Check-in Architecture www.checkinarchitecture.com Metaflow Srl Via TeuliĂ¨ 11, 20136 Milan (Italy) www.metaflow.it Creative Director Mario Flavio Benini Curated by Andrea Lissoni, Luca Martinazzoli, Luca Molinari Producer Luca Legnani Jr. Editor-in-chief Fabio Falzone Editors Andrew Berardini, Nicola Bozzi Contributing Editor Federico Sarica Editorial Assistant Amaranta Pedrani Proof Reader Jada Parolini Art Directors Alessandro Busseni, Stefano Temporin Layout NicolĂ˛ Giacomin, Ilaria Padovani Head of Production Gloria Schiavi Production Team Gian Mario Boncoddo, Giovanni Bossetti, Elena Proverbio Web Developer Marco Peverelli Interns Marta Fiori, Ieva Lazdane Press Office Otto Idee (www.ottoidee.it) Contributors Dafne Boggeri, Camilla Candida Donzella, Carlos Casas, Alessandro Coco, Joseph Grima, Francesco Gungui, Vincent Moon, Serena Porrati, Moira Ricci, Filippo Romano, Alessandro Zuek Simonetti Cover Illustrations by Canedicoda
From dirty work boots to Gucci loafers, Via Ventura has been involved in the on-going process of cultural and architectural contamination which culminates yearly during the Milan Design Week (Salone del Mobile, for the locals). After all the factories left Milan for other environs, the neighborhood was left searching for a new identity, which is where real estate magnate Mariano Pichler stepped in. Seeing an opening for a new cultural neighborhood, Pichler started to redevelop the neighborhood inviting in galleries, designers, newspaper editorial offices and other cultural producers to inhabit the buildings for cheap, while rents and real estate grew exorbitantly. An abandoned factory district has been successfully transformed while retaining some of its industrial charm. In fact the Check-in Architecture Editorial offices are locate here, as well as the first Check-in Point. During Design Week, Via Ventura becomes even more fully transformed as designers from all across Europe converge on its streets. From dirty work boots to Gucci loafers, Via Ventura has been involved in the on-going process of cultural and architectural contamination which culminates yearly during the Milan Design Week (Salone del Mobile, for the locals). After all the factories left Milan for other environs, the neighborhood was left searching for a new identity, which is where real estate magnate Mariano Pichler stepped in. Seeing an opening for a new cultural neighborhood, Pichler started to redevelop the neighborhood inviting in galleries, designers, newspaper editorial offices and other cultural producers to inhabit the buildings for cheap, while rents and real estate grew exorbitantly. An abandoned factory district has been successfully transformed while retaining some of its industrial charm. In fact the Check-in Architecture Editorial offices are locate here, as well as the first Check-in Point. During Design Week, Via Ventura becomes even more fully transformed as designers from all across Europe converge on its streets. From dirty work boots to Gucci loafers, Via Ventura has been involved in the on-going process of cultural and architectural contamination which culminates yearly during the Milan Design Week (Salone del Mobile, for the locals). After all the factories left Milan for other environs, the neighborhood was left searching for a new identity, which is where real estate magnate Mariano Pichler stepped in. Seeing an opening for a new cultural neighborhood, Pichler started to redevelop the neighborhood inviting in galleries, designers, newspaper editorial offices and other cultural producers to inhabit the buildings for cheap, while rents and real estate grew exorbitantly. An abandoned factory district has been successfully transformed while retaining some of its industrial charm. In fact the Check-in Architecture Editorial offices are locate here, as well as the first Check-in Point. During Design Week, Via Ventura becomes even more fully transformed as designers from all across Europe converge on its streets.
2 Preface Andrew Berardini, Nicola Bozzi Fabio Falzone, Editorial stuff
Transliterating ten languages through faulty software, digging through defunct documents, becoming momentary experts on countless arcane subjects, we wrote and edited something that to our knowledge doesnâ€™t really exist, a contemporary researcherâ€™s field guide to Europe: its people, spaces, neighborhoods, buildings, happenings. A field guide to the imaginary of a continent. But a field guide is hardly definitive, merely an assessment, a suggestion, a background, itself up for constant renegotiation and recalibration. A participatory project is such because it is structured around different nodes and people, step by step, enriching itself with new suggestions and constantly abandoning its previous shape. At times it is embellished by collective or individual stimuli, at times re-sized because of the compromises due to time, energies, or just chance. Each of the missions went through at least a couple of phases, passing from one hand to the next, collaborative throughout. Almost all missions were born out of an abstract conceived by either the curators or by us editors, and then developed into one of those texts we've been discussing and trying to perfect for the whole span of the project. Not all of the missions we wrote resemble their original forms, nor were all of them actually realized. This mutability can be noticed in the scripts that were originally attached to each mission, still visible today on the website as a trace of how undetermined each project was. Sometimes we had to change our route, destination or subject, because of logistics or some evil Deus-ex-Check-in Architecture. Sometimes we had to readjust our own targets, following lengthy discussions and considerations. Stemming from the text, but most of all from the experiences the students and guests made in the field, the videos were produced, a digital trace of their work and ours. Sometimes the videos answered a question, sometimes they were questions themselves, others were merely fragments, more or less funny, stimulating, moving. We often realized the real potential of a mission - or lack thereof - during post-production, when the video editors were facing the actual material â€“ or lack of it. Some of the videos we uploaded on YouTube didn't even answer any questions, leaving more doubts than before or even proving the thesis in our text wrong. We also received written reports, usually coming in days and days late, but occasionally becoming the real conductors of the message and experience of our researchers, often too shy to visually put themselves into play in front of the camera.
A participatory project is successful when there is communication, confrontation, curiosity. And care, of course. In our experience, it worked when the students tried to interpret their research autonomously, only using our input as a point of departure. We've probably exaggerated some things, or gotten others wrong, leading the researchers astray or putting them in situations that were harder then we thought (in one case, dangerous too). Anyway, hundreds of students have moved, filmed, told a story or had someone else tell it. Most of them were enthusiastic to have done so, some even collaborated in more missions, making them network with each other. To be a CIA editor has many pros and a few cons. The biggest problem was the schedule. To document the array of themes and problems – usually in only three spare hours – is pretty hard, especially considering that in many cases there was a lack of direct personal experience. Writing and editing from our laptops, huddled around a desk, we discovered and dug deeply into the strange occurrences of people interacting with space, loosely defined, often by us, but always with the same acute awareness and care for quality writing. We created this strange hybrid, taking the energy of new media and allying it with an informed critical eye, attempting to respond to space directly without the faults that are endemic to both the tourist-and-dollar driven travel guide and the musty academic treatise. Though one could say we were merely armchair adventurers, we hunkered down so that other researcher’s could head into the urban wilderness with some direction. To act – so to speak – in the shadows, hidden behind that grey website template of ours, peeping out of the GoogleMaps slot, was a little frustrating at times. We've even been a little envious of those heading out to far-flung territories or ecstatic events. Yet at the same time, to deal with such an expansive editorial body was exciting. It rarely happens to have hundreds of people around, operating to create common research, and it makes you feel all the responsibility. It is sometimes confusing, but also exalting. We haven't seen everything in the end, but we've definitely felt something.
Artesina Village (I)
)++/ The Rabbit At Check-in Architecture, we find press releases about as exciting as a trip to the dentist: necessary, sometimes informational, but painfully boring. But every once in a while, we find a zzpress release,” that is actually released by the press. We found artist group Gelitin’s description of their project pretty beautiful, so rather than craft our own (authors all), we decided to let Gelitin describe this mission for us: The things one finds wandering in a landscape: familiar things and utterly unknown, like a flower one has never seen before, or, as Columbus discovered, an inexplicable continent; and then, behind a hill, as if knitted by giant grandmothers, lies this vast rabbit, to make you feel as small as a daisy. The toilet-paper-pink creature lies on its back: a rabbit-mountain like Gulliver in Lilliput. Happy you feel as you climb up along its ears, almost falling into its cavernous mouth, to the belly-summit and looking out over the pink woolen landscape of the rabbit’s body, a country dropped from the sky; ears and limbs sneaking into the distance; flowing heart, liver and intestines from its side. Happily in love you step down the decaying corpse, through the wound, now small like a maggot, over woolen kidney and bowel. Happy you leave like the larva that gets its wings from an innocent carcass at the roadside. Such is the happiness which made this rabbit. I love the rabbit the rabbit loves me. After almost 5 years of knitting the rabbit found its final place in the Italian alps (close to Cuneo). It waits there to be visited by you. You might even take your time or check back every now and then as the rabbit will wait for you 20 years from now on. Monuments are meant to be permanent, but this one, has an installation time of twenty years over which this sixty meter long rabbit, like the forgotten toy of a giant baby, will slowly rot back into the landscape. And Gelitin members say the bunny is not just for walking around. They insist that hikers ought to climb its six-meter sides and relax on its belly.
Travelbag Cotter Holland, “Insert Object, and Out Comes an Artful Replica”, The New York Times, 11/23/2005. Google Earth: Enormous Rabbit in Italy, (tinyurl.com/6hrhmt). Clip for Gelitin's exhibition “La Louvre Paris” at the Musée D'art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, (youtube.com/watch?v=vsLgmtsuIdU). A package of Peeps candy.
Assisi (I) Basilica di S. Francesco d'Assisi sanfrancescoassisi.org
Barcelona (e) Primavera Sound Festival · primaverasound.com
*),/ Church Service
If you're looking for a real hardcore saint, Saint Francis is your man. Born rich, he ditched it all to help the poor. Unlike a few of our papal saints, he never wore diamonds and jewels but a bald head and a simple brown robe that his followers, the Franciscans, still wear to this day as a symbol of their vow of poverty. In XII century Assisi you couldn't get any more street than Saint Francis. Apart from being Saint Francis' town and hosting a basilica in his honor, the nice medieval town of Assisi has always been a place of tolerance and solidarity: after World War II it gave a home to homeless Jews and, when Pope John Paul II organized a meeting of all religious leaders in 1986 and 2002, they all came to Assisi. These days the people lying on the basilica's steps aren't the lepers that Saint Francis used to help, but half naked tourists, and there's a new generation of beggars preying upon these well-heeled pilgrims. In order to change this crowded situation, the right-wing mayor decided to impose heavy restrictions and control over the whole city center, making the church areas and their steps off limits and putting up surveillance services and cameras. If Francis wanted to make the church closer to the people, the town of Assisi seems to be taking the opposite attitude, despite the reality that religious tourism keeps money pumping into the city's pockets. If religion really isn't the point here, the issue of public space is at stake.
Music festivals sometimes seem like not much more than an excuse to list a bunch of bands together. Devoted fans much prefer the intimacy of clubs than the all day heat and sun of an exhausting outdoor festival. And though there’s something of a bargain in the sheer number of acts, the ticket prices still ain’t cheap. All that said, there’s something special about Barcelona’s music festivals. Vienna was the seat of 19th century melodymakers but for the 21st the capital of Catalonia has become the main European nexus for musical innovation. The city’s policies have attempted (so far successfully) to take Barcelona from a fading (and a little dodgy) seaside city to a contemporary and creative urban metropolis, thriving with cognitive-cultural industries. Local support for music festivals (and of course the beautiful parks and Mediterranean climate) played an important role in this transformation. Along with Sonar, the Primavera Sound Festival marks an important event in its continued success. The city's policies have aimed at making it more attractive to musical innovators and (more importantly) their savvy, creative fans. And lest we get too fuzzy, the increased popularity of the city (and its higher rents) are starting to push some of the creative innovators and marginal spaces out of the city they helped remake. How many of the performers at the Sound Festival actually live and work in Barcelona? Can Barcelona maintain its creative capital and quality of life as it becomes increasingly bourgeois?
Travelbag Marcia Francescana, (youtube.com/watch?v=EJXNUlRJRc4). Rockwell-Somebody's Watching Me, (youtube.com/watch?v=aD21JDMp86c). Canticle of the Creatures, (tinyurl.com/5uuu4j). Religious Tourism, (tinyurl.com/5o2pr3).
Travelbag Blonde Redhead, (youtube.com/watch?v=B3rNyYPOTUA). Wilco, (youtube.com/watch?v=nL_7bC9r9Aw). Mascarell Ferran, “Creative Policies in Barcelona”, (tinyurl.com/5jqtu9). Sasaki Masayuki, “The Role of Culture in Urban Regeneration”, (tinyurl.com/5oxgjm).
Barcelona (E) CCCB · cccb.org
)),/ Occasional cities carved inside the metropolis Peacefully facing the seaside, Barcelona is a metropolis where different layers of humanity vibrate, creating an exciting background noise. No neighborhood is more representative of this melting pot culture than the Raval, a barrio in the district of Ciutat Vella, which used to be a pretty dodgy area for tourists going astray of the commercial and sinful Rambla nearby. The quarter is now a fascinating blend between a Kasbah environment populated with Moroccan and Pakistani immigrants, piled up in decadent blocks of flats with no lifts, and a cool barrio crowded with the artsy international youth experiencing the city's alternative nightlife. You might hear both the snap of a prostitute's belt on a disrespectful tourist's back and some Catalan waiter chattering with a Belgian architecture student. Part of the coolness of Raval is due to the presence of contemporary art institutions like the MACBA. Right next to it is the CCCB, which is now pairing with the Rambla-based Santa Monica art center in exhibiting a really interesting project titled Post-it Cities. The exhibition, and the related conferences to present it, are a small example of a much broader network activity, documenting temporary and spontaneous social, commercial and architectural realities all over the world. Different crews or artists around the globe provided their view on ephemeral alternatives to the standard city space, ranging from street markets to public sexual encounters.
Travelbag Chao Manu, “Bongo Bong,” Clandestino, Virgin, 1998."Post-it city: Occasional urbanities" Exhibition, (tinyurl.com/5kdvtk). Barcelona's Bizarre Human Statues, (youtube.com/watch?v=S8DuuWE9oXM). MACBA Official Website, (macba.es).
Barcelona (e) Parc Central del Poble Nou
Basel (ch) St. Jakob-Park · baselunited.ch
*+(/ Park Life
)1/ One Day at the Stadium
In the center of the city, in a district that is being seriously dragged into gentrification, Pritzker winning architect Jean Nouvel, with b720, has developed a rather innovative new park, in the shadow of his own giant phallic space rocket, Agbar Tower. Parks like this one are always a little difficult to come to a quick opinion about. If done right, the park should grow into itself, change and develop over time as the plants grow, becoming itself over years, decades, centuries, like the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris. But we can look at the park and noodle a bit on what it is doing right now: major roads slicing up the triangular park, which is walled in by bougainvilleas softening the urban noise and trying to craft a little serenity in the city - something some have critiqued it cuts off the life of the greenspace from the street. The Parc Central looks typically Victorian in some ways, man subduing nature to fit an order, though with a light nod towards the potential of wilderness. The purple and green vegetation that forms the primary visual life of the park is mimicked in the concrete pathways, marked with the same colors as if to fold into nature with a little more ease. The park could quite possibly become a landmark, something that tourists flock to and that locals remark upon with pride. Or it might be too cold and not quite integrated enough to the daily rhythms of the city. Or maybe both at the same time. Travelbag Blur, Park Life, Food Records 1994. Feist "The Park", (youtube.com/watch?v=k9jHNuH1gqQ). The Urbanauts strike back, (youtube.com/watch?v=jfnMKgvpxEQ). Nouvel Jean, "Parc Central del Poblenou", (tinyurl.com/5rmpzl).
The giant advertising screens give the striped, cosmic green pitch a psychedelic glow, the chants and insults of competing sport clubs vibrate the air, while a fan one row back hurls curses in all three of the Swiss national languages. To stay competitive internationally, the city of Basel (with a population of a mere 200,000) has built the biggest stadium in Switzerland (the third biggest in Europe), which over time has transformed both St. Jakob's quarter and the identity of the city. Designed by world famous Swiss architecture duo (and hometown boys) Herzog and De Meuron, the solar-powered stadium hosts a number of architectural innovations including a unique shape and infrastructure, as well as HdeM’s signature effect, a vast outer skin for the building, with colors that can be altered for stunning results. Sporting facilities can be a mixed blessing for a community; besides bringing tourism and tax dollars, they can also bring traffic, trash, and drunkards. A riot there dubbed by news agencies, “the disgrace of Basel”, recently rattled the sports world with battles between hooligans and the police going late into the night. For better or worse, the stadium forms a locus around which the community can gather or shift.
Travelbag: Hornby Nick, “Fever Pitch”, Penguin Books, NY 2001. “Herzog & de Meuron”, El Croquis 129/130, 2006. St. Jakob Park Google SketchUp 3d model, (tinyurl.com/6nftb2). FC Basel T-shirt.
Bassano del Grappa (I) adunatabassano2008.it
Belfast(IrL) Titanic Quarter titanic-quarter.com
)*1/ Alpini Reunion
)(./ Corporate Living
“Di qui non si passa!” is Italian for “There’s no passing here!” the catchy motto of the Alpini military corp. Nevertheless, their yearly reunion - taking place this time in Bassano Del Grappa - demands an investigative excursion. The mountainside soldiers, defending the Italian ground since the Nation’s birth, are no trigger-happy skinheads, but rather booze-loving gentlemen with choral skills and cool hats sprouting feathers. Who, by the way, everybody loves. Maybe it’s because they’re strongly connected with their geographical home base, or because they’re mostly committed to defending or helping people in local or international contexts. Or maybe it’s because, when it comes to reunions, they turn into party animals. Few things inspire patriotic enthusiasm – or a healthy hunger – as an Alpini meeting. As they sing their choruses, thinking back to the old days when they were zipped up in precarious mountain camps freezing their balls off, the young repeatedly toast to the glory of the feathered heroes uniting a city under the Tricolore flag, and around a table. During their traditional parade, gathering all of the corp’s divisions to the city center, camps, kiosks and even private homes open to a social – and tipsy – celebration time.
Belfast really doesn't have a lucky star shining upon it. Thirty years of Troubles, along with the clash between Protestants and Catholics, made the city an uncomfortable - and dangerous - place for a long time. The city also has the unfortunate distinction of being where the Titanic was built. As much as we might enjoy watching Di Caprio freeze to death in the movie almost a century later, there's still a sinister ring to the name of the new quarter being built in the Belfast harbor area. The Titanic Quarter is also the name of the company taking care of the £1bn project which will raise a brand new neighborhood for the city to invest in. Besides being a rather ugly way to try and cash in on a disaster, the Titanic Quarter will cover 185 acres with new buildings hosting just about anything. Thousands of apartments, offices, cafes, restaurants, a new campus for the Belfast Institute for Further and Higher Education and who knows what else. The new neighborhood is supposed to create some 20,000 jobs in the next 15 years and attract lots of tourists, but there has been some debate about using taxpayers' money to co-finance the private-company driven project. By 2012, year of the 100th anniversary of the original Titanic tragedy, we should see if it'll be worth it.
Travelbag Daheim Mary, "The Alpine Hero", Ballantine Publishing Group, New York 1996. Coro Grigna, I Canti degli Alpini VOL.1, Duck Record, 2006. A Drunk Alpino in Cuneo, (youtube.com/watch?v=zLuql4W2Pe0). Alpini National Association Website, (ana.it).
Travelbag McLiam Wilson Robert,“Eureka Street”, Secker & Warburg, London 1996. Rock Marcia, "Daughters of the Troubles: Belfast Stories", 1998. Stiff Little Fingers, “Alternative Ulster”, Inflammable Material, Restless 1979. Titanic Quarter Website, (titanic-quarter.com).
Berlin (d) Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum skulpturenpark.org
Berlin (d) Palast der Republik · Schlossplatz
+0/ A Sculpture Park Reclaimed From Real Estate
)(,/ The Debate about a National Symbol
Sculpture Parks are usually suburban affairs, where space is plentiful and though outdoors you still feel like you have to whisper like in a museum. But what if the Sculpture Park is in the middle of the city, and is less a park than an abandoned strip of trashed land simply reclaimed by artists? An urban void located in an area formerly occupied by the Berlin Wall, the Skulpturenpark Berlin_ Zentrum sits on approximately 60 vacant lots of downtown real estate. Both a symbol and victim of the ravages of speculative investment, it was overgrown with weeds and surrounded by bleak office and apartment buildings, until artists stepped in. Developed by the collective KUNSTrePUBLIK e.V., who work with the rightful landowners, the Park offers an unusual opportunity for artists to respond to the particular physical, historic, and contemporary conditions of the space. During the Berlin Biennial the space will be used as a venue for the festival and exhibition of contemporary art.
The bronze façade of the Palast der Republik, erected in 1976, used to be a shining symbol of the GDR (aka socialist East Germany). Depending on your level of sentimentality, the Palast der Republik was either the one redeeming space of life in the old GDR or a rusting relic of a Stalinist past that ought to be obliterated. Those who favor demolition want to rebuild the Berlinerschloss, the old castle that once housed the emperor of Germany and was bombed to smithereens in World War II and finally put out of its misery by the Communists. Post-GDR and pre-demolition, the building housed art and culture for young Berliners, embodying an important site for artistic gestures and alternative venues following the reunification. Still clinging to existence on prime real estate along the River Spree in central Berlin, the Palast der Republik is being slowly and completely demolished. A temporary park will replace the site until money can be raised to build the Humboldt Forum, a multi-functional building which will house the Museum of Non-European Cultures, the Berlin Central and Regional Library and the Humboldt University Scientific Collection. In an act of total regression, the façade of this new complex will literally reproduce that of the old Prussian imperial palace, the Berliner Stadtschloss, demolished in 1950. Many from the East see the demolition merely as the final step to diminishing and obliterating, however troubled, half a century of their history. Berliners have been torn about what should be done, protest and debate embroiled all sides, until the rather conservative conclusion played out. They still don’t have money to rebuild the Berlinerschloss/Humboldt Forum.
Travelbag Krauss Rosalind, “Sculpture iin the Expanded Field”, October, Vol. 8, MIT Press, 1979 Harman Hugh, “The Blue Danube”, MGM Cartoon 1939. Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum, (skulpturenpark.org). “Not A Cornfield Project”, (notacornfield.com).
Travelbag Einstürzende Neubauten, “Palast der Republik” (Live DVD), Music Video Distributors 2007. Brokedown Palast, (tinyurl.com/5mbzm8). Förderverein Berliner Schloss Webiste, (berliner-schloss.de). An East German Flag
Bern (ch) GIBB Campus · Lorrainestrasse 5
BOLOGNA (i) IL CASSERO · cassero.it
BolognA (I) xm24 · isole.ecn.org/xm24 modoinfoshop · modoinfoshop.com
*/ Women’s Night at the Gay Club
+/ Urban Cracks
Bologna is the gayest city in Italy. Literally. The LGBT movement’s strongest fortress is located there. Its name is Cassero. The activists behind the gay and lesbian center have struggled for homosexual rights since the late 70s and for over twenty years it has been the home of Italy’s national gay and lesbian association, Arcigay. Though serious political activism is at it’s heart, so is celebration, making Cassero one of the liveliest platforms for art and music in town. On International Women’s Day, Cassero’s gay habitués have lots of girlfriends coming over for the three days of “First, ladies!”, a festival of art, music, images, trade, and, of course, awareness raising. Needless to say, everything is female-themed. After the last video is safely packed away, the assembled ladies (and lady supporters) dance from dusk till dawn, only stopping to listen to the funky beats of electrocollective Retina.IT.
Green spaces are a much debated subject in Bologna. Citizens and their city officials have been battling over the shared responsibility of developing and maintaining sustainable development in public space. Since the early 2000s, the Contropiani Collective has made Bologna the headquarters for XM24, a project all about this hotly contested issue. Located in a former green grocery at 24 via Fioravanti, the Collective and their project XM24 have hosted a diverse array of activities, ranging from organic cooking and urban planning to language classes and alternative press. The Crepe Urbane (Urban Cracks ) magazine project (crepeurbane.noblogs.org) was born a year ago when a group of activists decided to document and endorse spontaneous growth of green areas in unfriendly conditions, urban orchards and critical gardening. On March 12th, 2008 the newest issue was launched at the Modo Infoshop.
Travelbag Shapiro Peter, “You should be dancing,” Kowalski, Milano 2007. Bechdel Allyson, “The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For, 1983-2008,” Houghton Mifflin 2008. Retina.IT, Semeion, Hefty Records 2007. Haynes Todd, “Velvet Goldmine,” Miramax 2008.
Travelbag Oz Frank, “Little Shop of Horrors,” Warner Bros 1986. Donald Sutherland R., “The Religion of Gerrard Winstanley and Digger Communism,” University of Virginia, (tinyurl.com/5dzkyt). On Guerrilla Gardening, (guerrillagardening.org). Rubber gloves and a shovel.
When not thinking about it, we often forget how much depth sound gives to our everyday experience. Sound is not only articulated in time through a more or less regular rhythm, it also displays across space stretching its different grains all around us. John Cage made us aware of sounds, Karlheinz Stockhausen put some order in their universe and Max Neuhaus finally turned them into contemporary art. No matter how crazy or unmusical they might seem, sound installations expanded the art language to more ample, subtle and immaterial grounds. Neuhaus' poetic is about creating community at least as much as it is about timber and acoustic texturing of space, while his refined ear has even been lent to provide a more human set of sounds to emergency vehicles. Switzerland features some very interesting pieces from the artist's last decade of activity, permanent installations owned by local collectors or institutions. To take a trip from Bern to Saint-Luc is a good chance to check them out and experience the sensuality of different soundscapes.
Travelbag Toop David, “The Art of Noise” TateEtc, Spring 2005. Max Neuhaus Times Square installation, (youtube.com/watch?v=mnMHHr27_yU). Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller: The Forty-Part Motet, (tinyurl.com/5odybx). The Max Neuhaus homepage, (www.max-neuhaus.info).
BolognA (I) MAMbo · mambo-bologna.org
)(-/John Cage’s Train We often remember a trip for its soundtrack. There is always that one particular song that we just can't help but play inside our head, and that makes our backpack feel just a little lighter. But what happens when the soundtrack to a trip is the trip itself? No one but the “Duchamp of music” John Cage could have thought about that, with a little inspiration by Tito Gotti. In 1978, the artist and his fellow composers Juan Hidalgo and Walter Marchetti prepared a musical ride on a train, stuffed with microphones, monitors and random sounds masterfully directed by the happening hero himself. The people on board would hear the train's very noises enriched by an additional mix of local music and sounds, giving an audio-portrait of each stop, while “looking for the lost silence”. Thirty years after the famous performance, a new one, managed by Angelica Festival, has been set up to celebrate the happening's anniversary. Massimo Simonini, Oderso Rubini and Cage's friend Alvin Curran revived the experience, taking the same route from Bologna to Porretta and back to Bologna again, titling the musical outcome “Boletus Edulis”, after the mushrooms John Cage loved, which shall be served in an after-trip dinner. To back up this tribute, the MAMbo will host a retrospective about the first happening.
Travelbag Roth Moira, “Difference / Indifference: Musings on Postmodernism, Marcel Duchamp and John Cage”, Taylor & Francis, London 1998. Williams Hank, (I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle, Sterling, MGM 1951. “John Cage About Silence”, (youtube.com/watch?v=pcHnL7aS64Y). John Cage Train Webiste, (iltrenodijohncage.it/silence).
