Europacity Berlin: Beyond the Masterplan
The latest approach to city development has insisted on showing and instigating bottom-up processes. Artistic means are getting used to set up situations in which different social groups can express their demands towards decision-makers and get involved in the development of their neighborhood. In Berlin an important protest movement against raising rents and profit-making city development has emerged and made its demand a public affair. However, the process of how city developments are making their way from top-level decision-making down to the asphalt still remains rarely traceable.
This workshop will consist of a multi-headed investigation through artistic means of a new area in the middle of Berlin whose development is currently taking place away from public awareness. Some of the means employed will be: archive research, interviews with the administration, street-mike, jam poetry, photography, street performance, etc. Following an input on urban geography and interventionist art history, we will together create a perceptive mapping of the traces left by different agents of power, ranging from international investment companies and EU's normative governing down to local neighborhood consulting assemblies and anonymous poster actions. The goal is to test, compare and experiment with different means of collection and text and image production in order to follow and connect the multilayered, often remote and multiscalar forces concretely building the city (Neil Brenner, New State Spaces). Invited artists and scholars will help us reflect on the ongoing process.
The study case will be the area historically known as Lehrter Bahnhof, now called Europacity. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and with the exception of an endless construction site which became the Hauptbahnhof Berlin, this area has stayed under the radar of city development, allowing several cultural activities to take place in its midst. Since 2005 there is a masterplan for the area, based on an international private-public cooperation project, including the surroundings of the Hamburger Bahnhof, the city's contemporary art venue. The transformations are incremental and strangely remote from public life even though they are unfolding in the middle of the German capital.
Outputs of the workshop will find their way onsite as much as via spreadable documents. Means of mechanical, digital and performative reproduction will be explored and combined, including newspaper distributed in the neighborhood, festive formats like processions and parties and one-night shows.
|Action-Mission was our mainframe for collective investigation. We completed it with Operation which allowed the spontaneous investigations forming along the mainframe.|
Announcement :: Interventions in the public space