TRANZIT PAPER

space. body. politics.

Posts tagged “berlin

The Smell Of The City

Posted on 2012/09/18


Sissel Tolaas, SmellScape KCK/KCMO, site research, 2012, Photo by Megan Mantia

The sound of a city is a topic of growing interest (as mentioned here and here), and there`s still more to find out about our urban surroundings: For example, the smell of the city.

Some of you might remember the City-Smell Research by Sissel Tolas in Berlin in 2011, that captured the scent of various Berlin districts and, based on the results, created an olfactory map of the city. With a background in science and linguistics, Tolaas has spent decades exploring how smell – one of our most powerful and least understood senses – can help us improve tolerance within our cultures and communities. She conducts her social experiments with a sense of discovery and play. Nothing stinks,” says Tolaas, “but thinking makes it so!

Felix Kiessling: Expanding the human notion of space and boundaries

Posted on 2012/08/20

The German artist Felix Kiessling wishes to expand the human notion of spatiality and boundaries through his artworks. Linda Post met Felix Kiessling at his recent show Tür und Stern in the Alexander Levy Gallery in Berlin to talk about his work.
– By Linda Post

As you entered the exhibition space in the Alexander Levy Gallery where Felix Kiessling recently exhibited the show Tür und Stern you were greeted by an enormous aluminium star measuring approximately 12 x 12 x 12 meters. The fragile frame of the star penetrated both in a literal sense and conceptual sense the room’s physical boundaries by piercing through the gallery’s walls, windows and ceiling.

Photo: Felix Kiessling working on the piece Tief ins Herz, © Johannes Foerster

Through the deconstruction of the conventional gallery space Kiessling is referring to the way human beings construct their surrounding spaces to be able to exist, understand and communicate the world they embody in regards to spatiality, direction and orientation.

Photo: The star as it was shown in the Alexander Levy Gallery, © Johannes Foerster

The young artist is on a Merleau-Ponty-ian quest to re-sensitize his audience through his abstract and minimal artworks, wishing to make his participant aware of the phenomenological intentional mechanisms that you as a human being practices and uses every day. The crooked directions and orientation of the star while piercing through the space in which it’s placed is a way of pushing the human being’s inherent understanding of space, boundaries and how we navigate these in order to move and perceive our surroundings.

What kind of aesthetic experience do you want your participant to have when they go to one of your shows?

First of all I’m not in a position to teach anything to anybody, I’m not a dogmatic artist if you want. What I hope to provide is some sort of experience with space or with your self as a human being standing on this planet earth.
You cant tell anybody how to behave anyway because everybody will behave according to their own will, but what I can provide as an artist is some sort of experience that re-sensitizes you – maybe – for who you are in a very abstract way.

Talking Eyes: Sex, Street and Subculture

Posted on 2012/04/26

 

Talking Eyes is a series of five events to foreground marginalised discourses around the visual culture, it`s perception, designs, strategies and technologies. Hosted by the research group Visual Culture of the interdisciplinary graduate research program Gender as a Category of Knowledge at Humboldt-University in Berlin, the lecture-, discussion-, and film series (to be held at various venues throughout Berlin) is aiming to open up theoretical and practical interventions for subversions from the different perspectives of the invited artists, activists and academics.
Based on the knowledge that visual materialities are always based on gendered and racialised iconographies, questions concerning pornotopic, forensic, clinical and military detection; surveillance and disease control; and sexuality, crime and war will be discussed.

