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Beware of departing from your own dreams, you might end up in somebody else’s.

The „Bizarre Cities“ is a irregularly appearing collaborative art magazine including texts, (visual) poetry and original artworks in a limited edition of 25 copies. This is the 4th edition.

with contributions by Dmitry Babenko, Russia Tiziana Baracchi, Italy Ad Breedveld, Holland Sytske Feitsma, Holland Stephan Grüter, Holland Julie Harris, USA Peter Kastner, Germany Sjef Meijman, Holland Linda Pelati, Italy Rémy Pénard, France Herr Penschuck, Germany Pasi Pikkupeura, Finland Bernd Reichert, Belgium Elain Rounds, Canada Manuel Sainz Serrano, Spain José Roberto Sechi, Brazil Stephanie ter Poorten, Holland Marleen van Engelen, Holland Jelle van Nimwegen, Holland Jan van Wissen, Holland François Vermeulen, Belgium Reid Wood aka State of Being, USA


Herewith the fourth edition of the Bizarre Cities has been assembled. When I met Ad Breedveld in April 2004, he proposed me to co-edit this edition and to partially populate it with contributions from his post-industrial artist group. What has been of interest to me was the obvious difference between my unconditional and obsessive passion for the big city, the megapolis, and Ad’s criticism and pessimism of it. I had the idea to explore why we are trying to create our idyllic shelters, our little refuges, our fenced safety havens, our provincial reminiscence, even or maybe especially when living in a big city. Can humans do not stand the hectic, the anonymity of the city; do we need our small, delimited territory to feel safe? Nothing illustrates this better then the decorated, fenced and protected balconies of so many huge and faceless skyscrapers, the small allotments and gardens in the middle between two highways or suburban railway tracks, the little parks where we meet, let our hair down or prepare a BBQ. Having such ideas in my mind, as usual the rather abstract invitation went out and what we held in hand is the response from the (mail) art community.

Brussels in Spring 2005 Bernd Reichert

An Introduction Provincial Metropolism A metropolis was an old-Greek mother-city that sent out some of its bravest citizens to found daughter-cities (colonies) for trade and expansion. In our times it became the name for world -cities that colonized their surroundings for their own growth and survival. In the Netherlands, for example, the cities in the West (Amsterdam, Hague, Rotterdam) are behaving as one big metropolis colonizing the North, the East and the South for energy (gas), for green tourism (agriculture) and for safety (prison systems; military trainings; refugee camps). It fascinates me how the transindustrial city planners in the West are able to dictate their narrow-minded values into their peripheries with help of their mass media, their political networks and their business planning. On world scale we also see growing provincial metropolism, emigration from the countryside into the metropolic lifestyles, something eager but more often contre cœur. The metropolises seem to become the victim of their own colonies. Overruled by the rough and primitive expectations that they promised themselves towards their countryside and undergrounds. What interests me are the metropolic answers of the province towards those strategies of the metropolises. I believe that only small-scaled alternatives can save the future for infrastructural collapse and environmental burnout. With help of hybridization, pseudonimization and lowprofilization. I’m curious to see what statements about this all will be made in this Bizarre Cities Volume IV. I invited ca. 12 transindustrialists from Amsterdam, Veenhuizen and Hamburg to join this volume. And Bernd Reichert did the rest. Ad Breedveld Veenhuizen 1st of Januari 2005

TRANS INDUSTRIAL I. It is not our ideal to establish TRANS INDUSTRIAL as a new art movement, but it is a suggestion for confrontation and communication, a destruction of the consistent rules. We call the artists for making a jump of quality and for forgetting the obsessive rhythm of repetition. II. Except for some harmless convulsions the traditional industrial century has ended. The new industry is separated in future from the human society and the clones of the human being (the robots) will be the new slaves of industry, competent for the muddy work: they will crawl through our drainages, they will clean our streets, they will make our computers, they will produce our cars, they will fight our wars, they will supply us with modern art. For the human beings perhaps only their children are left, but only gene-manipulated please. At this point the TRANS INDUSTRIAL ART attacks self-confident: It uses touches of chalk as well as manipulations with the computer, only the individual artwork has the real importance. We as the TRANS INDUSTRIAL ARTISTS can recognize the work of the clones as one can recognize an enemy, but we don’t let us take away our energy even when we are discussing only with clones in future. It is static art with rigidity, not like the activity of a fitness-center. Free to think and to see is enough to perceive the structures of artworks. And drawing the own conclusions is the necessary consequence, the own contents are formed. In this way TRANS INDUSTRIAL is not only an idea about art, but it needs also non-artists. In any case those persons, who have not fear for freedom. III. TRANS INDUSTRIAL is rebellious, it doesn’t hang on the newest fashion and it doesn’t look for an apology. And it is not an imitation of the great avant-garde which has build up universal systems and is crashed then with them together into a dead end. TRANS INDUSTRIAL is an enticement to be a human being and to be free of the squeezing interests. It spits onto the all-knowing and opportunistic idiots, these poor souls. These idiots only exploit the very newest trend and they deny it at once at that moment, when another very very newest trend is glimming up at the horizon. TRANS INDUSTRIAL is a fountain and offers the space for sensibility and emotions without the pressure of an art-dictatorship, but also without the passion for the past or the honour in the future: Only the moment is important. With this pretension we pierce this tired bureaucratic democracy with its harmless culture. Nevertheless we don’t announce the absolute truth, it is only a new intelligent perspective. IV. Also the art-police can’t help. V. The puzzle remains unsettled. Welcome to the TRANS INDUSTRIAL dimension. Peter Kastner

