solvej dufour andersen

sabine wiese

kirsten dufour

mette kit jensen

rainer ganahl

nic ulmi

kirsten dufour

How can on-going critical spaces be established and maintained?
(An essay on the space in between)

The discussion is on-going in radical critical art groups: How does art operate in a new liberal society of today, the art that by definition is critical/radical? Can it occupy/hold some space/meeting places free (interstice-social space. In: The Relational Aesthetic: Nicolas Bourriaud), where other alternative models of sociality or modes of communication can be tried. Who is the public and how do we reach them/speak to them? Shall art be out-reaching, break down borders, and make partnerships ? Which resources are available? Which economical/non-economical models are possible?

Is visual art the perfect medium in the city and in urban space where the eye/ vision has become the most important sense and where the human voice is no longer heard (a landscape of human silence where the eye has become the organ through which people get information of others: The Powers of the Eye: Richard Sennett).

How to recapture territories in the urban space, not only as a carnivalesque street party for some hours (reclaim the streets: Carnival against Capitalism, 18 June 1999 in London), but to more permanently establish non-places?

Art and everyday life together can encourage people to take greater control over their every day life in a time when new liberalism and consumption has taken over all thought and action.

Can we reuse methods and experiences from earlier radical groups in art? Constructivists, de Stilj, Buckminster Fuller, Walter Benjamins theories, and the Situtationists, all of whom foresaw what the conditions for existence, technology and consumerism, would lead to?(Some are quotations from an article : the non place urban realm, Variant nr. 10, spring 2000)

And what about the experiences from 1968? Writing this history is not yet finished. What has not been sold ( in galleries or bought by museums) is not included in art history 'in a society where money makes history, it does not exist' (Martha Rosler speaks about American feminist art in : Environ 27 ans, published by Sous Sol, Geneva).

Maybe it is the artists strength/contribution that she/he figures out strategies and acts, alone or collectively, and then materialises the work. The result of which is a method for harvesting new experiences.

It began with SAAS (Space of Advanced Art Studies). in 1997 A non-space in the urban space, a non-economic space, an empty white room, an empty shop, where nothing needs to happen in any prefixed routine, an empty space where the possibility for things to happen exists. A free undefined artistic space. The first initiative was the school, SAAS which started a strategy for the Open Academy with only one student (to emphasize quality instead of quantity). Together we invited other artists to join a project, an artco-operation.(1)

SAAS No Name, then, is a non-space in the city on a random street in Nørrebro, a former shop with a large window and a door opening out onto the street. The history of the neighbourhood is quite banal. There is nothing that can provide obvious guidelines, no obvious personality. It is an old workers/artisans quarter, built during industrialisations boom about 100 years ago. The apartments in the typical 5 storey old buildings are today either condominiums or co-operatives, owned either by students or pensioners. In the newer social housing, built on the land which earlier housed small enterprises, immigrants have now moved in with their large families. During the day between 9 and 4, the neighbourhood is empty. There is no life, few shops. a place where people do not live but exist, a neglected playground, and a crumbling square next to it. On sundays and holidays, the cars are gone. People have driven somewhere else. It is not permitted to set up art pieces or make an exhibition in public space;on the square or any place else in this part of Nørrebro. The public space , the streets , without peoples knowledge and acceptance, has been given away or "sold". Who cares anyway? City and State funds for improving urban areas are invested in large amounts in surrounding neighbourhoods, giving this environment special status, since it is not included in the plans. But in this absence of city administration initiative other activities has developped. A Marokkan private school an Arabic kindergarden and other etnik and political groupings as an anakist collective and a local radiostation with a youth club connected making broadcasting programs for teenagers. It also gives us the possibility, without supporting other interests, to formulate and carry out projects which hopefully could reveal the resources of this area. In order to do so we have to dig down into small unseen/unnoticed matters and begin from scratch.

The projects position in relation to the contexts - the street, Nørrebro, the institution- is in the cultural-political and the artistic sense a conscious attempt to actualise a problem that does not only relate to a series of artistic strategies right now, but also to the continuing discussion of the communication of visual art.

What has happened:

It was our basic strategy to show art in our neighbourhood in Nørrebro, where contemporary art has not been introduced and where people do not take any initiative to go into an artistic/project space. This is a common experience, since an exhibition space for most people is an alienated place.

