Here the River Lies
In October 2006, the online mapping company Virtual Maps Pte Ltd was embroiled in a civil lawsuit with Singapore Land Authority for the copyright infringement of vector map data that was originally provided by SLA to Virtual Maps in 2004. This was proved with the SLA revealing that they had inserted some imaginary features into their maps - such as a fake temple, fake buildings, and a fictional dead-end street. It was argued that the addition of these fake features were not meant to mislead regular users of the map, but served as “fingerprints” which would help identify it to the owner of the map.
I’ve been fascinated by the idea of a map that could only be officially identified as being the true “artistic work” of its author by being disputably “inaccurate”. The speed at which Singapore develops and changes all the time also means that our maps are always in the process of becoming outdated and inaccurate; as roads and places that were once real cease to exist in reality although they remain in our memory.
Here the River Lies is an interactive map installation of the Singapore River that requires the participation of the audience to complete the work. The audience is invited to contribute their memories of the Singapore River to a large hand-drawn map of the Singapore River, regardless of whether the memories are real, partially real, or imaginary.