State of Exception: Airport in the City

The project expands upon Agamben’s “juridico-political paradigm” of exception to the broader scale of the state by conceiving the urban landscapes not as a singular, discontinued island-like spaces but, borrowing Easterling’s idea of disposition, as spaces that are interlocking, intersecting, and overlapping, blurring the boundaries between them that has the capacity to orient, determine, control, intercept, capture the behaviours of living beings. Disposition in the zone, as discussed by Easterling, as preferring non-state violence. A new spatial organising order is proposed to allow new possibilities to happen, shifting from the traditional territorial sovereignty that influences the space.

Envisioned as the model of ‘airport of the future’ for Singapore 2025 and beyond, the project takes the interfacing of the airport in the city, in a garden, as a “third space” that is neither inside nor outside the state’s existing frameworks of governance, negotiating border control. Singapore’s geographical centrality in air traffic networks, ‘controllable’ size and existing efficiency such as its horizontal governmental structure make Singapore a suitable test bed to develop the concept of the airport-city interfacing. As Huat (2011) claims, the power-monopolising capacity of the state is what makes coordinating with multiple actors possible. In 2018, the Singapore government has invested in the latest surveillance technology: facial recognition technology.

Author’s Impression of Airport in the Garden. Base Image Source: Today Online (2018)

Airport-city check-in (ACCI) option was previously offered in Marina Bay Sands (MBS) but has since been removed as confirmed by a representative of MBS. The city check-in stood alone in isolation despite being located within the work, play and stay cluster – lacking interface. The autonomy in its planning was likely the cause of failure, in comparison to ACCI in Seoul that has been around since 2015, interfacing well with the city. Plugging in the ACCI would promote continuous flow for people, goods and services to and from the city.