Non-stop VideoWindow International in No Name (3)

Video is a media that is easiest for people to read, since film and television are the most used media today and therefore the easiest media for people to relate to, to look at, to understand. Contemporary video art uses the picture poetically with simplified short film sequences/loops with a completely different language and consequence, often with a wide range of sense experiences and experiments, than that used by commercial films. It therefore draws attention to new possibilities and creates a free space for reflection.

Video shown on the street through a shop window, breaks the "silence" and communicates through the picture (no sound) and its persistent presence.

Each video playing all day, non-stop for a week, gives people the opportunity to see it again and again, even to come by the next day if they had noticed something and wanted to check it out.

A video window creates light and life in a dead street. It is something special!

The weakness of this form is the lack of dialogue. We had to pursue this through a telephone survey. We called the nearest neighbours who had been a voluntary or involuntary public for four months. Their answers have been written down. It is clear from such answers as: I am embarrassed to live in the same house; or: It gives you a lift; that they took it in and felt responsible. (2)

Non-stop VideoWindow International, was inspired by discussions/strategies and considerations that placed three important issues on the agenda:

1. Create a space where art refers itself to another public: A non-stop showing of art videos projected out of a large video-window onto the street was the framework and context for VideoWindow International. A framework that is completely central for the project as a whole and for the invited artists relationship to the conditions and possibilities that the space outside the institution represented.

2. Create networks/co-operation between art groups: which work critically in a social area where intervention by dominating strategies and socio-political zones in the city space belong to the artistic agenda.

In co-operation with VideoWindow International in BASEL, which has shown silent international videos for a year on a monitor from an empty store in Basels busiest commercial area, we selected and invited 11 internatonal video artists from this project.Six Danish video artists were also invited. The videos should represent a broad spectrum of contemporary video art and be interesting to show in this context. They should also function technically when being projected onto a larger surface out into the street space in strong competition with the street lighting. Since there was no sound, it was the pictures artistic quality that had to communicate the work.

3. Create a space for discussion and stimulating the discourse between artists who work experimentally in a socio-political context: To qualify and promote the discussion of the artistic intentions that precisely in these years seems to question the institution as well as the artists and arts role in a continually changing public space.

VideoWindow International was followed by an international seminar: Art on Street Level, How to succeed! at DCA, Danish Contemporary Art Centre(march the 30 -2001), to meet the need for this discussion about art that experiments with another point of departure. We invited four international lecturers, RTMmark N.Y. Nils Norman GB. Keith Pirlot L.A. lara Wallner D, who work outside the art institutions in USA, Germany, and England. We also arranged for all the Danish artists working with these issues to receive a comprehensive introduction to the programme 2 weeks in advance. This was an attempt which resulted in questions and discussion becoming a part of the presentation and in this way we avoided the obligatory 5 min. questioning session in the end. Art on street level After the Seminar we have been working with a publication for the internet, with the idea of collecting and introducing artists who work in a more activist way in public space, independently of local political, institutional, and commercial interests. This group is difficult to find. Our method is to establish contact through countless networks and through the Internet, but working with the issues we realize that personal meetings are most important. This requires many trips and participation in seminars where this discourse is carried out. By exporting the local discussion out into a global disscusion and vice versa, through an international network , the discourse will be develloped and strengenth, since the vertical/the local aspect which goes deep cannot be develloped and strengenth without the horisontal/global aspect which can communicate our thoughts, ideas and expieriences out to everybody.

What happens now:

YNBK, Ydre Nørrebro Kultur Bureau- Outer Nørrebro Cultural Bureau. The experiences from VideoWindow International are being followed up by a group of artists living in Nørrebro, who daily for several years have made various observations in this neighbourhood. by founding Outer Nørrebro Cultural Bureau in the spring of 2001 based on the following ideas: Artists in YNBK should be living in the area, use the environment as their field of observations and the activities should be directed towards the local population by introducing new models of sociality/communication and develop alternative "meeting" spaces within public space. We are in the beginning of a longer process where every project is an experiment. We are not going for immediate results as our work is based on a long term investigation to clarify and make visible for the people and us living there, the structures, the resources and the possibilities especially their cultural life, performed through different cultural organisations and interest groups.