BolognA (I) Arena Parco Nord
)0(/ Gods of Metal
BoLZANO (I) Alumix raqsmediacollective.net
0)/ The Fine Line Between Public and Private
Masses of long-haired heads float hysterically over a sea of black t-shirts. Sparkling in between, as if reflecting a multi-colored moonlight, flash naked barbarians and arcane words, printed in creepy fonts. Hands gesturing in flipping horns wave from arms tattooed with five-pointed stars and Gothic curse words. If the gods saw in slow motion, this is what the metal festival in Bologna would look like from the stage. From below, it's probably more like a sweaty, beer soaked moshpit where fists, elbows, foreheads and noses clap crackling like that bubbly plastic packing material. For more than a decade now, the Gods of Metal festival has been taking place between Milan and Bologna and inviting glorious - and often aging - bands onto Italian ground, to delight Italian and international audiences. This year the Arena Parco Nord will turn into a vast metalhead camping heaven for a three day headbanging marathon. Iron Maiden, Slayer or Judas Priest may not be gods, nor likely to appreciate godly virtues, but they're gonna rock their fans out of their studded boots and dirty trainers.
The region of Trentino Alto Adige doesn't mean just yodeling and speck anymore. Lately, art has carved itself a cozy place inside the life of South Tyrol and Bolzano seems to be the center of it. Not only the new Museion recently opened, but the 7th edition of the first itinerant Biennale in Europe, Manifesta, came to town. This year the Biennale covers 150 square km of industrial and historical sites, divided between the cities of Bolzano, Trento and Rovereto. The curatorial trio for Bolzano, the Raqs media collective from Delhi, is renowned for their attention to urban contexts and versatility in creating new projects for new spaces. Their practice ranges from video documentaries to installations, from software to publications. Raqs also co-founded the eclectic Sarai Programme at CSDS, a space for research, practice, and conversation about contemporary media and urban constellations. Before showing us what they came up with in the former Alumix industrial area (the Bolzano section of the Biennale), the Raqs had a lecture at the city University. The meeting is part of the “Antiparlando” conferences, exploring relationships between the private and the public, titled “Our Correspondences”.
Travelbag Beste Peter, “True Norwegian Black Metal”, Vice Books, New York, 2008. Slayer, God Hates Us All, American Recordings, 2001. Nerf Herder, “Pantera Fans in Love”, How to Meet Girls, Honest Don's Records, 2000. “Heavy Metal Parking Lot (1986)”, (youtube.com/watch?v=WhRCVm-1r2k).
Travelbag Tribe Mark & Jana Reena, “New Media Art”, Taschen, Los Angeles 2006. Narula Monica and others, ”Sarai Reader 01: the Public Domain,” CSDS Delhi/WAAG, Amsterdam 2001, (tinyurl.com/6cw5kb). An Indian Blog Watch, (indibloggies.org). Some Speck Slices and Lagrein.
BoLZANO (I) Museion · museion.it
1)/ A Museum as a Bridge From self-rule, to Austria, to Bavaria, to France, to Germany, to Italy, the region of Trentino-Alto Adige is one of those stretches of land that’s been handed around by so many European powers that, nationally speaking, it properly belongs to no one. With a substantial German-speaking population, Mussolini attempted to colonize it and give all the German speakers to Hitler. This failed, and though officially Alto-Adige is Italian, because of treaties with Austria and German-speaking separatist movements, it enjoys considerable autonomy. This is just to say that there are Germans and Italians and they haven’t always gotten along. A new museum, the Museion, opened in May 2008 in the major city of Bolzano and through both its collection and design attempts to finally patch together this tumultuous history. The general focus of the museum collection is language in art, with language being a significant wedge in the community: this could not have been accidental. Designed by the KSV Krüger Schuberth Vandreike architect collective, the new Museion is placed on via Dante, facing the Talvera river. A cube with two transparent facades that connect the old German speaking center with surrounding Italian districts. Not only can the two cities now peek on each other through the structure, but the Museion’s aim is also building an actual bridge to connect them on a deeper, cultural level.
Travelbag KSV Krüger Schuberth Vandreike: Buildings and Projects 90-08, Jovis, 2008. Südtirol-Faschistenfeier–Siegesdenkmal, (youtube.com/watch?v=oaFevpKyzCg). Inauguration Museion Bozen Bolzano, (youtube.com/watch?v=zWNv72zYcWs). Phanjoubam Pradip , “Italy Diary-IV: Bolzano, a city of cyclists and pedestrians,” (tinyurl.com/6dbfre).
Brunico (I) Cron4 Wellness Center· cron4.it
Bucharest (R) bucharest biennale bucharestbiennale.org
Budapest (H) Damjanich 44 impex-info.org
)*,/ Steam Masters
../ Mapping the Contemporary
))+/ We Are Not Ducks on a Pond
“How do we know that we are not living in a giant map, doing its best to represent a reality we don’t recognize?”: this is one of the questions formulated by the curators of the 3rd Bucharest Biennale, Jan-Erik Lundström and Johan Sjöström. By asking this question, they are already reflecting on the success of their project, as well as moving and interacting. The current Biennale manifests itself in three ways: a center to study contemporary practices in cartography, an exhibition looking at the history of the map in visual arts, and thirdly, a show of contemporary artists who are using mapping in their practice. The focus is on the geographical turn in contemporary creativity and the current practices of representation. Promoting cartographic literacy, imagining the map as a problematic, unpredictable, productive, and liberating instrument, the Biennale has invited mapmakers, cartographers, navigators, mapreaders, guides, maptravelers, mapprogrammers, mapdevotees, mapdestroyers of all kinds and, of course, artists. Curators are connecting the installation to space, in order to reflect current trends in who we are, and how we're thinking about human interactions with and within space, whether creative or geographic, imaginative or real. Probably, the most fascinating aspect of this approach resides in the fact that reading maps and mapping is not always literal, but often associative, questioning, assertive, poetic.
Impex art collective has decided to go without walls entirely, out of the gallery and into space. These self-proclaimed “contemporary art providers” manage workshops and meetings to connect Hungarian artists with their international counterparts, as well as focusing on curatorial practices and public contexts. However, when redevelopments in the lowbrow popular district of Jozsefvaros in Budapest destroyed the pub that was hosting their space, the Impex guys had to move. Left without a workshop and gallery, the group is now more literally identifying with their primary function: networking. Following their book project titled after Lawrence Weiner's “WE ARE NOT DUCKS ON A POND BUT SHIPS AT SEA”, this May they're launching another book, Networked Culture, and a flea market for artists and art. Being an example of open self-awareness and the will to network, Impex is now looking beyond the object and the limitations of physical space. Cities are regularly shifting and changing, discover how one artist collective creatively deals with the loss of a marginal space in which they previously worked.
You know a community is tight when they not only have traditions, but naked traditions. Up in the mountains of Trentino-Alto Adige saunas are not as big as in Finland, but in the last decade this pleasant divertissement has been heavily promoted to create a new industry in the face of shortening ski seasons due to climate change. Not only do the people in Brunico hang out in the saunas a lot, but they have also grown fond of what they call Aufguss, literally “Onpouring”. The Aufgussmeister drops some scented water or snow over hot stones and then he or she fans the raising steam with a rug to the sound of music for a sweaty, naked audience. The guys at the Cron4 wellness center like Aufguss so much they even set up a contest – for the second year in a row - gathering Aufgussmeisters from all over the region to show what masterful fanners they are. Maybe health tourism isn't much of a community thing, and maybe the people who saw Aufgussmeister Andreas Kofler triumphing over the other Meisters last edition were mostly foreigners, but in a way or another the contest is an effective way to draw outsiders' attention and get them interested in spending a few tourist dollars in the region.
Travelbag Osborne Hilaty, “Climate change puts ski resorts on slippery slope”, The Guardian, 02/14/2007. Conga Se Menne, “Sauna Song”, Finnish Reggae & Other Sauna Beats, Conga Records 2005. Sauna, (youtube.com/watch?v=oT42aG7sX2k). Italian Aufguss, (youtube.com/watch?v=ZZVw95uAvQE).
Travelbag Cerizza Luca, “Alighiero e Boetti: Mappa”, Afterall Books, London 2008. The Original Video of Lilly: The World Map Master, (youtube.com/watch?v=r43yCiKlbCo). Geocaching, (wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocache). Google Earth, (earth.google.com).
Travelbag Kovacs Zoltan, “Ghettoization or gentrification? Post-socialist scenarios for Budapest”, Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 11/10/2006, (tinyurl.com/5afvxp). Agnes Kovacs, “The State of the Art: Hungary”, (tinyurl.com/6rasc3). The Networked Cultures website, (networkedcultures.org). East Art Map: History of Art in Eastern Europe, (eastartmap.org).
Cagliari (I) festarch.it
Cagliari (i) festarch.it
)(// Landscape Telling
),+/ Planetary Tourism
Although he might not like it, Rick Moody has been compared to the Chekhov of the suburbs by John Cheever, and is renown for his skilled depiction of the American city outskirts. His famous 1994 novel, “The Ice Storm,” which also inspired a movie by Ang Lee, has been saluted as a lucid, yet emotional look into the American family life of the early seventies. Moody doesn't like to be labeled as a suburb chronicler, even though his fiction is based on reality and pop culture, but he'd rather see his work as language-made art, trying to use words to express a person's conscience and feelings as much as they can. Rick Moody's presence at the Festarch architecture festival in Cagliari is due to his suburban rep rather than his linguistic virtues. During his lecture slot alongside the vast spectrum of famous figures in creativity he's probably going to teach us a thing or two about the way writing can summon a place's emotional energy through a mix of abstraction and vivid language.
It's nice to know Paris is just 60 euros away, and a bare 500 separate you from New York. Even though this might make us feel at home in cities that are really thousands of kilometers away from where we live, we know we're just passing by. It's cozy for us, not so much for the people who live the dark side of tourism and see their cities squeezed to the bone by crowds of well-off, leisure hungry visitors. The masses invading the fanciest destinations often leave permanent environmental – and fiscal – damage after they go home. Officials need to decide to what extent they are willing to become tourism's bitch. If architecture means being responsible for the quality of collective life and not just the mere process of building, the Festarch festival in Cagliari might be of some use to Sardinia. The region is the most independent and isolated in Italy, yet a touristic one, with a coastline raped by the politicians' abusive villas and pillaged by the summertime hordes. This year's edition of Festarch was about “planetary tourism”, by which they probably meant world tourism. The meetings, which took place in the ex Manifatture Tabacchi, a former tobacco factory, featured personalities as important and varied as Rem Koolhaas, Vito Acconci and Oliviero Toscani, ranging from architecture to art, photography and literature.
Travelbag Moody Rick, “The Ice Storm”, Little Brown & Co, London 1998. Barthes Roland, “Writing Degree Zero”, Editions du Seuil, Paris, 1953. Lee Ang, “The Ice Storm”, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Buena Vista International, 1997. “Rem Koolhaas - Architecture VS Writing”, (youtube.com/watch?v=P35DRxgIz8M).
Travelbag The Festarch Report, (youtube.com/watch?v=BUhk1nvD1ns). Dado: aveva una villetta piccolina in Sardegna, (youtube.com/watch?v=65X7wqrZHOo). The Festarch Official Website, (festarch.it). A postcard of a Nuraghe.
Camber Sands (UK) Holiday Center · New Lydd Road
).,/ From the Internet to the Beach
Capriate (I) Minitalia Park leolandiapark.it
-,/ Supersize Me!
In the bad old days of the music industry, artists had no rights and the record companies were kings who simply paid the radio to play whatever they liked. Quality and innovation, of course, suffered. If you were lucky you had a great local crowd at the beerhall down the road, but mostly music was spoon-fed to a population who had very little know-how to fight back. Punk and independent labels changed a lot of this, building alternative networks, venues, and press to promote music outside the major labels monopoly. The internet dealt a further death blow to the old style, but online networks are not only distributing information (and free tracks to bootleggers) but have created a counterculture that fully rivals the strength and power of the major labels and festivals. All Tomorrow’s Parties, a long-time promoter of independent and experimental music have invited the most popular (and influential) online music magazine, Pitchfork Media, to help put together a festival at Camber Sands, in the UK. These organizations and systems of promotion and distribution have allowed acts and communities, otherwise marginal to the mainstream music industry, to manifest themselves into a major festival. Punk bands slept on couches and played in garages; at ATP vs. Pitchfork even the festival-goers will be staying in chalets, in this less than alternative “holiday centre.” The £ 140 ticket might seem a bit steep, but only until you consider the quality accomadations.
Built in the 70s as a tourist trap for the families of factory workers who couldn't afford to travel for real around Italy, Minitalia has become a classic day-trip destination for generations of school kids and families. Consisting of vintage handmade reproductions of Italian monuments and cities in a 1:50 scale, the park has been recently remodeled and turned into an up-to-date “edutainment” center, where an appealing aquarium and various multimedia science expositions surround the original core. Walking around Minitalia, you can admire Venice's channels, Milan's Duomo and witness the eruption of Mount Etna, perhaps forgetting for just a moment that you're looking at its Lilliputian counterpart. But unlike the Swift novel, the model surroundings still need to be built for real-sized human beings. Look at the white peaks of the Alps in the north of the minicountry and then at the real-sized trees all around it: this psychedelic oscillation between the miniature and the real makes Minitalia a rupture from the class-based edutainment into the truly weird.
Travelbag Dan Deacon, Pitchfork 2007, (youtube.com/watch?v=b_vl5vcG9VI). Dubber Andrew, “What is this internet thing?,” New Music Strategies, 2/2/2008, (tinyurl.com/64r7fr). Pitchforkmedia, (pitchforkmedia.com). Pointins Holiday Park, (pontins-cambersands.com).
Travelbag Swift Jonathan, “Gulliver's Travels”, Penguin Classics, London 2003. Clave S.A. and Clarke Andrew, “The Global Theme Park Industry”, CABI Publishing, 2007. Parrinello William, “Little Italy”, Mill Valley Film Group 1995. Lego's Minitalia Series.
Casarsa della Delizia (I) Centro Studi Pier Paolo Pasolini pasolinicasarsa.org
Catania (I) CENTro Zo · zoculture.it
*+./ The Gospel According to Pier Paolo
)0*/ Art and Commerce
P. P. P. Three identical initials, more than an acronym. Over the years, they've become an unmistakable abbreviation for one of Italy's most controversial luminaries. Pier Paolo Pasolini's name is linked to Rome and its suburbs ("borgate"), He is known for his use of amateur actors, his open homosexuality and his political declarations, alongside his polymathic capabilities and of course his famous films, all of which was divisive and often misunderstood. His very first collection of poetry, “Poesie a Casarsa”, was released in 1942 and rather than the queer communist anticonsumerist poetry of his films, instead reflected the rural landscape and agricultural lives (and language) of his mother's native village, Casarsa. He celebrated the fields, the people, and the "Glisiùt," the ancient Santa Croce church where he was eventually buried in 1975, all in the currently autonomous province of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Casarsa's rural peacefulness became a little compromised with the regular bombings of World War II, and so Pasolini moved to Versuta, close to Pordenone, where he delved into his first journalistic experience founding the "Academiuta di lenga furlana" ("Academy of the Friuli Parlance"), a little poetical salon aimed at safeguarding the regional identity of Friuli. The geography of Pasolini's youth marks a precise path: in Versuta there is the "Ciasèl," a small cabin used as a tool shed in the middle of the Spagnol field, where the author used to give class to his students. And more: the ancient Loggia in San Giovanni di Casarsa, whose walls hosted his political diatribes (both in Italian and in dialect) from the period of his flirtation with the Communist party. After a violent death strongly overdrawn by media, Pasolini is now buried in the Casarsa cemetery, a simple white stone with a bay laurel tree behind.
After a bit of globetrotting, a gang of art professionals, originally from the city of Catania, returned to their hometown with a vision: to open an international arts center. Usually such visions need a deep-pocketed philanthropist or support from the government to get off the ground. The prodigal art professionals, who called themselves Officine, had neither and thus had to become reluctant art entrepreneurs to realize their project. Out of the vibrant local music scene that exploded from Sicily's second city and the devotion to Officine, the Centro Zo was born from a converted sulphur factory. The center hosts festivals, music, theatre and contemporary art, but to pay the bills they had to open a restaurant, conference centers and a media production facility. The culture Centro Zo supports is real, hosting marginal and innovative acts, artists, and playwrights from all over the world, but it must be difficult to walk the line between authentic cultural production and bloodless capitalism, and their website bespeaks this difficulty. The first thing you see when you go visit their homepage isn't a flash of their radical arts program, but an advertisement for their restaurant. In the shadow of the Etna volcano and amidst the sundry difficulties of poverty and mafia in Sicily, the line between art and commerce for the Centro Zo has been blurred. Where does culture end and entrepreneurship begin?
Travelbag Pasolini Pier Paolo, “La nuova gioventù: Poesie friulane 1941-1974”, Einaudi, Torino 2002. Pasolini, poesie a Casarsa, (youtube.com/watch?v=Zi9tV4Xs3Qc). Alberto Moravia - Orazione funebre per la Morte di Pasolini, (youtube.com/watch?v=1dN3f7CC4lc). Fogolar Furlan in Rome, (fogroma.it).
Travelbag Sciascia Leonardo, “Cronachette”, Adelphi, Milan 1998. Nicolin Paola, “Palais de Tokyo: Sito di creazione contemporanea”, Postmedia, Milan, 2006. Etnafest website, (etnafest.it). Zo brochure, a Handbook for potential investors, (tinyurl.com/5cp6sa).
Cologne (d) Fire Station · Löwengasse 11
/)/ Ring of Fire Cologne's fire station is an enormous ring of fire-engine red concrete, crisscrossed with lattice and plunked down right in front of an artificial lake. Designed by BFM Architekten, the building has a strong scenographic impact, but is it functional as well? Oftentimes buildings with a heavy design prize aesthetics too highly over functionality, to the point where the building is useless for its intended purpose: the Bibliothèque Nationale in France looks like two big books opening up, but its usefulness as a library goes for minimal to nonexistent. Maybe it's a good sculpture, but a bad building. There's another similar fire station project, designed by Zaha Hadid and realized by the Vitra Design Museum that turned out to be impossible to use and was eventually decommissioned and converted into a showroom. Fire stations are fundamental aspects of urban infrastructure, so should we let designers get their hands on them?
Travelbag Eipperle Kevin, “An Architect’s Advice”, Fire Chief Magazine, 11/01/2001. Cash Johnny, “Ring of Fire”, Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash, Columbia Records 1963. “Firefighter Training”, (outube.com/watch?v=UpdQIwz0PzQ). “History of Organized Firefighting”, (wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_fire_brigades).
Como (I) Fondazione Antonio Ratti fondazioneratti.org
*+/ Debating Contemporary Located on the famous Como lake, Fondazione Ratti is on a border itself: between nature and the city, between the modern and the historical, between the literary and the real. Not unlike Sarat Maharaj who’s giving a lecture there. His activities range from teaching in prestigious institutions such as Humboldt University in Berlin and Goldsmith College in London to investigating sound and visual art experiments. He co-curated Documenta XI and is one of the most versatile thinkers in the art world today. Grown up in segregated South Africa, his main focuses are now rarified academic disciplines of xeno-epistemology and ethics of difference. What are the ethics of difference? “It’s the struggle to construct meaning together, across the borders of cultural difference.” With a poststructuralist influence and a literary passion for Joyce, Sarat Maharaj has a spatial thinking approach. Dadaist patchwork and geophilosophical rhizome are important references to him. Space and ethnicity are now differently interrelated with each other. So are self and the other.
Travelbag Joyce James, “Ulysses”, Shakespeare & Company, Paris 1922. Benjamin Walter, “The Task of the Translator” in “The Translation Studies Reader”, Lawrence Venuti, London 2000.Sarat Maharaj, “Interrogating Identity”, New York University, New York 1991. Arnatt Matthew & Collings Matthew, “Documenta 11”, Artwords Press, London 2002.
Via Emilia (I)
),/ The Little “Las Vegas” of Brianza
)+(/ The Piadina Path
Though once a peaceful little mountain village with a view of the verdant green hills of Brianza, these days Consonno better resembles an Alpine Baghdad or a post-apocalyptic Monaco. In the 60s, Italian industrialist Mario Bagno, Conte di Valle d’Olmo, bought the whole of Consonno to build a gambling amusement park: part-Disneyland, part-Vegas. After demolishing the village, he installed shops, a hotel, a disco, and a monumental minaret crowning an “Oriental Palace.” But in stripping the land to build his resort, he destroyed all the trees whose roots kept the soil in place. With the following heavy rain season, landslides buried much of Count Bagno’s fantasy in mud. Fascinated by its decadent appeal, young people from Lecco and other surrounding cities used to hang out and have psychedelic freak-outs and ecstatic dance parties. The old hotel had been converted to an old folks home, later abandoned and recently vandalized. Authorities put up fences around the minaret and the area is now off-limits. Nevertheless, some people still gather spontaneously and set up concerts to liven up the small ghost town, where only a handful of villagers still live around the old church.
Crossing several cities of Emilia Romagna including Bologna, Reggio Emilia and Modena, Via Emilia tracks a tasty spectrum of the piadina, a typical regional dish locally referred to as “piada” or “piè”. It is a round piece of flatbread, with different thicknesses or ingredients depending on the cook, enclosing the most various toppings. Piadina is a local tradition and its geographic specificity also makes it a brand, giving those restaurants in other cities that make it a folkloric and exclusive appeal. Although the Via Emilia is of Ancient Roman heritage, it's image is of a much more recent type of vintage, with 60s fashioned vertical stripes Daniel Buren would be jealous of. Summer leisure and carefree times, as depicted in many memorable film classics of those years, are often synonymous with the Riviera Romagnola, the region's touristic seaside. Times and tourists change, but Via Emilia can probably be a good start to exploring Romagna's culture and food.
Travelbag Cavalleri Franco, “When Unsustainability Kills: The Case of Consonno,” 2007. Dead Kennedys, “Viva Las Vegas”,Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables, Cherry Red Records, 1979. Free Party Consonno Summer Alliance, (youtube.com/watch?v=q-78UR5Siwk). Brian Holmes, "Reverse Imagineering," (tinyurl.com/5w3fs3).
Travelbag Montanari Massimo, "Food is Culture", Columbia University Press, New York 2006. Priebe Craig and Dianne Jacob, "Grilled Pizzas and Piadinas", DK Publishing, New York 2008. Lizzani Carlo, "Via Emilia km 147", 1949. La Piadina Romagnola di Riccione, (youtube.com/watch?v=3MjG4pb3OLo).
Fortezza (i) MANIFESTA7.IT
Frankfurt (D) Portikus · portikus.de
Geneva (CH) Attitudes · attitudes.ch
1// I Am a Man
.)/ How History Informs Creative Space
An art show without pictures, in a fortress where a battle never occurred. Both are pregnant with imaginary possibilities, one historical and the other contemporary, which is to say still having the power to shape history. Since 1830 when the Habsburgs built a castle between Bozen/Bolzano and the Brenner Pass, the fortress was regularly modified to keep up with mostly imaginary battle scenarios, as the building never saw an arrow whiz over it’s ramparts nor a bullet ricochet off its stone walls. The preparation for imaginary actions continued recently, as the building hosted an exhibition of voices, sounds, and scenarios as part of the 7th edition of the self-importantly roving European Biennial of Contemporary Art, Manifesta. Organized by the whole gaggle of the biennial's curators, who also had each their domains to curate spread over the region, the strange frontier fortress did not host an art exhibition in the traditional sense, with blank white walls brightened by track lighting. The castle remained intact, the change that occurred was more subtle, the sounds of voices and scenarios echoing down the halls, surrounding the spectator as he or she walked respectfully along the walls, against which different stories, told in several languages, bounced back to the ear.
During the parade students and artists and bands in costumes will start and stop abruptly, followed by companies of raucously reciting philosopher, giant balloons, costumed cavorters and cheerleaders, artificial installations rolling down the street and robot dogs roaming along to their own rhythms. Jazz-punk pioneer and No Wave provocateur Arto Lindsay, when asked to create a piece of public artwork, invented a parade. As part of Frankfurter Positionen 2008, Lindsay held a parade in collaboration with students at the Städelschule, the Italian artist and performer Nico Vascellari, the New York-based architect and sound designer Peter Zuspan, the Brazilian drummer Marivaldo Paim, and the Paris-based dancer Richard Siegal. Titled “I AM A MAN”, the parade explores in wildly various forms what it means to be a playful and innovative human in a post-human landscape. In a mixture of music, theatrical moments, creative ambivalences and frenetic action, the parade sketches alternative answers and certainly raises a few new questions. Along its course, the parade reflects repeatedly on itself, and stops to show presentations by solo dancers or musicians; it disintegrates, selfdestructs, rearranges itself in a new order; and it can be now very noisy, now almost silent.
Travelbag Vanderlinden Barbara, “The Manifesta Decade”, Roomade/MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2006. Playing the Building, (tinyurl.com/6qxjgj). Hearing Voices, (hearingvoices.com). Manifesta No More, (tinyurl.com/5hxknl).
Travelbag Vascellari Nico, “Nico Vascellari’s Taxonomy”, Cujo, Edizioni Zero, Milano 2007. AA. VV., “No New York”, Antilles 1979. “Merrie Melodies - I Love a Parade (1932)”, (youtube.com/ watch?v=uCXKhzmk57E). “Disney Main Street Electrical Parade”, (youtube.com/ watch?v=X7woJN8KNqM).
There’s something a little sexy and a little violent about history, at least for artist Shahryar Nashat. Born in Tehran, reared in Switzerland, and currently working in Berlin, Nashat’s international background is something distinctively twenty-first century and his work has the same transnational attitude. Nashat explores the history of state violence, art, and sex in his artistic practice. Foucault’s “Discipline and Punish” meets Janson’s “History of Art” with a passport and a little gay sex thrown in. At the 51st Venice Biennial, where Nashat was one of the artists representing Switzerland, he showed a film of a shirtless, strapping young man having a physical response to a rather sensual painting by Rubens hanging in the Louvre. For a recent exhibition, Nashat continued to play with cultural history by building a concrete slab sculpture to mirror a similar one in the background of a landmark performance by genius pianist Glenn Gould that was shown on television. Cutting in and out of the performance, a video by Nashat shows the process of making the slab. In his exhibition at Attitudes in Geneva, one of the most innovative, independent art venues in Europe, Nashat continues to pursue his interest in cultural history, using a novel by Thomas Bernhard, “The Correction,” as the jump-off to creating a new installation.
Travelbag Bernhard Thomas, "The Correction", University of Chicago Press 1990. Glenn Gould plays Bach, (youtube.com/watch?v=qB76jxBq_gQ). Shahryar Nashat / Elisabeth Kaufmann Gallery, Zurich, (tinyurl.com/6fejze). Sharyar Nashat Official Website, (shahryarnashat.com).
Geneva (ch) Place des Volontaires usine.ch
Genoa (I) Fondazione Garrone fondazionegarrone.it
)+,/ Culture Factory
,1/ The space for utopias
On the right bank of the Rhône, L’Usine Culture Centre has morphed from factory, to squat, to underground culture venue. This alternative arts center hosts regular gigs and shelters an art-house cinema, club, bar and gallery. The line-up is eclectic, the atmosphere bohemian. Founded in 1989 by collective Etat d'Urgences (State of Emergencies), the site was subsequently “donated” to them by the city, though there’s some evidence the city itself might be trying – so far without success - to shut the august alternative venue down. The word “underground” doesn’t fully describe what L’Usine has been up to. They represent an important shift in the movement of alternative spaces into important urban design, hosting a raft of organizations changing the shape of the city. Geneva ranks as one of the most expensive cities in the world, and thus an alternative venue like L’Usine forms the crux of a scene that might not otherwise exist, not only to cultivate innovation and marginal cultural production, but also as a venue for out of town bands – like Six Organs of Admittance and Fuck Buttons who played on May 24 and 25, 2008 - as well as acts, festivals, artists, activists, and sundry other professions and anti-professions, thus making L’Usine an important node to an international network.
