On Spatializing Urban Conditions

Exhibiting and spatializing as methods of arts-based research, tested at "halfway" in an ongoing project. In collaboration with Christina Nägele, Heidi Pretterhofer and Linda Lackner, Vienna 2017-19

Exhibition views. Photos: Wolfgang Thaler

halfway is the laboratory for the arts-based research project "Curating the Urban". It is a place for the spatialization of acute urban phenomena; a space in which methods of artistic research realize a practice of urban curating; a laboratory in which social relationships are translated into design. Space production understood as a dialogical form of showing and exhibiting is a crucial aspect of research and knowledge production here.  


In a 3-part series of projects, halfway examines the spatial effects of cognitive capitalism characterized by immaterial work, de-regulation and precarious identity concepts. The corresponding urban form is that of the project-based polis, in which the constant call for self-optimization and performance mixes with the algorithmic figures of (in)dividualization. 


To this end, three interlinked urban phenomena will be examined, which will be analyzed as case studies in Vienna, Tokyo and Vancouver together with the research partners Urban Subjects (Sabine Bitter, Jeff Derksen, Helmut Weber) and Jorge Alamazan. The research discourse then will be translated into cumulative, successive spatializations. The spatializations function not only as displays, but as platforms of negotiations, which are repeatedly reconfigured in the course of the discursive work. This curatorial method is based on a participatory form of knowledge production based on a hybrid of spatial arguments from various actors from the fields of urbanism, art, architecture as well as intermittent interventions by actors from heterogeneous fields of knowledge.


"Curating The Urban. On Spatializing Urban Conditions" is an arts-based research project funded by the FWF – Austrian Science Fund (PEEK) and is located at the Institute for Art and Architecture at the Academy of fine Arts Vienna.