Cimatics presents
Cimatics, Brussels International Platform for Live A/V, presents a Masterclass Live Audiovisual Art, within the framework of the studio-program Experimental Media-art provided by the VAF (the Flemish Audiovisual Fund).
Because the biggest merit of live A/V is its cross-border and cross-disciplinary character the masterclass will challenge its participants to do just that: collaborate.

The goal of this blog is to generate an open-source effect: opening up the discussions from within the masterclass to the rest of the world. Let this be a call for everyone to participate and join or start a debate.
Eventually, this blog will be printed as a book. An additional DVD with the open-source versions (Creative Commons license) of the participants masterclass-projects will be available afterwards. So if you post something to this blog, you are co-authoring the book.


Friday, August 08, 2008

Disturbed City Proposal

Group: Mattia, Michael, Olga

Project Outline:

„For more than a century, the very centre of Brussels has been the concrete subject (and victim according to many) of radical architectural and urban speculation. Regardless of the success or failure of these grand projects, we cannot negate the concrete impact of a bold believe in modernity and progress in the city of Brussels. Among the many speculations and built ideas the 'Jonction Nord-Midi' can rightly be named the project of the century. The construction of the underground connection between the former northern and southern terminal railway stations through the historical pentagon is the project that best symbolizes the early ambitions of Belgium as a nation-state. The supposedly 'derelict' medieval quarters on the trajectory have been demolished to allow a dramatic modernization of the city centre.“ (from Brussels, A Manifesto – Towards the Capital of Europe)

Taking a closer look onto the 'Scar' dividing the upper from the lower city one finds besides the monumental building projects a series of 'urban leftovers'. Fragments of demolished houses on the edge of the erased strip forming 'odd lots' - lacking use and being the by-product of a greater plan; The train stations between Central - Nord (Congress) and Central – Midi (Chapel) with hardly any passenger frequencies and trains stopping (Congress and Chapel stations are served by a limited number of trains during weekday working hours only); Crossings of the rail-tracks managed by tunnels for cars and pedestrians as well as connections between the upper and the lower city in form of stairways bypassing the height-distinction generated through the rail-road tunnels. Several “walks” along the trajectory led to a documentation of typologies of those 2nd rate places and are presented in a catalogue featuring a series of potential “stages” for urban interventions.

The sometimes very odd spatial configurations, their surreality and interruption of the common image of the city structure serve as content and basis for our appropriations. City lightening in the common sense follows mainly commercial, touristic or safety reasons and stages architectural icons. The night and it`s natural darkness puts certain elements of the nocturnal city into oblivion, disappearing in our collective memory. A series of interventions along brussels 'scar' is approaching those second-rate places within the centre of our cities in a new light and treats them as “disturbed” architectural monuments telling us from their past and possible future. A mobile projection unit serves as portable instrument for staging public space. The documentation of the 'urban acts' will be presented as an audiovisual feature video with a soundtrack by element012 ( alongside a project booklet with maps and photographs. A further development wants to replace the projection mobile with site specific light artefacts. Self sustaining and fixed on location switching themselves on at a certain time and producing an obscure lightening scenario within the everyday perception of the city-night.

"Destruction as Urban Spectacle", Brussels, 1938 (close to Kapellekerk)

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