Autumn 2001: We started to making tours in the area taking up the Situationist's method also called derive. We met in a coffee shop, where we usually had our meetings in the morning and then we used the whole day walking around, knocking on doors and talking to people. We quickly found out that our environment is full of activities, - activities that for various reasons live a quite anonymous existence. Some examples:
  • An after school Centre arranging homework for emigrant children with help from voluntary Danish university students.
  • Indian Mother Theresa Nuns running a centre serving food for homeless people.
  • An Islamic funeral Centre
  • A woman feeds 50 wild cats in an old workshop area every day.
  • Music groups rehearsing Arabic music.
  • A local radio station Station 2000 combined with a youth club of young immigrants who make Radio programs.
  • An autonomous collective of young students, being almost daily under police observation.
  • An Islamic school for children those normal schools don't want to have.
  • A group of tenants has made a proposal for an Activity Park in a closed down rail road station area.
  • Two Kindergartens next to each other, one Islam, on second floor with nowhere to play outside.
  • etc. etc.

We would arrange meetings with them and come back later and make an often 2 hours long video interviews with them. Except for the nuns, they were against any advertisement of their work. The interviews were always very positive and usually ended up in them asking us in one way or another for advice; teaching programs in art, decorating a wall etc, and in the local autonomous collective they were interested in promoting work in public spheres making an eating space or a street garden and organising demonstrations.

The Activity Park and the Culture and Art Centre.
In November 2001 we took part in a public hearing about new planning for the area Outer Nørrebro. There we heard about the local Authority's plans for a now empty and demolished railroad area: They wanted to build new rental houses there and a pretty park with a lake. Young members of the free radio youth club, where the kids had interviewed local politicians and asked for better conditions for young people, such as meeting and outdoor activities spaces (there are none). A group of local grown up tenants who called themselves 'Initiative Group' put forward their idea of an 'Activity Park' for the old rail area. The area is just next to 'Mjølnerparken' a housing area with a high level of immigrants 98% with ca. 2000 children.

We decided to support the 'Initiative Group' and their proposal for the 'Activity Park'. Not only support it in the decision making of a new local plan but to advertise the project in the local community to get them involved. In addition we proposed to use some beautiful old condemned storage buildings/ The Freightman Halls which had been decided to be pulled down, and there establish an alternative Culture and Art Centre. The Freightman Halls are situated between the Activity Park and Nørrebro Station, which in few years will be servicing 30 000 people per day (compared to 7 000 per day now). The idea of the Centre is to create a meeting ground for local art groups/ cultural groups with international art. To create a space settled in a local cultural environment, but where international artist can be invited in to provoke meetings not only to cross over ethnicities but also to cross over the local - global. The specific characteristic of Outer Nørrebro will be preserved but at the same time the area will receive an new input for the benefit of the local population as well as for art and cultural interested visitors into the area.

Spring 2002 we have been developing the idea about an Art- and Cultural Center further and communicating it out to the politicians who carry the final decision, by taking part in quite a few political meetings.

On March the 16th we opened YNKB our bureau in No Name. Here we have exposed the plans for the Activity Park and the Art - and Cultural center in an exhibition and invited artists/experts in to set up a meeting space, where ideas and experiences can be shared and developed creating new alternative opinions and awareness and in this way support and develop common engagement in the 2 new projects to come. It is our plans to contact local cultural organisations, and there is quite a few, and confront them with the ideas and try to get them involved. We are working together with the local Radio station: Station 2000, and a local TVstation: TV stop.
In addition we have arranged four theme days:
  1. A hearing at the radio station: station 2000, with politicans about the plans for the Activity Park and the Cultural - and Art centre. The visitors in the exhibition could telephone station 2000 and ask questions to the politicians.
  2. A day about playing grounds: A kindergarten teacher will tell about Danish playgrounds in the last 30 years, an artist will tell about his experiences in making playing grounds and an architect will tell about projects in Holland of similar character to the Activity Park.
  3. A music day: An opera singer and an accordionist, an Arabian orchestra and an Experimental musician will join together.
  4. A Rock Opera: A group of students from the royal academy in Copenhagen has joined together for restaged a rock opera by Røde MOR (Red Mum), - a popular left oriented rock band from the seventies.

In the autumn 2002 we are planning to set up new events and building new strategies for our artistic practice . At the same time this project gives us the possibility of experimenting with alternative ways of how art can move into social/ political decision making processes. From these few months of different practices we have already learned that there are two important factors to be aware of, one is building trust and the other is a long-term project, since this is the only way this canbe obtained. The group consist of following artists/ members at the time being, spring 2002: Kirsten Dufour, Åsa Sonjasdotter, Gillion Grantsaan, Petri Rappannan, Molly Haslund, Finn Thybo Andersen.

