Idensifying® Translocalities

Hybrid Space is a new interdisciplinary field of design, researching the transformations of architectural, urban/regional space of the emerging “information age”, explores the dynamic interaction of architecture/urbanism and the space of mass media and communication networks.

Hybrid Space develops scenarios for the interplay of public urban and public media space.

Publication Idensifying® Translocalities @ reBoot, Logbook, Kunst NRW.NL, Amsterdam, 1 October 1999


Fusion of Media Space and Urban Space

A new interdisciplinary field of design, researching the transformations of architectural, urban/regional space of the emerging “information age”, explores the dynamic interaction of architecture/urbanism and the space of mass media and communication networks. It develops scenarios for the interplay of public urban and public media space. The products of these alliances of urban/regional and media networks, of architectural and media space, are bastards: ambivalent spaces that are at the same time analog and digital, tactile and abstract, material and immaterial, expanding hyper-sensuality in the time- and placelessness of media flows. These hybrid spatial morphs act simultaneously in urban (local) and media (global) space and mediate between them, unfolding the undefined space between the local and the global, occupying the vacuum between local place and global space. Within the inversions of identity (communication), within the fluid ever-changing densities in the knitted networks, fused analogue/digital cultures are idensified.


Public Media Urban Interfaces replaces the right to vote with the right to broadcast, creating a bottom-up dynamic network, an open narrow/ broad/ casting/ catching system.

“The new image of Man looks roughly like this: we have to imagine a network of interhuman relations, a ‘field of inter subjective relations’. The threads of this web must be conceived as channels through which information (ideas, feelings, intentions and knowledge etc.) flows. These threads get temporarily knotted and form what we call ‘human subjects’. The totality of the threads constitutes the concrete sphere of life and the knots are abstract extrapolations. The density of the webs of inter-human relations differs from place to place within the network. The greater the density the more ‘concrete’ the relations. These dense points form wave troughs in the field. The wave troughs exert an ‘attractive’ force on the surrounding field (pulling it into their gravitational field) so that more and more interhuman relations are drawn in from the periphery. These wave troughs shall be called ‘cities’.”
Vilem  Flusser, “Die Stadt als Wellental in der Bilderflut”, 1990


Accelerate Collide Fuse

“In this sense the new city would be a place where ‘we’ identify ourselves reciprocally as ‘I’ and ‘you’, where ‘identity’ and ‘difference’ determine each other. That is not only a question of scattering but one of switching. Such a city presupposes an optimum scattering of interhuman relations: ‘others’ should become ‘neighbours’. And it presupposes that the cables of the interhuman relations are switched reversibly, not in bundles as with television, but in real networks, respons(e)ibly, as in the telephone network. These are technical questions; and they are to be solved by urbanists and architects.”
Villem Flusser, “Die Stadt als Wellental in der Bilderflut”, 1990


Public Media Urban Interfaces forces the public domain to mutate, to take on multiple variable forms in a constant state of flux and breeds an infinite nomadic (analog/digital) space.

Bridging the gap and connecting the global media spheres with local content and place, a hybrid architecture of communication spaces proposes a combined analog-digital infrastructure of publicly accessible interfaces between the global media space and the local urban place. Creating a locally-based dynamic media network from the bottom up, a many-to-many broad- and narrow-casting and -catching system, local events can be accelerated and reinforced to temporarily invade the global media space. This link between global media space and local place having its interfaces in the public urban space makes it possible to broadcast and access and influence the global media environment from the (urban) local neighbourhood and plugs the body into the “virtual” media worlds


Verse Inverse Reverse Perverse

Soft Urbanism deals with communication processes in public space, the soft aspects overlying the urban sprawl and modifying it: the invisible networks acting as attractors, transforming the traditional urban structure, interweaving, ripping open and cutting through the urban tissue, demanding interfaces. In urbanism’s role of defining and materialising the spaces for social interaction, designing the relationship between the physical and digital public domain is becoming more and more of a challenge: investigating the relation and interconnection of the “soft city” with its finite material counterpart, the living environment, speculating about interfaces between the “virtual” and the material (urban) world and designing hybrid (urban and media / analog and digital) communicational spaces. These hybrid communal environments, transforming planning to an event-communication (space) and entertainment zone, emerge as “trust heavens”, “battle fields” and “idensityª-generators”. Urban science frictions breed meta-work communication spaces, environments for the coming Society of Forced Leisure.


Public Media Urban Interfaces nurtures fused spaces for (un)social rituals, accidental contacts and tribal wars, direct non-corporate co-operation and intense experience, enhancing the sensuality of be-longing.

“This is the task of all spatial design: to open up spaces within which something is placed that could not be imagined before.”

“The term ‘pastime’ will then probably mean sifting the future rushing in from all sides through grids (indeed, time will no longer be recognized and experienced from the past in the direction of the future, but as an anticipation of the future, i.e. spatially), and leisure space will therefore have to be that space in which the future is anticipated (futurized) in order to inform the present.”
Vilem Flusser, “Räume”, 1991


The Space in between Local and Global

New notation systems, enabling us to trace and code dynamic hybrid space, are developed. These notations tools are qualitatively new tools, forcing a programmatic approach in the (design of) environments. Merging analytical investigations with the intuitive flux, they force processes of hybridisation and bastardisation as programmatic methods to generate the “new”. Notations support hybrid programmatic process-spaces, dynamic rhizomatic spaces, externalised brains with fluctuating synapses: environments “arranged or disposed [so] as to permit the greatest power for unforeseen relations”. Notations are tools to process the Virtual.


Public Media Urban Interfaces expands tactility and bodily intuition in the ephemeral hyper-materiality of the new fused analog/digital spaces.

The Bridge Club, providing the space for public events on an urban scale, bridges the gap between programs meant for local distribution and those that deserve a larger audience. Using the larger broadcast facilities available to the Club, the selected programs are experienced and transformed to suit a mass audience. With the (im)permeabilities of its ‘skins’, the architecture of the Club, unfolds a new extended hyper-materiality. The Bridge Club, being  a knot in the the net of translocalities, also serves the function of bridging programmatic events related to the site where the club is located.

In October and November 1999, the Netherlands hosted a cultural exchange and co-operation project with Nordrhein-Westfalia entitled “Kunst NRW.NL”. In the framework of this program a series of cultural and art projects in the field of new media were realized. These projects emerged from a unique co-operation between artists, institutions and cultural initiatives from both countries. The series of projects were co-cordinated by Eric Kluitenberg at De Balie, Center for Culture and Politics (Amsterdam), and Prof. Frans Vogelaar at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, with V2_Organization (Rotterdam) and Montevideo TBA (Amsterdam) as the most important partner organizations.

Idensifying® Translocalities is published in the context of reBoot.

Concerts, Screenings, Broadcasts, Performances, Projects & Research, Art & Media Lab reBoot @ KUNST NRW.NL, Motor Boat Carolina, The Rhine, Cologne~Amsterdam, 8-15 October 1999

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