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    Project “Berlin Next Door”

    | 2008-07-06 | 23:07
    temos: ENGLISH,interaktyvumas,interneto sfera,komunikacija,miestas,MIGRUOJANTI REALYBĖ

    The “Berlin Next Door" project harks back to the tradition of flânerie and situationist dérive, at the same time drawing on the aesthetics of tourist communication in the age of internet, streaming, and GPS. It is in the recoded wandering of people and data through urban spaces that Irena Eden and Stijn Lernout sense an opportunity to refresh the way we look at cities and bring about a shift in the experience of social life.

     

    The city’s demo-geographics, its physical and cultural organization, are made the object of an experiment in alienation, the starting point of which is the international mix of Berlin’s population.


    Eden/Lernout use state-generated statistical material on the distribution of segments of the population – the homogeneity of which is, as we all know, markedly hypothetical – to (re-)orient themselves in the city as if they were dealing with the world itself. With the help of this methodical inversion of micro- and macrocosm, they embark on a journey to the home countries of migrants living and working in Berlin, which is both a real and an imaginary one, just like any journey. They come across restaurants, hotels, newsstands, and small shops run by immigrants as well as the sightseeing stops of cross-border tourism. Enacted on a performative level, experimental alienation from one’s own existence as a city resident, which is apparent in our temporary transformation into mobile citizens of a global tourist society, results in an experience of the self as an Other. At the same time, expectations placed in what we are offered by others and their life styles are subject to change, as they (newcomers, locals) are, after all, inhabitants of the city, just like us. But both the resident-tourist switch and the notion of migrant populations as representatives of cultures we are to explore as travelers (including tourism services) mark shifts in perception that have long dominated the everyday experiences of big-city urban dwellers. Eden/Lernout are aware of these changes and have reacted to them by providing us with an instrument for (re)orientation, namely their CD-ROM “Berlin Next Door". The CD-ROM’s complex mesh of data documents the performative dimension of the encroachment of tourism into ever more spheres of our lives while also handing out tourism tips. The irony of this endeavor is quite obvious as it continually cites routines of travel journalism and the practice of an ethnography of everyday life. Just as obvious is the critical function of observation directed at the metropolis as a social space, which is, above all, designed to be consumed. The documentation of this artistic journey around town turns this expanded zone of consumer culture into a tangible place.

    Text by Tom Holert (translated from german to english by Matthias Goldmann)
     

    Berlin Next Door, CD-ROM
    Interactive CD-ROM
    With an introduction written by Tom Holert
    Programming and design: Martin Christel
    Concept, realization, text, and photography: Irena Eden / Stijn Lernout
    © Berlin 2007
    Edition of 100 + (5) numbered and signed copies.
    + online Version on www.eden-lernout.com/berlinnextdoor.html

    temos: ENGLISH, interaktyvumas, interneto sfera, komunikacija, miestas, MIGRUOJANTI REALYBĖ |

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