Thursday, 25 January 2007


Roundtable is the working space of the Ph.D. students at Goldsmiths. Some of the invited guests of our project, as Eyal Weizman are involved with it. Some others, as Pier Vittorio Aureli will go there for some panel discussions.

Talking Cities

Talking Cities
This recent project, curated by Francesca Ferguson, is tackling issues and problems, which are complementary to our project at Solitude. With interesting overlapping: Sdrjan is in it, for instance.

Centre for Research Architecture

The Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths College in London is currently an extremely interesting condition, where the reflection on architecture, urbanity and politics is being developed.

From their website:

This new and innovative research centre brings together architects, urbanists, filmmakers, curators and other cultural practitioners from around the world to work on expanded notions of architecture that engage with questions of culture, politics, conflict and human rights.

In keeping with Goldsmiths’ commitment to multidisciplinary research and learning, the centre also offers an alternative to traditional postgraduate architectural education by inaugurating a unique, robust studio-based combination of critical architectural research and practice at both MA and MPhil/PhD levels.

The aim of the centre is to give rigorous tools for urban research and practice to a variety of practitioners from various backgrounds. The work of the centre is based upon the idea of “practice led theory”. Students will pursue individual projects and undertake research and writing that incorporate contemporary Critical Theory, Philosophy and Cultural Studies.

Rather than merely supporting the productive process of architectural constructs, this process involves itself in radical critique of its nature.

Monday, 22 January 2007

Karin Damrau

Dear Mr. Joly, dear Mr. Gallanti, dear all,

First of all I'am very sorry that I'am answering late. To introduce myself to everybody: I'am a german architect, a fellow from march to august 2006. I'am already well-informed about the urbanity project by Mr. Joly and I'am pretty much interested in it. I would like to participate with great pleasure.

My proposal: during the time at Solitude I developed a series of projects under the title "city games". The projects are all approaching the issue of urban and social phenomenons. By introducing a kind of game into the urban context, a sensibilisation for these phenomena is taking place. The "city games" offer the opportunity to influence the urban context by taking part in the game.

I picked out five sites where temporary installations might be conceived.
Site one: Gute Nacht Stuttgart - Good Night Stuttgart. Neues Schloss Stuttgart.
Site two: Stadtwaage - city-balance. Stuttgart - Straßbourg
Site three: Himmel und Hölle - heavan and hell. Schloß Solitude Stuttgart.
Site four: Jukebox. Wallraff-Platz Köln.
Site five: Gute Nacht Köln - Good Night Cologne. Museum für Angewandte Kunst Köln.

The games are described in the form of images and functional diagrams, as well as texts (all computer graphics). Therefore I would suggest to present them with one are two video projectors.

Looking forward to hear from you and meet you.

Greetings, Karin

Monday, 15 January 2007

Marzena Nowak

Dear JB Joly, I would like to wish you all the best in this new year.

I am in Poland now but I am happy to coming back to Schloss in about week because of presentation. I manage to make small wood installation which I will take with me, I also spoke with Johanna and it will be no problem to show video with her playing (although it was difficult to convince her).

It is also very interesting for me to take part in the Urbanity project, because of it I came back to utopian ideas of Koolhas, Cedric Price ( "architectire is not to solve problems"), and polish T. Slawek, I found the most interesting early texts of Bernard Tschumi - Manhattan Transcripts ("Architecture is not simply about space and form, but also about event, action and what happens in space") I was interested mostly in relations city/architecture - people/human body. I am still in the process... From my side I would like to propose drawings (I am sending examples) they are drawings of cutouts used for sewing - very close to body, put on together, they create forms of architecture, city maps. This I would like to support with fotos and the paperfold architectural object based on cutouts. I would like to bring more materials with me and if it will be possible show them to you when I will be in Schloss.

If you accept this idea within the ideal urbanity project I will be happy to send it further to Fabrizio and urbanity mailing list.