Tomas Saraceno has got balls. All over the place. He calls them “biospheres”, but they sure can stand for themselves, at least with the help of corded ribbons. Last year the Frankfurtbased, Argentine artist's work took over Palazzo Ducale in Genova and then it met the sixteenth century rooms of Palazzo Ambrogio di Negro in Banchi, home of the Fondazione Garrone. Saraceno's art is architecture-inspired. His pieces can be read as both sculptures and environments. One can see them as self-evident floating shapes, creating tension through the strings that connect them to the walls, or as futuristic living units for a lonely sci-fi character to live out his dystopic, cyber-conscious life. Textured with images from the Brazil's Lençóis Maranhenses Park via six video-projectors, Saraceno’s "experimental structure" interacts with the historical building's painted walls. The environment is another attempt to locate art in a middleground where technology and nature can meet for the sake of man.
Travelbag Azzerad Michael, “Our Band Could Be Your Life” Back Bay Books, 2002. Six Organs of Admittance, Shelter from the Ash, Drag City 2007. Fuck Buttons, Bright Tomorrow, ATP Recordings, 2007. Pitchfork Media, (pitchforkmedia.com).
Travelbag Sieden Lloyd Steven, “Buckminster Fuller's Universe: his Life and Work”, Basic Books, Jacskon 2000. “Maria Bartuszova/Work”, documenta12blog.de, 11/04/07. Tomas Saraceno Biosphere MV 32, (youtube.com/ watch?v=XnM9FcVWSjk). Animal Architecture: Ernesto Neto, (youtube.com/ watch?v=y0MSbpiXs1w).
Genoa (I) Caruggi
)-// New Latin Kings Genoa is an organic, unplanned city par excellence, and the storeys of many of its buildings, added over the centuries, are like a catalogue of architectural styles in stone. A sense of verticality dominates the old city with the crumbling laundry-draped facades of its medieval high-rises, its winding alleys, marble portals, and shrines to the Virgin and St. George. The old section of the port is something of a North/South microcosm. Here, Ecuadorians phone home from makeshift booths, contraband of every sort is hawked by roadside vendors, sunlight is as rare as a letter slipped beneath the door, middle class Genoese ladies do their shopping in upscale boutiques, and open air vegetable markets are held in pocket squares where men play cards in griffon-draped cafés. (From “A City Under Siege” by Roger Harris.) Though traditionally Latin immigration flows from North to South, a statistically notable amount of Latin Americans have been emigrating to Europe. Crowded with Ecuadorians and some Peruvians, the Italian seaside city of Genoa has become a port of call for Latin American immigrants. The city is still homogeneously Italian with 95% of the population of Italian origin, but the new immigrant population has changed the shape and rhythm of the streets in the medieval city. They feel so much at home that the Latin Kings, an international street gang largely associated with street corners and barrios in New York and known to be exporting itself worldwide, reportedly started showing up in town.
Travelbag Rahola Federico, “Zone definitivamente temporanee: I luoghi dell'umanità in eccesso”, Ombre Corte, Verona 2003. Dudley Steven, “Sandwich and a Hooker” Miami New Times, 8/14/2003, (tinyurl.com/65fe2c). “Genova per noi”, (youtube.com/watch?v=FiOXVLK1KVY). Horta Moriconi Lis, “Street organizations, the future of gangs.Interview with David Brotherton”, (tinyurl.com/5nczuu).
Glasgow (UK) The Glasgow School of Art gsa.ac.uk
))*/ I Belong to Glasgow To all of you thinking Scotland is all about freezing your balls wearing a kilt and playing pipes: you guys are dead wrong. The Glasgow school – the Four and the Glasgow Boys – heavily influenced art nouveau and shifted the direction of European design. The most renown member, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, took his inspiration from our Scottish traditions and blended them with the flourish of Art Nouveau and the simplicity of Japanese forms. He looked for an eastern-flavored harmony, going after more geometrical and abstract traits in his design. The Glasgow School of Arts Mackintosh designed is now one of the most exclusive and renowned design schools in the world. Located in a central area of the city, the campus consists of ten buildings, the core of which is the one called “the Mac” - also hosting a gallery for exhibitions. The yearly GSA Degree Show attracts about 15,000 visitors and has also been a talent pool for Scotland representatives for the Venice Biennale curators to draw from. With this big tradition strongly linked to the town, the students of the Glasgow School of Arts might feel inspired by Mackintosh and his historical relevance. Or maybe not.
Travelbag Wilhide Elizabeth, “The Mackintosh Style”, Chronicle, San Francisco 1995. Glasgow School of Art-Charles Rennie Mackintosh, (youtube.com/watch?v=iRxBgvQmuIw). I belong to Glasgow, (youtube.com/watch?v=KNrVkDqPsbM). A Kilt.
Graz (A) Kunsthaus Graz kunsthausgraz.at
0/ McLuhan Would Be Proud
Hamburg (d) Hafencity, · hafencity.com
**// Top Down
Recently added to the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage Sites, Graz possesses one of the best preserved city centers in Central Europe, but the city is not only appealing because of its history. There are six universities - a lot of young people - and many festivals going on through the year. Contemporary art, electronic music and art, Austrian film. There's a lot of room for contemporary culture in Graz, including Kunsthaus, the city's most recent and particular architectonic feature. The museum was built in 2003 when the city was chosen as European Capital of Culture. Designed by Peter Cook and Colin Fournier, Kunsthaus’ curvilinear and a bit alien-ish look dramatically contrasts with all the pointy roofs around it, but the museum is now part of the city. At night time the building's exterior lights up, becoming a sort of huge screen, thanks to its BIX media facade. BIX is a fluorescent lamp system designed by realities:united. Kunsthaus is then both a visual art container and a conductor. Marshall McLuhan would be proud.
The city of Hamburg, in its long history, has been destroyed and rebuilt so many times it's not really worth counting. World War II took out most of the harbor, but it was rebuilt during the post-war boom. Now the harbor is being rebuilt again in the center of Hamburg. Hafencity – this is the name - is the largest European urban construction project in the XXI century, or so the city claims on the new district's website. With all this boosterish creative city talk from Richard Florida floating about, the sleepy city of Hamburg, with its unimaginative boom, is trying to build a creative district. So far, at least according to critics, it did it in a rather tepid and top down way and there have been a series of flops. Although considerable amounts of public money have been spent, what else would you expect from ill-titled projects like "10° Kunst - Wege in die Hafencity" ("10 Degrees Art Ways into the Hafencity")? Seen by nobody, such efforts went internationally ignored and unrecognized by the artworld. Many Hamburgers, once proud of the city's art in public space projects, are embarrassed and quickly change the subject. Meanwhile, the absolute absence of cutting-edge, offbeat culture in the Hafencity is felt as a real deficit by real estate agents. Cities like Hamburg are starting to realize that subcultures are no longer subversive movements worth surveilling, but rather a tool to develop an area. The change of paradigm from infrastructure to culture-as-infrastructure becomes very visible in Hamburg. The Hafencity, a vast area of derelict harbour territory, is to be developed into a profitable office park and "cultural district." After failing in its Olympic bid for 2010, the city put all its energies into Hafencity and has dumped most of its culture budget in many apolitical and artistically forgettable projects, all for the developers.
Travelbag Sadler Simon, “Archigram: Architecture without Architecture”, The MIT Press, Boston 2005. Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr. , "The Blob”, Paramount Pictures 1958. Interview with Peter Cook, (tinyurl.com/6pmsv6). Frightening Christian alien TV puppet sings, (tinyurl.com/5fcg42).
Travelbag Florida Richard, “The Rise of the Creative Class”, Basic Books, New York 2002. Farrow Boyd, “Hafencity. Hamburg's New Development”, (tinyurl.com/5s7fvw). Stephen Colbert interviews Richard Florida, (tinyurl.com/2mz55l). Hafecity Universität 3d model, (tinyurl.com/tt4ll).
Hannover (D) Apollo Konzept apollokonzept.de
Innsbruck (A) Nordpark Cable Railway nordpark.at
-*/ Dancing in the Bunkers
-+/ Glacial Railway by Zaha Hadid
During World War II, carpet bombing nearly wiped Hannover off the map of Europe. In the intervening years, the city has been largely rebuilt into a modern city, with a lot of the boring bureaucratic architecture this entails. Once in a while, an old bomb still pops up somewhere, making everyone a little uncomfortable. Given the harsh history of Hannover, the rebirth of the city can't but include some elements of its dark past, and a few of these can be found in the local dance club and organic restaurant Apollo Konzept. A recently redesigned former theatre that was one of the most important buildings in the Linden quarter: the Apollo Konzept, combines the elements of the old Hannover with the subtle taste of a painful war. To walk into the basement bar, one has to walk through enormous blasted doors, kept on as a stylistic element in the new design. There's something a little heavy about partying in a bomb shelter. Where Germans once shivered in terror of Allied bombs raining from the sky, they now, with chemical shivers and boozy breath, dance thoughtlessly into the night.
Like a glacier drifting out of cyberspace, or a twenty-first century digital snowstorm, Zaha Hadid’s newly designed railway line and stations move with the shattered geometries and undulating forms of the Alps updated for our time. Her Supermodernist style attempts to create a new element of cultural tourism as climate change erodes the winter high season that keeps these slopes in business. Not since the Victorians have railways been built with such style, and for the geoconscious future, Hadid’s railway almost makes airplanes look like carbon spewing dinosaurs. In Innsbruck, Hadid has taken a basic infrastructure and crafted a design piece that attempts to reflect the countryside it cuts through. She has also designed a ski-jump as a preamble to the railway project.
Travelbag Virilio Paul, “Bunker Archeology”, Princeton Architectural Pr, New York 2007. Fassbinder Rainer Werner, "The Marriage of Maria Braun", Albatros Filmproduktion, 1969. Green Rob, “The Bunker”, Millennium Pictures, 2001. Breakout, local DJ collective MySpace, (myspace.com/breakoutmusicgermany).
Travelbag Dykhoff Tom, “The Snow Queen’s Railway”, Times Online, 11/13/07. Miller Glenn, “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, The Essential Glenn Miller, RCA 2005. Magnetic levitation railway, (youtube.com/watch?v=A4ZYmKsRLIk). Shinkansen Model Train.
Ivrea (I) Talponia
Karlsruhe (D) ZKM Museum on1.zkm.de
)(*/ Factory City
1-/ Stormy Weather
It started off in the first years of the twentieth century as a typewriter factory, but by the ‘30s Olivetti had become an institution for the city of Ivrea. Under the guidance first of Camillo Olivetti and then of Adriano Olivetti,the company built entire quarters to house its workers and school their children, making not a factory town, but a way of life. The socalled “Olivetti culture” became an example of enlightened industrialism in Italy. Unluckily, the shift to computer technology in the 70s and a crisis in the 90s tore the romantic Olivetti image apart, making what once was a solid social and economic conductor become a volatile stock market entity splitting and bouncing from one household to another. Olivetti used to pay much attention to design and, architecturally speaking, the company has helped rationalist architecture shape Ivrea's landscape. Architects like Figini and Pollini designed factories and refectories in the 30s and in the 70s, Gabetti and Oreglia d'Isola built a very particular example of a housing complex dug in a hill, with the funny and a bit scary - name of Talponia (“Moleville”).
To translate nature (shapes, movements, concepts) into other forms has always been one of the most important and at the same time delicate tasks for art. Depiction of reality, and then the translation of different visual languages, have been key issues when first photography and then cinema revolutionized how we see. Now, with electronic arts, things are obviously even more complicated. Magnet is a project that takes place in three different art venues at once – four, including the internet – trying to find a meeting point between art and science and a way to create a deeper and more articulate perception of nature through visual expression. The project consists of a lot of geomagnetic and meteorological data collected via satellite and measuring stations, elaborated via computer and displayed as abstract and colorful moving images both on the internet and in the museum. Rhythms and intensities in nature articulate themselves in a visual translation to be enjoyed and interpreted by human eyes, in real time. One of the venues hosting the project is the ZKM in Karlsruhe, an institution for both art and media that has played a significant role internationally in new media and interactive art.
Travelbag Scrivano Paolo & Bonifazio Patrizia, “Olivetti Builds: Modern Architecture in Ivrea”, Skira 2002. Chaplin Charlie, “Modern Times,” United Artists 1936. Kusturica Emir, “Underground”, CiBY 2000, Pandora Film, Novo Film 1995. Virtual Museum of Modern Architecture, (mamivrea.it).
Travelbag Merleau-Ponty Maurice, “Phenomenology of Perception”, Gallimard, 1945. Horn Lena, “Stormy Weather,” Stormy Weather, BMG 1943. Data of two Suncycles, 1978 – 2000, (tinyurl.com/5q9lm3). A collection of featured software created with Processing, (processing.org/exhibition).
Leeds (UK) MVRDV · mvrdv.nl
)./ My Blue Heaven
Leeds (UK) The Common Place thecommonplace.org.uk
)/1/ An Uncommonly Common Place
lioni | Sturno (i)
)-./ The Day After Yesterday
Though Vincent van Gogh is Holland’s most famous colorist, the landscape of his homeland is more the cheerless browns of “The Potato Eaters” than the resplendent yellows of “Sunflowers”. Van Gogh had to go to Provence to discover color, but contemporary Dutchmen have two new sparks of brilliance to transform their drab landscape. The architects MVRDV were commissioned to make a new addition to a building and did so by grafting a new house on top of the old one. The existing building and its neighbors are dark red brick, slate gray, and dark brown. The new roof extension, painted a solid brilliant sky blue, spikes the landscape, creating a new architectural landmark that succeeds in contrasting itself to its environment. Henk Hofstra’s Blue Road in Drachten plays with blue for a similar psychedelic effect. Hofstra, a painterfor-hire, coated a thousand meters of street in his hometown a dazzling azure. Though elements of the project reveal numerous shortcomings on the part of the artist, no matter his failings, the project itself changes one’s experience with the street entirely, doing exactly what art is supposed to do: astonish the viewer beyond skepticism and change the shape of everyday life.
Common places are not commonplace these days, which is to say that the Common Place is not so commonplace. The social center, located by the Calls in the very heart of Leeds, is somewhere you can enjoy a punk concert or a vegetarian meal, have a drink or a talk. What makes the Common Place really different from other affordable venues or alternative meeting spots is its openness: anybody can participate in the biweekly reunions and propose new projects and activities without, like the others, earning a dime. The Common Place guys are not squatting or fighting against capitalism by smashing McDonald's. They started off as some guys from local independent discussion groups gathering around a pizza and then, after months of bureaucracy to get a grant, they finally created the most common place they could. To conquer a tiny bit of banality, to bring your contribution to a debate or lend a hand for a venue's maintenance, can be a pretty inspiring experience sometimes. Nevertheless, considering most social centers are now currently defined by consumption, as opposed to less economically driven ideals, is the Common Place offering a real alternative to capitalist modes of the social? Does it maintain a high level of quality or has it descended to the lowest common denominator?
Deep under the ground of Italy, through cemeteries and mines, past Ancient Roman ruins, and along cracks and fissures, are hidden many stories. And at times, this ground can prove pretty shaky. At 7:34 pm on the Sunday of November 23, 1980, an earthquake registering 6.9 on the Mercalli scale shook the Irpinian region. At 7:35 almost 3,000 people had died, thousands more were wounded and even more were left homeless. The state funding of the following years, in typical Italian fashion for the time, fed politicians, gangsters and banks more than the earthquake survivors. Despite the rebuilding, all the shenanigans attached to the improper use of public funds connected to Irpinia blew up into a major international scandal. The people of Irpinia had to be satisfied with little as their lives were first shattered by disaster and then mired in corruption. Since the process of rebuilding the region has moved so slowly, many people, thirty years later, still live in shoddy temporary emergency trailers. Sometimes the inhabitants of these ramshackle housing compromises are immigrants and sometimes they are 2nd or 3rd generation occupants. Some of them came to enjoy the cheap shelter on purpose and cared little whether or not the materials composing their makeshift homes were toxic. In towns like Lioni, what once was a temporary solution to provide basic housing to the homeless has turned into a permanent living environment.
Travelbag Kandinsky Wassily, "The Art of Spiritual Harmony", Cosimo Books, New York 1914. Sinatra Frank, “My Blue Heaven”, Sing and Dance with Frank Sinatra, Columbia 1950. The Didden Village Project, (tinyurl.com/662729). The Smurfs lunch box.
Travelbag Bey Hakim, “T. A. Z. The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism”, Autonomedia, New York 1985. The Nothing – The Seven Daggers, (youtube.com/watch?v=V2pxw_xLJ-E). What's this place? Stories from Radical Social Centres in Ireland and the UK, (socialcentrestories.wordpress.com). Common Place Conversation. Beginnings, (tinyurl.com/67w9gg).
Travelbag Locatelli Goffredo, “Irpiniagate. Ciriaco De Mita da Nusco a Palazzo Chigi”, Newton Compton, Milan 1989. Klein Naomi, “The Rise of Disaster Capitalism”, The Nation, 4/14/2005. Terremoto dell'Irpinia (23 nov. 1980), (youtube.com/watch?v=jyRPiIl9V8I). Earthquake Destruction, (youtube.com/watch?v=4Y-62Ti5_6s).
Ljubljana (Slo) Student Housing bevkperovic.coM
London (UK) Polish Express polishexpress.co.uk
*// Experimental Urbanism
)*/ Free Poland!
From gas mask markets to rambling casinos, twenty-first century Ljubljana exists in many different worlds and many different times. Combining the best of nineteenth century classicism with a spirit and energy purely twentieth, Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik (18721957) built the blueprint for modern Ljubljana, laying out its streets and plazas, as well as designing many of its monumental buildings. While Plečnik disappeared under the shadow of Communism, contemporary architects have the problem of emerging out of it, solving serious urban issues in a way that redefines the postindustrial city. As the largest urban center in the country, Ljubljana has serious housing issues, but found a couple of interesting design solutions. Sadar Vuga and Bevk Perovic have both built domestic settings that play with international trends and local style, without overusing space. Rational yet colorful, vertical yet light-wise, their buildings offer a potential solution for collective living in the postCommunist East.
“It’s the free press age, stupid”. As many paid-for newspaper titles fight against falling readership, freebies are booming. Not just shock rags or newsbriefs chockfull of ads, but alternative weeklies for niche markets, including London’s Polish Express. Most freebies have a half-life of around twenty-seconds before they're unceremoniously tossed: overflowing trash cans, paving the streets, or blowing through the subways of London like snowstorms of inky litter. Polish Express goes beyond the typical free press (read: Metro, London Express etc) and caters to a very specific audience in its coverage. The publisher organizes cultural, social, musical and sporting events for the Polish expatriates including immigrant job fairs and marches for Pope John Paul II (that’s Papiez Jan Paweł II to you). After reading a few of the paper’s headlines, one might begin to feel that contrary to the xenophobic right, all of Britain’s problems can be solved by increasing Polish immigration. A rcent lead-line reads: “Jolanta Muraczewska, a waitress in a London coffee shop, is helping keep British inflation at bay.”
Travelbag: Margolius Ivan, “Church of the Sacred Heart: Joze Plecnik (Architecture in Detail)”, Phaidon Press, London 1900. AA. VV., “Contemporary Slovenian architecture”, Actar Editorial, New York 2004. Vuga Sagar, “Formula New Ljubljana”, Actar Editorial, New York 2006. The Descendents, “Suburban Home”, Milo Goes to College, SST 1982.
Travelbag Polish election in Hammersmith, London, UK, (youtube.com/watch?v=NKzhGQDXymY). Emigrobot - helping immigrants to survive in London, (youtube.com/watch?v=TsOgE6jqX-4). The Decalogue, (facets.org/decalogue). The John Paul II Memorial Bracelet.
London (UK) stephen lawrence centre stephenlawrence.org.uk
London (UK) Pettycoat Lane Market Middlesex Street, Wentworth Street
)+/ Architecture Against Racism
*0/ The Street and the Market
The recently built Stephen Lawrence Centre designed by Adjaye/Associates serves both as a memorial to a murdered black architecture student and as a functioning community center to improve opportunities for young black people in South London. Deptford, a densely populated district where the Centre is located, sits between Greenwich and Lewisham and historically has a litany of social problems: low educational achievement, low aspirations, poor access to labor markets, poor health, crime and vandalism. Though Stephen Lawrence’s racially motivated murder took place in 1993, the Centre opened in March 2008, and was immediately critiqued. The Centre has already been vandalized five times in what are believed to be racially motivated attacks. A structure built by a prominent black architect in honor of a black architecture student murdered by racists has become unbelievably weighted with political gravitas.
“Can you Adam and Eve it? Have a butcher’s at that Myleene!” Despite going from working-class English to Jewish to Asian, the Petticoat Lane Market is still rife with the “patter” of Cockney slang. Words rhyme with other words until a new dialect emerges, ignorant to outsiders but currency in the street. Alongside this folklore, the quarter around the market streets is rife with contemporary art institutions. Right around the corner is the Whitechapel Art Gallery, whose next one-year program, The Street is taking place, outside of the white cube, and right in Wentworth Street, consisting of a series of artist talks and innovative projects to engage the streetlife around Whitechapel. Context is one of the overused buzzwords in contemporary art today and there’s no better place than Wentworth to let reality shape art. The Street will be launched on March 30, at Toynbee Hall, with speakers ranging from artist Nedko Solakov, to writer Lars Bang Larsen. After the opening, Solakov set up a year-long lottery for people to participate. They need to buy something at the market, deposit it at the shop and wait. If they win, they get a piece by Solakov.
Travelbag Harris Sarah, “A Brief History of British Racism,” The Independent on Sunday, 02/25/2007. March of the British National Front, (tinyurl.com/5fmokw). The Murder of Steven Lawrence: Case Chronology, (tinyurl.com/575tua). Anti-Nazi T-Shirt.
Travelbag Larsen Lars Bang and others, “Curating Subjects”, Open Editions/ Occasional Table 2007. Cattelan Maurizio, “The 4th Berlin Biennale Catalogue”, Hatje Cantz Publishers 2006. The Clash, Rock the Casbah, CBS 1982. Market in rural Koraput, India, (youtube.com/watch?v=_xO_2PMESes).
London (UK) Squallyoaks · south East London
+,/ Squallyoaks The Ratty Rat Rat don’t give a fuck about anything but love. It used to be cliché that a city needed cheap rents and neighborhoods ripe for redevelopment to attract artists, but in London the young cultural producers have decided to forgot rent entirely to stay within the city: they take over any space available and sometimes the spaces become useful in crafting legendary poetics, such is the case of the Ratty Rat Rat and their most famous squat The Toilet Factory. Loosely affiliated with other squat rockers such as Shitdisco, lead singer of Ratty Rat Rat, Ratrick Swayze, in a recent interview denies that his band makes squatter music, which in his mind is associated with the lifestyle of krusty punks and their political rants. He just wants to sing about love. But if anything the Ratty Rat have redefined the term. By occupying abandoned spaces they’ve reclaimed the buildings from disuse and divorced the term from the historic squatter’s rights movements of the ‘90s. They’ve forced open a space for innovation in a city too expensive to support experimentation. Watching the videos of some of their squat parties, the energy seems so raw, but characterized by some genuine boyishness (spiked with some very dark excess of boys having too much fun). Their routine of punky love ballads lies somewhere in between Johnny Thunders and Paul Weller, leaning more towards the former than the latter, but actually creating something new entirely.
Travelbag Azerrad Michael, “Our Band Could Be Your Life”, Back Bay Books, 2002. “Ratty Rat Rat at the Thomas Zipp exhibition”, (youtube.com/watch?v=_hE4FcvIMI0). Slutever blog, (slutever.blogspot.com). A hammer to destroy walls and doors.
London (UK) White Mischief · whitemischief.info
London (UK) Shri Swaminarayan Mandir mandir.org
London (UK) Institue of Contemporary Arts ica.org.uk
.// Ye Olde Steampunks in Londontown
/*/ The Temple
))./ Down the Rabbit Hole
As stated by The Steampunk Home blog (thesteampunkhome.blogspot.com), “Steampunk is more than just brass and watchparts. It's finding a way to combine the past and the future in an aesthetically pleasing yet still punkish way. It's living a life that looks old-fashioned, yet speaks to the future. It's taking the detritus of our modern technological society and remaking it into useful things. "With clank, boom, and steam, steampunk has rumbled out of the buried history of the streets of Victorian London into the twenty-first century. Born out of cyberpunk, Steampunk (or “Steam”, as some of its devotees have shortened it) comes from the same rebellious attitude as cyber, but rather than using technology to realize in the present a vision of the dystopian future, steampunks use modern technologies welded to Victorian style for a mode that’s more mechanical: brass and gears rather than rivets and motherboards. Using advanced technology based on pre-modern design, the style features goggles and corsets, buckles and tattered petticoats. Steampunk is William Gibson in the world of Jules Verne. In London on June 7th, White Mischief threw a steampunk party, called “Around the World in 80 Days”…
Neasden, an area of Brent, London, went from countryside hamlet to agricultural and railway center before being wrapped up in the tentacles of the rapidly spreading London. But time has not been kind to Neasden and the economy declined along with the factories. The town has largely been kept afloat by the large influx of immigrants into the area. But despite its strange state of limbo, new things happen in Neasden all the time. The first drivethru McDonald's opened there in 1988, followed by the first UK IKEA, and then by the first traditional Hindu Mandir in Europe, all helping to pull the neighborhood out if its poverty (if only a little). An important site for world Hinduism, the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir was built in 1995 as one the biggest Hindu temples outside of India. Constructed mainly from Italian Carrara marble and Bulgarian limestone, the stones were sent to India to be handcarved by over 1,500 craftsmen. The temple hosts a museum for nonHindus (with a permanent exhibition excitingly titled “Understanding Hinduism” with the aid of equally exciting 3-D dioramas) as well as the first independent Hindu school in Europe. The building and the neighborhood it sits in are an example of the changing identity and dynamics of London.
The Palais de Tokyo turned over all 3700 square meters of the museum to the young French artist Loris Gréaud to create an exhibition that is at once maddeningly magical and mindblowingly conceptual, which has since been reproposed and reassembled across the channel at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. To J.R.R. Tolkien, cellar door was one of the most beautiful phrases, but “cellar door” though literally an entry into the ground, for Gréaud (other than being the title of his exhibition) is an entrance into the imaginary. Like Alice down the rabbit hole, you enter through a black door that glides open automatically as you approach it. But after the door closes, you have left the real and entered entirely into the artist’s imagination. A vending machine sells tasteless candies. A passage leads under a crumpled resin ceiling that was molded from the earth after a subterranean fireworks explosion. A steel-and-mesh structure reveals paintball warriors shooting at one another with pellets in the blue developed (and patented) by artist Yves Klein as the color of the immaterial. Making space for Gréaud is not just slapping together buildings, but creating imaginary environments.
Travelbag Sterling Bruce and Gibson William, “The Difference Engine”, Orion Publishing Group, London 1996. Branwyn Gareth, “Steam-Driven Dreams: The Wondrously Whimsical World of Steampunk”, Wired, 06/18/07. Steampunks at Anime Weekend Atlanta 2007, (youtube.com/ watch?v=46Zs3_B0rHM). Industrial Steampunk Animation 2.0, (youtube.com/ watch?v=AiYvlyRIar8).
Travelbag Punzo Waghorne Joanne, “Diaspora of the Gods, Oxford University Press, 2004. O’Donnell Damien, “East is East”, Assassin Films 1999. Benny Lava, (youtube.com/watch?v=uYwS9k1ZexY). A Hindu Idol.