Note: The text in bold is written by Dorthe Abildgaard, DCA, Copenhagen


In 1995, Kirsten Dufour, together with Finn Thybo Andersen, started SAAS Space of Advanced Art Studies in Copenhagen, an alternative forum for experimental art. It consisted of an art school, an exhibition/project room, a publishing house, and a film/video production company. The idea was that there should only be very few students. The student participates in a kind of apprenticeship with a professional artist/teacher and is active on all fronts, participates in designing and discussing his/her own education, in meetings, exhibitions, studies, and study trips, both his own and the teachers. This requires a continuing education. As part of SAASs activities, we have made an exhibition space /project room, No Name. The idea has been, among other things, to involve the students in SAAS in an exhibition practice in which new strategies are used:

Open Academy Project 1998. An Art-co project with RCB exhibitions in Ranum Copenhagen Berlin. which referred to the locality-specific population. An interplay project in the neighbourhoods around the exhibition places in all three cities. One of the projects was Artradiogetlost, a parasite radio that sent 1-hour discussion on art on street level--from a local radio with local artists in each city.

Open Academy project 2000 The Pro bono Committée services,the Open Museum, El Monte Memorial. var et Art-co project started as an open academy project, a collective group with students and teachers from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. and the artist group Despiute Resolution Servicies and other artist living in L.A. Together we made 5 different events :exhibitions, street happenings or actions during the spring 2000.

Open Academy project 2001. L-AA-L. (3.40x4.80) was a Art-co project together with The little Garden Nø and The Potatoes Project, Public Life and The School garden project in London. Three gardens on 3,32 x4.83 meters were established in London . The size were identical with the little garden. dk. They were executed in 3 different art csontexts, all operating in public space outside the art institution. We found the 3 artprojects after having researched the underground art activist milieu in London an they were all invited to introduce themselves in a publication and on, a website made by The Little Garden. dk, -Nørresundby. At the same time the project was visualised as A Souvenir Installation in The Little Garden in may 01.

Open Academy project in Valand Gøteborg oct.2001. Through a workshop we sat up a permanent open department in the academy, where students could collaborate with other groups from outside and in this way not only launche their own education but open up the institution and build up important networks.

Program for Non-Stop Videovindue International 12/12/99 - 01/04/00:

  • 12/12 Anja Franke (DK)
  • 19/12 Kristine Kemp (DK)
  • 26/12 Chantal Michel (CH)
  • 3/1 Ann Lislegaard (DK)
  • 10/1 Eloise Porcarelli (CH)
  • 17/1 Birgit Johnsen/Hanne Nielsen (DK)
  • 24/1 Sue Webster/Tim Noble (GB)
  • 31/1 John Wood/Paul Harrison (GB)
  • 7/2 N55 (DK)
  • 14/2 Eric Lanz (CH)
  • 21/2 Sandra Kogut (F)
  • 28/2 Graziella Tomasi (NE)
  • 6/3 Monica Pirch (D)
  • 13/3 Anja Vormann (D)
  • 20/3 Stefan Rohner (CH)
  • 27/3 Simone Aaberg Kærn (DK)

Program for Non-Stop Videovindue International Second session jan- apr. 2002 is a project arranged as a co-operation between "Space of Advanced Art studies" (S.A.A.S.), Copenhagen, with Kirsten Dufour, "SHOOT", Malmø, with Lisa Strömbeck, and "And I'll do anything to get girls into my bedroom", London, with Emma Hedditch. The project has two parts, a video exhibition with a 12-week programme from 3 January to 31 March 2002, and a concluding presentation/discussion to be held at the end of March 2002.

