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Jakarta Megalopolis

Horizontal and Vertical Observations

Authors: Arjan van Helmond, Stani Michiels

Contributors: Charles Esche, Agung Hujatnikajennong, Abidin Kusno, Gerardo Mosquera

Design: Sanne Beeren

2007, Valiz with support of Mondriaan Fonds,Stimuleringsfonds voor ArchitectuurEFL StichtingRijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten | paperback | 160 pp. | 24 x 17 cm (h x w) | English | ISBN 978-90-78088-01-1

 Jakarta Megalopolis. Horizontal and Vertical Observations centres on two projects in which visual artist/architect Stani Michiels and artist Arjan van Helmond map out their experience of the city of Jakarta. From their different angles, they demonstrate how Jakarta is changing under the pressure of dramatic increases in population, migration and urbanisation and what this means for the daily perception of the city. In his endless sequence of photographic images, Stani Michiels attempts to come to grips with the density and the coherence of the city as a whole, whilst Arjan van Helmond’s House and Memory project penetrates under the skin of Jakarta, recording the personal life stories of the residents of two of the city’s many recently constructed apartment complexes.

Many megalopolises in developing countries are undergoing explosive growth, and cultural, social, political and economic complexity is increasing at an unprecedented rate. This publication takes a personal and original approach to the phenomenon, which is rightly receiving increasing amounts of attention from architects and urban planners. The artists examine the urban reality of Jakarta - not from behind a desk or a drawing board - but by infiltrating into the concrete fabric of the city itself.