Paolo Moretto

Disconnected Urbanism The cell phone has changed our sense of place more than faxes, computers, and e-mail. by Paul Goldberger, November 2003 There is a connection between the idea of place and the reality of cellular telephones. It is not encouraging. Places are unique--or at least we like to believe they are--and we strive to experience them as a kind of engagement with particulars. Cell phones are precisely the opposite. When a piece of geography is doing what it is supposed to do, it encourages you to feel a connection to it that, as in marriage, forsakes all others. When you are in Paris you expect to wallow in its Parisness, to feel that everyone walking up the Boulevard Montparnasse is as totally and completely there as the lampposts, the kiosks, the facade of the Brasserie Lipp--and that they could be no place else. So we want it to be in every city, in every kind of place. When you are in a forest, you want to experience its woodsiness; when you are on the beach, you want to feel connected to sand and surf. This is getting harder to do, not because these special places don't exist or because urban places have come to look increasingly alike. They have, but this is not another rant about the monoculture and sameness of cities and the suburban landscape. Even when you are in a place that retains its intensity, its specialness, and its ability to confer a defining context on your life, it doesn't have the all-consuming effect these places used to. You no longer feel that being in one place cuts you off from other places. Technology has been doing this for a long time, of course--remember when people communicated with Europe by letter and it took a couple of weeks to get a reply? Now we're upset if we have to send a fax because it takes so much longer than e-mail. But the cell phone has changed our sense of place more than faxes and computers and email because of its ability to intrude into every moment in every possible place. When you walk along the street and talk on a cell phone, you are not on the street sharing the communal experience of urban life. You are in some other place--someplace at the other end of your phone conversation. You are there, but you are not there. It reminds me of the title of Lillian Ross's memoir of her life with William Shawn, Here But Not Here. Now that is increasingly true of almost every person on almost every street in almost every city. You are either on the phone or carrying one, and the moment it rings you will be transported out of real space into a virtual realm. This matters because the street is the ultimate public space and walking along it is the defining urban experience. It is all of us--different people who lead different lives-coming together in the urban mixing chamber. But what if half of them are elsewhere, there in body but not in any other way? You are not on Madison Avenue if you are holding a little object to your ear that pulls you toward a person in Omaha. The great offense of the cell phone in public is not the intrusion of its ring, although that can be infuriating when it interrupts a tranquil moment. It is the fact that even when the phone does not ring at all, and is being used quietly and discreetly, it renders a public place less public. It turns the boulevardier into a sequestered individual, the flaneur into a figure of privacy. And suddenly the meaning of the street as a public place has been hugely diminished.

I don't know which is worse--the loss of the sense that walking along a great urban street is a glorious shared experience or the blurring of distinctions between different kinds of places. But these cultural losses are related, and the cell phone has played a major role in both. The other day I returned a phone call from a friend who lives in Hartford. He had left a voice-mail message saying he was visiting his son in New Orleans, and when I called him back on his cell phone--area code 860, Hartford--he picked up the call in Tallahassee. Once the area code actually meant something in terms of geography: it outlined a clearly defined piece of the earth; it became a form of identity. Your telephone number was a badge of place. Now the area code is really not much more than three digits; and if it has any connection to a place, it's just the telephone's home base. An area code today is more like a car's license plate. The downward spiral that began with the end of the old telephone exchanges that truly did connect to a place--RHinelander 4 and BUtterfield 8 for the Upper East Side, or CHelsea 3 downtown, or UNiversity 4 in Morningside Heights--surely culminates in the placeless area codes such as 917 and 347 that could be anywhere in New York--or anywhere at all. It's increasingly common for cell-phone conversations to begin with the question, "Where are you?" and for the answer to be anything from "out by the pool" to "Madagascar." I don't miss the age when phone charges were based on distance, but that did have the beneficial effect of reinforcing a sense that places were distinguishable from one another. Now calling across the street and call-ing from New York to California or even Europe are precisely the same thing. They cost the same because to the phone they are the same. Every place is exactly the same as every other place. They are all just nodes on a network--and so, increasingly, are we.

Bizarre Cities tom IV: Metropolis(m)  

The „Bizarre Cities“ is a irregularly appearing collaborative art magazine including texts, (visual) poetry and original artworks in a limit...

Bizarre Cities tom IV: Metropolis(m)  

The „Bizarre Cities“ is a irregularly appearing collaborative art magazine including texts, (visual) poetry and original artworks in a limit...