  • 06. - 12. jan. Elisabet Apelmo: IĞm not naked (S)
  • 13. - 19. jan. Felix GMelin: :-) + :-( = :-I (S)
  • 20. - 26. jan. Marnie Weber: Destiny and blow-up friends (USA)
  • 27. - 02. feb. Lena Ignestam: Skyline (S)
  • 03. - 09. feb. Marika Bredler: Man to Mouse,T-shirt, Ulv, Fuck/Luck, Myra,Myrstack(S)
  • 10. - 16. feb. Serge Comte: Orange Sanguine (F)
  • 17. - 23. feb. Anna Brag: W (double You)(S) 24. - 01. marts. Bettina Munk: Smile (D)
  • 03. - 09. marts. Guppy, Yoko Hata: Moving Honey Honey City2 (Japan)
  • 10. - 16. marts. Michelle Naismith: My Black Sun (UK)
  • 17. - 23. marts. Marina Vishmidt: Nails (USA)
  • Eva Hjorth: Idun Varvin (DK)
  • 24. - 31. marts. Niki Woodham: Glass (UK)

A collection of comments from inhabitants in Baldersgade 69 and 70, Balders Plads 4 and 6, and from Station 2000 - a local radio station:

video window was a break in everyday life
it opened up for a conversations and discussions about art
the window wakes you up in the midst of everyday life
it gives you a lift
funny and humoristic, it was good to have
lightens up because it was pictures and movement
people stopped
I would like it to come back, but I wouldn't pay for it
it's something different
positive initiative
it has value that someone feels like starting a project like that
surprise led to confusion and uncertainty about what it was people felt
it a pity when the video projector was stolen
it was like a show in the southern countries
I was provoked about what it was all about
today there is a surplus of pictures, so on the street I would like a break from them
people from Nørrebro are maybe prejudiced in relation to not knowing what it is, and they think "bourgeois piss" here in the midst of the working class
the project is predictable here in Nørrebro, in the suburbs north of Copenhagen people would understand the meaning
there should be more explanationv
the great amount of pictures is an obstacle
right on!
it awakes emotions
one of the better initiatives
art to the people, so it's not elite
everyday users of art
the content was the interesting thing
the text video made me want to write an answer on the window
I am glad something happened in the street
good for the street with a touch of culture
great when I went by in the evening
when I didn't quite understand it, I looked at the text on the door
I especially remember the video with people that are sort of gliding
you can't help looking
it was an experience in the street scene you stopped and thought, what does it mean?
many videos repeat themselves it doesn't seem very deep
it created life in the street, especially when the television was projected out the window
it had no meaning for me
it made me think that I would like some art to decorate or look nice
there is no message or an experience in itself
that kind of art is very strange to me
technically, it is not perfect
art should beautify reality
I don't want to be surrounded by reality all the time
art should give life extra dimensions, for example, suffering, death, or desire
most of those I have seen have gone by without stopping
Baldersgade is the area of Nørrebro farthest out, so not many have watched
some of the videos made me feel embarrassed and ashamed at home
I have paintings that harmonize with my everyday life
there isn't any art in this area
just feel I'm being confronted with reality - I see enough of that every day
the first thing I think of is that the video projector was stolen i
t was the worst junk
it was embarrassing when you had guests
it was embarrassing that it came from our building
even the children made faces
the video of the women with the tool was grotesque
art outside is fine enough, but then it should be worth looking at
if art is to be seen every day, it should nice and beautiful
people stopped and said it was bad
it was just uninteresting
you couldn't choose, there was no button to shut it off
I stopped sometimes
it was a little different than what you usually see
it was good that it wasn't the same all the time
the idea is good
we're not used to having art blown up out of a window
it mostly grabs the young people because it's like the movies
we had art served to us

Collected by Helene Ollegård, art historian, by telephone, April 2000

see work at planet22


mette kit jensen

Involuntary listener

The woman's voice blubbers all through the hall: 'Honey, please let me in... please let me in...'
No response
Woman: 'buhuu, I'm so sorry'
The door on the 4th floor opens
Man's voice: 'It's your own fault'
Woman: 'Buhuu, I know, I'm sorry'
Man: 'So long'
There's a slamming of the door
Woman: 'Please let me in'
Man, this time through the closed door: 'So long'
The woman cries louder but moves away from the place and begins to walk down the stairs. The sound increases as she passes my door and fades away together with the sound of her steps to dissappear altogether the moment you hear the slamming of the main door.

