In collaborative confrontation with Eindhoven Footnotes, Łukasz Trzciński’s Krakow (PL) based project Ideal City looks at what the city is today or may be in the future. The talk will explore different cultural approaches to grassroots participation. Co-organised with Fundacja Imago Mundi.
Ideal City undertakes the challenge of a necessary actualisation of contemporary city concepts. In the propounded formula the city no longer works as a shell, a machine to live in or a management model vs a composition of complex human relationships. This approach oversteps the categories we typically use to historically understand concepts of the city. Emancipated from the hitherto regimes of mutual interdependencies the city becomes a compilation of entities. Ideal City is a city written from the perspective of the individual.
Artists: Freja Bäckman, Łukasz Błażejewski [Prince Negatif], Pio Bujak, Henryk Makarewicz&Wiktor Pental, Krzysztof Maniak, Tomáš Moravec, Agnieszka Piksa&Vladimir Palibrk, Stanisław Ruksza, Łukasz Skąpski, Dominik Stanislawskiki, Jaro Varga
Guestcurator: Łukasz Trzciński
Footnotes host: Josh Plough
Ideal City undertakes the challenge of a necessary actualisation of contemporary city concepts. In the propounded formula the city no longer works as a shell, a machine to live in or a management model vs a composition of complex human relationships. Therefore this approach not only tears away the right to shape the city from politicians or an urbanists’ privilege but radically shifts the sense of thinking about the city as a formation.
This approach oversteps the categories we typically use to historically understand concepts of the city. Emancipated from the hitherto regimes of mutual interdependencies the city becomes a compilation of entities. Ideal City is a city written from the perspective of the individual.
Ideal City treats the built environment not so much as an urban-architectural construct (for better or worse) but as a set of social relations (not contracts), whose character and tensions are determined by the entities that constitute a community. The reclaiming of the city in the Ideal City is embodied by shifting the attention from the dominant collective perspective to that of the individual. That is why artists’ voices summoned within the Ideal City capture the individual, not so much as a component of the community but by setting the gravity on its individuality and individual character towards the group. An emphasis is put on its dissimilarity and the subtlety of its nature.
The Ideal City is no longer a neoliberal system and machine of growth constantly reinventing itself. Therefore, the city space itself [symbolic or specific] becomes erased and universalised. It becomes secondary when pitted against the perspective of the individual. The city’s construct has based itself on the relation: the individual to another entity, the individual to other entities, the individual to the collective body. These relationships include the positions occupied by each other, including the fields of mutual exploitation.
Such an approach radically shifts attention from the regimes determining our coexistence on to the ways of cooperation, and thus the tensions generated between individual participants of a particular group. In the Ideal City the framework is not a supreme creation but a series of units that make sense of it. This calls for a constant revision and updating of the formula being constituted by themselves.
The Ideal City reveals at Onomatopee in Eindhoven a place of art invented and led by its environment. It forms the first showcase of the ongoing by continuously expanding its formula and research area — an exhibition; re-curated on every occasion and having its leaven in the digital format of idealcity.pl, for which the starting point was a multi-layered collection of photographs dedicated to a specific urban creation of Nowa Huta. The experience of a city designed from scratch as a particular alliance of politically involved urban planning (it’s worth asking if politically uninvolved exists at all?) and social engineering. The accumulation of the resultant series of afterimages of earlier urban scenarios served as a spark that initiated a deliberative, prospective discussion dedicated to the city in a universal perspective.
Generously supported by:
Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie
Instytut Adama Mickiewicza