Travelbag Carroll Lewis, “Alice in Wonderland”, Macmillan, Oxford 1865. Jefferson Airplane, “White Rabbit” Surrealistic Pillow, RCA 1967. Cellar Door - Loris Gréaud, (youtube.com/watch?v=rrQaN0WwK3E). “International Klein Blue” by Yves Klein.
London (UK) Hayward Gallery southbankcentre.co.uk
)/./ Psycho Buildings
*)/ The Architecture of Nowhere
Floating through a sculpture court in a ramshackle boat, navigating apocalyptic war zones of the imagination, destroying apartments, crashing buildings, rebuilding with gossamer and silk: ever since Gordon Matta Clark started taking slices out of buildings, artists haven’t been content to merely decorate architecture with a few friendly flourishes, but have been intervening, dissecting, activating, destroying, transforming buildings. Either by seduction or by force, artists have been challenging us to rethink how we live, work, look, and interact with space and architecture. The role of the artist in regards to space has exploded out of the frames of canvas and off plinths, into an expanded field. Architecture’s role is supremely useful in finding ways to build structures that humans use while art, in all its shimmering strangeness, is the pinnacle of uselessness. Its role is not to put a roof over your head, but to tumble your unconsciousness till you can dance on the ceiling. At the Hayward Gallery in London, a handful of artists have shown just a few of the many ways architecture may be used as a mental and perceptual space, as much as a physical one.
Non-places aren’t really anywhere at all. They are the purgatory of modern existence. Airports, highways, the waiting room at the dentist are all non-places, but so are convention centers, department stores, and casinos. They are all meant to make you comfortable in a non-geographically specific way. You could be anywhere, either to move you through as quickly as possible or to keep you there indefinitely. Inside the casino, you are never supposed to know what time it is; Las Vegas has perfected the non-place;with its own New York, Venice and Paris theme parks for the 80% of Americans who don’t own passports. But not all casinos proscribe to the architecture of nowhere/ everywhere. Italo Rota, an Italian architect who has been calling for “the end of minimalism” in design, has refurbished the Casino Kursaal’s interiors. In the city of Lugano, modern casinos have been considered as stern and plain meeting places, where new design projects have been as metaphorically bold as changing a light bulb. Therefore, Italo Rota’s concept could be considered as a starting point to reflect on design as a pervasive actor in any kind of consumption.
Travelbag Birnbaum Daniel, “Interiority Complex”, ArtForum, Summer 2000. Searle Adrian, “Top of the drops,” The Guardian, 5/28/2008. Talking Heads, “Burning Down the House”, Speaking in Tongues, Sire Records 1983. Turning The Place Over, (youtube.com/watch?v=9qh2esOoI1Y).
Travelbag Coppola Sophia, “Lost in Translation”, Focus Features 2003. 101 Strings, Astro Sounds From Beyond the Year 2000, Scamp 1996. Casino Carpet Gallery, (tinyurl.com/6b3nrg). Pink Fuzzy Dice.
Madrid (e) Calle de Princesa de Éboli
Two rivers come together in Lyon, the quick moving Rhône and the slower Saône, and the colors of the two rivers collide running side by side, like two stripes of a flag, before fully converging. Rivers have always been used as industrial arteries, setting aside any picturesque riverbank beauty they may possess, and Lyon was no different. The peninsula that marks the confluence in Lyon once housed smoke-belching factories, delivering their goods quickly back onto barges on the river. But the manufacturing sector has since moved to cheaper areas and the Lyonnais have had to think about how to reclaim this central part of the city, away from abandonment and decay. Lyon's current plan to redevelop the quarter involves building a massive complex, with a mix of cultural institutions, shops and housing, called the Lyon Confluence. From the Perrache railway down to where the two rivers meet, a public/private partnership will finish the first stage of the monolithic culture mall in the upcoming year, with final completion of the entire project in 2015. The Socialist mayor, Gerard Collomb, had many plans for the mall, such as a big entertainment center including a huge 14 hallmultiplex, a bowling alley and a free-climbing facility. As for the housing, the mayor said at least 20% of the new buildings will host affordable homes, to preserve social diversity. Whether it'll be a ghetto for rich people or not, the question remains of who exactly is profiting from the Confluence and at what sacrifice of public funds this project is being built. The mayor in the past has already, self-admittedly, sold the soul of Lyon to Dubai. Is he now trying to replace the void with a massive mall?
Spanish capital Madrid is the third most populated city in Europe with insatiable demand for housing that, along with real estate speculation, has caused unmanaged and unmanageable suburban sprawl. In the last five years, urban planners and architects have created innovative attempts at solving the problems associated with rapid expansion. Ranging from MVRDV's Mirador in Sanchinarro to the Ecobulevar, located in Vallecas with selfsufficient “air trees”. These artificial structures provide climate control to ease the growth of vegetation in the vicinities, using photovoltaic energy and recyclable materials. The city around it had not yet been built when the air trees went in, so in the beginning they’ll serve as nodes until they are no longer needed, when they will be recycled to provide open space for a crowded urban landscape.
Travelbag Sciolino Elaine, “Smitten by Lyon, a Visitor Tries to Recreate the Magic,” The New York Times, 01/28/2008. Nixon Mojo, “Burn Down the Malls!” Get Out Of My Way!, Restless Records, 1986. “Robin Sparkles 'Let's Go to the Mall' ”, (youtube.com/watch?v=gdD0j6wmMNc). The Confluence 3d model on the Official Website, (tinyurl.com/65867m).
Travelbag Various Artists, Repo Man, (Soundtrack), Fontana MCA 1993. Almodovar Pedro, “What Have I Done to Deserve This?”, Kaktus 1984. EcosistemaUrbano’s website, (ecosistemaurbano.org). MVRDV’s website, (mvrdv.nl).
Madrid (E) Paseo del Prado laCaixa.es/ObraSocial
Madrid (e) Puerta del Sol · Malasaña
Madrid (e) Atocha metro station Paseo de la Infanta Isabel
)-/ Making Art Fly
**1/ The Incredible Lightness of Monuments
La Caixa just built another art fortress in Madrid, Barcelona style. Once again they chose a previously industrial environment, a former power plant called Central Eléctrica del Mediodia. In Gaudi's hometown, the heavyweight banking group had Catalan architects Puig i Cadafalch turn a factory into one of the slickest museums in town and this time, in the Spanish capital, Herzog & De Meuron took the delicate task of converting the building into a major cultural institution. Located between the Reina Sofia and the Prado, the new CaixaForum has high-class neighbors to keep up with, but the architecture does help. Herzog & De Meuron kept the brick exterior, but “cut” the groundfloor so that the building looks like it's floating and built upwards, unsettling the upper part's original volume. To top it off, botanist Patrick Blanc grew a vertical garden all over the nearby building's façade.
It's pretty hard to picture your parents partying hard and coming back home when daylight is kicking in, but the Spanish inherit their lust for nightlife from mom and dad just as well as a penchant for Gazpacho and Jamon. As soon as dictator Francisco Franco kicked the bucket, the rest of the country woke up and never went to sleep again. The so-called Movida was not just a relieving party habit, but a social movement that shook Spain not only in its clubs and dance floors, but down to its very core. From the end of the Franco regime to the late 80s, a celebratory freedom prevailed from teenage punk rockers to the mayor. The Movida started from Madrid and its Puerta del Sol square, and was supported by the then mayor Enrique Tierno Galvan, one of the key official figures in the city's opening to the new movement. He also wrote a book about the marginal youth cultures he was sociologically interested in. Later mayors apparently wished for a more reasonable behavior, which is the reason they tried so hard to limit the nighttime noise and have the clubs and discos close earlier. Although people would rather call it re-movida these days, the Madrid night life still embodies the sexual liberty depicted in Almodovar's movies, animating entire barrios like Malasaña and Chueca. After the sun has set, young street traditions like the botellon live on and you can find one of the secret clubs where the party starts in the very early hours of the morning.
Though being called Fascinante Aroma a Manzana or FAM- which in Spanish sounds like “Fascinating Scent of Apple” - evokes soft, childhood memories, the Madrid-based architect group is most renown for their evocation of a more painful memory. The young studio was chosen to design a monument to the victims of the Al-Qaeda-engineered train bombings of March 11, 2004. The terrorists exploded 10 bombs in the Atocha, El Pozo and Santa Eugenia metro stations, killing a total of 191 people and wounding 1,755. Three years later, the FAM monument opened to the public in Atocha. The simple 11-meter-tall monument glass cylinder has been engraved with messages from the people of Madrid to the deceased. Beneath the cylinder sits an underground blue room, soundproofed and lit from above. Most monuments are heavy in their permanence, but the peaceful immersion into the silent blue room, peering up through the rays of sunlight into a glass heaven lined with messages to the dead creates an incredible lightness of being. Below the very Atocha ground, not far from where some of the bombs actually exploded, you can even look at the station and see it, soundless, while the words cut from light dance above your head. Rarely in our secular age do architects try to evoke something higher than themselves, and succeed without the heaviness of dogma. The kind that took out the stations in the first place.
Travelbag: Miyazaki Hayao, “Laputa: Castle in the Sky,” Tokuma Shoten, 1986. What is CaixaForum?, (tinyurl.com/6sbffb). Patrick Blanc Official Site, (verticalgardenpatrickblanc.com). Funky kit to grow your own wall garden.
Travelbag Carrà Raffaella, I Grandi Successi di Raffaella Carrà, Fonit Cetra 1982. Almodovar Pedro, “Laberinto de pasiones”, Alphaville S.A. 1982. Disturbios en Malasaña Mayo 2007, (youtube.com/watch?v=qzydjK36zZU). La Movida Madrileña, (tinyurl.com/5aknhb).
Travelbag Smithson Robert, “Unpublished Writings: Entropy and the New Monuments”, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1996. Mackey Robert, “3/11 Memorial Opens in Madrid”, The New York Times, 03/12/2007. March 11 Train Bombing in Madrid, Spain, (youtube.com/watch?v=GAruGazznVI).
Manchester (UK) Macclesfield Cemetery Macclesfield, Cheshire | Salford Lads Club St. Ignatius Wk Salford
).*/ The Manchester Sound Manchester: birthplace of the railways, the computer, the bouncing bomb. But also some of the most influential bands and movements of the last 40 years. We can start with Herman’s Hermit’s, a pop band, but if we kick forward a few years, we get the The Buzzcocks, Joy Division, The Smiths, and the Hacienda, a dance club owned by the Factory Records “empire,” which purportedly gave birth to rave culture. If you listen to one Mancunian band after another over decades, you get an ear for the Manchester sound, from the rapid-fire punk of the Buzzcocks to the existential dread and emotive minimalism of Joy Division, from the Smiths and Morrissey’s songs of gloomy-pop lyricism to the Happy Mondays and the Stone Roses' stoned psychedelia. Manchester is far enough from London to develop its own scene, but with close enough ties to be aware of what’s going on in the capital. The city gave birth to electronic music and the dance culture that followed, and though "Madchester" still produces rock bands, it now dominates much of the scene, leading many to say the Manchester sound has dispersed. Be this true or not, the city and its clubs are still an interesting meter when looking for evolutions in the European music scene.
Travelbag Gatenby Phill, “Morrissey's Manchester”, Empire Publications, Manchester 2002. Winterbottom Michael, “24 Hour Party People”, The Film Consortium, Revolution Films, WAVEpictures 2002. Joy Division-She's Lost Control, (youtube.com/watch?v=QVc29bYIvCM). Great Albums: the Manchester Sound, (tinyurl.com/5g2b8c).
Manchester (UK) New Islington · newislington.co.uk
*++/ Supercity Visions of "Supercities" look like sci-fi dystopias choked with skyscrapers. Although verticality abounds in this image, the “supercity” portrayed in the 2005 exhibition by controversial architect Will Alsop at the Urbis center in Manchester is a much more horizontal vision than its towering Asian megalopolises. The show explored the possibilities of an extended conception of city, hypothetically built around a huge communication node like the M62, a highway connecting the cities of Liverpool and Hull via Manchester and Leeds, creating a sort of urban wireframe sustained by common services. Despite the then Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott was pretty proud of this agile conurbation - almost concurring with London's megalopolis status, making a Mancunian feel at home drinking in Leeds – Alsop's vision was also critiqued for its excessive globalism. Anyway, a couple of years later, Alsop himself realized what looks like yet another project aimed to economically develop a former working class neighborhood, New Islington in Manchester, while actually gentrifying it. Even though his Supercity wasn't about housing, the buildings he built in the quarter are meant to give a roof to the BBC guys moving in town, while the neighborhood turned into a construction site. And, if M62 really does effectively connect the cities, it is the most convenient way partly because of the inefficiency of public transportation. If a Supercity really is being born, the public aspect of this is not the first thing that is being empowered right now.
Travelbag “Time Lapse journey to work in Manchester”, (youtube.com/watch?v=JaPrzrAE034). “What if the North became one City?”, (tinyurl.com/67t525). Will Alsop's studio website, (alsoparchitects.com). User generated Super Cities, (tinyurl.com/647q65).
Marbella | Malaga (E) Forma Libre Calle Arturo Rubinstein 7
Val Masino (I) valmasino-online.eu
)1,/ The Greenhouse Affect
)))/ La Cité de la Construction
)0-/ Rockclimbing for Alpine Mathemathicians
The usual lackadaisical haze of British tourists, whiling away retirement in apartment blocks in Malaga and Marbella, has been upset by a rather provocative project. Most of the retirees and sun-worshippers who come to the Costa del Sol would like to think about nothing more than pints at the bar and either getting a nice tan or avoiding skin cancer. But a local architect has been erecting houses lately that have made more than a few of the potential buyers interested. Built in two weeks for around 900 euro per square meter, one might jump to the conclusion that these new buildings were ramshackle condos about as environmentally sound as a toxic waste dump. Invented by architect Moises Alvarez Yela from Madrid, these instant houses, called Forma Libre, are actually eco-friendly and sustainable, or at least this is what the advertisements claim. The houses are delightfully wacky, something between the Flintstones and Gaudì, while the website on the other hand, does look a bit sleazy - like a hard sell for the National Geographic set, down to the happy nuclear family smirking at you from above the toll free number and the array of wild animals. Actually, the price, politics, and speed combo seems too good to be true.
Being France's most important harbor, Marseille has been shaped through its history by transit. But of all the Chinese plastic and Algerian wines to pass through its harbor, immigration has probably affected it the most, maybe even more than being strafed by bombers during World War II. Italians, Algerians and Armenians have carved out neighborhoods for themselves out of the city, making Marseilles a truly international city. Unluckily, overpopulation, unemployment, and poverty makes life for most Marseillaise hard, aggravating ethnic tension and xenophobia. Though the social situation in big French cities – especially in the suburbs – is known not to be easy, but rather than invest in improving the lives of its citizens, the Marseillaise officials would rather improve the appearance of their coastline. They hired a gaggle of famous (read: expensive) architects to design the new look. Massimiliano Fuksas' Euromed Center, Rudy Ricciotti's Musée des civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée – conceived as a “vertical casbah” - and Stefano Boeri's La Villa will doubtlessly change the appearance of the coastline, but it remains unclear how these redevelopments better the lives of the citizens.
Watching the master of bouldering, Chris Sharma, is almost like watching Nijinsky dance or Jordan dunk: there’s something about his deft and graceful maneuvers that make bouldering look like gymnastics for alpine mathematicians. For most spectators, bouldering, the rockclimbing without ropes, usually along short routes through different hand and foot holds, lacks the epic grandeur of mountain climbing. Watching a climber crawl along a steep mountain face may be a little boring sometimes, but the strange difficulties of bouldering and the required strength and speed become especially pointed after watching incredibly strong climbers fail to get a hand hold on a boulder, over and over again. North of Milan, in the Val Masino, is one of the best places for bouldering on the continent and, every year, it hosts the biggest bouldering gathering in Europe. Though it has many serious and hardcore practitioners and fans all over the world, the sport still has a bit of an outsider value, with such a big international event only attracting about 4000 people with about 1400 boulderers. A modest but respectable turnout. Though still a bit niche, the sport has the potential to add a new and interesting wrinkle to alpine tourism, especially for Val Masino.
Travelbag Foley James, “Glengarry Glen Ross speech”, New Line Cinema, 1992. Sustaining Architecture, (youtube.com/watch?v=RtN4Y5wPuZU). The Forma Libre website, (formalibre.com). Ecotourism, (wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecotourism).
Travelbag Izzo Jean-Claude, “Chourmo”, Gallimard, Paris, 1996. Fassbinder Rainer Werner, "Querelle", Albatros Filmproduktion 1982. Kassovitz Mathieu, “La Haine”, Franco London Films, Canal+, 1995.
Travelbag Essex David, Rock On, Columbia Records 1973. “PCA Bouldering Qualifier”, (youtube.com/watch?v=3eeLeQUhaRI). “The King of Kings”, (tinyurl.com/6c5vyv). Origins of Bouldering, (tinyurl.com/6ybgpr).
)+)/ Stone Age
Milan (I) Galleria Patricia Armocida galleriapatriciaarmocida.com
)/ Interview with Ari Marcopoulos
“La vergogna nazionale” (“Italy’s Shame”): after years of endemic poverty and problems of plumbing, one Italian prime minister made this pronouncement about the city of Matera. Carved from the living stone, the city’s caves have been inhabited by cavemen and troglodytes, Romans and Pagans, Catholics and Communists before being largely abandoned in the ‘50s, following the erection of new buildings on the outskirts of the city in an attempt to wipe Italy’s shame off the map. The distinctly cinematic site has been used by dozens of films, most recently by Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” to depict Jerusalem. Yes, it’s that ancient looking. Though many complain that the old center is being overrun by tourists, the abandoned caves are also filling with servers as a high tech industry takes advantage of the natural cool of cave life to keep its computers running. Everyday new boutiques and hotels open in the area trying to keep apace with the increasing demand. Both Matera and its intended replacements, specifically the village of Martella, have changed dramatically over the years, especially recently.
Like a mad scientist's laboratory for cultural iconoclasts and innovative producers, the early 80s in New York City were painted by Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat and rocked with the tunes of Run DMC booming out of ghetto-blasters. And this is only the 80s. New York today continues to reinvent itself, though with a constantly shifting economy and culture, ever upward, forcing many artists to sell out or move on. Photographer and video director Ari Marcopoulos has always been there to snap photos of the individuals who helped cultural scenes erupt. Warhol, Basquiat, the Beastie Boys. To name only a few. Hardcore and yet delicate, his work has also depicted struggling youth, caught in the maelstrom as well as during playful moments in landscapes of startling, painterly beauty. Though his work has been included in publications as high-brow as the New York Times Magazine and as street-savvy as skate zines, both styles can be found in the collections of significant museums. Whatever the milieu, his photos never exploit the spectacle of celebrity or the innocence of youth like a pillaging paparazzo or hype-addict, but rather they illuminate the intimate moments and inner lives of his subjects. But the separation between what a photographer does and what an artist does can be fuzzy. As a documentarian, does what Marcopoulos do cross the line into art? A relevant question as he shows in the Patricia Armocida gallery in Milan and in others before. What is his role as a documentarian in the scenes he snaps photos of? A gonzo participant or an objective observer?
Travelbag Randall Frederika, “Basilicata, Rock Hard And Still Untamed,” The New York Times, 11/03/2000. Sandford Daniel “Italian Cave City Goes Hi-Tech,” BBC News, 01/20/2006. Captain Caveman - Mystery Town, (youtube.com/watch?v=_J_6IO8IH38). La Civita (nei Sassi di Matera), (youtube.com/watch?v=cdGfC6SZgQQv).
Travelbag Watson Steven, “Factory Made: Warhol and the Sixties,” Pantheon, 2003. Ricard Rene. “The Radiant Child”, Artforum 24, 1981. Beastie Boys, “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!) Licensed to Ill, Spring 86. Run DMC on Reading Rainbow, (youtube.com/watch?v=kOBDEhxd_WU).
Milan (I) PIAZZA DUOMO Palazzo Litta · Corso Magenta 24
Milan (I) Il Teatrino Corso Buenos Aires 36
// Fischli & Weiss
+*/ Ba-da Boom, Ba-Da Bing
Like revolutionaries crashing the castle’s gate, Milan's own miniature Versailles has finally been cracked by contemporary art. Peter Fischli and David Weiss populated Palazzo Litta's regal baroque halls with a ton of works. Renowned for creating innovative exhibition contexts, Fondazione Nicola Trussardi shifts site for every new show, so that the work can better respond to its environment. In their Spring 2008 exhibition, pataphysical machines, spooky animals and magical lights led the visitor along an enchanted path through the Palazzo Litta’s long hallways and decorated chambers. In addition to the exhibition in the Palazzo, the duo's most famous video piece, “The Way Things Go,” was also screened on Piazza Duomo's huge media-facade.
After the war, modernist architect and Italian Rationalist Piero Bottoni designed a multifunctional building in Milan’s major commercial district, Corso Buenos Aires. During the reconstruction of the country, this innovative building not only changed the street, but transformed the district. The original project had apartments, shops, a cinema, and private parking for the residents of the offices and flats. Now, after more than half a century, Bottoni's building has become a little sexy, a little seedy, and more than a little decadent. The basement hosts strip clubs where the cinema used to be. One is an historic Milanese joint once based downtown called “Il Teatrino” where porn superstars of the 80s (like Cicciolina and Moana Pozzi) shook their moneymakers. The second “Lily la Tigresse,” though masquerading as a nightclub, is more of an undefinable space (uncomfortable cough). A bank, a Japanese designer accessories outlet (Muji), a beauty shop, and a handful of clothing stores make up the rest of the commercial activity in the building.
Travelbag Fischli Peter and Weiss David, “Peter Fischli & David Weiss.” Walther König, London 2007. Schaub Mirjam and Weiss David, “Janet Cardiff: The Walk Book.” Walther König, London 2005. Brothers Grimm, “Hansel and Gretel.” Dutton Juvenile, 1999. Morsels of bread.
Travelbag: Bailey Fenton & Barbato Randy , “Inside Deep Throat”, Imagine Entertainment, 2005. Dita Von Teese ed il cavalluccio, (youtube.com/watch?v=wj5bhLwDY50). Cicciolina Ilona Staller - Come un angelo, (youtube.com/watch?v=fx221POxhtU). Muji wet tissue.
Milan (I) via ventura
,,/ From Work Boots to Loafers From dirty work boots to Gucci loafers, Via Ventura has been involved in the on-going process of cultural and architectural contamination which culminates yearly during the Milan Design Week (“Salone del Mobile,” for the locals). After all the factories left Milan for other environs, the neighborhood was left searching for a new identity, which is where real estate magnate Mariano Pichler stepped in. Seeing an opening for a new cultural district, Pichler started to redevelop the neighborhood by inviting in galleries, designers, newspaper editorial offices and other cultural producers to inhabit the buildings for cheap, while rents and real estate grew exorbitantly. An abandoned factory district has been successfully transformed while retaining some of its industrial charm. In fact the Check-in Architecture Editorial offices are located here, as well as the first Checkin Point. During Design Week, Via Ventura becomes even more fully transformed as designers from all across Europe converge on its streets.
Travelbag “Giant Inflatable Sex Toy Temporarily Installed at Lambretto by goldiechiari”, (youtube.com/watch?v=QQQ5aAiW8E0). SpareSpace on a construction site in the Lambretto Area, (design.nl). Zero Magazine Guide for Design week, (tinyurl.com/5djo6j). A Lambretta scooter.
Milan (I) Isola District · isolagaribaldi.it
Milan (I) Viale Bligny 42 · edificiomondo42.wordpress.com
,./ Making Isola a Green Island
-(/ Al Qaeda, Transexual Prostitutes and the Nuclear Bomb
Milan has got its own island. Historically isolated from the rest of the city, the area around the Garibaldi station has always been perceived as a place with an atmosphere, a culture and a lifestyle all of its own. Like a little village, or, really, an island. Although it is now gentrifying, the Isola quarter is commonly known to be a breeding site for the counter-culture. Every year, the Green Island event in the Isola district involves arts and handicrafts workshops, design and architecture studios, proposals for urban installations and photography, all dealing with public spaces and green areas. For the 2008 event, at the MiCamera Bookstore during Milan’s Design Week, AmazeLab presented the new publication “Green Island. On Cities, Hortus, Wild Gardens”, a volume that sums up the first five years of the project. Besides Design Week, what’s left to do is discover how this project has actually affected the neighborhood during its activity, if at all.
Another question might be: Where do nuclear dread, Al Qaeda, transsexual prostitutes, and contemporary art come together? Viale Bligny, 42. Nomad by birth, Rirkrit Tiravanija always finds place in his work for transfer, interchange, and conversation. Elemental in developing what was later called by critic Nicholas Bourriaud relational aesthetics, Tiravanija attempts to further extend the conceptualist project of breaking the limitations between art and life by making the interchange, not the set dressing or even the people themselves the art, but what happens when they come together. At Galleria Emi Fontana in Milan, Tiravanija collaborates (as he often does) with architect Neil Logan to create a site-specific piece that plays with a story, called “Foster, You’re Dead” by American speculative fictionist Phillip K. Dick. The story relates the tale of an American family too poor to afford a proper bomb shelter. Furthermore the site of the gallery sits in one of the most notorious buildings in Milan. Once the base of the Italian Resistance against the fascists, home to legendary cyberpunk publisher Edizioni Shake and artist Maurizio Cattelan, amongst other cultural producers, 42 via Bligny also hosts a large population of transsexual prostitutes, unemployed North African immigrants, and was one of the former bases of Al-Qaeda cell agents in Italy. Many layers of spatial tension come into play on the site for this exhibition.
Travelbag Back Frédéric, “The Man who Planted Trees”, Radio Canada 1987. Gilles Clément's Blog, (gillesclement.com). Critical Garden Blog, (criticalgarden.netsons.org/wp). Liz Christy Community Garden, (lizchristygarden.org).
Travelbag Tiravanija Rirkrit, ”Foster, you're dead”, (tinyurl.com/5r7yyd). Transsexual Shaving Tutorial, (youtube.com/watch?v=gqgjHHuT1q8). ShaKe Edizioni, (shake.it). Emi Fontana Gallery, (galleriaemifontana.com).
Milan (I) Circolo Magnolia circolomagnolia.it
Milan (i) piccoli spazi da trattare con gentilezza piccolispazidatrattarecongentilezza.net
)+1/ Miami Indie Rock Festival
),0/ Small and Forgotten Spaces
The indie imaginary is about holding sweaty hands and moshing to unknown bands, while the pins on your thrift store coat lapels jingle jangle to the music. Instead of skinny suburban kids from around LA or New York, imagine a girl with bangs or a curly-haired boy with a striped t-shirt and imported Vans, both sporting oversized Rayban Wayfarers, and you've got Milan's version of the scene. The Rockit guys, who orchestrate the Miami festival, have been struggling to spread and promote independent Italian music through their magazine and website for a decade now. Miami (which translates to: “Do you love me?”) attempts to create the perfect environment for summer lovin’: insensitive to mosquito bites, the indie kids can dance in the open spaces of Circolo Magnolia, sitting in the roundabouts of the former seaplane landing site of Idroscalo, on the edge of Milan. Many are hipsters, new wavers and ironic electro freaks, but also average milanese suburbanites looking for somewhere to go on Friday night. In this festival and this place they all form a momentary cultural node, creating a space for the promotion of not only homegrown acts that may find it hard to get a foothold internationally, but also a homegrown scene. Though the scene has ties to international indie rock, it also has a particular identity special to Milan and Italy.
