Previous Tab Next Tab

Geo taggers supply space with meaning by adding geographical identification metadata to it; often visual data. Space, however, is discursively loaded: ‘invisible’ meanings are active and are activated continuously in a space; on a site of action. Meanings activated in a space may, however, escape the taggers mind, with taggers often being ‘foreign’ or distant to the site they ought to tag.
During my short stay at the Ad-hoc artist residency ‘Utopia Parkway’ in Stuttgart, Germany, in March 2011 ‘Utopia Parkway’ had become a site of rapid and seemingly
uncontrollable changes. The site of the residency was the biggest inner city construction site in Europe at the time. An entire city quarter was being demolished in order for a huge shopping centre to be built. Having walked down a road at 10am, it was possible to at 1pm  find myself uncertain as to whether it was indeed the same road that I was now walking up; huge parts of the road, but also houses ‘went missing’ within the time that had elapsed. Pedestrians and drivers of all sorts of vehicles - let them be bulldozers, bikes, or cars - had to find a joint system of moving through the space, which was paved with signs that were valid one day and invalid the next. Time seemed to collapse as one waited for a burst water pipe in a building pit to be fixed in order to be able to cross the pit on a plank. It was impossible to know whether power would remain available during the next hour, or whether the toilet would be accessible despite the fact that the basement was flooding. Navigating exceptions became an ordinary way of moving; pedestrians bypassing machines became the basis for a joint ‘construction site choreography’, which premiered daily. One of the founders of the Ad-hoc Artist Residency ‘Utopia Parkway’ walked a group of artists though the core of the construction site; a half-demolished shopping mall in which, during the previous months, shops that had been closed down were taken over as studios by the artist residency and filled with art in action. Open Studios and festivals had taken place here and, in some places, the visual imprints of these actions remained. Yet we, the artists who worked here during the last days of ‘Utopia Parkway’, could only imagine which actions had caused these visual imprints. Our imaginings were based on the stories told by the co-founder, which were also strongly based on his individual experiences; his feelings within the situations that had occurred. During our walk, I made colourful casts of the areas upon which the founder based his memories. These casts were mounted onto an intact glass disk found in the construction area. Each cast/tag was numbered and a booklet provided insights into the founder’s individual memories that were connected to the space from which the cast was taken. This project plays with modes of social navigating, the limited accessibility of individual memory, and modes of visualizing meaning through artistic practice.