The house is silent for about 10 min, then you hear the sound of the telephone ringing in the flat upstairs, continually. Nobody picks up the phone. The entire incident has lasted for about 20 min. Once again I've become the involuntary witness to these people's lives, in spite of the fact that I've never seen them as anything but blurred outlines which now and then passes by my scratched door spy. I have no idea who these people are who live their lives nights in the flat upstairs and partly on the stairway, and who apparently have come to a permanent agreement as to all questions of guilt. The man with the brutish voice keeps hurling endless accusations at the defendant, who voluntarily admits to everything. She is all too conscious of her guilt and thus have to spend more and more nights on the stairway with the doormat as her confessional, whispering her pleadings and confessions through the letter slit. Her weak voice fades away on the stairway, and to her appeals about being let in, her hangman responds with an occasional offended roar, 'Fuck off'. Even though I live alone in my flat, I seem to be sharing my life with these people, whose existence I virtually doubt in my desperate moments. They on their part seem to live in absolute ignorance of their audience. I have been forced to become an involuntary voyeur or more preciselyan involuntary listener. Forced to listen to these fragments of a radio play of changing sound quality, living in ignorance as to when they will be continued. In between there are no sounds for months, then they begin again or they are taken over by other series from the flat next door or downstairs. For instance, the flat on the 2nd floor is occupied by Mr. C, who is at home only rarely, but who apparently has a tremendous appetite for women. Sometimes there is a moaning and groaning coming through my bedroom floor, rythmic and passionate like the trains that pass outside my window.

The acoustic room of the city floats through streets, walls, and stairways. When I'm on the train or in the bus I get caught by private cell-phone conversations, involved in fights and reconsiliations. Against my will I've become a spy, constantly dragged into intimate relations, unfinished sentences, meeting arrangements, booking of tables, cancelings, and confirmations. As if I were a detective I'm being left to collect, resolve, and evict information, and in this way try to obtain meaning in the stream of sounds.

Copenhagen December 9th 2000 at 04:47 a.m.

see work at planet22


rainer ganahl

hotmail for desperate living is the name of my project for PLANET 22, a conceptual gallery in Geneva. It is just what it is, an e-mail address that now anxiously waits for mail.

The work consists of an illuminated panel, affixed to a gallery project wall in Geneva's red light district. Upon the panel, the address is written in white, surrounded by a pool of magenta. The sign glows silently, inviting passersby to respond in either French or English. E-mail addresses are private when on name cards or scribbled on tiny sheets of paper meant only for private exchanges. E-mail addresses are public when written on products, on advertising surfaces and flashing up on TV screens. When created by an individual, they can be used to express practicality, fantasy, individuality, invention and even desire and provocation. For example, or Nothing needs to be true. Network identities are usually initiated with e-mail addresses and they're supposed to be invented, to be staged for our communicational arenas. is a publicly located address, an open invitation to anyone who encounters it so long as they are familiar with e-mail and technically literate. E-mail however, suggests a private dialog. The questions are: will people take notice of it, and will they write to me? Will I start e-relationships? And how will this work affect with my private affaires?

I myself am an e-mail enthusiast since 1989. In many ways e-mail has changed my life: the way I organize my activities, the way I communicate, the way I even think and day-dream. We barely need anything anymore. Today, e-mail messages are retrievable from nearly anywhere and at any time using all kinds of convenient, portable devices. Quasi-public interfaces such as Hotmail or Yahoo have the ability to liberate us from our own machines and even from our personal belongings. Liberation however, comes at a price.

Online providers go to great lengths to promise their customers discretion and privacy while using their services. A false sense of safety and anonymity is created, as people freely play with real and electronic identities. The reality however is different. Marketing companies, law enforcement agencies, and others, have relatively easy access to your personal information, enabling them to track your every move, both on and off the Internet. Cookies for example, using HTML data file packets such as CGI scripts, are regularly placed within your hard drive by remote web servers controlled by information hungry companies. Cookies uniquely identify you during web interactions, creating records of who you are, and what actions you take on a website. Such records can be easily passed on to anonymous third-party companies, creating opportunities for abuses of privacy.

There is much more to be said about the private and public uses of e-mail and its technical, social and psychological infrastructure. I however, prefer to simply wait here for your mail.

In the end, what e-mail creates are states of perpetual expectation. Endless streams of waiting and waiting and an inbox full of spam.

Ecrivez-write me at!

Geneva, May 2000

One year into this socio-poetic experiment and I have received 192 messages from 10 different people, with my having sent 167. Not surprisingly, most of the respondents have been artists who initially heard of the project through art world channels. The majority of messages received at have been written by three different respondents, yet there have been about 300 more exchanges using my personal account, since real friendships have grown out of the work.

Getting to know people in this way has been an exciting and liberating experience. Relationships were established through e-mail texts alone, fueled by the distance between myself in New York and my e-pals in Switzerland. At one point, I asked for some chocolate and received presents and books via airmail. The e-mails eventually transformed into post cards, telephone conversations, and on two occasions personal encounters.