At times all we need are brief glimpses, a flicker of light in the fog, cracks in an incongruous landscape, an overheard conversation of two strangers meeting in one of these strange places to make them real, make them come alive. The city is rife with folds. Little spaces, in plain sight, that exist as if they were hidden from view. Forgotten and unused, they languish, unloved, like houseplants left to die from neglect. The alienation of modern man has been the well-tread subject of modern art and literature, but what about space? The way we build and use cities is as revealing of what we humans are now as anything else. When we build cities with poor public space, and populate them with these forgotten folds, we create another alienating urban tableau straight from an Edward Hopper painting. But we can refind them, map them back into the city, make them useful, cultivate them, make them known, treat them with kindness to rehabilitate them back to health. Gruppo A12, a collective that works at the border between architecture, urbanism and art, have taken to mapping these spaces in Milan, finding them, and taking them out of their abandonment. They call them “Piccoli spazi da trattare con gentilezza" (trans: Small places to treat kindly). It takes very little to pull these spaces out of their unlivable state and make them useful. First they find, recognize, and identify these foundlings, mapping these small spaces all over the city. And after they’ve been identified, they try – encouraging others to do so as well- to reforge them through little acts and gestures, small events to "improve their wordless qualities."
Travelbag Il Deboscio – Frangetta (video originale), (youtube.com/watch?v=FVOBpFHrqw0). CCCP Fedeli alla Linea - Mi Ami?, (youtube.com/watch?v=UHWkeUThBIo). Il Teatro Degli Orrori, (myspace.com/ilteatrodegliorrori). Rockit website, (rockit.it).
Travelbag Map, Aram Bartholl, (youtube.com/watch?v=tvHeNC5VJw8). Gruppo A12, (gruppoa12.org). Radio Aporee, (aporee.org/aporee.html). Google Earth Hacks, (gearthhacks.com).
Milan (i) COX 18 · Via Conchetta 18 PAC · comune.milano.it/pac Hangar Bicocca · hangarbicocca.it
Milan (i) Palacantù | Ponte Lambro Hotel | Segrate Custom
*(,/ Unfinished Buildings
A recent animation video surfaced on the internet racking up a couple million views in the short month it's been up. Titled MUTO and signed by the Italian street artist Blu, the animation follows a series of evershifting illustrations as they move across the city. Done like an old style flip book, Blu painted every single image necessary to make the animation move on the wall, snapping each change on his camera. This time-consuming diligence resulted in a wild sequence of sinister figures mutating, dismembering, folding into one another as they move across the walls of the city with sinister ease. Blu had already established his rep as a street artist, and after this internet hit, his fame took a substantial rise. In Milan, the spectrum of his pieces – mostly big ass illustrations decorating facades - goes from the legendary Cox 18 social center to the PAC contemporary art museum. With one of his huge pieces still drying on one of Tate Modern's outer walls, some of Blu's sketches and his video have been exhibited in the street-art conscious Patricia Armocida gallery, while three other locations such as the Lambrate railway, the old squat/social center Cox and the Hangar Bicocca, a gallery for contemporary art on Milan's fringes - were painted with his characteristic, creepy characters. So far Blu circles closer and closer to the art world, but taking street art off the streets can be like taking a fish out of water; it might just die.
There’s something especially sad about an unfinished building. Abandoned buildings have their own melancholy to be sure, but they also had long and useful lives, and only when they’d outlived their usefulness for one reason or another, were they left to squatters, cockroaches, rats, termites, and sundry other agents of decay. Unfinished buildings, on the other hand, are stillborn, the hope of their success crystallized in their failure. Many famous unfinished buildings are scattered around Europe, the Sagrada Familia Cathedral by Gaudi and the 94-meter high Szkieletor in Krakow being two examples. The first is a proud city landmark, the second an international embarrassment with a title culled from He-Man. Not all unfinished buildings are landmarks though, mostly it's quite the opposite. As much as they crystallize hope, they also capture the exuberance of arrested development, of progress. In the Italian avant-garde the Futurists were fascinated with progress, with Marinetti writing frenetic manifestos and paeans and Boccioni and Balla crafting sculptures and paintings to capture what they thought was the beautifully brutal speed of technological progress. Today, the new generations of artists have another approach and fascination for the cityscape. For example, artist collective Alterazioni Video are on the other side of Futurism: rather than celebrate progress, they are interested in its failure, regarding buildings as monuments to what they meant and exploring the new imaginary they create.
Travelbag Blu's “MUTO” video, (tinyurl.com/3qqb8u). Why Vandalism? What Makes People That Way? Educational Video, (tinyurl.com/5kgtjt). Tate exhibition featuring Blu, (tinyurl.com/55c79g). Against Streetart: Tale of the Paint Splasher, (tinyurl.com/632oej).
Travelbag “Gaza's unfinished building projects - 9 Aug 07,” (youtube.com/watch?v=jP1visOujjs). Incompiuto Siciliano, (incompiutosiciliano.org). “Sonny & Cher - A Cowboys Work Is Never Done,” (youtube.com/watch?v=LT_y5qri00ov). The Futurist Manifesto by Marinetti, (tinyurl.com/2mvpvl).
Milan (I) Corso Vittorio Emanuele Porta Venezia Metro Station
Monaco (MC) Principality of Monaco ilprincipato.com
*,// Filipinos and the Hip-Hop Scene
*-/ Urban Expansion Dubai Style
One might notice them meeting up in the center of Milan, right in front of the Duomo or gathering around a table at McDonald's or Burger King. Dressed in skater clothes and perfectly following the latest American fashion, young Filipinos spend their time between these globalization shrines and the churches where their communities gather to listen to mass spoken in Tagalog, mixed with some English. The Filipinos in Milan are some 30,000, the biggest ethnic minority in town, very tight as a group and, averagely, by far more religious than the Italians they live amongst. Although more and more organized, the Filipinos haven't really integrated much, both because of their strong connections to their homeland, where they send money and dream to return to, and because of other difficulties like language barriers and the impossibility to take advantage of their learning degrees – without mentioning local racism. While it's true the Filipino culture is different from the Italian one, and generally speaking to that of western civilization, you can tell the United States has shaped it a lot directly from their homeland, which was a U.S. colony until 1946. For example, the Filipino Pinoy Rap was the first Asian hip-hop-related phenomenon to develop into a local scene, since the early 80s. Today you can still tell hip-hop has a strong influence on young Filipinos in Milan, but although their meeting spots are mostly located in the very city center - just like some key locations for the local break dance scene, such as the Muretto in Corso Vittorio Emanuele and the Porta Venezia metro station – it's not clear whether they're networking with Italian breakers, creating a scene on their own, or neither.
Travelbag Cena Emman, “Struggling for a future in Milan”, Global Nation, 04/30/08. Filipino inmates dance to Michael Jackson's "Thriller", (youtube.com/watch?v=hMnk7lh9M3o). “Pinoy Rap old-school hit 'Na Onseng Delight'”, (youtube.com/watch?v=KVehk5KeaPY). Filipino Hip Hop, (bookrags.com/wiki/Filipino_hip_hop).
From the outside, small principalities seem to have it easy. In exchange for little or no political power, people lead heavily subsidized, tax-free lives, and are paid handsomely for their loyalty. Monaco’s biggest export is not easily quantifiable, providing a tax shelter for the rich and high-class gambling of anyone who can afford to play. The royal family headed by Prince Rainier III had the Fontvieille and Larvotto quarters built out of the sea in the 60s and 70s. Now his heir Albert II is planning a giant floating island - to be named Portier – extending the coast line and adding new buildings on the sea, Dubai style. Little Monaco has to stay competitive in attracting high-end clients and investors, or else learn a trade other than spinning the roulette wheel. Both Rainier III and Albert II have been nature friendly monarchs so far, ensuring the health of the seabed through projects like the Larvotto Natural Reserve. The future Portier quarter is going to be twelve hectares big and will be run with clean energy provided by progressive technology like photovoltaic panels or heat pumps. Though one wonders how ecofriendly building a new island might be, the Prince is likely to move forward with a green stamp on the extension of his domain.
Travelbag: Kotiaho Janne S. & Sulkava Pekka, “Effects of isolation, area and predators on invasion”, Applied Soil Ecology, Elsevier, 2007. Campbell Martin, “Golden Eye”, MGM/UA Distribution Co. 1995. Dubai's artificial island website, (thepalm.ae). Lots of Monopoly money.
Mostar (BiH) Stari Most · starimost.ba
)*-/ A Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Munich (d) Olympiapark olympiapark-muenchen.de
.+/ Student Block - Olympic Village
The most potent symbol of the Croatian attempt to erase Bosnia-Herzegovina from the map came in the heat of the Yugoslav Wars, almost 15 years ago, when a couple of well-aimed Croatian artillery shells brought the city of Mostar’s Stari Most (or Old Bridge), the gravitydefying masterpiece of Ottoman-designed architecture erected in 1566, crashing into the fast green waters of the Neretva river. The bridge defined Mostar, which before interference had been the most integrated city in the region. Its obliteration seemed to augur the city's death. But after years of painstaking work and at a cost of €12 million, the Old Bridge stands again, a replica built of the same creamy local limestone, a graceful span arching 90ft (27 meters) across the ravine and suspended 60ft (18 meters) above the river’s banks. Though the bridge reopened almost four years ago, it’s rarely used. The Croatian ethnic engineering was too successful. The two sides of the city, Bosniak and Croatian, rarely communicate except when forced to by political realities. Paddy Ashdown, the internationally appointed governor of the region at the time the bridge was rebuilt, saw the bridge as more than a span of stones crossing a river, but as a metaphorical bridge between Europeans and the Muslim world. Its destruction and use hints to the future of Muslims in Europe.
Pierre de Coubertin was the father of modern Olympics, and the Olympic Village was another of his (less grandiose) children. The first Village prototype was built in 1932 for the Los Angeles Summer Olympics and consisted of a group of buildings with rooms to lodge athletes and provide services to them. Despite being the first one, the L.A. village is not nearly the most famous, that distinction goes to the complex in Munich. During the 1972 Olympics, the Black September terrorist group held hostage and then killed eleven Israeli athletes in the village. Infamous because of these murders, the Olympic Village was supposed to be a place for athletes to stay during the international games. Built only to be temporary, and then probably destroyed, the Olympic Village in Munich is an architecturally articulated urban island in the green of the Olympiapark. But since the Olympic carnival caravanned to another city, the Village has been converted to cheap flats for university students. Although the blocks are not exactly the most personal of living environments (the words cold and gray jump to mind), there is a bit of green and a handful of public art pieces making life there a little livelier. What was designed to be a transitory space is now a permanent housing complex, with different social dynamics than before. The purpose was transitory, an event radically altered its imaginary and presence, and over time the reuse has changed it again, but how?
Travelbag Traynor Ian, “Bridge opens but Mostar remains a divided city,” The Guardian, 07/23/2004. Monty Python and the Holy Grail-The Bridge of Death, (youtube.com/watch?v=F8Bweb1nJY4). Mostar During the War (1992), (youtube.com/watch?v=e8MCSV7lM8k). Simon and Garfunkel, A Bridge Over Troubled Waters, A Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Columbia, 1970.
Travelbag Reeve Simon, “One Day in September” Arcade Publishing, New York 2000. Spielberg Steven, “Munich”, DreamWorks 2005. CBC Television News: a special about the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Games, (youtube.com/watch?v=sNfIiXHiwLc). Olympiapark on Panoramio, (tinyurl.com/6yvdel).
Munich (D) Flosslände Zentralländstrasse
)1*/ Surf’s Up, Upriver
Munich (D) Earth TV studios · earttv.com
*+// Watching Ourselves Being Watched
Long blonde hair cascading over dark brown skin, the sun setting in the distance as the surfer leans down on his board to barrel into a crystal blue tube of crashing ocean water, hugging a long stretch of sandy beach. The visual aesthetic and imaginary of surfing locates the capital of the beach sport somewhere along a picturesque coastline in Southern California. And then, there’s Munich. Whatever you think of Munich (beer, beer steins, beer, lederhosen, beer), it sure ain’t surfing. But at two spots along rivers flowing through the center of Munich, surfers are congregating, winter and summer, from dawn to dusk, and riding the river waves at Eisbach and Floßlände. Surfers who learned to paddle on these rivers, such as Quirin Rohleder and Tim Pelz, have gone on to major careers on the traditional waves. What are the strange ramifications of moving this sport to the center of a city in the center of the continent? Has this affected their subcultural style? How are they different than the cliché of the California surfer? Are there specific surf shops? Is it difficult to get a tan?
In hotel lobbies, elevators, doctor offices, waiting rooms, and on hold for any number of corporations, the classic string arrangements of Muzak attempt to calm your potential aggression, ease the pain of waiting, and above all inoffensively fill empty space. Muzak, above all, is music for non-spaces to please everyone, and, of course, therefore ends up pleasing no one. With the proliferation of television screens everywhere, from the classic spaces of Muzak to train stations and buses, bars and lounges, a new niche has opened up. Filling the emptiness with sound is no longer sufficient, we now need equally inoffensive images to fill the countless screens that, when not selling us products, are keeping us from getting bored without actually entertaining us. Enter Earth TV, with a system of cameras that would make Big Brother proud. But rather than stocking up footage for panoptical control, Earth TV merely shoots landscape, and lots of it. From Hong Kong to Times Square, Glacier Park to Gay Paris, hundreds of cameras all over the world, shoot the passing traffic and drinking deer. 24/7/365. One might think this a creepy level of surveillance, but instead it's creepy for a whole another reason: it's a quiet, insistent way of filling empty time with noncommittal landscape.
Travelbag Moore Matthew Scott, “Munich's Malibu”, Atlantic Monthly, January/February 2008. The Surfaris, Wipe Out, Dot Records, 1963. Surfing in Munich, (youtube.com/watch?v=AoXrBXXWVyI). Hull Stephen Wayne, “A Sociological Study of the Surfing Subculture”, (tinyurl.com/6azth6).
Travelbag Owen David, “The Soundtrack of Your Life”, The New Yorker, April 2006. McTeigue James, “V for Vendetta”, Columbia Sony 2005. Scott Tony, “Enemy of the State”, Touchstone Pictures 1998. Surveillance Society report, (ico.gov.uk).
Naples (I) Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donna REgina · museomadre.it
Naples (It) Studi RAI · unpostoalsole.rai.it VILLA SOLIMENE · VIA FERDINANDO RUSSO 19
)(/ Healthy District
*,/ Italy through the eyes of T.V. fictions
No city is more emblematic of the Italian south than Naples. And no district more Neapolitan than Rione Sanità. Beneath this ancient district lies a burial ground beset by high crime and unemployment. Life above the surface is made just a little easier than that below by the views of the beautiful old churches and palazzi and the recent influx of art spaces. Though poor in jobs, the district is rich in art. Other than giving birth to one of Italy’s most popular actors, Totò, the Rione Sanità is quickly becoming a major Italian cultural district. Architect Alvaro Siza transformed an ancient building into a contemporary art museum, the MADRE, while curator Gigiotto Del Vecchio opened a new space with Stefania Palumbo to promote young artists. Named after its address, the gallery sits only a few meters away from the museum, in Sottoportico Lopez, 32. Though Rione Sanità's rough identity remains intact, these cultural producers can either cause a seismic shift or mere ripple through the well-established identity of the old neighborhood.
Millionaire industrialist Roberto Ferri puts the pistol to his head, and waits, distraught over the death of his son. Changing his mind, he sets the weapon in the drawer and leaves the room, moments later a child wanders up to the drawer. Ferri hears a gunshot. Cut to commercial. Arguably the first and most successful Italian soap opera, “Un Posto al Sole” (“A Place in the Sun”) came out in 1996, altering the landscape of Italian television production. With an Australian chief writer, Wayne Doyle, the serialized drama takes much of its form and structure from international precedents. However, its biggest appeal to the public is the way it is rigorously and unapologetically Italian in content. The show is mostly set in the so-called Palazzo Palladini, the former mansion of actress Luisa Conte, located in the Posillipo neighborhoods and close to Villa Rosbery, the home of Italian President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano. Indoor scenes for the show, however, are shot far from the palazzo at RAI's sound stages in Naples. With this new kind of show dominating Italian television, the program’s methods have changed the way that Italians experience the iconic and imaginary space of their own country through mass media.
Travelbag De Filippo Eduardo, “Il sindaco del Rione Sanità”, 01 Distribution 2008. Ragazzi Sanità, (youtube.com/watch?v=_XHYjD3Eh7U). Architecture! Alvaro Siza - The Siza School, (youtube.com/watch?v=2LVUZ2Lt7Hg). Typical horn-shaped red amulet.
Travelbag Gordon Lucy, “The Italian Passionate Revenge”, Harlequin, Toronto May 2008. Alexander, Jeff, “A TV Guide to Life: How I Learned Everything I Needed to Know From Watching Television”, Penguin Group, New York 2008. Mastrocinque Camillo, “Totò, Peppino e... la malafemmina”, D.D.L 1956. Stevens George, “A Place in the Sun”, Paramount 1951.
Naples (IT) Scampia Quarter
Naples (I) Duchessa quarter · P.za Garibaldi Villa Cupido · VILLACUPIDO.COM
)1)/ Life Under Camorra
*)./ Neomelodic Neapolitan Music
Despite the name “Vele” (Italian for “sails”), the seven huge triangular blocks in the Neapolitan Scampia quarter are anything but light. And the desperate situation in which their thousands and thousands of legal or illegal tenants live – or survive – are anything but improving. The Vele in Scampia not only rank as some of the ugliest buildings ever built on Italian ground, but they’re also yet another failed attempt to resolve social issues with mass housing structures, in pure 70s fashion. There’s plenty of these monuments to misery in the northern suburbs of Napoli, fertile grounds for big and small criminal businesses and especially for the local mafia, the Camorra. By far the most trigger-happy of the mafias, the Camorra lacks a pyramidal structure and is instead split into many families and clans, often at war. Nevertheless, it was born as an order enforcing organization and, after all, it still is. In the dark streets of Scampia and in the Vele halls, between those whitish, massive walls, law and order split and the former gives way to the latter. “The system,” as the people from Naples call it, is an alternative government: it provides better wages and health care than the state and creates its own laws. Unemployment, prostitution, family wars break the neighborhood’s life apart, making it hard to live and easy to die. Photographer Mario Spada has been documenting it for years and little has changed in Naples since he started.
Along the narrow streets and alleyways, lately lined with garbage, a peculiarly Neapolitan phenomenon of street singers has emerged, called neo-melodic. They sing half the romantic croon of a would-be teen idol and half the regularly musical voice of complaint distinctive of southern Italian cities, relating melodramatic tales of heartbreak, incest, murder, and criminality. The precursors of neomelodic music were mainly Mario Merola (father of the Neapolitan "sceneggiata") and Nino D'Angelo (whose blond helmet has now become legend), but the tradition has found new life and a worthy heir in Gigi D'Alessio, who started his career playing at the marriages and baptisms of children and grandchildren of the Camorra's big boss, and from there to the stage at San Remo, up to the top of the Italian charts. The Camorra ties led former Minister Giuliano Amato to state that the music of “neo-melodic” singers is contiguous to crime and celebrates the “camorristi” (the local mafiosi) as heroes. “If we succeed”, he declared, “neo-melodic singers will have to sing other tunes.” The neomelodic scene produces an imaginary of the city of Naples and raises geographical questions about the musical production of places and spaces, especially those peculiar to Naples. In the Duchessa quarter the markets are crowded with stands selling cassettes with this kind of music and Villa Cupido is a typical place in which to shoot a neomelodic video. Indeed, one's relationship with the places in which he lives or has lived can be mediated by music and words, but how can the force of a song create the presence of home?
Travelbag Saviano Roberto, “Gomorra”, Mondadori, Milan 2006. A. Hooper John, "Weekends turn bloody in Naples mafia war", The Guardian, 12/18/04. “Roberto Saviano: ‘Camorra is a European problem’”, (youtube.com/watch?v=_RXlTnK7afs). “Ragazze di scampia ballano Napul’è dei 99 Posse”, (youtube.com/ watch?v=qw_WINT_WGI).
Travelbag Mario Merola - ò Zappatore, (youtube.com/watch?v=UWZPZZtRN0c). Trailer: Gomorra, (youtube.com/watch?v=z0sEN_fIjXg). The Art-Loving Camorrist, (tinyurl.com/5tbwoh). Neapolitan singers, (cantantinapoletani.it).
Nola (I) Vulcano Buono
*1/ The Good Volcano
Oslo (N) Den Orske Opera & Ballet oslooperahouse.com
1,/ A Roof as the Most Important Square of a City
Though treated like a distant image on a pretty postcard, Mount Vesuvius has erupted (and dangerously) dozens of times in modern history. Even though it hasn't blown since World War II (where it took out a squadron of Allied bombers), from the immolation of ancient Pompei to its simple physical presence over Naples, the catastrophic beauty of Mount Vesuvius has entered firmly into popular imagination. Recently, Vesuvius’ profile inspired architect Renzo Piano to design Vulcano Buono, a gigantic mall covering over a 147,000 square meters just a few kilometers away from Naples, containing a supermarket, over 180 shops, a multiplex cinema with 9 screens and a 150 room Holiday Inn hotel. Piano designed the Vulcano Buono, especially its central plaza, to become a vital social space, with ample room for people to gather in and spend their spare time. The regional officials of Campania meant the complex to be one of several attempts to increase trade and employment in the Nola area. And the commercial investors want to make money. All three visions are vying to use the imaginary of the volcano to create a building that serves their interests in the region.
Opera houses have a way of defining their cities, either through sheer modernist aggression or by subtly mirroring the personality of its host. The most successful probably at the former is the Sydney Opera House, the interlocked shells on the Bennelong Point are featured on countless postcards, knickknacks, and t-shirts, and are probably the only element that someone outside Australia can really point to in reference to the city. In Oslo, a new opera house just opened to the usual fanfare (with the excitingly original title of “New Oslo Opera House”). And the building seems to affect the landscape rather than attempt to transform it. Though actually built on the water, the building seems to rise out of the Oslofjord, and its white surface blends beautifully into the snowy landscape. Designed by Norwegian architects Snohetta and built in the center of the city, the New Oslo Opera House has a roof that’s open to the public, offering not only a pretty good view but also the potential to create a new and important gathering place for the city.
Travelbag Lowe David & Sharp Simon, "Goethe and Palladio", Lindisfarne Press, 2006. Modugno Domenico, "'O Vesuvio", Volare: Greatest Hits (Remastered), Silver Star, 2005. Bonnard Mario, "Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei", CI. AS. , 1959. Fire Retardant Umbrella.
Travelbag The Entire Construction of the Opera House Compressed into a 3-Minute Video, (tinyurl.com/6rg53t). Site Seeing – An Artist’s Book about the Opera House, (tinyurl.com/5wdomm). European Archive for Urban Public Space at CCCB, (tinyurl.com/5rt6ul). Traditional Opera Glasses.
Paris (F) Palais de Tokyo palaisdetokyo.com
Osoppo (I) Parco del Rivellino
Palermo (I) Quartiere ZEN
)+./ Camp Rastafari Rototom Sunsplash Festival
1/ ZEN and the Art of the Black Market
Though it looks like summer camp for dreadlocked potheads, the Rototom Sunsplash Festival is taken very seriously by European aficionados of reggae music and acts as a gathering of European Rastafari and wannabes, whose disdain for organization and all other things “Babylon” is well noted in countless songs. The festival functions very loosely with campsites and kitchens, stands and booths for handicrafts and rasta-friendly political issues (though officially the rasta themselves have no interest in politics besides the decriminalization of their ceremonial ganja). One interesting thing in attending the festival is you find out how the community organizes itself in this specific space. The place is a park, but the people transform it to create a zone that fully represents and serves the needs of its subcultural inhabitants. And if you’re lucky enough, the deceased Haile Selassie puts in an appearance to lead Jah People to Zion.
Its name would inspire harmony and serenity in anyone else's mind, but to the people who live there, ZEN means something entirely different: ugly concrete blocks, subhuman living conditions and a worrying crime rate. Designed by Vittorio Gregotti in the late 60s, the quarter was later renamed San Filippo Neri. But despite the name change, the area stagnates. Like world famous do-it-yourself capital Naples, Palermo's ZEN suburb has its own informal economy system, based on favors and practical needs. Abusiveness and criminality are just two of the several elements of people's day-by-day struggle in the quarter. Renown architect Massimiliano Fuksas stated the complex would be better off destroyed, making room to build a better living environment.
Talking about Erik Davis, one can’t help but talk of hybrids, things crashing into each other and having mutant children, millennial mixes of the ancient and the modern, often on the fringe yet distinctly new. Davis floats in a very twenty-first century sub-cultural style, a mélange of futurism and primitivism, called cybermysticism or as Davis does "techgnosis.” Not unlike Burning Man, of which Davis is an advocate, this subculture has melded the leftovers of West Coast Buddhism and Dungeons and Dragons, eco-ravers and temporary autonomous zones, Buckminster Fuller and Led Zeppelin, all coming together in a vast, pulsing network. He’s become the primary observer of a phenomenon he had a gonzo relationship with. Davis’ work began as a refraction through the prism of Phillip K. Dick, the paranoid California speculative fictionist, drug addict, and Gnostic visionary. Gnosticism, thinking man’s mysticism often deals with dualism, has become a way to think through the experiences of cyberculture. On April 17th 2008, Erik Davis talked with French art historian Pascal Rousseau about the common metaphors and relationships that can be found in his work and the exhibition on view at the Palais de Tokyo by Loris Gréaud, titled “Cellar Door.”
Travelbag Reggae dj VitoWar's website, (vitowar.it). Alborosie – Sicillian Reggae Music, (myspace.com/alborosie). Rastafari portal, (rastafari.org). BBC overview of Rastafarians, (tinyurl.com/6k88hr).
Travelbag Davis Mike, “Planet of slums”, Verso, New York, 2006. Torre Roberta, “Tano da morire”, A.S.P.,1997. Le Iene - Lucci intervista Gregotti, (youtube.com/watch?v=elLMJEso0F0). Rocky - Il rè della vucciria, (youtube.com/watch?v=yPhziAYJaNQ).
Travelbag Linklater Richard, “A Scanner Darkly”, Warner Independent, 2006. Kisses from the Playa-Burning Man 2007, (youtube.com/watch?v=XB5DjLk10Zs). Erik Davis Smokes Crack With the Viking Youth, (tinyurl.com/6bh43d). Techgnosis Official Website, (techgnosis.com).
Paris (F) Palais de Tokyo palaisdetokyo.com
Paris (F) Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne University · Place Panthéon 12
Paris (F) Seine
/// May ‘68 and the New Geography of Resistance
0-/ The Control of a Physical Environment
From the geodesic dome to his grand theoretical push for sustainability, the work of Richard Buckminster Fuller attempts to create living environments that minimize consumption of the earth’s limited resources while maximizing connections and communication within global systems of information and transportation. And he did this roughly forty years before anyone even thought of sustainability, while oil was plentiful and the hole in the ozone was merely a twinkle in a climatologist's eye. And when you put it that way, the word “visionary” seems almost coined for him. Despite being spurned in his own time by many of the communities he attempted to change (including that of architecture), Fuller’s profound, often prophetic contributions not only planted the seed for the modern environmentally-friendly science and technology, but also had a profound influence on contemporary art practice. Though his ideas are oft cited, how much of them have been put into practice? How far have we come in living in a sustainable environment? Harvard professor Antoine Picon and curator Michael Hays will be meeting at the "Cellar Door" exhibition by Loris Gréaud at the Palais de Tokyo. Hays and Picon’s dialogue about the most influential utopian architect forms a confrontation and conversation between the exhibition structure and the space utopias have in architecture today.
