Intervening the Urban Void (2004)
Part 3: Dialogue/Critical Practice
Dialogue/Critical practice focused on the potential of community building, social networking and communication within society. We focused on the potential of networks, community building and communication amongst people in the city. Whether it is a loose network of coincidental encounters or a consciously chosen form of organization, the contact with other people can motivate us to work towards mutual goals or challenge us to communicate differences. For artists and activists, but also in our private lives, the network has become an important tool for organisation, to meet, communicate, and to create communities. In this section of our research we investigated opportunities to exchange ideas and opinions as an important artistic and social practice.
UNWETTER with guests: Discursive Picnic
You are, we are invited to join the DISCURSIVE PICINC at Public Space With A Roof - on the floor, on the blanket. Be a guest, be a host. IDEAS. FOOD. TALK. Bring, give, take, share : food + thought. UNWETTER is an international, Berlin based group of artists, curators, critics, theorists and activists. The most important goal of UNWETTER's work is knowledge production in and about the drastic world-changes brought about by the process of globalization. UNWETTER brings together artistic, theoretical and political practice. We operate in public space as well as in an art context. We cooperate with local initiatives and establish temporary situations (picnics, walks, camps, etc.), which connect strands of research and streams of knowledge. http://people.freenet.de/unwetter
Universal Embassy highlights the urgent situation of 'personnes sans papiers' (people without papers), and tries to help them overcome their social isolation. In 2001 the former Somalian Embassy in Brussels was squatted by 'personnes sans papiers' after Somalia lost state-status as a result of severe civil war in that country. Universal Embassy brings together individuals who suffer the discrimination of not belonging to a nation. Universal Embassy appoints its own diplomats and produces its own Universal passports. Mohamed Benzaouia is the first person to obtain a Belgian passport through the Universal Embassy, and he will tell his and the Embassy's story. Mohamed Benzaouia and Kobe Matthys presented the Universal Embassy, Brussels. http://www.universal-embassy.be
C.CRED: Ola Stahl, Kajsa Thelin and Carl Lindh
What is a network? What are the potentials and limits of the network as a mode of artistic production? What are the possibilities, problems and limits encountered when working politically as an artist in the city? C.CRED CREative Dissident is a London-based artist collective that maps critical art-practices, initiatives and individuals in the counter/cartography project. In Intervening the Urban Void C.CRED used a mobile workstation to organize meetings in public spaces in the city where you could discuss, question and exchange ideas, accompanied by music, hot wine and screenings. The meetings were followed by journeys around the city based on sites identified during the discussion. These meetings and journeys then formed a part of our archive and the expanding counter/cartographies of the project. C-CRED presented the Counter Cartography Archive including the materials collected in Amsterdam.
Sophia Tabatadze is a visual artist from Georgia. She lives and works in Rotterdam. Her work deals with the human body in (new) surroundings and the human being in relation to architecture. 'Home' is a recurrent theme in her installations, as a temporary place that exists during the building up process only and that can be left behind like a shell after it is completed. How much of the notion 'home' is psychological, and how much physical? The relation between facade and interior, the chaos and order within, are the key words in her work. How far does one want, or is one able, to see the other side of the coin, the side that doesn't fall within one's own perception? How one tends to perceive the world from our standpoint alone, trying to fit everything we see and experience into our thinking patterns. Meanwhile, the faces change constantly and dramatically over very short periods of time, whether it concerns people, architecture or the social and political situations of countries.
m7 is an urban network based in Buenos Aires. It is the last development of the former m777, a group of people trained in architecture. Since its inception in 2000, m7 has been developing tools and platforms for supporting networks and researching into the constitution of public space through the fields of non-state urban planning, heterodox resources policies and do-it-yourself initiatives. As the initial group expanded through exchanges with people involved in other areas of thinking, the question of the nature of the organization, and the self improvement of the group, arose. Deconstructing its own situation, m7 has taken advantage of critical and even catastrophic situations to encourage participation of civil society on topics mostly dominated by state and corporate bureaucracies. The story of how m777 became m7 will be relayed through the challenges and opportunities faced by urban research practice in Buenos Aires during the last years.