Experiences such as these are unique and unpredictable. They fit well with a psychology of curiosity, adventure and desire, in a state of fracture, rupture and social isolation. They simultaneously produce pleasure and frustration, since reality is harder to deal with then instant communication in a room of unrestricted and quasi-uncensored expressions. Through these meetings, writing becomes an art of encounter and community.

The city is falling on its stomach. This new situationist logic doesn't need to remember street names. Nadja, the mysterious flaneur in Breton's Paris of the early XX century can now get lost anywhere. An e-mail address and computer access is sufficient and anybody would be back on our screen. Loss and fragmentation still occur but aren't anymore only geographically defined. Combined with Boeing, Airbus and high speed train systems, the city and its multiple promises can be spread and carried around everywhere. Fog, urban darkness, danger and seduction exist also through grammar and the use of words and idioms. Strange attractors may be sent with electro-chemical idiosyncrasies. The beauty of late nights and of early mornings ends and begins with a password and some dial-up noise. E-dependencies go unnoticed and jet-leg becomes immanent when moving via the World Wide Web. Sleep and insomnia oscillate when we hit keyboards, scroll screens, and encounter friendly interfaces. Language is left behind as we continue clicking (incoming and outgoing) towards a time-zone-free horizon. I wish I were here; Wish you were here.

Etc. Etc. some subject (a selection): Eyes wide shut, Aug 27 2000, 2k; Re: sad sans le e., Aug 27 2000,1k; aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa( ueberuebelsensibel)rrr..., Aug 11 2000, 3k; very nice to hear from you...., Jul 29 2000, 1k; writing immunity; Jul 25 2000, 2k; cadeau, Jul 24 2000, 1k; creating immunities, Jul 23 2000, 1k; My very first hours...., Jul 23 2000, 1k; Re: I am a nice person, Jul 22 2000, 2k; Alles blau in blau sehen (Suite) (Suite)(Suit..., Jul 20 2000, 3k; Re: Schreiben Sie_ Moi, Jul 20 2000, 2k; Re: Le monstre du lac LEMON . Un épisode inéd...; Jul 18 2000, 1k; Re: lie or write, Jul 17 2000, 1k; (none), Jul 12 2000, 1k; Re: money money money... a song; Jul 6 2000, 2k; Re: a song, Jul 6 2000, 2k; write and buy, Jun 28 2000, 1k; steel and write, Jun 27 2000, 1k; Re: specified: : : very specified; Jun 26 2000, 3k; Re: No subject was specified. Yes "no subject..., Jun 19 2000, 2k; Blauer Fleckunempfindlich, Jun 18 2000, 1k; écrit, Jun 18 2000, 1k; scrivere, Jun 17 2000,1k; geschriebt, Jun 16 2000, 1k; alles superpflanzen, Jun 16 2000, 1k; writerobert, Jun 12 2000, 1k; ecrirons; Jun 11 2000, 1k; what a suspense, Jun 2 2000, 1k; Re: qu'est-ce que j'écris?, Jun 5 2000, 2k; qu'est-ce que j'écris? May 31 2000, 1k.

Scattered messages by people spread all over the world, including from the ones that are living next door or in the same room, intensify the pulse of things. This art of literate and literal encounters usually has something utopian and liberating about it, and is more like poetic lubrication than power. New York, May 22, 2001

see work at planet22


sabine wiese

rue de berne 22

l'histoire projeté par le bureau a. lozeron et m. mozer associés qui finissent les travaux fin 1964. le maître d'ouvrage, m. porter a également été l'initiateur de deux autres ensembles dans le quartier réalisés par le même bureau (rue de Zürich et pâquis-môle) les affectations au rez-de-chaussée étaient; un restaurant chinois, un bar rez une laverie publique. les 5 étages supérieures sont identiques comportant 8 studios par étages. le bâtiment sera rapidement 'habité' pas des prostituées et la location d'un studio coûte à l'époque 1000.- sfr environs. en 1985 les façades d'origine brûlent et sont remplacées par une façade en pvc. puis l'immeuble sera 'géré' par une maquerelle demandant 500.- sfr par personne et on trouvera jusqu'à 6 occupants par studio, le rendement est à son comble. Suite à un contrôle, le bâtiment se vide et des projets de rénovations légères sont prévus; mais commencé au 5ème étage, ils s'arrêteront, le propriétaire ayant fait faillite. resté vide pendant 8 ans, il est squatté en fin 1997. à la première étage maggi et yvette restent locataires officielles pour la régie. Le rez-de-chaussée reste utilisé par le bar 'lotus bleu', le 'hong-kong café chez tchang', le kebab 'al amir'.