From what started out as a relatively simple dorm dispute, escalated into a 10 million worker strike in Paris during May 1968. A tectonic shift of social, moral, and political values rattled the whole world during the Spring and Summer of 1968, with cities and students as the primary points of rupture. In Paris, the brief union of students and workers might appear to have little lasting effects (De Gaulle who went into hiding in Germany during the riots was roundly re-elected the following month). But to the French people May ’68 signals a shift in the cultural consciousness of the Republic from allegiance to God and country to the passionate defense of equal rights and liberated sexuality. As well as being a byword for this change, May '68 also involved coming up with a new geography of struggle: the barricade, the commune, the squat - semi-autonomous zones that allowed for both self-emancipation and collectivist social models. The walls of Paris were covered with graffiti, slogans but with verbal wit, against work, against conformity, against boredom: “Under the paving stones – the beach!” “No replastering, the structure is rotten.” “I’m a Groucho Marxist.“ “Boredom is counterrevolutionary.” “Politics is in the streets.”
As an architect, Phillippe Rahm is obsessed with air, obsessed to the point where he’s trying to capture its perfume, trying to trap the literal aroma of Paris in a building. Rahm developed an idea for a floating office, made completely of glass, bobbing in the River Seine, that attempts in its construction and added elements to capture the aroma of the famous river. It seems that Rahm hopes to abolish the difference between the inside and the outside, through a controlled environment. But a perfume is not necessarily a general smell, rather than a distilled essence. And perfume (unlike a stench or an odor) is pleasant, attractive, even titillating. The aroma of Paris is a complex mixture, a mélange of the pleasant with the unpleasant. Why is Rahm so interested in capturing this dimension of our environment? In his attempt to capture air and smell (the floating office’s design even mimics the geographical route of the river), it seems that the architect is not only obsessed with air but with control. The poetic that he’s developing seems to subtract the bad qualities, creating a controlled environment. An intellectualized environmental Disneyland, but the reality of the project may have a different intellectual and poetical intention.
Travelbag Buckminster Fuller Richard, “Critical Path”, St. Martin's Griffin, New York 1982. Buckminster Fuller World Game Synergy Anticipatory, (youtube.com/watch?v=hYtQ_-rpAUo). How to Make an Ice Cream Cone Into a Buckyball, (youtube.com/watch?v=dQyEGsuMES8&feature=related). A Hoberman Sphere, a raver toy in the shape of a buckyball.
Travelbag Adair Gilbert, “The Holy Innocents”, E. P. Dutton, New York 1989. The Beatles, “Revolution”, The Beatles (White Album), Capitol 1968. Paris Uprising May 1968, (youtube.com/watch?v=tUJZgkhSCq8). The Revolution of Everyday Life, (tinyurl.com/3ho4d).
Travelbag Rahm Philippe & Clément Gilles, “Environ(ne)ment: Approaches for Tomorrow”, Skira, Milano 2007. Casablanca - We'll Always Have Paris, (tinyurl.com/5egazn). Sparks, “Perfume”, (youtube.com/watch?v=PFrFhwMQMXg). Philippe Rahm Official Website, (philipperahm.com).
Paris (F) Cochin Hospital catacombes-de-paris.fr
Pescara (I) Ex Aurum · aurum.comune.pescara.it
1*/ Underground Paris
),*/ Moving Pictures
Just twenty meters under Paris, beneath its museums packed with tourists and streets rattling with traffic, beneath its romantic imagery and its famous prickly attitude, exists another Paris, a darker one, a place packed with German bunkers, bone piles from Montparnasse, punk crash pads, catacomb art, defunct phone cables, a scrabble game abandoned by gnomes, beer can lanterns, and inscriptions dating back to the French Revolution. More George Simenon than Victor Hugo, but not without a little subcultural thrill or the stain of corporate malfeasance. Many of the passageways through the Parisian heart were cut by a mining company that realized only too late that their shafts were causing the surface to collapse. Most of the mining tunnels consist of supports at regular intervals which serve to keep whole city blocks from collapsing. The shadowy side of the City of Lights like the human subconscious - keeps the whole of it, literally, from crashing. This subterranean world is off most maps, a place where things hidden, forgotten, abandoned and forbidden sink out of sight, but like the rest of the city, this space is shifting and changing in new ways all the time. Such spaces are difficult to find and even harder to navigate. But if there’s anybody who can guide you while traveling under the surface of Paris, it’s the man who wrote the book on the life of Paris underground, Gilles Thomas.
Movies take us places, across a cinematic landscape, through a geography of modern myths. A succession of auteurs have been fascinated with exploring the mythology of place through film: Pier Paolo Pasolini, Julio Bressane, Amos Gitai, Straub and Huillet, Ciprì and Maresco. They all made movies reflecting upon these themes in entirely different but equally affecting ways. Critic and organizer Enrico Ghezzi's ideas in this direction are a little breezy, like his weakly titled “The Wind of Cinema” film festival in Pescara, but the festivals’ stated themes of “Myth, Mediterranean, metamorphosis and first-last beaches” (though not a little academically amorphous) deal directly with the issues of myth, movies, and place. If we pull back our cameras momentarily and do a wide shot of the city of Pescara, we find mythmaking at play there as well, especially in one of the sites of the festival. The fascist architecture of the Ex Aurum, a former liquor factory, uses washed over Roman style to achieve its hollow postures of strength. What's the relationship between myth, movie and place, and what separates one from the other?
Travelbag Thomas Gilles & Clément Alain, “Atlas du Paris Souterrain”, Parigramme, 2001. Dallas Gregor, “Métro Stop Paris: An Underground History of the City of Light”, Walker & Company, 2008. Waits Tom, “Underground”, Swordfishtrombones, Island 1982. Les Catacombes, (youtube.com/watch?v=baboflPAycE).
Travelbag Fleming Victor, “Gone With the Wind”, Selznick International, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 1939. Bressane Jùlio, “Matou a família e foi ao cinema”, Cineville Produções Cinematográficas 1991. EXtra - Ghezzi commenta Grizzly Man, (youtube.com/watch?v=cs_ LAynjIX0). Dr. Cora Angier Sowa,“Ancient Myths in Modern Movies”, (tinyurl.com/6h87xg).
Porto (P) Casa da Musica casadamusica.com
Prague (CZ) Khamoro World Roma festival 08 · khamoro.cz
)1+/ Symphonic Spaceship
00/ Gypsy Caravan
Cities use monumental buildings for various purposes, but the projects ain't cheap, and the structures become both landmarks within and without the city. Buildings, unlike fictions and drawings, have to bear the weight of not only the limitations of physics and material, but also politics, money, and more generally context. In Porto, Rem Koolhaas' Casa da Musica has been looked upon as a proud monument that bends and shapes itself to the neighborhood as it bends and shapes the neighborhood. Koolhaas' Casa da Musica sits right in front of Rotunda da Boavista, an ample square inside Porto's business center. Koolhaas wanted to make it as reflective of its context as he could, so he used neutral – if not transparent – surfaces and mostly local materials, also furnishing the interiors with locally designed patterns and furniture from the 70s and 80s. Koolhaas' design, if seen from the outside, results in a huge whitish geometrical structure that at one angle looks like a colossal spaceship and at another a domestic setting. The design details have dazzled architecture critics, but as for integrating in the context, this building looks like Elton John at a Nazi rally making an effort by dressing in black.
“Gypsy” (or Roma as is the preferred term) is one of the definitions of traveling low-cost, and traveling low-cost can be hard. In all their traveling, the Roma have long been persecuted as outsiders, enslaved in Romania for half a millennium, murdered, abused, mutilated, sterilized, and derided almost universally. The Roma have had a rough existence to put it mildly. But human rights groups and many of the Roma themselves have been organizing for rights. One such group, SLOVO 21, has organized the Khamoro World Roma Festival as a platform not only to feature Roma culture but also to aid in the integration of this ethnic minority. Held in Prague and patronized by the Czech government as well as the city, the Festival has special weight there, not only because the country has a large Roma minority but also because of its history of sterilization and persecution. Roma culture, especially music, has contributed to many musical styles including flamenco and jazz as well as hybridizing with many different genres including punk (Gogol Bordello being a prime example). Though widespread racism persists, this transitory group, so often persecuted, is beginning to integrate and garner some of the respect they deserve.
Travelbag Ouroussoff Nicolai, “Koolhaas Learns Not to Overthink It”, The New York Times, 10/4/2005. Bowie David, Space Oddity, Philips, 1969. Fado vadio no Porto – onde todos podem cantar, (youtube.com/ watch?v=3KwtepK0h50). Bienias Michelle, “Virtual Tour of Rem Koolhaas' Casa da Musica, Porto”, VRMag, November/December 2005, (tinyurl.com/6c85nw).
Travelbag Gogol Bordello, “Start Wearing Purple”, Voi-La Intruder, Rubric 2002. Margarita & The Gypsies, (youtube.com/watch?v=0MVB_nJOZH8). The Gipsy Lore Society - Publication and Archive of Academic Studies of Gypsy and Traveler Peoples, (gypsyloresociety.org). A Roma Flag.
Prague (cz) Praha fringe festival · praguefringe.com
Pragelato (I) Stadio del Salto Via Wenbach-Hann
1./ The Prague Orgy
).1/ Jump start
Prague: Not Just for Hookers Anymore. The Prague Fringe Festival is built on the model of Edinburgh’s most famous alternative event, but rather than open in the shadow of a better funded event, the Prague festival is not on the fringe of a bigger festival, but perhaps merely “on the fringe.” Begun in 2001 (by two Scots Steven Gove, who lives in Prague, and Angus Coull who was then based there, as well as Newcastle based Carole Wears), the context of the Festival has changed just a bit. Once the cheap but charming spot for expats on holiday, Prague has become a little overrun since the Czechs joined the EU. Prague needs to develop an alternative to the stag and hen parties that tend to dominate its nightlife, and fringe festivals like this one offer an important alternative in diversifying life in the city. The Prague Fringe Festival can best be described as innovative, alternative, experimental, and inclusive. There are a range of impediments to such festivals, however, first and foremost the issue of funding. The British Embassy provides much moral support to the Prague Fringe, with the former ambassador Ann Pringle acting as patron of the Festival in the past. And while the Prague Fringe in particular has received valuable financial support from the City of Prague - "spot-funding" for particular events from the British Council and largely ‘in kind’ support from a number of business sponsors - it continues to function literally on a shoe-string with little monetary support from the commercial sector.
The Winter Olympics in Turin, two years ago, brought a lot of money from international investors and provided the city with new, slick structures to sport as architectural pride ever after. Nonetheless, some debates arose, and even some official protest. Some didn't like the new buildings and some didn't like the corporations funding the Olympics – because they are also providing arms and support to rather unsavory militaries around the world. Furthermore, many of the critics wondered what would happen to some of the huge, expensive new structures that had popped up after the buzz was gone. The Pragelato SkiJumping center was built for the Olympics and it cost a shitload of money. It features the longest trampoline ever used in Olympic history and some collateral facilities to house athletes and so on. Without mentioning the environmental effects on the nearby forests, the structure is not proving much of a good deal right now and the town's officials already need the region's help to afford maintenance costs. Apart from sporadic Italian and international skijumping championships, the multifunctional building and the ramps are being used as a touristic attraction, with accommodations and guided tours, in order to raise some cash. After brief shine of Olympic glory, Pragelato is in for a hard time.
Travelbag Roth Philip, “The Prague Orgy”, Zuckerman Bound: A Trilogy and Epilogue, 1979-1985, Library of America, New York 2007. Gordon School of Dancing at the Prague Fringe, (youtube.com/watch?v=7nXrQtVc18Y). Clanadonia -Ya Bassa Edinburgh Fringe Festival, (youtube.com/watch?v=PEq9Qhx1bGI). On the Fringe? Tourism Trends and the Future of Cultural Festivals in Prague, (tinyurl.com/6r7cgz).
Travelbag Roger Moore James Bond parachute ski jump, (youtube.com/watch?v=PzA5R9aSFCI). NSF Pragelato 2007, (youtube.com/watch?v=ofGRPu0kemo). The Turin 2006 Winter Olympics website, (torino2006.it). The Nolimpiadi committee website, (nolimpiadi.8m.com).
Prato (I) Via Pistoiese
Reggiolo (i) Festa della Birra · SOUND.COM
)../ Chinese Immigrants in Italy
They say this will be the Chinese century, and all those immigrants packed in the basement probably hope that will raise their wages enough to move out of it. The city of Prato hosts the biggest Chinese community in Italy, most of which lives along Via Pistoiese, in the San Paolo district. Other than a badass Kung Fu team, the community brought in a ChineseItalian association trying to ease the process of integration. Unluckily, some of the economic changes that followed the heavy immigration led to tensions in the local textile industry. Many of the big clothing brands would rather buy a cheaper Chinese textile craftwork – sometimes even made in China – and slap a Made in Italy label on it, rather than pay a decent wage. Even though Italians are quite proud of "Made in Italy" - be it clothes, cars, opera singers or famous mobsters - they're also keen on saving money and manpower. Because of this, the renowned textile industry in Prato, which serves many big luxury clothing brands, is having a hard time dealing with the eastern entrepreneurs who draw from an army of underpaid workers, often clandestine immigrants who sleep on mattresses a few meters away from their sewing machines. Even in such poor conditions, many of the immigrants prefer Prato to life in Wenzhou, where many of them come from. And the big name designers still happily pass off thousands of euro's worth of t-shirts with a fake "Made in Italy" sewn on. Travelbag Fishman Ted C., “The Chinese Century”, The New York Times, 07/04/2004. Prato (Italia): sfilata cinese per l'anno del topo, (youtube.com/watch?v=719JOcaQjDQ). Giannini Sabrina, “Disoccupati del lusso,” Report, broadcast on Raitre on 05/18/2008. The Prato Kung Fu team website, (kuoshu.net).
They're amongst us. They belch. They burp. They keep us awake setting the air on fire with their noisy eructions. Some people can dance, others sing, while still others know better than anyone else how to shake their stomachs to emit deafening gaseous eruptions. Playing on lung modulation and abdominal contraction, they style their mouth music like jazz players, spraying gurgling sounds into the atmosphere, diffusing words of wisdom through digestion. The public stands in awe by the thousands. It may be hard to believe, but the Ruttosound festival – or the Italian belch championship – draws up to 10,000 people to the totally unknown town of Reggiolo, making it fairly reasonable for its officials to worry about their hometown becoming the belch capital of Italy, which would put it high in the running for the belch capital of the world. Believe it or not, Ruttosound is really about quality. Its creator Stefano Morselli refused to sell-out when asked to show his champions belching live on national TV. If the event has gotten bigger and bigger through the years, it mostly due to word of mouth and especially the internet. If the idea of someone tearing his vocal chords apart to burp his soul out doesn't move you, maybe you should also know that though the Ruttosound guys do it for the prize, they also do it for the people. The money gained through the festival is invested in medical equipment for the S. Maria Nuova hospital in Reggio Emilia and the Guastalla hospital. To the multitude gathering on the grass in front of the stage, this could be a good enough excuse to justify themselves when asked how they spent their weekend the next day at work.
Travelbag Milani Maurizio, “Animale da fosso”, Bompiani, Milan 1994. “Burping Girl on America's Got Talent”, (youtube.com/watch?v=m_zJ8EGJfMU). “Ruttosound Newsletter”, ruttosound.com/mailing). A big bottle of Coke.
Riccione (I) Autogrills on the highway
).// That Autogrill feel Highways embody the spirit of the trip. They're really all the same but, for some reason, driving down these perpetual streams of asphalt one feels different, whether you are a German tourist speeding along in a sportster to the Riviera Romagnola or just an Italian guy cruising home from the closest disco. The seductive myth of the open road has different forms and rhythms: first, the pre-party excitement – with your friends packed in the car, singing songs along with the radio – and then the post-apocalyptic, hangover comeback - with your best friend sleeping on the back seat, his lips speckled with puke and his pants around his ankles. The area between Rimini and Riccione has been referred to as “the pleasure district,” with its coastline dotted with discos and packed with libertines. For the nighthawks, the unmissable stops at the Autogrill are another staple feature of highway traveling. Whether you end there for a quick piss or a voracious response to chemical hunger, the ubiquitous roadside restaurants provide the brief human contact and efficient physical relief you're looking for. Alcohol cements friendships between blonde, foreign girls, South American transvestites and tottering booze hounds. Stopping at an autogrill you might see some truck driver, his eyes half closed by sleep, flirting with a German tourist on the very way home. Corporate yet familiar, ever-sleepy, over-lighted, those structures can envelope the most transitory – at times the craziest – of human relations.
Travelbag Bonomi Aldo, “Il distretto del piacere”, Bollati Boringhieri, Turin 2000. Clerks Movie Trailer, (youtube.com/watch?v=RNd8nvnmhyM). Waits Tom, Nighthawks at the Diner, Asylum Records 1975. Ligabue Luciano, “Certe Notti”, Buon compleanno Elvis, Wea 1995.
Rome (I) corviale · via Portuense
-/ One Day at the Corviale Corviale most commonly refers to one massive block of buildings. The locals have nicknamed this huge complex on the suburban via Portuense “Il Serpentone” or “the Big Snake.” Built in the early 70s under architect Mario Fiorentino's supervision and after Le Corbusier's social-architectural theories, it was supposed to be a residential community providing every possible service to its tenants. But from its inception this utopian vision has been plagued with problems, and was never fully completed. Il Serpentone consists of two 980-meter-long, nine-story buildings connected by a bridge. Since the early 80s hundreds of illegal tenants have joined its regular lodgers, bringing with them the problems and desperation of poverty. Although most of the services – a police station, a supermarket, etc. – finally opened in a third building, renown architect Massimiliano Fuksas and public outcry would like Il Serpentone to finally be put out of its misery.
Travelbag Le Corbusier, “Towards a new architecture”, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles 2007. Mario Fiorentino, “La Casa”, Edizioni Kappa, Rome 1985. Sfrattato Cerca Casa Equo Canone, (youtube.com/watch?v=-pulp8F7wac). Osservatorio Nomade, (osservatorionomade.net/corvialenetwork).
Rome (I) pigneto
))/ Rebuilding the Cinematic City One of director Pier Paolo Pasolini’s inspirations and a typical background for Italian neorealists, the former suburb of Pigneto sits squatly on the borderline between its working class past and its creative future, an urban island of particular appeal. The cinematic history of the district is picked up by local cultural nodes. After an organic dinner at Officine, a cinema and bistrò, you can then watch art films and cult-house favorites, or cut one of your own in their postproduction rooms. Not only is the renovation of movie theater Nuovo Cinema Aquila about to be finished, but other new interesting and hybrid activities are regularly emerging. Though a bistro movie theater is one thing, a hipster-run hair salon, with a penchant for putting on art performances, is another. From the occasional multimedia circus to exhibitions about garbage, Contesta Rock Hair is now an international imprint with storefronts from Miami to Shanghai, making one wonder if this is an organic cultural growth or a hip, artificial graft.
Travelbag Harvey David, “Art of Rent”, Social Register 2002. Passarani Marco, “Sullen Look”, Peacefrog, 2005. Rossellini Roberto, “Roma città aperta”, Minerva, 1945. Pasolini Pier Paolo, “Accattone”, Arco Film, 1961.
Rome (I) Auditorium Parco della Musica dissonanze.it
Rome (I) Santa Sangre Tattoo Via Dei Latini 34
*./ City of Churches
0*/ Dissonanze Festival
)/(/ Holy Blood
You can’t spit in Rome without hitting a church, from the ancient Basilica di San Clemente to new Richard Meier's Dives in Misericordia, consecrated in 2003. The last two decades have seen several new churches being built for the expanding suburbs, some of which commissioned to famous architects, including the churches of S. Maria del Redentore, Dives in Misericordia and Santo Volto di Gesù. Though Rome is synonymous with Catholicism, the city possesses the religious diversity of any cosmopolitan city. Benito Mussolini reportedly said that there would be a Mosque in Rome only when a Roman Catholic church is permitted in Mecca. There is no church in Mecca yet, but the biggest Mosque in Europe is located in Rome. These new ultra modern examples of spiritual architecture are not only aesthetically different from the ancient ones, but they also have a different dialogue with space. Richard Meier's Dives in Misericordia is located in the working class Tor Tre Teste suburb, while the Mosque was built in the Parioli, the most chic and wealthy district in Rome. Though the buildings are central, understanding how they interact with the environment is almost of equal importance.
Travelbag Barthelme Donald, “The Best American Short Stories: City of Churches”, Huoghton Mifflin, 2000. Richardson Phyllis, “New Spiritual Architecture”, Abbeville Press, New York 2004. Adelaide City of Churches, (youtube.com/watch?v=WkXY2yGZZgk). A Portable prayer carpet.
One can’t be positive whether Dissonanze is crossing borders or breaking them down entirely. As it merges electronic music, hip hop, and the art world, Dissonanze is bringing together contrasting elements, scenes, and spaces. Spaces like Renzo Piano's Auditorium Parco della Musica, usually committed to classical concerts, or rationalist block Palazzo dei Congressi usually for more boring congresses or expos, and the Ara Pacis, for foreign tourists chasing after the shadow of Rome’s imperial past. The festival forms a rare moment in the evolution of dance parties. Where in the last few years, the committed enemies of disco and punk finally synthesized, the separation (first between dance and rock, and now between performance and art) has finally collapsed. Such events aren’t necessarily unique except that here it seems to signal a change of tide. The art here isn’t just gallery work grafted on to a music festival. The artists’ practices (Spartacus Chetwynd, Lucky Dragon, Nico Vascellari) are not the classic agonizing time-based works of the ‘70s, but damn exciting performances that compete with the energy of rock in a large festival context, without sacrificing any of the ideas, aesthetics, and history that make it art. Between the historical and the contemporary, the institutional and the underground, art and music, border bending abounds at this festival taking place in ancient buildings rarely used for such dissonant purposes.
The first meaning of the word “tattoo” derives from the rhythmic drum tap that calls soldiers to duty, but it came to mean, as we know now, the rhythmic needles cutting ink into skin. Obtainable at studios from Los Angeles to Tokyo to Rome, tattoos have historically been connected to sailors, soldiers, bikers and other roughnecks and potential undesirables. In the case of Luca Mamone's Santa Sangre tattoo studio, in the S. Lorenzo quarter, they can also define a scene, expand upon an outsider tradition, and manufacture a mental image. Mamone’s style leans heavily on traditional tattoo imagery of bikers and other undesirables. But cut from its roots, the tattoo subculture that he works with and that listens to bands like the Truce Klan, a Rome-based rap crew, have a whole different approach to being tattooed Roman love machines. The Truce Klan has injected the Italian hip-hop scene with nihilistic, gore, B-movie imaginary, squeezing some of the most different subcultures – like oi!, hip hop and grindcore – together for the first time. Mamone's visions share the same dark hybridity and his studio inks his morbid images underneath the very neighborhood's skin, intertwining this imaginary with the stories of the people of S. Lorenzo.
Travelbag Mikesch, W. Muecke & Miriam, S. Zach, “Resonance: Essays on the Intersection of Music and Architecture”, Culicidae Press, Ames 2007. Morton Tom, “Spartacus Chetwynd”, Frieze, 05/2007. Dissonanze 2007, (youtube.com/watch?v=Oh7-ZTrTbqQ). An Excerpt from “CUCKOO”, by Nico Vascellari, Stephen O'Malley and John Wiese, (youtube.com/watch?v=13SKqYRRZW8).
Travelbag Jodorowsky Alejandro, “Santa Sangre”, Productora Filmica Real, Produzioni Intersound 1989. Noyz Narcos, “Verano Zombie”, Vibra Records 2007. Sang Bleu Magazine, (sangbleu.com/magazine). Russian criminal tattoos, (tinyurl.com/69z8ve).
Rotterdam (nl) OMA*AMO headquarters · dma.eu West8 headquarters · west8.nl
*(// Suitcase office
Sheffield (UK) Tinsley Viaduct
,(/ Tinsley Towers Come Tumbling Down
Live in Berlin Mitte and work in London Hammersmith, born in France switch jobs from Madrid to Amsterdam and edit reports for a Prague firm overlooking the canals in Venice. Only need the go to the office twice a week, take the Chunnel. New modes of travel, from highspeed trains to low-cost flights, coupled with the freedom of the post-Fordist economy, the internet and the European Union, have made Europe a delightfully transient place. The average workers are no longer shackled to factory floors, a situation once mourned by trade unionists, and the shift to a new economy has its own sense of mobility and, at times, a sense of freedom too. It's not like the new economy does not have its new exploitation, including the uneven nature of freelancing, the outsourcing trickery and the virtual jobs with virtual wages, but a savvy worker can ride this era and be relatively free. Architects are one of those categories who get to travel the most, and the Dutch in particular seem to be colonizing the world once again, this round with buildings and international networking. Firms like West8 or starchitect Rem Koolhaas' OMA are examples of this new formula. Both based in Rotterdam, they catalyze international workforce to design and build stuff all over the world.
The 1940s Tinsley cooling towers embody the promise and failure of Sheffield’s industrial age, and over the last three years have become symbolic of the battle between those who want to build a 21st century metropolis and those willing to preserve the city’s industrial heritage. After E.ON, the world’s largest investorowned energy service provider, scheduled them to be torn down, local writers and designers Tom James and Tom Keeley saw an opportunity to turn these two industrial monuments into cultural landmarks. They envisioned the cooling towers to become like the Tate Modern of the north, another industrial structure converted into a universally loved museum. After the duo enlisted numerous influential supporters, E.ON announced that the towers were structurally unsound and needed to be demolished quickly. As a compromise, the company offered £ 500,000 to the local council to build a public art project. James and Keeley were invited onto the project, but quit in consternation when they realized that the council was going to make a hash of it. One local MP suggested that the project should turn the towers into a giant stainless steel football, whereupon everyone with good taste either started laughing or crying. The battle over the Tinsley towers in Sheffield is an example of the complex elements that go into deciding landscape and cultural identity and how even popular vision can fail in the face of bureaucracy.
Travelbag REM, Radio Free Europe, Hib-Tone, 1981. People Flow: Migration and Europe, (tinyurl.com/6ame3v). Creative Industries Mapping Document 2001, (tinyurl.com/57e4yn). A New Beginning, (tinyurl.com/5gng9h).
Travelbag Topping Alexandra, “Crushing disappointment”, The Guardian. Animation in support of converting the Tinsley towers, (tinyurl.com/5cd888). Tom James and Tom Keeley’s fanzine, (dontgo.co.uk). A post explaining the Tinsley Tower Competition, (tinyurl.com/5nm8vt).
Stockholm (S) Brändström & Stene Gallery brandstromstene.se
Stuttgart (d) Aldinger and Aldinger’s Schoolhouse
)()/ Office Romance
*+*/ School House Rocks
Under the pale glow of fluorescent lights, trapped behind the flimsy walls of our individual cubicles, a few personal photos, maybe a Dilbert cartoon making the space, you know, personal. Occasionally, and only occasionally, we're called out of our cubicle farms for a group portrait or an office party. Perhaps, the seething repression of the inhuman experience brings about the hurried office romance, impersonal humping on a photocopy machine, but more than likely the rest of us make awkward conversation and try not to touch, our skin accustomed only to the feel of cheap plastic keyboards, before we all set home in our fuel efficient cars, bask in front of the glow of the television, our microwave dinner in our laps, passing out only to wake up and do the whole sterile experience again, this time without the discomfort of a party. Can this be changed and how? 20,000 multicolored balls, 190 pages and an answering machine massage compose International Festival’s New York presented in the group show Toys R’ Us at Brändström & Stene Gallery in Stockholm. Though the office is the site of our post-Fordist discontent, “International Festival: Sherlock Holmes and His Friends” in fact have no smaller ambition than to revolutionize how individuals interact in the office and do so in the sexiest way possible, as they put in their statement: “Ladies and Gentlemen let’s romance, let’s fall in love and do it as stormy and wild as possible. It is time to change the protocol and engage in the kaleidoscopic and eruptive sensual, romantic, sexual opportunities of the office.”
