Focussing on rereading the cityscape, granting visibility and recognition to voices and histories previously silenced, the program focuses on fostering memory-making and processing through the development of innovative, participatory methods that do not physically touch the spaces involved.
Lectures & Workshop Resignify City @ Media Architecture Biennale 2021, Amsterdam, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 24 June 2021
As we cross and live the city with our quotidian practices, it is often all too easy to overlook the palimpsest of contested past that surrounds us. It is necessary to create tools to re-read the everyday in the city and on the urban scale with awareness and intention.
* How can we re-read out the everyday experience of the city?
* What can we learn by looking at and listening to quotidian city landscapes anew?
Voiced Space: Resignify City focuses on fostering memory-making and processing through the development of innovative, participatory methods that do not physically touch the spaces involved. Such tools allow to critically engage with physical heritage on the urban scale, addressing the multi-layered urban landscape.
The program devices inclusive community tools and creative methods to reckon with unresolved historical wounds and controversial past, envisioning solutions that circumvent the physical problems of the site by expanding the physical spaces with the support of virtual worlds.
Voiced Space: Resignify City aims at fabricating counter-memories and counter-mapping practices that read the city anew, using a variety of approaches, including temporary artistic, eye-opening installations and interventions as well as digital solutions that unfold the silenced stories and voices.
In the context of post-colonial processes and discourse, attention to the cityscape’s blindness to silenced memories is increasing, especially in relation to how different people experience the urban environment. There is the need to reckon with the polyphonic nature of cities, with their composite outlook which calls for an improved, progressive and inclusive heritage.
* When reading a territory with postcolonial awareness which voices are prioritized and which excluded?
* How to read the cityscape considering global interactions and silenced power hierarchies?
* And how is this present in the construction of the cityscape in its current conditions of segregation?
2020 saw a rise in destruction of and damages to monuments and statues as symbols of slavery, colonial past, racism, and oppression, in the US and Europe, too. Are destruction and acceptance the only binary valid responses to a critical reading of the city and its heritage?
By using creative methods that lead to a change in perspective as well as hybrid technologies and tools that ‘augment’ the urban landscape with unvoiced narratives, the city cracks open and can be re-read in its layered complex, controversial past.
The workshop aims at awakening the sensory apprehension of urban landscapes through the lenses of global, interconnected histories, reckoning with the cityscape’s past and present and its unvoiced, stratified traces in our everyday spaces. This includes re-contextualizing and re-reading the cityscape, exploring alternative systems capable of including other memories and stories beyond the dominant ones.
The program has the objective to bolster collaborative, co-creative re-reading and re-signification processes that work on physical heritage and stratified territories with unvoiced layers with digital platforms, light formats, and mobile and temporary creative interventions.
Voiced Space: Resignify City addresses investigative and speculative design research, integrating narrative practices as inclusive artistic research methods. It engages activists, historians, political scientists, urbanists, (landscape) architects, (media) designers, (video/media) artists, performers, musicians, street culture practitioners as well as researchers/experts from other fields relevant to the questions raised in a co-creation process.
Bringing creativity into controversial situations informs engagement with conflictive landscapes and contributes to breaking through negotiation stasis and political reticence. By means of collaborative, artistic and hybrid processes, the program aims at facilitating more integrated, collective processes of making memory and meaning.
Focusing on media architecture, urban interaction design and urban informatics, the Media Architecture Biennale 2021 consists of a series of workshops, keynotes, and an award ceremony.
The theme of the biennale’s sixth edition is Futures Implied and aims to explore the role of media in the built environment and its implications for urban communities and ecosystems.
Media Architecture Biennale 2021 takes place in June and July 2021 online and at various locations in Amsterdam and Utrecht.