The very first lecture is titled Queering the Gays / Gaze: sex, street and subculture by Jennifer V. Evans (Associate Professor of History, Carleton University, Ottawa). It will take place on April 26, 2012, 8.30 pm at C/O Berlin, Oranienburger Straße 35/36, 10117 Berlin, Germany:
The decriminalization of homosexuality in the 1960s enabled legal protection for homosexuality and made it possible for same-sex desiring men and women to produce, possess, publish and consume erotic images without fear of police retribution or censor. Although photography played a pivotal role in the construction of queer identities in the newly protected public and private spheres, the art world was slow to embrace sex, street and subculture as high art. This talk explores the tension between high and low – between the museum and the street – as a fundamental feature of efforts to queer the gays/gaze after Stonewall. It takes up the problem of nostalgia in 1970s queer erotic photography and analyses the history and transformation of subject formation through the constitution and portrayal of erotic looking and seeing.

Following events
May 11, 2012: A Coup de Genre: The Trials and Tribulations of Bülent Ersoy, Alisa Lebow Filmmaker, Brunel University & Başak Ertür PhD Candidate Birkbeck College
May 31, 2012: Torture: The Feminine Touch, Coco Fusco Artist and Writer, Parsons New School for Design
June 14, 2012: In the blink of an eye: Post-war constructions of (in)visibility
June 26, 2012: United in Anger. A History of Act Up, Jim Hubbard Filmmaker

Visit the TALKING EYES web site for further information: www.talkingeyes.de
TALKING EYES on Facebook

Image: Talking Eyes, Flyer

Katja Kullmann: Rasende Ruinen

Posted on 2012/04/19

Ein Interview mit Katja Kullmann, Essayistin und Sachbuchautorin, die in Berlin soeben ihr neuestes Buch präsentierte: Rasende Ruinen – Wie Detroit sich neu erfindet.

Katja Kullmann war im Herbst 2011 vor Ort im ehemaligen Zentrum der amerikanischen Automobilproduktion und porträtiert in ihrer literarischen Reportage eine Stadt im Spannungsfeld von Investment, Urban Sprawl und kreativer Klasse.
Das Schöne: Es geht vorrangig um die Menschen in Detroit, ihre Geschichten und ihr Engagement. Kullmann verdichtet ihre Reiseerfahrungen am Geburtsort des Techno zu einem Geflecht inspirierender Eindrücke, die in rasender Geschwindigkeit ein differenziertes Porträt des vieldiskutierten shitholes Amerikas zeichnen.

Im Herbst 2011 sind Sie für vier Wochen nach Detroit gereist. In welchem Kontext ist die Idee zu “Rasende Ruinen” entstanden und wieso ausgerechnet Detroit?

Detroit ist seit Jahren eine Art Fetischort für mich, schon seit ich 17 bin. Das liegt zunächst mal an der Musik. Ich bin ein Soul-Fan, sammle alte Schallplatten, und das hat mit verkratzten Motown-Scheiben aus Detroit angefangen. Irgendwann in den 90ern habe ich dann zum ersten Mal Bilder von dem berühmten verlassenen Detroiter Bahnhof gesehen. Die Geschichte der Stadt ist einfach faszinierend: wie dort einst der amerikanische Mittelklasse-Traum erblüht ist, mit anständigen Jobs und einem Eigenheim für alle, und wie diese Wohlstandsträume nach und nach zerplatzt sind. Ich habe mich immer gefragt: Wie kann es sein, dass die USA, die große Macht jenseits des Ozeans, solche Schwierigkeiten mit einem Ort hat? Ist es dort wirklich so arm und heruntergekommen? Dazu muss ich sagen: Ich mag die USA sehr, ihre Ideengeschichte und vor allem das „Amerika von unten“ – die Bürgerrechtsbewegungen, die Populärkultur, die tapferen Pionier-Legenden der einfachen Leute. Obwohl ich schon oft in den USA war, habe ich immer bewusst einen großen Bogen um Detroit gemacht. Ich hatte mir vorgenommen: Hier fahre ich nicht „einfach so“ mal hin, hier will ich mehr wissen. Vergangenen Herbst war es dann so weit – ich hatte etwas Zeit, etwas Geld und genau jetzt schien der richtige Zeitpunkt zu sein. Denn auch in Mitteleuropa sprechen wir neuerdings ja sehr viel über den Organismus „Stadt“, über die Gentrifizierung der beliebten Metropolen einerseits und die Verarmung der Shrinking Cities auf der anderen Seite. Wie wollen wir leben, was geschieht, wenn der Faktor „Arbeit“ für immer mehr Menschen wegbricht, wie verändert sich der Lebensraum? Mit diesen Fragen im Kopf bin ich jetzt endlich nach Detroit gefahren.