Travelbag De Certeau Michel, “The General Introduction to The Practice of Everyday Life”, University of California Press, Berkeley 1984. Belle & Sebastian, “Step Into My Office Baby”, Dear Catastrophe Waitress, Rough Trade/Sanctuary 2003. Melville Hermann, “Bartleby the Scrivener,” (bartleby.com/129). A Signature Text for International Festival, (tinyurl.com/5wq5lt).
No more classes, no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks. A nearly universal school chant that students holler as they run out of classrooms. But what if the school, rather than follow the rigid bureaucracy of education, mirrors the discursive and playful rhythms of childhood. We’re not talking about the mad energy of kids mimicked by Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, but architecture firm Aldinger and Aldinger’s Stuttgart schoolhouse. It has a delightful rhythm to it, something peaceful, organic, glowing with a soft focus nostalgia for the innocence of childhood? The new schoolhouse nearly looks like a tree house inviting the sullen schoolchild in all of us to stop sulking and head in. Made of wood, it looks like it’s stretching its arms, expanding upwards. But all the infrastructural design projects that break the norm have the same onus upon them, as their more bureaucratic brethren: does it work? The combined primary and secondary school uses local educational philosopher Rudolf Steiner’s ideas, but breaks his strict dictates for what a school should be. Aldinger & Aldinger's normally sleek modernist style made concessions to the philosopher's ideas, creating a compromise between modernity and the tradition of the principles upon which the school was founded. An investigation of the school should capture the community to which it serves, the houses and the streets, the normal people and rhythms of the neighborhood. Travelbag Spring Mark, “Naughty School”, Building, issue 41, 2007. Belle & Sebastian, “We Rule the School”, Tigermilk, Jeepster 2000. AC/DC, T.N.T., Albert Productions 1976. Rudolph Steiner, (wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Steiner).
Travemünde (d) Former Iron Curtain sites
**(/ The Iron Curtain It's weird how things change. Bitter enemies from World War II to the fall of the wall, Germany and the USA have a thing or two in common. In 2000, influenced by a project born in Boston and known as the Freedom Trail, a German politician named Michael Cramer carried out one of Gorbachev's ideas, first suggested in the early 90s and regarding the development of a trail along what was once the Iron Curtain. Named after a Winston Churchill speech, it used to be a real border, a very controlled stripe surrounded by small villages (excepted for Bratislava, the only capital close to the Curtain) or lost in the middle of nowhere. People who lived beyond the Iron Curtain were deprived of any political rights and were excluded from what was happening in the Western part of Europe. Michael Cramer's project aimed at repopulating places which had been abandoned, also in order to create a stronger European identity. The intention of the last USSR premier was to turn the old Iron Curtain into a path of memories, a touristic (but conscious) way through the places that witnessed the Communist repression. Cramer actually tried to transform this no man's land along the scars that split Europe in two for 50 years into lively place, putting gardens and benches where once rose barbed wire walls. It's not supposed to be a museum, but an attempt to put Europe back together through a border which has been a wound for a long time. The project first took place in Berlin, where in 2000 the furrow of the wall turned into a bicycle path. Then, in 2005, the European Parliament extended the idea to the Iron Curtain trail. The project is founded on simple principles such as the scarce presence of cars, accessibility, museums along the path and it follows the concept that it's necessary to know the past to afford the future.
Travelbag Browne Anthony, “Walk the Iron Curtain”, Times Online, 09/28/2005. Communist Iron Curtain 50s, (youtube.com/watch?v=xk8NRa8a5zs). Iron curtain greenway, (youtube.com/watch?v=wUbGoNFelOE). The Man Behind the Iron Curtain Trail, (tinyurl.com/69g788).
Turin (I) Architecture Faculty toshare.it
Turin (I) Casa Scaccabarozzi “Fetta di Polenta” · Via Giulia di Barolo 9
++/ The Italian Job
+-/ The Poetics of Cyberspace
0./ Of Cornbread and Castles
In Peter Collinson's 1969 film The Italian Job, starring Michael Caine, a gang of British crooks steal a bundle of gold bullion from Turin using three Mini Coopers. They sabotage the city's traffic lights, creating total chaos, and then escape the city in one of the best car chase scenes in movie history, tearing through Turin’s landmarks at breakneck speed. As an experience, driving explores ways of encountering, conceiving and remaking urban space. It does so by investigating how different kinds of driving, at different speeds and on different roads, produce distinct encounters with cities and architecture and, hence, also produce similarly distinct political and cultural experiences. In particular, different intersections of speed, roads, automobiles and histories determine 5 different kinds of political and cultural productions of space: 0 mph, and social display; 30 mph, and the cognitive mapping of city streets; 55 mph, and the tourist and existential experience of the countryside; 70 mph, and the contemplative experience of motorways; and 100 mph, with the risk and dangers of accelerated real and virtual speeds.
Bruce Sterling and Marcos Novak are both theorists of the digital, waxing philosophical and poetic on the issue of cyberspace and its relationship to the real. Sterling, a speculative fictionist, theorist, and this year's guest curator for the SHARE Festival of Arts and Digital Culture, in this year's festival attempts to bridge the divide between issues in which the virtual world overflows into the real, such as digital manufactoring for example. Theorist Marcos Novak believes that the merging of the virtual and the actual will be complete in the very near future. Novak has pioneered liquid architure and has his own art practice building architecture in virtual space free from the limitations of engineering and physics, but growing out of the concerns of architecture.
Architect Alessandro Antonelli has dropped the biggest slice of polenta that Turin has ever seen on via Giulia di Barolo. The 19th century Baroque landmark (nicknamed “Fetta di Polenta”, translates to “Slice of Polenta” ) looks like a hunk of cornbread because Antonelli had to find an innovative way to build a monumental building on a minuscule plot of land. Recently, Franco Noero moved his art gallery into the skinny, yellow building, filling all its seven floors. To celebrate it in the appropriately sumptuous manner, the artist Simon Starling turned the interiors of Noero’s gallery into the avantgarde Maharajah of Indore’s imperial palace, as designed by the Indian monarch’s favorite German architect Hermann Muthesius. Already an unsettling and arcane transitional space, each floor of the “Fetta di Polenta” becomes another chapter in Starling’s strange story, in which the features of the building mesh and collide with Muthesius’s Bauhaus-meets-Indian style and the work of the architect’s colleagues that had originally filled the palace in the 1930s: Le Corbusier, Marcel Breuer, Lily Reich and Constantin Brancusi.
Travelbag Field Matthew, “The Making of the Italian Job”, Batsford Lt 2001. Collinson Peter, “The Italian Job”, Paramount 1969. Disneyland Paris Show Rémy Julienne, (youtube.com/watch?v=reewkZMMXh8). Italian Job Website, (theitalianjob.com).
Travelbag Sterling Bruce, “Ascendancies: the best of Bruce Sterling”, Subterranean Press, 2007. Bachelard Gaston, "The Poetics of Space”, Beacon Press, 1994. Autechre, Quaristice, Warp, 2008. Marius Watz, (unlekker.net).
Travelbag Buzzati Dino, “I Sette Messaggeri”, Mondadori, 1942. Lang Fritz, “Journey to the Lost City”, Criterion Productions, 1959. Gumnaam from Ghost World, (youtube.com/watch?v=DRRgt_2Nfmc). Polenta Recipe.
Urbino (I) ilgiroditalia.it
0(/ Giro d’Italia The city holds its breath, its eyes pointed down the road, waiting for the slight speck of the “Maglia Rosa” to appear on the horizon. The crowd stands behind steel barricades guarded by police, who are filled with the same energy and apprehension as the crowd. Region by region the smell of the air changes, though the aroma of spilled beer and human sweat are constants, but in Pesaro - where the Giro stops this year - the city will smell and look different from anywhere else. Though its presence is momentary, the rural village and the urban center transform themselves for the fleeting moment of the “Giro d'Italia.” The race was founded to up the circulation of the local sport rags. But besides being an innovative promotional tool for “La Gazzetta dello Sport,” the Giro has become a moment of national and international importance. Dragging itself back and forth across the country, the tour began in the early twentieth century; a time of burgeoning national and nationalist ardor and helped unify a young country, to this day fragmented by provincial interests. The roots of the Giro can be easily witnessed in the profusion of professional sponsors on the jerseys of the cyclists and on the bannered barricades that line the roads. The smell, the look, the taste, the energy, the streets, the buildings, the citizens: what specifically about the city space changes when this race comes to town?
Travelbag Rendell Matt, "The Death of Marco Pantani", Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2006. Mario Cipollini the Best Sprinter, (youtube.com/watch?v=E1iaQf7YvMY). Gazzetta dello Sport Official Website, (gazzetta.it). A Pink Shirt.
Vals & Vrin (ch) Therme Vals therme-vals.ch
**/ The Baths and the Valley The Alpine villages and impregnable banks of Switzerland aren’t just for tax dodgers anymore. Tourists and locals looking to relax (being wealthy is awfully tiring) head to the Therme Vals, or the Baths of the Vals Valley sorrounded by high mountains along a dangerously curvy road. Designed in the mid-90s by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor and made mostly of locally quarried Valser quarzite slabs, the baths have been described as nothing short of magical. If the tired tourist prefers a more distinctly Alpine experience, local architect and town planner Gion A. Caminada has transformed his hometown into something that looks both ancient and hypermodern. The craftsmen he hired maintain traditional Swiss methods of working with wood, but with dramatically updated designs so that his constructions look at once ancient and modern. Both Zumthor's Therme Vals and the Caminada’s new interventions at Vrin share the same care for landscape and community integrity. Zumthor achieved a clean monolith effect by balancing geometric shapes and natural materials in his Baths, while even phone booths or graves have a strong connection with local traditional architecture and nature in Vrin.
Travelbag Zardini Mirko, “Sense of the city”, Lars Müller Publishers, Baden 2005. Hauser Sigrid, “Peter Zumthor Therme Vals”, Verlag Scheidegger & Spiess, Zürich 2007. Cor des alpes au lac st anne(05), (youtube.com/watch?v=Z_tfWYvp7HA). A garden gnome.
Venice (I) Canale dei Marani
Venice (I) S.A.L.E. Docks · sale-docks.org
)(1/ Art designing its own factory
))-/ Acqua Alta
Accidents happen, and though we sometimes prepare for them, we rarely actually plan them. The city of Venice once got ready for a planned disaster, the crash of two crowded vaporettos, Venice's water taxis. The crash went down at the scheduled day and time, right in the middle of the Canale dei Marani. The emergency simulation, named Asclepio 2008, is meant to test how citizens, as well as civil services, from police and firemen to doctors and nurses, could ever manage such a situation. The vaporetto crash was supposed to create a highly visible event, to which a part of the city would participate both by witnessing and playing a specific role. Everyone on the two boats knew what was going to happen to them after the impact, if they would simply have been injured or sent to the obituary. A simulacrum of the real fact takes place, transforming an everyday Venetian landscape into an hyper-realistic set for a collectively controlled and uncontrolled accident.
It’s become a cliché that artists break in blighted neighborhoods for developers, and either consciously or unconsciously the relationship between the two has become part of policy. First let’s amend this cliché just a little and make “artists” the more academic but precise “cultural-cognitive workers,” which very loosely defined, includes architects, designers (graphic, industrial, etc.), writers, gallerists, filmmakers, fashionistas, and musicians, as well as aspirants and groupies to all the above. Because the nature of what culture and knowledge workers do often depends on communication (social networking being a nom de rigueur for this practice) informal spaces in which to meet and do work abound, spaces in which knowledge workers can create their own factories. The word factory brings up assembly lines, metal lunchboxes, and smokestacks, but factories in the twenty-first century probably look more like lounges and coffeeshops. Abandoned Fordist buildings have been made into open plan offices with videogames and ping pong tables. On the other hand, knowledge workers help to define our everyday relationship with the city, in all its individual forms. How does art design its own factory and what does this mean to the city?
Travelbag Virilio Paul, “The Original Accident”, Princeton Architectural Press, 2006. Baudrillard Jean, “Simulacra and Simulations”, Selected Writings, Mark Poster, Stanford University Press, 1998. Real Life Role Playing, (youtube.com/watch?v=nYc2JWSpSvI). Terrific Boat Crash Accident, (youtube.com/watch?v=bkqKpnU8sCE).
Travelbag Scott Allen J., “The Cultural Economy of Cities”, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 12/16/2002. Lazzarato Mauricio, “Immaterial Labor”, (tinyurl.com/6bbjbs). Rekombinant, (rekombinant.org). Multitudes, (multitudes.samizdat.net).
Venice is sinking. This is not exactly news. The “high water” (“acqua alta”) phenomenon, has been threatening to sink Venice for a long time, and for years the government has wrung its hands over the matter, until Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi made the plunge to drop the almost 3 billion euro required for the project of building inflatable gates to block the inlets into the Venetian lagoon. In 1900, St. Mark's Square in Venice flooded about 10 times a year. Now, water covers it 100 times a year. Scientists agree that global warming is largely the culprit and the problem will only get worse 'til Venice is uninhabitable. The process of building the gate is labor intensive, and at an expense of 3 billion. Called MOSE, the plan involves dredging the lagoons, building break waters, laying down stone, and then the inflatable gates. A report issued last year by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change calls into question whether the elaborate floodgate will be sufficient to handle changing sea levels. What is the current state of this city under siege by water? How has radical climate change affected the precarious life of the city, both in flooding and emptying the canals? With Hurricane Katrina still not far behind, the world essentially losing a city to water, the question still remains, can this living museum be saved, and at what cost?
Travelbag Garreau Joel, “A Sad Truth: Cities Aren't Forever”, The Washington Post, 11/11/2005. Jaffe Eric, “Venice's Uncertainty - A new floodgate system should protect the city from high tides", Smithsonian.com, 03/01/2007. Weighing the Solutions, (tinyurl.com/6fr2oc). Acqua Alta in Venezia, (youtube.com/watch?v=ZDPWwW6w93k).
Venice (I) Marco Polo Airport · veniceairport.it
))0/ Tourist Class Cliché but – often – true: the best part of traveling is the trip itself. It doesn’t really matter where you’re going, as long as you keep on moving. You might want to see, say, Venice. One of the seven wonders/tourist traps of the world. But again, the trip is the most important thing, right? So what about getting stuck in a queue on the highway, lost for hours at the airport, or sitting on a late train until your ass gets numb? That’s what traveling in Italy often feels like. Nevertheless, an average of 100,000 tourists per day queue in the Marco Polo airport or spray out of Santa Lucia’s gates to crowd the Venetian streets, sidewalks and bridges, challenging their nerves to catch a glimpse of Piazza San Marco or to jump on a gondola. When a town is flooded with people flashing the paint off the walls with their bulky digital cameras, it’s the very life of the city that’s at stake. The feeling you get as you try to get to its core is that the city doesn’t really want you to enter. Uncomfortable chairs, halls, doors, gates, expensive tickets, the ritual path to the city center seems to continuously test you and your traveling lust. Still, a human stream displays along every walkable surface, often swirling on itself in the maze of the calles. A tourist’s mission is to enjoy his stay. Be it on a car, a train, a plane or a gondola. But places ravaged by tourists’ for centuries (and Venice’s main industry is just that) can be less than hospitable places. Travelbag Murphy Bruce & De Rosa Alessandra, “Italy for Dummies” – 4th Edition, For Dummies, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken 2007. Marvin R. Garry & C. Davis Robert, “Venice, the Tourist Maze” University of California Press, Berkeley, 2007. India traffic cam, (youtube.com/watch?v=T8Doy_7sOoM). “Venice and Tourism – TED Case Studies,” (tinyurl.com/5fhb9t).
)-)/ 15,000 Steps
wien (A) Müllverbrennungsanlage Wien 9, Spittelau
+(/ Wonka’s incinerator
Counting steps might feel odd, but try and map an ever-changing city without it. The book Vicenza-based writer Vitaliano Trevisan is most known for was titled “15,000 Steps.” Its protagonist doesn't feel emotionally attached to his suburban neighborhood, nevertheless he refers to its landmarks, measuring their distance in steps. Urban spaces evolve and walking paths may change, originating new living dimensions along with different cityscapes. Marked by XVI century architect Andrea Palladio's architectural style, that gained the city its UNESCO World Heritage status, Vicenza has been bombed and rebuilt, before exploding in several residential quarters radiating from its city center. Even though Trevisan is not at all merciful to Vicenza's urban sprawl, it's a fact that the city has expanded both geographically and economically, becoming the third pole in Italy in terms os exported goods, as well as becoming fertile ground for small enterprises. The many urban redevelopments also brought much debate about issues in community life, such as the A31 Valdastico Sud highway in 2005 and, more recently, a project to build a new American military base in the Dal Molin airport. The real and the imaginary mesh and collide between a city and its literature, and just taking a walk might help exploring how.
In the suburbs of Vienna, what would normally be a hideous landmark to industrial pollution has been transformed into a whimsical candy factory straight from the pages of Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”. The Austrian artist, architect and eco-activist Friedensreich Hundertwasser legacy is marked less by his eccentric ideas, his tireless self-promotion, or even his reputation as an artist, as opposed to his delightfully gaudy architectural facades, including that of the Spittelau Incinerator. Hundertwasser has always celebrated whimsicality, arguing aesthetics should follow the purposes of a human-centered, environmentally conscious, and often chaotic design. His buildings have never been set up as models and his ideas are not likely to be imitated, but his influence can still be felt especially in the tourism industry. Though designing an incinerator may seem paradoxical coming from an outspoken environmentalist (and nudist), might seem paradoxical, Hundertwasser refused to participate unless the factory was as green as was possible at the time of his intervention.
Travelbag Trevisan Vitaliano, "I quindicimila passi: Un resoconto", Einaudi, 2002. Map, Aram Bartholl, (youtube.com/watch?v=tvHeNC5VJw8). Radio Aporee, (aporee.org/aporee.html). Google Earth Hacks, (gearthhacks.com).
Travelbag Stuart Mel, “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”, Paramount Pictures, 1971. Hundetwasser Mould Manifesto against Rationalism in Architecture, (tinyurl.com/5lz3u9). Bernard and Hilla Becher’s industrial photography, (tinyurl.com/5frrby). Akron Family’s bio-rock, (myspace.com/akak).
wien (A) SMart Café Köstlergasse 9 Wiener Konzerthaus · Lothringerstrasse 20
+./ The Piano Teacher Vienna is to music what Rome is to Catholics: a point of origin, a traditional power center, a symbol and a capital. After its apex during the 19th century empire, Vienna went through a time of troubles, from the fragmentation of the empire to occupation by the Nazis. Looking at its art and literature, something became a bit twisted in the process of evolution. Its worldly sophistication took on a darker tone, from the harmony of Viennese Classicism to the disharmony of Viennese Actionism, perhaps by way of one of Vienna’s most famous sons, Sigmund Freud. To truly capture the conflicted soul of the Austrian capital, one must visit both SMart Café (1st Vienna SM-and fetish Café) and a 19th century concert hall, of which there are plenty of both. The space of history isn't just monuments but outcroppings in consciousness: the concert halls represent the high point of a society still looking backward, while SMart Cafè is a psychic space where they work out a fall from grace. Elfriede Jelinek captured both in her novel and Michel Haneke echoes this urban condition with his cinematic adaptation. The plot revolves around Erika, a piano professor at a Vienna music conservatory who still lives with her domineering mother. Erika is only able to “feel” by exacting cruel punishment on her students, whom she secretly detests. Behind her icy façade, Erika is a sexually-repressed woman with a long list of sadomasochistic fetishes.
Travelbag Jelinek Elfriede, “The Piano Teacher”, Serpent's Tale, London 1989. Von Karajan Herbert, “Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6”, Deutsche Grammophon, 1993. Haneke Michael, “The Piano Teacher”, Kino International 2001. FetLife, BDSM & Fetish Community, (fetlife.com).
4 Index of destination Artesina, I | 133
Lugano, CH | 21
Assisi, I | 214
Lyon, F | 197
Barcelona, E | 103, 114, 230
Madrid, E | 4, 15, 208, 229
Basel, CH | 19
Malaga & Marbella, E | 194
Bassano del Grappa, I | 129
Manchester, UK | 162, 233
Belfast, IRL | 106
Marseille, F | 111
Berlin, D | 38, 104
Matera, I | 131
Bern CH | 215
Milan, I | 1, 7, 32, 44, 46,
Bologna, I | 2, 3, 105, 180
Monaco, MC | 25
Brunico, I | 124
Mostar, BiH | 125
Bucharest, R | 66
Munich, D | 63, 192, 237
Budapest, H | 113
Naples, I | 10, 24, 191, 216
Cagliari, I | 107, 143
Nola, I | 29
Camber Sands, UK | 164
Oslo, N | 94
Capriate, I | 54
Osoppo, I | 136
Casarsa della Delizia, I | 236
Palermo, I | 9
Catania, I | 182
Paris, F | 59, 62, 77, 85, 92
Cologne, D | 71
Pescara, I | 142
Como, I | 23
Porto, P | 193
Consonno, I | 14
Praga, CS | 88, 96
Emilia via, I | 130
Pragelato, I | 169
Fortezza, I | 240
Prato, I | 166
Frankfurt, D | 97
Reggiolo, I | 144
Geneva, CH | 61, 134
Riccione, I | 167
Genoa, I | 49, 157
Rome, I | 5, 11, 26, 82, 170
Glasgow, UK | 112
Rotterdam, NL | 207
Graz, A | 7
Sheffield, UK | 40
Hamburg, D | 227
Stockholm, S | 101
Hannover, D | 52
Stuttgart, D | 232
Innsbruck, A | 53
Torino, I | 33, 35, 86
Ivrea, I | 102
Travem端nde, D | 220
Karlsruhe, D | 95
Urbino, I | 80
Leeds, UK | 16, 179
Val Masino, I | 185
Lioni & Sturno, I | 156
Vals & Vrin, CH | 22
Ljubljana, SLO | 27
Venezia, I | 57, 109, 115, 118
London, UK | 12, 13, 28, 34,
Vicenza, I | 151
67, 72, 116, 176 136
50, 139, 148, 200, 204, 247
Bolzano, I | 81, 91
Vienna, A | 30, 36 137
4 Index of missions 1 / Interview with Ari Marcopoulos
52 / Dancing in the bunkers
116 / Down the rabbit hole
214 / Church service
2 / Women’s night at the gay club
53 / Glacial railway by Zaha Hadid
118 / Tourist class
215 / Soundscapes
3 / Urban cracks
54 / Supersize me!
124 / Steam masters
216 / Neomelodic Neapolitan music
4 / Eco-Suburbs
57 / Shipwrecked!?
125 / A bridge over troubled waters
220 / The Iron Curtain
5 / One day at the Corviale
59 / Cybermystics
129 / Alpini reunion
227 / Top down
7 / Fischli & Weiss
61 / How history informs creative space
130 / The Piadina path
229 / The incredible lightness
8 / McLuhan would be proud
62 / Buckyballs
131 / Stone age
230 / Park life
9 / ZEN and the art of the blackmarket
63 / Student block / Olympic Village
133 / The rabbit
232 / Scool House Rocks
10 / Healthy district
66 / Mapping the contemporary
134 / Culture Factory
233 / Supercity
11 / Rebuilding the Cinematic city
67 / Ye olde Steampunks in Londontown
136 / Camp rastafari Rototom Sunsplash Festival
236 / The gospel according
12 / Free Poland!
71 / Ring of fire
139 / Miami Indie Rock Festival
237 / Watching ourselves being watched
13 / Architecture against racism
72 / The temple
142 / Moving Pictures
240 / Scenarios
15 / Making art fly
77 / May ’68 and the new geography of resistance
143 / Planetary tourism
247 / Filipinos and the hip-hop scene
14 / The little “Las Vegas” of Brianza
80 / Giro d’Italia
144 / Ruttosound
16 / My blue heaven
81 / The borders between private and public
148 / Small and forgotten spaces
19 / One day at the stadium
82 / Dissonanze Festival
151 / 15,000 steps
21 / The architecture of nowhere/Everywhere
85 / The control of a physical environment
156 / The day after yesterday
22 / The baths and the valley
86 / Of cornbread and castles
157 / New latin kings
23 / Debating Contemporary
88 / Gypsy caravan
162 / The Manchester sound
24 / Italy through television fictions’eyes
91 / A museum as a bridge
164 / From the internet to the beach
25 / Urban expansion Dubai style
92 / Underground Paris
166 / Chinese immigrants in Italy
26 / City of churches
94 / A roof as the most important square of a city
167 / That Autogrill feel
27 / Experimental urbanism
95 / Stormy weather
169 / Jump start
28 / The street and the market
96 / The Prague orgy
170 / Holy blood
29 / The Good Volcano
97 / I AM A MAN
176 / Psycho buildings
30 Wonka’s incinerator
101 / Office Romance
179 / An uncommonly common place
32 / Ba-da Boom, Ba-da Bing
102 / Factory city
180 / Gods of metal
33 / The italian job
103 / Festivalism
182 / Art and commerce
34 / Squallyoaks
104 / The debate about a national symbol
185 / Rockclimbing for Alpine mathemathicians
35 / The poetics of cyberspace
105 / John Cage’s train
191 / Life under Camorra
36 / The piano teacher
106 / Corporate living
192 / Surf’s up, upriver
38 / A sculpture park reclaimed from abandoned
107 / Landscape telling
193 / Symphonic spaceship
109 / Art designing its own factory
194 / The greenhouse affect
40 / Tinsley Towers come Tumbling down
111 / La cite de la construction
197 / Confluence
44 / From work boots to loafers
112 / I belong to Glasgow
200 / Post-Graffiti
46 / Making Isola a Green Island
113 / We are not ducks on a pond
204 / Unfinished buildings
49 / The spaces for utopias
114 / Occasional cities carved inside of metropolis
207 / Suitcase office
50 / Al Qaeda, transexual prostitutes and the nuclear bomb
115 / Acqua alta
208 / Re-Movida
4 Index of missions
1 / Interview with Ari Marcopoulos 2 / Women’s night at the
30 / Wonka’s incinerator
72 / The temple
115 / Acqua alta
32 / Ba-da Boom, Ba-da
77 / May ’68 and the new
116 / Down the rabbit hole
geography of resistance
118 / Tourist class
185 / Rockclimbing for Alpine mathemathicians
33 / The italian job
80 / Giro d’Italia
124 / Steam masters
191 / Life under Camorra
3 / Urban cracks
34 / Squallyoaks
81 / The borders between
125 / A bridge over troubled
192 / Surf’s up, upriver
4 / Eco-Suburbs
35 / The poetics of
5 / One day at the Corviale
7 / Fischli & Weiss
36 / The piano teacher
8 / McLuhan would be
38 / A sculpture park
proud 9 / ZEN and the art of the blackmarket
reclaimed from abandoned real estate
129 / Alpini reunion
194 / The greenhouse affect
85 / The control of a
130 / The Piadina path
197 / Confluence
131 / Stone age
200 / Post-Graffiti
133 / The rabbit
204 / Unfinished buildings
134 / Culture Factory
207 / Suitcase office
136 / Camp rastafari
208 / Re-Movida
physical environment 86 / Of cornbread and castles 88 / Gypsy caravan
214 / Church service
92 / Underground Paris
215 / Soundscapes
44 / From work boots to
94 / A roof as the most
11 / Rebuilding the
13 / Architecture against
193 / Symphonic spaceship
82 / Dissonanze Festival
40 / Tinsley Towers come
12 / Free Poland!