All the best from Warsaw

Sunday, 14 January 2007

Masked Citizen X / Seung Pyo Hong

Dear all,

I am Seung Pyo Hong, a new fellow whose discipline is Industrial Design. When I had the first meeting with Mr. Joly a week ago, I had a chance to be told that there is an exhibition about Urbanity by Solitude fellows. I am pretty much interested in the project, and I would like to join it with great pleasure if my late participation does not cause any interruption.
If I am able to join, I would like to present "Masked Citizen X," one of my recent projects shown at my solo show in Seoul last year. Under the contemporary urban condition imbued with technological hyper-connectivity, besides, communication is no more communal activity but involuntary or even compulsory response to the given environment. It is not so easy for any individual to resist against the imperatives of communication. At this point, Masked Citizen X provides a refuge for people who are tired of imposed social communication. Its artificial and banal expressions are not intended to express users' real emotion more effectively, rather to screen users' facial expression of their uneasiness therefore to help them pass the situation away: if someone steps up to mask wearer, the mask automatically closes the doors, makes artificial facial expressions and speaks meaningless words on behalf of the user.
Please feel free to ask me if there is any inquiry.
Many Thanks,
Seung Pyo Hong (studio 36)

Friday, 12 January 2007

Berlin (or better, post-Berlin).

Dear friends, please find enclosed the summary of the studio visits we made with Fabrizio in Berlin last week-end.
Fruitful and great conversations, beautiful proposals to be realized or presented. In addition to this we all received precise descriptions of the contributions by K&W and Patricia. Now it's time to show up! Please give us all a brief description of your proposal in the next days. This concerns the opening, the exhibition, the two workshops and the filmprogramme (s.u).

Kindest regards JBJ

Searching for an ideal urbanity, Studio-visits in Berlin by Fabrizio Gallanti and JB Joly, 6th to 8th of January.

1) Events planned After several studio-visits FG and JBJ agree about following activities:

29th /30th of March

- Opening with performances on the 29th of March (Patricia Reed, Laura Erber's reading? + others to be precised)
- collective exhibition from the 30th of March to the 6th of May
- internal workshop about Henri Lefebvre on the 30th of March (among the participants, Solitude-fellows, Fabrizio, Philip Ursprung + others to be discussed: Christian Schmid, Jean-François Chevrier, ideas are welcome).

3d to 5th of May
- 3d of May: Public talk by Matthias Sauerbruch about „the misuse of the term urbanity in German architecture of the last 20 years“ (tba) on the 3d of May. Language not cleared (German with English hand out? English?)
- 4th of May internal or public workshop about „building urbanity“ (guests list open, Fabrizio mentionned Pier Vittorio Aureli)
- 5th of May filmprogramme

2) Studiovisits
Susanne Bürner, videoartist.
Videos to be taken under consideration:
- Ohne Titel, 4 short sequences, 2004, 6’ 10“
- Corean restaurants on the sea side, 2007, 2’30“
- Hohe Kiefer 4, 2005, 5’37“
- Surfer Montauk, 2004, 6’30“, loop
- Finistère, 2005, 5’40“, loop
- Limbo, 2005, 47“, loop
- 50.000.000 can’t be wrong, 2006, 6’24“
- Trees, videoinstallation with three videoprojectors, 1999, 32’
- Dissolve, videoinstallation, 2001
The videoinstallation „Trees“ can be presented in the exhibition; the other videos are shown in the filmprogramme.

SMAQ, architects

- 3 meters of images about a street in Kinshasa with an infinity of cell-phone shops (to be shown in the Unterer Hirschgang?) with archive and text.
- Participation in the workshop about „building urbanity“ with a critical presentation of the masterplan they develop for Dubai.

Stephen Waddell
- 500 copies of one of Stephen Waddell’s urban images (normal quality print) size about A1, laying on an europalette to be taken by the visitors as a hand out. Image to be selected.

A. Zinsmeister „Urban Shelter“ a documentation about Sarajevo in 1996-97 made of:
- super 8 mm film on DVD (including mecanic sound of a projector)
- documentation on DVD (from slides) on survival strategies - 2 or 3 urban panoramas of ruins as slide projection. To be presented in the under Hirschgang (basement) but the presentation has to be reduced because of the number of participants. To be discussed with A.Z.