Brutalism. Architecture of Everyday Culture, Poetry and Theory.

Posted on 2012/03/20

Le Corbusier, Unité d’Habitation, Marseille (1952), Phaidon (ed.), Le Corbusier Le Grand, New York 2008; S. 422

Stadtplanungsamt Sheffield (J. Lewis Wormesley, Jack Lynn, Ivor Smith und Frederick Nicklin), Siedlung Park Hill, Sheffield (1961), Reyner Banham, Brutalismus in der Architektur, Stuttgart 1966, S. 183

For two days, architects, and architectural historians, theorists, and conservators will discuss Brutalism in the light of its unique history as a laboratory situation – engendered both by Team 10’s critical review of classical modernism and of post-war modernism – in which modern architectural trends still of relevance today were developed and tested for the very first time. But not only did Brutalism’s aesthetic and formal features set the course of future developments, as late minimalism attests; the ethical, which is to say socio-political subtexts of its ‘Everyday Architecture’ approach likewise exerted a lasting influence on architectural and urban planning discourse, as evinced by the Las Vegas- and Suburbia-oriented postmodernism of Venturi, Scott, Brown, for example, or by the Dirty Realism of the late 1980s, which fostered a new urban planning approach to urban sprawl. more

The following speakers are expected: Tom Avermaete, Stephen Bates, Beatriz Colomina, Werner Durth, Kenneth Frampton, Jörg Gleiter, Liane Lefaivre, Luca Molinari, Joan Ockman, Werner Oechslin, Ingrid Scheurmann, Vladimir Šlapeta, Laurent Stalder, Philip Ursprung, Dirk van den Heuvel, Adrian von Buttlar and Stanislaus von Moos.
Anette Busse, Florian Dreher, Hannes Mayer and Georg Vrachliotis will chair the discussion panels.

May 10 & 11, 2012
Akademie der Künste
Hanseatenweg 10
Berlin

The Detroit-Berlin Connection

Posted on 2012/02/03

Detroit and Berlin are iconic cities; symbols of cultural and economic domination, as well as of collapse, and (potential) rebirth. Detroit and Berlin have ideological similarities that go far beyond industrial power. As beacons of culture, Detroit and Berlin have both been on the cutting edge of arts activities. Berlin is a crossroads of European film, art, music and food; Detroit is a center of African-American culture, with global credibility in jazz, techno, and emerging cultural expressions.
The Detroit – Berlin Connection looks at the futures of these two great cities and looks at the measures being used to reinvent industrial cities for the 21st century.
/Press release, WDET/

Reporter Martina Guzmann is the head behind the cross-cultural project The Detroit-Berlin Connection, which has become a multi-media series consisting of audio shows, videos and photos.
In an interview on WDET (The Craig Fahle Show) with Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institute and Wayne State University, Robin Boyle, Urban Planning Professor, Martina Guzman describes the biggest similarity of both cities: “I think in terms of the destruction, in terms of two cities that have been destroyed in completely different ways. I mean of course Berlin because of World War I but it recoverd World War II, and then the Cold War and really the division of the wall which destructed the eternal landscape. And I think, we`ve seen it dramatically here in Detroit, but for completely different reasons and that was the biggest similarity. And when people talked about the Berlin-Detroit Connection similarities, they usually talked about art and, you know, techno music, but it was something much, much deeper than that.” To find out more, visit the WDET website – the production has been broadcasted for the first time in October 2011 and all pieces are still available online here.