DARE #3: Spatial Practices
International symposium: Spatial Practices
The third edition of the Dutch Artistic Research Event (DARE#3) ran from 30 August until 23 September 2008 and consisted of presentations of students' work, an International Symposium on Spatial Practices, research screenings and the presentation of MaHKUzine #5. Here is an impression of the 2008 exhibition of exam work. Locations in Utrecht were: our school's Academy Gallery, Expodium and the Dutch Design Center.
In recent years the term spatial practice has been established as a term to describe new forms of interdisciplinary (research) practices that are responding to the rapid transformations of the contemporary city and the politics of territorial relations. This symposium both describes the critical analysis of spatial relations, and various forms of interventionist strategies that are being devised by architects, artists, designers, urbanists and curators.
Introductions by Henk Slager (Dean MaHKU) and Jeroen Boomgaard (Professor Art and Public Space, Rietveld Academy/Amsterdam University)
Presentations by Apolonija Sustersic, Staffan Schmidt, Philipp Misselwitz, Doina Petrescu and Lukasz Stanek.
Moderator (and co-curator symposium) Andreas Mueller.
Apolonija Sustersic, Phd Research, Malmo School of Art
In the process of my PhD research I will critically re-examine and contextualize the work I have been doing for the last 15 years within the fileld of art and architecture. I have been dealing with questions of public space, public participation and urban politics and realize that there is a need for further investigation. There is a need to analyze and create a critical platform for the debate within public as well as within an academic context. I would like to question the role of the Context, the Process and Participation as key elements of my work. Together with the audience I would like to think about the potential of the art context as a platform for a wider interdisciplinary discussion.
Staffan Schmidt, Phd Research, Gothenburg School of Art
Off the grid is an artistic research thesis which puts a Swedish housing estate in a video interview dialogue with homeowners in the Northeastern US through focusing on three topics: travel, self-definition, and community. Based on the situated, visual and conceptual image the project merges seemingly incompatible experiences: eight residents in Husby, an immigrant community outside Stockholm, and eight households not connected to the utility grid, in upstate areas of New England and New York State – and two artistic researchers at University of Gothenburg. The interviewees are paired together and handed unedited copies of each other’s reflections. We asked them for their comments, elucidating the practical and metaphorical consequences of travel, self-definition, and community. Even though backgrounds, stories and current conditions differ, an understanding of common interests and similarities are clearly identified. Among the three questions discussed the right to self-definition stands out as central: it is opposed, delayed in its implementation, violated or threatened – still, all participants individually and/or collectively struggle to uphold it. In thinking with the visual and conceptual image Off the grid also offers new perspectives on the significance of artistic research, contributing to its further contextualization.
Philipp Misselwitz, Urban Catalyst, Berlin
Corpse Exquisite: Cultural Agencies For a Post-Public Environment
In the context of individualisation, privatisation and fragmentation of public space, the question of structure and meaning of what is collective and shared in our cities re-emerges with urgency. This particularly applies to the role of our inherited public cultural institutions and agencies that can no longer take for granted to assume a pivotal role in collective life. The relationship between cities and its cultural institutions is in crisis: The critical engagement of important constituencies of the increasingly fragmented urban society becomes more and more difficult while heavy populist pressure exerted by public funding bodies pushed for more and more visitor numbers. Declining public budgets are absorbed by the high running costs of inherited institutions leaving little or no money for programme. Architecture has often become a limiting and inflexible “corset”. Yet, new “corsets” are being created in almost every city as cities instrumentalise iconic architecture to boost lucrative tourism and investment. The “Bilbao effect” has been contagious and often suffocates a more profound debate on the relationship between institution, architecture and the city.
Lukasz Stanek, TU Delft, Jan van Eyck Academy
Urban Territory and spatial agency: post-socialism and teh European city after te welfare state
Doina Petrescu, Atelier d’architecture autogeree, Paris
Based on my experience with the atelier d’architecture autogérée (aaa), I will discuss about the political dimension of micro-urban tactics and the reconstruction of spaces of proximity from the margins, boundaries and interstices of the capitalist city. These interventions permit the creation of a collective and synaptic subjectivity that is capable of porous territorial appropriation and political transformation out of the everyday. We initiate a process of democratisation of spaces of proximity in the city through “agencements jardiniers” (gardening agencies) that activate ordinary places and their inhabitants. In our projects, the spatial production is at the same time political, social and cultural.