WWTF-Project, Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies
Michael Zinganel and Michael Hieslmair
When increasing numbers of people are obliged to spend increasing amounts of time in transit then transition nodes, hubs, and terminals along their primary routes acquire ever-greater significance. Where traffic comes to halt exchange between actors en route happens. These nodes do not only represent non-spaces par excellence but polyrhythmic spatial ensembles of social encounter, linked to their temporal adaptability - reacting on daily, weekly and seasonal rhythms of traffic flows and overall policing. Their character therefore can change to intimate spaces of emotional experience, hubs of communication, or spaces of commerce. If we follow Henry Lefebvre's thesis that urbanity is no more defined by density but by the degree of difference performed at specific places then these nodes paradigmatically represent new forms of urbanity and public space where individual's routes, routines and rituals, political transitions and urban transformations, and their interdependence of each other can be explored.
This project will investigate three nodes of transnational mobility and migration alongside major trans-European traffic corridors, arranged in the triangle Vienna (AT) - Rouse (BG) - Tallinn (EST). Using a transporter van, that also serves as a mobile laboratory storing artistic artefacts, comics, and maps, each of which representations of preliminary research that serve as a trigger for episodic in-situ interviews the research team will generate forms of knowledge from individuals on route that will later be transformed into large scale art installations at these sites (and in art institutions nearby). The goal of the project will be to develop a networked "cartography" of hubs and routes that displays both supranational developments and individual experiences of mobile actors as well as the impact of both on the transformation of the urban fabric.