Korpys & Löffler together with Achim Birtenburg

- „Canoo“, videofilm and installation, 2003, 130’, two dvds, two projectors, sound, a painted plastic wrap. Best would be a presentation in the Kabinett.
- „Digging deep“, videofilm 1999 and „Super Sam“, videofilm 2002, are presented in the filmprogramme on the 5th of May.

Andrea Melloni

Fist of all I'm glad to join the discussion, apologising for the late beginning of my contributions, that will hopefully balanced the next weeks.

I'm a soundart fellow, dealing mostly with installations, my research is focusing on the
relationship between how the social space is used and how sound (human or artificial, depending on the purpose) can alterate/underline/monitor the use of shared/public spaces. Most of the techniques involved in my installations have been picken up or deal with sound harrassment appliances, previously meant for military/strategic use. A project initially submitted for my fellowship was involving the tramline in Stuttgart, in order to transform it into a huge theremin antenna, to monitor the changments occurred into the line itself (directly connected to hurban growth of the city, and to how different parts are linked together, since size and form of the antenna influence the kind of soundsignal obtained), and the use of the tramline from the population ( human body proximity is another variable). The sound is then processed and can be transmitted/ spread realtime or stored.
The project started researching on the concept of stigmergy applied to human communities. The project can be scaled, and theremin-like antennas can be used to monitor activity of smaller communities, like a village, a castle..

This to introduce part of my solo research. Among others, in Solitude I had the chance to start various thrilling collaborations, for soundtracks and performances, one of those with an indian writer ( Mr. Sarnath Banerjee), for soundtracks and installations dealing with indian urbanity and culture, from a much more narrative perspective. It's a very interesting overview of new indian middle-class, from an inner point of view. A short series of videos has been produced, as well as soundtracks and possible sound installations.

I would be pleased to know Your opinion, and start developing a common idea on the possible

This email is maybe getting 'bit too long... I'm glad having joined the discussion, and look forward to deepen the discussion

Best regards,

Andrea Melloni

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Keller & Witwer 2


our latest work, for which we still search a title. (The working title is "Tor Tre Teste, 2006)
Here we send a picture. (It`s a montage still.)

It is a video, which we recorded in Rome in the quarter "Tor Tre Teste" in combination with a drawing directly onto the wall.
The video is a short observation of a scene where a mother and a child collect garbage in front of the church Dio Padre Misericordioso (built by Richard Meier).

Dagmar and Martin

Keller & Witwer 1

Dear all,
meantime we would like to propose "what you want to see" (the video installation, we showed in the Römerstrasse) . / NAO

Novi Sad, 2007-01-07

Searching for Ideal Urbanity.

Hello to all, greetings from Novi Sad. We spent sometime time talking about the concept and about posted proposals. We find really interesting to turn back to Fabrizio's initial text about the project. Also revealing are later e-mail notes that we are after a collective, collaborative process.

The main questions for us are how many different idealities there are to be searched for? How different an ideal condition can be from an ideal process? How what we search for gets reflected in the process of searching?

Furthermore, a process of "collaborative communication", especially between artistic and technical disciplines, makes moments of everyday reality appear ideal. Like flashes, these ideal moments, appear connected to each other.
The network of ideal moments becomes more meaningful than ideal conditions or states.

All of those moments, like clusters, are dots on a map. This map exists; just haven't made it yet. As a result we would like to produce such a map based on our collaborative process. By doing this we would like to contribute to this event at Solitude and to the emerging community.

Zoran Pantelic,

Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss, NAO

Cut for purpose

Stealth group, a collective working at the edge of architecture and research has designed for the Boijmans van Beuningen museum in Rotterdam an exhibition space that is phisically altered by the artists and curators. It is a beautiful three-dimensional visualization of a collective dialogue.
The project was called Cut for purpose.

