2065: Artist Talk with Lawrence Lek


NOTE: Tickets are now sold out, with the event at capacity. If you'd like to be placed on the waitlist, please fill in the form at https://forms.gle/y5yoLi6TBnRWMArq9. From there, we will inform you if a ticket becomes available.

23 November 2019, Saturday


Lam Thong Corporation, No. 11, Lorong 21A Geylang, Level 8
Singapore 388429

Tickets are $5/pax. Please feel free to write to softwallstuds@gmail.com if you have difficulties paying this fee.


“In the year 2065, Farsight Corporation learns to harness the power of artificial intelligence.
eSports is the world’s fastest-growing industry.
With all work taken care of by algorithms, people spend all day playing video games against AIs.

Inside the game, can anybody tell the difference between art and the world?
Some people can sense it immediately, but others find that it takes them much longer.
It’s not really clear, because nobody’s ever stopped playing.”

For the Singapore Biennale 2019, Lawrence Lek presents a new site-specific iteration of 2065, an installation/open-world video game set on a virtual island encompassing sites across London and Singapore.

In this talk by Lek, his new work 2065 (Singapore Centennial Edition) will serve as point of departure for discussions on gameful worldlings, cultural imaginings of Singapore and techno-Orientalist critique(s). Two readings supplement the discussion, one proposed by Lek and another by soft/WALL/studs: William Gibson's 1993 article, Disneyland with the Death Penalty, and the 2013 essay, Test-Bed Urbanism by Orit Halpern, Jesse LeCavalier, Nerea Calvillo, and Wolfgang Pietsch.

Through a triangulation of these three models—the open-world game, the theme park, and the smart city—the dramaturgies of governmentality for the user-player-spectator in each of these pieces will be examined, from the denizens of Disneyland with the Death Penalty, to the orientation of the player within 2065's Singapore, and the interfaces of a smart city that turns users into informers.

Following the talk and discussion moderated by soft/WALL/studs, a performance by Lek will take place.

Ticketing Details

Due to the limited capacity of the space, tickets (priced at $5/pax) are mandatory for entry. The two readings will be sent to ticket holders upon registration. Feel free to write to us at softwallstuds@gmail.com or send us a message if you have difficulties paying the ticket fee.

If you have bought a ticket and are unable to attend, please inform us as soon as you can for us to open up the slot to someone else.

NOTE: Tickets are now sold out, with the event at capacity. If you'd like to be placed on the waitlist, please fill in the form at https://forms.gle/y5yoLi6TBnRWMArq9. From there, we will inform you if a ticket becomes available.

About 2065 (Singapore Centennial Edition)
The space of the River Gallery in the Asian Civilisations Museum becomes the location for a para-fiction modelled by Lawrence Lek: in the year 2065, the Farsight Corporation is presenting its latest video game. In a place loaded with layers of historical data and artefacts, by blurring the distinction between physical architecture and virtual space, Lek imagines an alternative world where visitors can choose to play a game that takes them to a not-so-distant future of Singapore. The perceptions of the participants are challenged by the aesthetic formulas delivered by the artist that question the boundaries between art and entertainment, past and present, apparatus and deconstruction. Inside the game, players can gravitate between the headquarters of Farsight Corporation in London, Marina Bay Sands Casino, the ArtScience Museum, the mouth of the Singapore river, the Asian Civilisations Museum or the Raffles landing site in Singapore. There are moments when the physical and virtual spaces overlap, the design of the gallery’s premises matching the spatial experience in the game.

Within the carefully planned para-fiction, Lek, who also founded Farsight Corporation as his production studio in 2018, meets the players at the intersection between reality, art and play. Reality becomes a disposable unit, as in the year 2065, machines have replaced humans in most activities. Having time on their hands, humans immerse themselves in a fully furnished parallel universe where they play video games against an AI. There are no winners or losers – the player’s only goal is to dwell in simulacrums of their known realities and explore freely a version of a time yet to come. 2065 (Singapore Centennial Edition) functions as a model for post-human behavioural patterns, combining the familiarity of a place some call home (i.e. Singapore) with the fundamentals of a partially unknown future and the structure of a history museum in order to de-situate and re-position the “players” within their own private, parallel slices of fiction.

About Lawrence Lek
Lawrence Lek (b. 1982, Frankfurt, Germany) is an artist, filmmaker and musician working in the fields of virtual reality and simulation. Lek creates site-specific virtual worlds and speculative films using game software, 3D animation, installations and performance. He uses computer-generated imagery and interactive software to develop digital environments he describes as “three-dimensional collages of found objects and situations.” Recent projects include ‘AIDOL’ at Sadie Coles HQ (London, 2019), ‘AI: More than Human’ at the Barbican (London, 2019) and ‘Nøtel’ at Stroom Den Haag (The Hague, 2018). Lek received the 2017 Jerwood/FVU Award. He lives and works in London, UK.

Note on Accessibility
soft/WALL/studs is only partially wheelchair-accessible. This event will be held on the roof, which unfortunately cannot be accessed by wheelchair, requiring a short climb up a ladder. The main room is wheelchair-accessible, though with a narrow doorway to the library, and the washroom (gender neutral) uses a squatting toilet.

If any of this prevents you from attending, please do get in touch with us with a message and we’ll do our best to assist.


Banner image: Lawrence Lek, 2065 [still], 2018, HD Video, stereo sound duration: 5 min
© Lawrence Lek, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London

  • The event description was updated. Diff#495764 2019-11-18 01:51:44
More updates
Sat Nov 23, 2019
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM SGT
Add to Calendar
soft/WALL/studs (8th Floor of Lam Thong Corporation Building)
Sat, 23 Nov, 7.30-9.30pm SOLD OUT $5.00
Venue Address
11 Lor 21A Geylang, Singapore 388429 Singapore

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