91 / A museum as a bridge
10 / Healthy district Cinematic city
private and public
loafers 46 / Making Isola a Green
important square of a city
139 / Miami Indie Rock Festival
216 / Neomelodic Neapolitan music
142 / Moving Pictures
220 / The Iron Curtain
95 / Stormy weather
143 / Planetary tourism
227 / Top down
15 / Making art fly
49 / The spaces for utopias
96 / The Prague orgy
144 / Ruttosound
229 / The incredible
14 / The little “Las Vegas” of
50 / Al Qaeda, transexual
97 / I AM A MAN
148 / Small and forgotten
prostitutes and the
101 / Office Romance
lightness 230 / Park life
102 / Factory city
151 / 15,000 steps
232 / Scool House Rocks
19 / One day at the stadium
52 / Dancing in the bunkers
103 / Festivalism
156 / The day after
233 / Supercity
21 / The architecture of
53 / Glacial railway by Zaha
104 / The debate about a
16 / My blue heaven
236 / The gospel according
157 / New latin kings
237 / Watching ourselves
54 / Supersize me!
105 / John Cage’s train
162 / The Manchester sound
57 / Shipwrecked!?
106 / Corporate living
164 / From the internet to
240 / Scenarios
23 / Debating
59 / Cybermystics
107 / Landscape telling
61 / How history informs
109 / Art designing its own
22 / The baths and the
Contemporary 24 / Italy through television fictions’eyes 25 / Urban expansion Dubai style 26 / City of churches 27 / Experimental urbanism 28 / The street and the market 29 / The Good Volcano
creative space 62 / Buckyballs 63 / Student block / Olympic Village 66 / Mapping the contemporary 67 / Ye olde Steampunks in Londontown 71 / Ring of fire
factory 111 / La cite de la construction
the beach 166 / Chinese immigrants 167 / That Autogrill feel 169 / Jump start 170 / Holy blood
113 / We are not ducks on
176 / Psycho buildings
114 / Occasional cities
112 / I belong to Glasgow a pond
247 / Filipinos and the hip-
179 / An uncommonly common place
carved inside of
180 / Gods of metal
182 / Art and commerce
4 Index of tags Art 1, 7, 8, 10, 15, 16, 23, 30, 38, 40, 49, 50, 59, 61, 62, 66, 81, 82, 85, 86, 91, 95, 96, 97, 101, 107, 109, 113, 114, 116, 133, 176, 182, 200, 240 Food 130, 167 Green 3, 15, 46, 230 Happening 2, 44, 66, 67, 80, 82, 91, 103, 129, 134, 139, 143, 144, 164, 180 Heritage 8, 13, 14, 23, 26, 30, 36, 40, 49, 50, 52, 77, 82, 86, 88, 102, 104, 105, 112, 125, 129, 131, 142, 151, 214, 220, 227, 229, 232, 236, 240 Housing 4, 5, 16, 25, 27, 34, 38, 63, 102, 106, 156, 194, 197, 233 Imaginary 1, 2, 7, 11, 16, 21, 23, 24, 26, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 49, 50, 52, 53, 54, 57, 59, 61, 62, 63, 66, 67, 72, 77, 80, 81, 85, 92, 95, 97, 101, 102, 104, 105, 107, 115, 116, 118, 125, 133, 139, 142, 148, 151, 157, 162, 167, 170, 176, 180, 192, 193, 200, 204, 208, 216, 220, 227,229, 232, 233, 236, 237, 240 Infrastructure 5, 19, 21, 28, 29, 30, 44, 53, 57, 63, 71, 106, 115, 118, 129, 156, 167, 169, 197, 214, 227, 233 Labour 29, 101, 102, 111, 166, 207, 233 Landscape 4, 14, 15, 16, 22, 25, 29, 33, 40, 50, 53, 54, 57, 71, 77, 81, 85, 86, 92, 97, 104, 115, 125, 129, 130, 131, 133, 156,169, 185, 191, 197, 200, 204, 215, 227, 230, 233, 236
Low cost 12, 34, 50, 88, 103, 130, 136, 139, 179, 207
Sustainability 3, 4, 25, 30, 62, 143, 194, 208
Media 3, 7, 8, 12, 24, 80, 81, 82, 95, 139, 142, 148, 164, 215, 237
Transportation 33, 44, 53, 105, 118, 130, 167, 233
Mobility 33, 44, 53, 57, 80, 88, 92, 96, 103, 118, 129, 130, 136, 143, 164, 167, 180, 207, 214, 220, 233, 240
Tourism 8, 30, 53, 54, 80, 103, 106, 112, 114, 124, 130, 131, 143, 169, 185, 192, 208, 214, 230, 240 Technology 35, 49, 71
Multiculturalism 12, 13, 28, 50, 72, 91, 111, 114, 125, 157, 166 Network 3, 9, 12, 13, 59, 67, 82, 88, 96, 109, 112, 113, 114, 134, 136, 139, 140, 148, 144, 164, 179, 182, 185, 207, 216, 237 Performing 32, 34, 61, 96, 97, 103, 105, 124, 247 Periphery 5, 9, 11, 13, 27, 44, 72, 107, 191, 233 Regeneration 4, 8, 10, 11, 15, 16, 19, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 38, 40, 44, 46, 52, 63, 72, 80, 91, 94, 103, 104, 106, 111, 112, 113, 114, 148, 197, 227, 230, 240 Scene 1, 34, 35, 88, 103, 129, 134, 139, 162, 164, 170, 180, 182, 236, 247 Security 9, 13, 14, 50, 57, 71, 115, 156, 191, 237 Sound 2, 34, 82, 88, 97, 103, 105, 129, 134, 136, 139, 144, 162, 164, 180, 193, 215,216, 229, 247, 240 Subculture 2, 3, 14, 34, 46, 67, 134, 136, 144, 157, 164, 179, 180, 182, 185, 192
Doyle, Wayne 24
Judas Priest 180
Smiths, The 162
Cron4 wellness center 124
Muthesius, Hermann 86
Acconci, Vito 143
Lucky, Dragon 82
Klein, Yves 116
Solakov, Nedko 28
Boletus Edulis 105
Dives in Misericordia 26
Puig, Josep i Cadafalch 15
Almodovar, Pedro 208
Duchamp, Marcel 105
Led Zeppelin 59
Spada, Mario 191
Duomo of Milan 7
Nouvel, Jean 230
Alterazioni Video 204
Electrocollective Retina.IT 2
Lee, Ang 107
Spartacus Chetwynd 82
Emi Fontana Gallery 50
Alternative Press 3
Koolhaas, Rem 143 193 207
Balla, Giacomo 204
Filipino, Pinoy Rap 247
Lindsay, Arto 97
Starling, Simon 86
Bourriaud, Nicholas 50
Ex Aurum 142
Al-Qaeda 50 229
KSV Krüger Schuberth
Bang, Larsen Lars 28
Fischli, Peter 7
Maharaj, Sarat 23,
Sterling, Bruce 35
British Council 96
Fetta di Polenta 86
Basquiat, Jean-Michel 1
Florida, Richard 227
Mamone, Luca 170
Stockhausen Karlheinz 215
British Embassy 96
Fondazione Garrone 49
Le Corbusier (Jeanneret,
Beastie Boys 1
Foucault, Michel 61
Straub and Huillet 142
Bernhard, Thomas 61
Fuck Buttons 134
Marinetti, Filippo Tom-
Swayze, Ratrick 34
Logan, Neil 50
Gaudi, Antoni 15 194 204
MVRDV 4 16
Boccioni, Umberto 204
Matta Clark, Gordon 176
Thomas, Gilles 92
Mackintosh, Charles Ren-
Brancusi, Constantin 86
Gibson, Mel 131
Marchetti, Walter 105
Thunders Johnny 34
Agbar Tower 230
Guastalla hospital 144
Conte, Luisa 24
Gibson, William 67
McLuhan, Marshall 7
Tiravanija, Rirkrit 50
Apollo Konzept 52
Hangar Bicocca 200
Abusiveness 9 Academiuta di Lenga Furlana 236
Charles-Edouard) 5 86
Architets Adjaye/Associates 13
Fondazione Nicola Trussardi 7
Swift, Johnatan 54
Garibaldi station 46 Buildings
Goldsmith College 23
Aldinger and Aldinger 232
Meier, Richard 26
Bressane, Julio 142
Gitai, Amos 142
Merola, Mario 216
Tolkien, J.R.R. 116
Arena Parco Nord 180
Hayward Gallery 176
Alsop, Will 233
Oreglia d'Isola, Aimaro 102
Buren, Daniel 130
Moody, Rick 107
Institute of Contemporary
Alvarez Yela, Moises 194
Palladio, Andrea 151
Buzzcocks, The 162
Gogol Bordello 88
Toscani, Oliviero 143
Ara Pacis 82
Antonelli, Alessandro 86
Bevk Perović Studio 27
Cage, John 105 215
Gould, Glenn 61
Nashat, Shahryar 61
Trevisan, Vitaliano 151
Auditorium Parco della
Lili la Tigresse 32
BFM Architekten 71
Piano, Renzo 29 82
Caine, Michael 33
Gotti, Tito 105
Neuhaus, Max 215
Truce Klan 170
Boeri, Stefano 111
Plečnik, Jože 27
Cattelan, Maurizio 50
Gréaud, Loris 59 62 72
Nijinsky, Vaslav 185
Van Gogh, Vincent 16
Basilica di San Clemente 26
Bottoni, Piero 32
Pollini, Maurizio 102
Cheever, John 107
Gruppo A12 148
Novak, Marcos 35
Vascellari, Nico 82 97
Belfast Institute for
MADRE (Museo d'Arte
Breuer, Marcel 86
Rahm, Phillippe 85
Haneke, Michel 36
Paim, Marivaldo 97
Verne, Jules 67
Further and Higher
Buckminster Fuller, Rich-
Reich, Lily 86
Ciprì Daniele and Maresco
Haring, Keith 1
Pasolini, Pier Paolo 11
Weiss, David 7
Ricciotti, Rudy 111
Harris, Roger 157
ard 59 62
Weller, Paul 34
Contemporanea Donna REgina) 10
Manifatture Tabacchi 143 Maharajah of Indore’s
Rota, Italo 21
Collective Etat d'Urgences 134
Herman’s Hermit’s 162
Pozzi, Moana 32
Berlin Central and Re-
Caminada, Gion A. 22
Siza, Alvaro 10
Collinson, Peter 33
Hidalgo, Juan 105
Raqs Media Collective 81
gional Library 104
Imperial Palace 86
Estudio FAM 229
Snøhetta Studio 94
Davis, Erik 59
Hofstra, Henk 16
Ratty Rat Rat 34
Bibliothèque Nationale 71
Marco Polo airport 118
Figini, Luigi 102
Vuga, Sadar 27
Di Caprio, Leonardo 106
Hopper, Edward 148
Rubens, Petrus Paulus 61
Asclepio 2008 57
Brändström & Stene Gal-
MiCamera Bookstore 46
Fiorentino, Mario 5
West8 Studio 207
Cook, Peter 7
Hugo, Victor 92
Rubini, Oderso 105
Ashdown, Paddy 125
Fournier, Colin 7
Zuspan, Peter 97
Impex Art Collective 113
Run DMC 1
Asian Hip-Hop 247
Casa da Musica 193
Modo Infoshop 3
Fuksas, Massimiliano 5
Zumthor, Peter 22
LIK e.V 38
Iron Maiden 180
Saraceno, Tomas 49
Attitudes (Geneva) 61
Casino Kursaal 21
Contropiani Collective 3
James, Tom 40
Selassie, Haile 136
Museion 81 91
Gabetti, Roberto 102
Curran, Alvin 105
Joy Division 162
Central Eléctrica del
Musée des civilisations
Gregotti, Vittorio 9
Dahl, Roald 30
Keeley, Tom 40
Siegal, Richard 97
D’Alessio, Gigi 216
Janson, Derek 61
Simenon, George 92
Centro Zo 182
D'Angelo, Nino 216
Jelinek, Elfriede 36
Simonini, Massimo 105
Black September Terrorist
Circolo Magnolia 139
Herzog and De Meuron 15 19
Del Vecchio, Gigiotto 10
John, Elton 193
Six Organs of Admittance 134
Common Place 179
Dick, Phillip K. 50 59
Joyce, James 23
Blanc Patrick 15
Hadid, Zaha 53 71
Art Nouveau 112
Mostar’s Stari Most 125
de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée 111 Museum of Non-European Cultures 104 New Oslo Opera House 94
Linden quarter 52
Hays, Michael 62
PAC contemporary Art
Electronic Arts 95
Ruttosound Festival 144
High Water 115
Mini Cooper 33
Luxembourg Gardens 230
Emergency Simulation 57
SHARE Festival of Arts
Martella 131 Places
Palazzo Ambrogio di
Burger King 247
and Digital Culture 35
Morselli, Stefano 144
Negro in Banchi 49
European Parliament 220
Palais de Tokyo 59 62 116
Camorra 191 216
European Union 207
Tomorrow’s Parties 164
Palazzo dei Congressi 82
Fascist Architecture 142
Venice Biennial 61 112
Human Rights 88
Palazzo Ducale 49
Carrara marble 72
Ferri, Roberto 24
Wind of Cinema Film
Ikea UK 72
Baths of the Vals Valley 22
Palazzo Palladini 24
Festival, The 142
Immigration 12 50 114
Bergisel Skyjump 53
Patricia Armocida Gallery
Catholicism 26 36 106 131
Berlin Wall 38
Nordpark cable railway 53
Blue Road 16
National Geographic Maga-
Cellar Door 59 62(Paris)
Prado Museum 15
Collomb, Gerard 197
Pragelato Ski Jumping 169
Sagrada Familia Cathedral 204 Santa Croce church 236
tries 103 Communism 27 104 131 220 236
Concerts Around the World in 80
Intergovernmental Panel on
Days party (London) 67
Fire Stations 71
Climate Change 115
Angelica Festival 105
Flintstones, The 194
Italian Hip-Hop 170
Free Press 12
Italian Job, The 33
Muretto in Corso Vittorio
Olympic Village 63
California 59, 192
Nazism 36 193
Canale dei Marani 57
Perrache Railway 197
Casarsa cemetery 236
Petticoat Lane Market 28
Santa Lucia’s gates 118
Coull, Angus 96
Berlin Biennial 38
Freedom Trail 220
Italian Neorealism 11
Networked Culture 113
editorial offices 44
Porta Venezia 247
Santa Maria del Redentore 26
Cramer, Michael 220
Bucharest Biennale 66
French Revolution 92
Italian Resistance 50
New York Times Magazine 1
Disneyland 14 85
Portier quarter 25
Santa Maria Nuova hos-
Crepe Urbane magazine 3
Burning Man 59
Freud, Sigmund 36
Noero, Franco 86
Duchessa quarter 216
Crime 9 10
Contesta Rock Hair 11
Jordan, Michael 185
Eisbach & Floßlände 192
Pragelato Ski Jump 169
Santa Sangre tattoo 170
Gay Culture 2
Katrina Hurricane 115
El Pozo 229
Spittelau Incinerator 30
Documenta XI 23
Gazzetta dello Sport, La 80
Kofler, Andreas 124
Officine (Centro Zo)182
Etna Mountain 54, 182
Festarch Festival 143
Euromed Center 111
Rhône 134 197
Sydney Opera House 94
Kung Fu 166
Olympics 63 227
Factory Records 162
Rione Sanità 10
Ghezzi, Enrico 142
Liquid Architecture 35
Organic cooking 3
Fontvieille quarter 25
River Seine 85
Stephen Lawrence Centre 13
Ghost town 14
London Express (Daily
Palumbo, Stefania 10
Glacier Park 237
River Spree 104
Parade 97 129
Riviera Romagnola 167
Humboldt University 23 104
Rotunda da Boavista 193
San Filippo Neri 9
Tate Modern 40
2008 97 International Festival: Sherlock Holmes and His
Giro d'Italia 80
Newspaper) 12 Los Angeles Summer
Teatrino, Il 32
Theater Nuovo Cinema
Milan Design Week 44, 46
De Coubertin, Pierre 63
Khamoro World Roma
Lundström, Jan-Erik 66
Iron Curtain 220
Urbis Center 233
Dilbert (comic strip) 101
Made in Italy 166
Pelz, Tim 192
Italian Alps 54 133
Santa Eugenia metro sta-
Usine Culture Centre 134
Manifesta 81 240
Green Island 46
Mafia 182 191 216
Lambrate railway 200
Villa Cupido 216
Metal Festival 180
GSA Degree Show (Venice
Magnet (ZKM in Karlsruhe) 95
Pichler, Mariano 44
Larvotto reserve 25
Villa Rosbery 24
Dungeons & Dragons 59
Miami Festival 139
Picon, Antoine 62
Loggia in San Giovanni di
Vitra Design Museum 71
Prague Fringe Festival 96
May 1968 77
S. Lorenzo quarter 170
Vulcano Buono 29
Primavera Sound Festival 103
McDonald's 72 179 247
Pitchfork Media Magazine
St. Jakob quarter 19
White Mischief 67
Earth TV 237
Metro (Daily Newspaper) 12
St. Mark's Square 115 118
tions 229 Skulpturenpark Berlin_ Zentrum 38
San Paolo district 166
San Remo 216
Stuttgart schoolhouse 232
Rohleder, Quirin 192
Urban planning 3
Roma people 88
Therme Vals 22
Roman Ruins 156
Toilet Factory, The 34
Rousseau, Pascal 59
Tor Tre Teste 26
Saint Francis 214
Victorian style 53 67 230
Video documentaries 81
Sarai Programme (CSDS) 81
Viennese Actionism 36
Vesuvio Mountain 29
Viennese Classicism 36
Villa, La 111
Shake (Publisher) 50
Wayfarers Rayban 139
Wentworth Street 28
Sharma Chris 185
Wears, Carole 96
Whitechapel Art Gallery
West Coast Buddhism 59
Sjöström, Johan 66
Winter Olympics 169
SLOVO 21 88
World War II 29 52 104 111
28 XM24 3
Solar energy 19 Soundscapes 215
214 220 227 236 Yugoslav Wars 125
Soundtrack 105 Polish Express Magazine 12
Sporting facilities 19
Pope John Paul II 12 214
Post-it Cities (Barcelona
Steiner, Rudolf 232
Posto al Sole, Un 24
Steven, Gove Scots 96
Pozzi Moana 32
Prescott, John 233
Supermodernist style 53
Pringle Ann 96
Prostitution 50 114
Tierno, Galvan Enrique 208
RAI (Radio Televisione
Toys R’ Us 101
Underground culture 134
Reggae Music 136
UNESCO 7 151
4 Acknowledgments Luca Martinazzoli, Diego Garcia, Filippo Romano, Christophe Tassin, Domenico Antonio Mancini, Gisella Fo, Chiara Sanna, Chany Romagna, Tekla Taidelli, Gabriele Rossi, Alessandro Tartaglia, Montemagro (Matteo Nasini, Lorenzo Macioce), Moira Ricci, Alessandro Zuek Simonetti, Luca Legnani, Camille Dedampierre, Haroun Al-Shaater, Liam Patterson, Lorenzo Croci, Gianluca Catania, Alberto Nespoli, Andrea Azzarello, Giovanna Silva, Nicolò Dragoni, Invernomuto (Simone Bertuzzi e Simone Trabucchi), Francisco Rojas Miramontes, Gaston Ramirez Feltrin, Pablo D'Ambrosi, Alessandro Pasquarelli, Alessandro Fontanesi, Massimiliano Todisco, Enrico Cremagnani, Cubicle, Pippi Kid, Marco Malizia, Serena Porrati, Corrado Tagliabue, Francesco Fei, Olivia Fincato, Fabio Falzone, Stefano Pedaci, Matteo Pini, Federico Santolini, Marco Trinca, Cosimo Pichierri, Emanuele Basso, Aurélia Petit, Alexandre Bailly, Enrico Policardo, Borut (Scuola Furano), Fabio Rossi, Nicoletta Sbordone, Viola Rescaldina, Giovanni Donadini, Agne Raceviciute, Matteo Pizzarello, Annamaria Vacchelli, Cesare Ceccardini, Maurizio Marsico, Giulia Guzzini, Francesca Marconi, Francesca Marianni Consonni, RobertoDe Simone, Marianna Schivardi, Maya Maffioli,
Roveda, Luca Baialardo, Patricia Buffa, Stefania Mapelli, Luca Bocedi, Lorenzo Gallori, Roberta Pellizzaro, Anna Mazzone, Fabiana Dinoi, Fani Zguro, Samuele Belloni, Elisa Pincelli, Ilaria Castiglioni, Pasquale Napolitano, Alessandro Inglima, Margherita Mazza, Pierluigi Anselmi, Alessandro Cimmino, Michela Onnis, Francesca Cadau, Rebecca Lumberg, Christos Brewster, Maria Brewster, Mattia Matteucci, Silvia Barna, Simone Muzza, Ivan Minuti, Marcello Parlati, Antonio Negrini, Marco Cucciniello, Liben Massari, Emanuele Latini, Francesco Orsi, Sergio Bortolussi, Marco Orazi, Dionigi Biolatti, Alek, Vincenzo Latronico, Michele Vaccari, Valerio Murolo, Monica Polcino, Maria Vittoria Trovato, Kristina Drapic, Alessandro Agosti, Desireè Sibiriu, Marta Galli, Alessandro Allegri, Carlo Alberto Dall'amico, Jasper Moelker, Sanne Plomp, Francesco Turrini, Marco Fruttero, Raffaele Guerrera, Benedetto Sparaco, Serena Vestrucci, Donato Fusco, Lorenzo Calamia, Roberto Falanga, Davide Coppo, Fabrizio Paparella, Alberto Andreetto, Elisa Arpe, Selvaggia Verani, Nicolò Dragoni, Massimiliano Ferramondo, (Rolling Stone), Emiliano Audisio, Marco Perrone, Lorenzo Sinnino, Virna Luoni, Daniele Zanirato, Massimo Brega, Antonio Armano, Luciano Boschetti,
Elena Magni, Stefania Ricciu, Pietro Pagliaro, Giacomo Cantoni, Raffaele Di Bona, Salvatore Magliulo, Michele Casarotto, Giovanni Maffeis, Stefano Arrighi, Francesco Corona, martina treeter, christa petrovic, Ilenia Serpico, Sara Cappella, Walter Bonifazi, Matteo Iannucci, Franz Bourgeois, Alba Acuña Carlos, Jasper Moelker, Marten Dashorst, mario abruzzese, antonio conroy, Matteo Enrico, Fabio Acquiletti, Lorenzo Perassi, Lucia Emmanueli, Rossana Iantorno, Enrica Fantino, Nico Kläber, José Pfister, Marc Fabres, Luís Grilo, Anthony Fuchs, Jaap Klaarenbeek, Monica Cazzamani Bona, Francesca Eandi , Laura Mazzola, Federica Di Iorio, Carlotta Elia, Deborah Cecotti, Luke Royffe, Linda Bjorling, Donato Mirra, Giovanni Palmaccio, Fabio Valesini, Fabio Montagnoli, antonio letizia, Stefano Sellitto, Paul Wilson, Patrick McEntaggart, Diana Levin, Thomas Buckenmeyer, Giaime Botti, Francesco Camanzi, Francesca nigra, Luciano Aiello, Fabio Zinna, Elena Fontanella, Alberto Corrado, Niccolo Tosetto, Ivan De Francesco, Davide Migliaccio, Carmine Lampitiello, Giuseppe Mercurio, Chiara Trivelli, Valentina Federico, Alessandro Frigerio, Berit Seidel, Michele Discardi Discardi, Manuel Coletto, Brando Posocco, Alice covatta, Silvia Lazzarino de Lorenzo,
Andrea Unali, Massimo Giuliani, Luigi Mancuso, Gianluigi Ricuperati, Sebastian Kern, Jonas Tratz, Giorgio Maggi, Paolo Gonzato, Paola Gallio, Daniele Zennaro, Gianni Tocco, Andrea Lissoni, Rossanna Marisol Romagna, Marcello Bellan, Alessandro Dallolio, Chiara De Notariis, Pasqualino Serinelli, Jacopo Fontana, Elisa Mastrofrancesco, Andrea Contenta, Leonardo Blasi, Massimo Allegri, Giulio Frigo, Alessandro Coco, Martin kostelezky, Lukas Sonderegge, Elisabetta Vaniglia, Gaia Pisani, Enrico Cremagnani, Angelo Bisignano, Marta Galli, Alessandro Scarano, Roberto Paolini, Alberto Dedé, Moira Ric, Marco Agosta, Giuseppe Franco, Antonio Marzotto, Andrea
(Gente Viaggi), Martina Magno, Emanuela Marchetti, Chiara Ingrosso, Valentina Quintano, Cristina Bonini (Interni), Gilda Bojardi (Interni), Charles Elsey, Richard Brown, Davide Bradanini, Marta Fioni, Enrico Cammarata, Valerio Sacchetto, Anna Stalzer, Jacopo Fontana, Federico Borghi, Valentino Venturato, Michela Arfiero (ACTIVA), Giordano Pozzi (ACTIVA), Chiara Somajni, Giuseppe Centrone, Pino Pipoli, (Ventiquattro), Gaia Danieli, Alessandro Spreafico, Andrea Chisesi, (Case da Abitare), Alberto Corrado (Panorama/First ), Nina Bassoli, Michele Nastasi,
Francesco Fornaciari, Daniela Audino, Alessia Maria Giulia Manunza, Ines Coelho, Carola Annoni, Saori Kitaguchi, John Mackenzie, Fabio Vignolo, Marco Mensa, Dan Coppock, Inderdeep Singh, Valeriano Forte, Niroscia Pagano, Cristina Giubaldo, Marco Righetto, Carolina Palmieri, Rossella Bicco, Andreas Unteidig, Tina Willim, Davide Stucchi, Serena Vestrucci, Gianluca Di Giambattista, Roy Giamporcaro, Lucia Emmanueli, Lorenzo Perassi, Nicole Busetto, Stefano Miazzo, Roberta Peveri, Emanuele Andreoli, Ana Isabella Byrne, Anna Sanchis, Riccardo Bolo, Carole Maria Azzurra Sottosanti, Kathrin Hillebrand, Rosangela Araújo, Luca Baialardo, Andrea Quartieri, Nico Angiuli, Michele Graglia, Giorgio Maggi, Marco
Pasini, Marco Bassano, Andrea Piccolo, Fabio Zinna, Tomaso Valsecchi, Richard Brown, Michael Crozier, Claudia Fea, Marta Fantini, Luca Fornasari, Roberta Giuffrida, Sian Hughes, Stephanie Burningham, Manuela Del Rio, Elena Fois, Cristina Crippa, Silvia Cannarozzi, Francesco Nappa, Luigi Maria Brusciano , Claudia Retegan, Abigail Turner, Nico Angiuli, Jacopo Seri, Alessandra Peretti, Emanuele Marcuccio, Chiara Mele, Francesco Fornaciari, Gianmarco Castiello, Luca Serafino, Haroun Al-Shaater, Christopher Vincent Vincent, Enrico Borsato, Francesco Corrò, Pianosi Monica, Pollicini Francesca