Wednesday, 3 January 2007

Temporary Library

The proposal of Vlad remembered me of the Temporary Library that gruppo A12 designed some years ago, recuperating an old container. It was temporary, but not that free, as there alway was some concern about the possible disappearence of the books....
In these pictures you can see its second instalment within the Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella, while it was first designed for an exhibition, curated by Luca Cerizza at the Fondazione Teseco in Pisa (2001). At the Fondazione Teseco, the Italian curator Marco Scotini, just organized an exhibition/event, called Cities From Below, which might have some points in common with our project.
These were the persons participating to that project: atelier d’architecture autogérée (aaa) (France), a.titolo (Italy), Matei Bejenaru (Romania), Beth Bird (USA), Calin Dan (Romania), Paola Di Bello/Armin Linke (Italy), Marcelo Expósito (Spain), Huit Facettes (Senegal), Francesco Jodice (Italy), Raphael Lyon & Andres Ingoglia (USA), Marjetica Potrc (Slovenia), Oliver Ressler/Dario Azzellini (Austria), Mariette Schiltz (Luxemburg), Stalker/Osservatorio Nomade (Italy), Hito Steyerl (Germany)

By the way I was a member of gruppo A12 until 2004.

Free library / Vlad Nancã

I also hope more ideas for the project would come up as the time is shorter and shorter. One idea which I would like to suggest and I also think would make sense in an Ideal Urbanity is to set up a free library... I know that this isnt very original but anyway here is what i think:
One of things which I think would make the Academy a better place would be if everyone (all the fellows) would share (parts of) the music and video libraries on their computers. One of my biggest frustrations during my time at Solitude was that people wouldnt even share the music on their itunes player or if I wanted to see a film someone had then that involved cd burning or copying on memory stick. So sharing between the fellows computers would of course be very easy to do but the ideal situation would be to have a common Hub which during the exhibition the visitors could access. Stefan Tiron (former fellow of Solitude) has organized this type of project in various locations and people could come to the exhibition and copy files onto their memory sticks. That of course brings about some legal issues but I think working in a legally grey area is also an Ideal Urban situation.
What I would also suggest is to have a traditional library which could perhaps work in connection to the Hub. People could maybe bring books or video in hard formats as an exchange to the files the take from the Hub. That would maybe make sense considering the situation of the Solitude library where some books have been stolen. So there could be some building up.
So I would suggest that this traditional library could be built with contributions from all of us as well as the visitors. As far as I am concerned I could contribute with a book which is being edited at the moment and I would even propose this book in itself to be part of the Ideal Urbanities exhibition (whether a library will be made or not). It is the printed version of the blog about Bucharest which some friends and myself have been doing for over a year. Bukresh Blog. If you want to have a look there is a pdf with the pages from december 2005 which you can download here .
The Bukresh Blog is a toold for us to make public our personal discoveries of buchaerst which is a difficult process as there are no institutions (museums, image libraries etc) that speak about the recent history of the town (which was extremely tumuluous etc). We alike to speak about the real Bucharest not the idealized "little Paris" that most intelectuals think that Bucharest is or could be.
This project of a printed version of the blog also brings up an issue which i think is worth discussing - Online vs offline in an ideal urbanity.
I hope you'd find this interesting and that we can develop it further with your ideas.

Storyboard / Alexander Schellow

Here is Alexander Schellow proposal

storyboard [reconstructions (-XI/-12) - (XI/12)]

About 600 (or more) reconstructions of urban perception-surfaces/“situations“ (different mostly european cities, part of a bigger block of sketches, collected since 2001, each about 8x15cm felt-tip pen on tracing paper, drawn from memory as part of the daily practice) are put into small white boxes of 9x9x16cm. These boxes build a modular system to be set as a wall-tableaux in a nonlinear labyrinthic order on a 16:9 dimensioned surface, on which a raster of 9x16cm-fields is drawn by pencil. Each field has a small nail, so that a box could be possibly put into it. The fields are numbered kind of like citymaps on their edges, but with roman and arabic numbers from a negative to a positive spectrum (in that way like a matrix, instead of the usual letters and numbers) to sign the structure clearly as a cut-out of an (undefined) bigger one.

