity in relation to Asian Studies today.

125,660 Specimens of Natural History
curated by Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin
in collaboration with Komunitas Salihara

presented at Collecting Geographies:
Global Programming & Museums of Modern Art

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
13–15 March 2014

Bird of Paradise Found, Tring Public Collection, UK.

In the era of the Anthropocene, the assumed division between nature and culture is radically destabilized. By taking a nineteenth century colonial collection of natural history as a point of departure, the international touring exhibition 125,660 Specimens of Natural History (to premier at Komunitas Salihara, Jakarta, in August 2015) develops transcultural artistic and curatorial methodologies as means to rethink traditional views on collecting, geographies, and museological genres in light of contemporary political and environmental issues. In our presentation to the Collecting Geographies conference at the Stedelijk Museum, we will discuss the conceptual framework of the project, including our research on other scientists working in the archipelago such as Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn and Ernst Haeckel, in order to provoke further reflection on how a colonial archive can be reassessed through intercultural collaboration to produce relevant, contemporary work about both the history of Euro-Asian colonial relations and their legacies in the present.

From 1854 to 1862, Alfred Russel Wallace travelled through the Malay archipelago, ardently documenting the region’s geography and biodiversity while amassing a gigantic collection of specimens for museums in England. By combining archival research at the Natural History Museums of London, Tring, Oxford, Berlin, and Leiden with research and artistic fieldwork in contemporary Southeast Asia, 125,660 Specimensof Natural History retraces key episodes of the expedition (as published in 1869 edition of The Malay Archipelago) to directly confront the radically transformed, postnatural landscape that has replaced the idyllic purity of Wallace’s colonial impressions. Importantly, we approach Wallace’s collection not with a retrospective view, but instead propose to critically reconsider his colonial archive from a contemporary perspective that opens up challenging multidisciplinary dialogues between Europe and Asia. Essentially, the project exposes a historic, colonial archive to contemporary local knowledge and unorthodox readings and critique by both European and Southeast Asian artists and curators. While large parts of the Wallace collection are stored in traditional European Natural History Museums, 125,660 Specimens inverts the geographic itinerary and returns to the original sites of collecting with the aim of examining this cultural repository from a contemporary perspective that engages alternative epistemologies and urgent questions about ecological collapse in the Anthropocene.

What Do Cities Tell Us About Their Inhabitants’ Desire?
an interview with Etienne Turpin by the architecture journal TOURETTE | encounters

Nature Revealing Her Plasticity in Photoshop (After Barrias)

From the interview:
T _ Which is the most erotic component of an urban environment?
ET _ A urban environment is a wonderland of erotic potential, isn’t it? And not just for people who enjoy public sex and salacious encounters! Living in Jakarta, I enjoy the interminable erotic play of bodies. Bodies touch, bodies slide past each other, and bodies, whether on foot or motorized, are in a constant play negotiating common space. It is amazing to see how reserved and territorial people are in Europe and America, where they have so much more space! In Asia, but in Jakarta especially, the dense commonness of space means that bodies are not repelled from each other so quickly. They can’t move out of the way. They can’t be indignant about being in common. They have to touch. They have to interact. They have to laugh together, and get wet together in the monsoon, and eat and rest together in much closer quarters. It makes me wonder about the extreme feelings of isolation that people suffer from in Europe. Even if one is “alone in the crowd” in Jakarta, the real, physical presence of other bodies, of bodies in a common condition, radically changes one’s experience of the space. Architects have been so afraid of these realities, treating them procedurally and programmatically. As Francois Roche says in our recent interview, architects have impoverished their image of desire and contagion, but, inevitably, bodies desire. This has to be the most erotic component of the urban environment, the density, the contact, the friction created by desiring bodies sharing a necessarily common space.

Read more here.

TOURETTE | encounters looks at architecture as a loose and ever-changing discipline, dealing with everything spatial directly and by way of digital culture, shifting institutional ground, political and sociological issues, representational modes, drones and gorillas. Tourette recognizes the power of architectural discourse in the shaping of the discipline and the profession, and wishes to provide an open platform for the proliferating of ideas, debate and disagreement on issues related to the project of architecture in contemporary culture.

Ciliwung Perspectives on Biodiversity, Infrastructure, and Resilience
A Workshop with, Open Street Map, Ciliwung Merdeka, and Universitas Indonesia

Urbanization of Jakarta: 1976 (6 million), 1989 (9 million), and 2004 (13 million). In 2014, the population of metropolitan Jakarta was estimated at 28 million.
Images from Landsat MSS & ASTER; courtesy of NASA.

Mapping practices have become an integral part of architecture and design, geography and urban studies, and social scientific research. In order to study the transformation of urban systems, researchers can no longer rely on inherited, proprietary maps; the next generation of urban scholars are learning to map the city with new tools and, together with residents, develop public, open source, and open access resources for civic co-management and participatory democracy. Essential for this work is developing a better understanding of the interaction between natural systems, such as watersheds and water catchment areas, and the urban systems which transform them. In Jakarta, the watershed of the Ciliwung River is a critical ecology that requires more comprehensive study and analysis; during the Ciliwung Perspectives workshop, we will examine the role of the Ciliwung as a site of biodiversity and conservation efforts, an area for urban renewal and stewardship, and a critical aspect of the disaster planning and mitigation projects related to flooding and flood response.

The Architecture of Mineralization
reviewed by Quaderns editor Ethel Baraona Pohl

d'Arquitectura & Urbanisme
Publicacio del Collegi d'Arquitectes de Catalunya
Read Ethel Baraona Pohl's review here

2014.02.05 - 2014.02.07
System Tests for
w/ Dr. Tomas Holderness and Ciliwung Merdeka in Bukit Duri, Jakarta

As part of our project development for, we are working with the Bukit Duri community and organizers from Ciliwung Merdeka to test our CogniCity open source software and the #Grasp OSS for rapid assessment and response. A very special thanks to all the Ciliwung Merdeka members, ODOS, Open Street Map Jakarta, Ciliwung Institute, FITRA, Universitas Indonesia, Robin Hartanto, Widya Ramadhani, and, most especially, the residents of Bukit Duri. Read more about the project here.

Tomas Holderness, Yantri Dewi, Widya Ramadhani, and Ariel Shepherd during post-flood survey in Bukit Duri, Jakarta.

As the Ciliwung River recedes, post-flood damage assessments begin in Bukit Duri, Jakarta.

2014.01.17 - 2014.03.21
Art ITT presents the concurrent exhibitions
by Etienne Turpin
& Chicagoaxaca: Selections from The Assembly of Revolutionary Artists of Oaxaca
curated by Ivan Arenas
Art in These Times
2nd floor of 2040 N Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647 USA
17 Jan – 21 March 2014

Detail from the Detroit plate on exhibition; courtesy of Alex Berceanu.

opening reception
12 February 2014 6p.m.

gallery hours
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. M – F
contact us at

For a review of the show, visit Chicago's Bad at Sports Blog.

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