M8 - Summit of Micronations
Singapore City Hall, 2006
The YKON group's projects are about ‘micronations’, utopian communities operating within or outside the power structures of the world. Micronations are small alternative communities created and shared by like-minded people. Micronations can exist as historical anomalies, as virtual entities or a combination of both. As communities of discourse, they create utopian ideas, concepts and symbols as alternatives for established narratives of power. M8, the installation created by YKON for the Biennale, looks at Singapore with reference to the utopias of the micronations. What is the utopia reflected in and by Singapore?

Principality of New Utopia. M8 - Singapore City Hall,2006.

The works of the YKON group are situations rather than objects. The key thing is their approach: people as social communities producing speech and ideas. The group typically brings together different elements to create situations somewhere between serious and playful, even absurd sometimes. M8 is an installation consisting of three elements depicting the situation after a summit of the representatives of Singapore and micronations in City Hall. This fictional summit is convened by Lee Kuan Yew - the ‘creator and architect’ of modern Singapore.

The YKON group has been involved with the phenomenon of micronations since 2003. M8 is the group's third project in the series. The First Summit of Micronations at the AMORPH!03 Biennale in 2003 was held in Helsinki, with invited representatives from six micronations. Round table talks were held at Finlandia hall appropriating the site of the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) 30 years ago.

The YKON group has developed a number of working methods for its micronations project. After background research, each individual project is linked to the specific place/community/society, and the idea of each micronation is given a visual identity. In preparing the M8 project the group made an exploratory visit to Singapore in March 2006. During the trip, the artists' attention was drawn to Singapore as an island state that produces perplexing economic and social models, a society informed by a belief in progress that might even be called a utopian economic religion. M8 explores Singapore as a conference, a forum, a meeting place where utopias are negotiated.

Irmeli Kokko, Acting Curator
FRAME Finnish Fund for Art Exchange

Singapore Biennale 2006
M8 reader