A startsetting including occupied as well as free fields is builded up. The order is associative, following possible storylines and combinations out of the defined material-block. Maybe unused boxes will be left on the floor or a table closed to the wall-installation.

The situation is set obviously as usable by the visitor, the combinations are changeable, the storiess not fixed. That doesn`t necessarily mean, that the setting has to be changed by viewers to function, it is just an offer as a formal decision to create a noe-fixed „editing“ of possible „stories“.

Radio Theater /Ulrike Syha

Here goes Ulrike Syha proposal for the exhibition.

first I have to admit that I'm very sorry that I couldn't join the first meeting for the urbanity project. To introduce myself to everybody who might not know me: I'm a German playwright and I'm a fellow of Solitude since October 2006.
As for my proposal for the project: I'm just starting to work on a new topic at the moment. My project doesn't have a title yet, but I'm sure I can come up with one soon enough. It's a bigger project of which my "presentation" for the urbanity exhibition could be part of. I'm planning to do a radio drama which is based on fake interviews done by a fake interviewer in a non-existing future town. This town can be described as a "mega-city", as a big mixture of cultures, religions and forms of living. I have done another work connected to this non-existing future-city several years ago. It is a theatre play called "Nomaden". The radio drama will not be connected to this other play's story - but to the background, to the city. This city itself is a kind of organism (living, breathing, existing) - a friend and on the same time an enemy. Highly industrialized on the one hand - but a kind of uncontrollable mixture on the other hand, too. Depending on where you go. I will start with "giving" my fake interviewer an old-fashioned cassette recorder with which he is able to "move around" in his city, talk to the fake persons I make up for him. He can just interview them, he can show us the environments, he can get trouble with some people who don't want to be interviewed, he can get robbed or doing something "illegal" himself. There are a lot of possiblities. It's not going to be a well-made play story - it's more a collection of impressions, of several smaller stories, of spontanous forms of communication.
For the exhibition, I plan to do recordings (with acotrs) of what I've written so far. I don't know exactly whether we have the special technical stuff at Solitude to do that kind of radio recordings - but if not, I'll find another place to do it. I would like to have those recordings presented on several headphones in a special place where the people can sit down and listen; a kind of little lounging area. There shouldn't be just ONE big recording which has to be listened to by everyone in an exact succession --- I want this to be a more personal experience, I want the audience to create a trip of their own through the area of my future town by listening to the recordings on the headphones in an order they choose themselves.
That's my proposal so far - I hope I could make myself understood and I also hope that my proposal will be of interest to you and fit to the scheme of the whole project as well.

Thanks for your long attention,
Ulrike Syha

Choreography of the quotidian / Patricia Reed

A performance of "estranged proximities" (very working title, will no doubt change!)

Throughout the last year I have been observing and documenting through texts, images and video solitary individuals in public/social spaces [Ubahn, Public outdoor areas, shopping streets (rest areas), etc] waiting, pausing or hanging out. I was studying their gestural vocabulary, or choreography while seated and in proximity, or at least interaction with strangers. As such I have a sort of archive or gestural database from which to draw upon to create a performance with 3 actors from the stuttgart area. 3 actors will be hired (various ages) to develop alongside my initial database an improvised performance of such daily, though rather charged moments of estranged interactions - they will be explained the project and shown the collected footage, but will become collaborators of sorts, since they will also be called upon to make their own observations and weave those into the improvised choreography. They will play out the moments (each switching personalities throughout the duration) within a highly sterilised white set with white public bench under strong flourescent lights, to make a kind of laboratory feel, wearing street clothes. For the opening I hope to have a real live performance, though throughout the rehearsal period the movements will be recorded on video, and can be set up as a video installation for the duration of the show, a single channel projection to be housed within the set in which the movements took place.


This is a quite old project, launched in 2000, during the Venice Architecture Biennale. It was before wikipedia and before blogs, an online dictionary on the contemporary city, fed by volunteet work and data-mining. Some categories might be helpful to look at things around and to describe urban conditions.
The authors are gruppo A12, Udo Noll (who has been juror for new media at the Akademie) and Peter Scupelli.