My research focuses on the entanglement of artistic and spatial practices with the changing social, political and economic landscape. In recent projects such as Networked Cultures (2005-2013), Other Markets (2010-2015) and World of Matter (2011-2016) I have collaborated with a worldwide network of artists, architects, curators, cultural and media scholars to investigate the interaction of such practices with resource politics, network creativity, global economies and informal urbanism. Together with Peter Mörtenböck, I am also currently working on new research around the notion of Capital Architecture – how architecture’s capacity to both materialise and signify the production of value is being enlisted in the creation of new geographies of investment.
Departing from sites of geopolitical conflicts and social confrontations, the Networked Cultures project aims to reconsider the cultural transformations under way in Europe through examining the potentials and effects of networked spatial practices. The project, in particular, investigates art, architectural and urban practices located in contested spaces whose work allows for a multi-inhabitation of territories and narratives across cultural, social or geographic boundaries. In doing so, the project seeks to extend current debates of architectural and spatial planning by addressing the emergence of new forms of urban engagement, by re-evaluating the relationship between space and conflict and by establishing trajectories of an architectural culture geared towards network formation. Outcomes of the research have been distributed via conferences, workshops, reports and publications. Audio-visual reports and other components of the project have been presented in numerous exhibitions worldwide. Venues include the Netherlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam, Toronto Free Gallery, Toronto, Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York, Trafó Gallery, Budapest, The Israeli Center for Digital Art, Holon, Proekt Fabrika, Moscow, Pro qm, Berlin, santralistanbul, Istanbul, Open Space – Zentrum für Kunstprojekte, Vienna and Whitechapel Gallery, London.
See also www.networkedcultures.org and >>publications: Networked Cultures: Parallel Architectures and the Politics of Space, NAi Publishers, 2008.
Spurred by economic deregulations and the intertwined mobilisation of people and goods, informal systems have taken on a global dimension in structuring how we connect to each other, how we inhabit our environments, and how we engage in political and social operations. Nodal points of these transformations, informal markets entertaining long-distance relations have emerged on the fringes of major cities as well as on the borders between different states. Amidst the economisation of all aspects of life and the expansion of transnational spaces, these sites have evolved into prototypes of novel and extreme material configuration.
The project focuses on the modalities of socio-spatial production in informal markets and their implications for new models of co-existence and exchange. While these globally distributed nodes of the informal economy are often effects of political upheaval, economic destabilisation, migratory movements and new labour situations, they shape complex systems of alternate relations wherever and whenever institutional protocols have come to a deadlock. The research approaches these dynamics through theoretical and empirical investigations into the visual culture of informal markets. It situates the architectures of informal markets as performative practices indicative of globally enacted juridico-political alignments and examines their workings by way of field studies and on-site transdisciplinary exchange in different world regions (Informal Market Worlds I, San Diego/Tijuana, February 2012 and Informal Market Worlds II, Shanghai, November 2012).
See also www.othermarkets.org and >>publications: Informal Market Worlds: The Architecture of Economic Pressure (Atlas & Reader), nai010 publishers, 2015.
World of Matter:
World of Matter is an international art and media project investigating primary materials (fossil, mineral, agrarian, maritime) and the complex ecologies of which they are a part. Initiated by an interdisciplinary group of artists and scholars, the project responds to the urgent need for new forms of representation that shift resource-related debates from a market driven domain to open platforms for engaged public discourse. World of Matter considers visual source material a valuable instrument for education, activist work, research, and raising general public awareness, particularly in light of the ever more privatized nature of both actual resources and knowledge about the powers that control them. Hence, the project acts through exhibitions, public events, publications and an online platform. By drawing connections between works that derive from artistic practice, journalism, philosophy, activism, and other realms of research, World of Matter provides a place of commonality for eco-logical imaginaries.
See also www.worldofmatter.net and >>publications: World of Matter, Sternberg, 2015.