nic ulmi

au rez de chaussee et demi

Nébuleuse d'Orion, NGC 1976 M42 dans ton catalogue de l'univers. Monsieur C vit ici, au rez-de-chaussée et demi, sur une planète qui porte le numéro 22. La numéro 24, juste à côte, est une planète assez bondée irriguée par un fluide pétillant; elle s'appelle "Chez Tschang". Sur la numéro 20, nommée Al Amir, on brûle à petit feu des animaux empalés sur de longs pieux. Sur quelle galaxie est-tu tombée?

Une bande signalétique orange et verte te donne, un peu plus loin, une indication: Orion, précisement. Une nébuleuse où l'on se promène vêtus de combinaisons en matière plastique qui exposent de larges portions de peau nue au contact de l'air, et dont les dispositifs de laçage et de délaçage semblent avoir été conçus par des ingénieurs en habillement pour prolonger le plus possible les phases d'enfilage et d'effeuillage. Mais on voit mal Monsieur C porter une de ces combinaisons ou s'abîmer dans les sous-sols interlope d'Orion érotique shop, NGC 1976 M42 dans ton catalogue de l'univers. Monsieur C est plutôt du genre à rechercher une certaine élévation: c'est d'ailleurs pourquoi il habite au rez-de-chaussée et demi sur la planète numéro 22. C'est en fait un studio, largement vitré, avec vue plongeante sur la rue. Ni tout à fait au rez, ni tout à fait à l'étage, Monsieur C vit là sa vie abrité par un rideau brodé et éclairé par un lustre démodé en forme de soucoupe volante années soixante.

Le rideau est juste assez bas pour te donner l'impression qu'en te mettant sur la pointe des pieds sur le trottoir d'en face, tu peux voir ce que Monsieur C fabrique dans sa piaule à l'entresol: Monsieur C a-t-il des dimensions normales? Vit il courbé, plié en deux?, Ou en quatre? T'as beau sautiller sur la chaussée, tu n'arrives pas à le voir. Tu sais pourtant qu'il est là. Non seulement la lumière est allumée, mais il y a des bruits, qu'on entend à travers des grilles rondes en se postant juste en-dessous, dans l'entrée du numéro 22. On découvre ainsi que Monsieur C est agité, mais routinier. On l'entend très distinctement tirer des meubles et des meubles et tourner bruyamment en rond à 9, 13, 17, 19, 21 et 23 heures, tous les jours, jusqu'au 4 octobre.

Après, Monsieur C devra partir, et le caisson vitré au-dessus de l'entrée du 22, rue de berne, à Genève, accueillera un nouvelle installation. planet22: sans doute un des plus petits espaces d'art contemporain de l'histoire du monde, et peut-être le seul où il est tout à fait impossible d'entrer. A moins, bien sûr, d'être Monsieur C: Thes secret life of Mister C, où La vie secret de Monsier C est donc visible - façon de dire - au 22 rue de berne, à Genève, grâce à l'artiste danoise Mette Kit Jensen. Qui aime son pays et surtout sa ville, Copenhague, où les gens t'abordent pour te raconter des choses intimes pendant que tu attends accoudé-e au comptoir d'un stand à saucisses ou posté-e en rang d'oignon sur un banc de l'abribus.


solvej dufour andersen

un extrait...

La formation, autour de la rue de Berne, d'une zone de bars et de prostitution est à mettre en relation avec la proximité de la gare et de l'ensemble du système hôtelier. ♥ Anciennement rue de l'Entrepôt - bâtiment démoli en 1892 pour faire place à la poste du Mont-Blanc - La rue prit très officiellement son nom de rue de Berne un 31 décembre de 1902. ♥ (...) un témoignage d'amitié confédérale qui nous rappelle que Genève est bien suisse. ♥ La loi du marché. Il y a l'Hôtel Barillon qui est fermé, où beaucoup de femmes travaillaient. Avant, dans les années quatre-vingt, le grand noyau de la prostitution, c'était 22, rue de Berne, en face: le Barillon, juste derrière il y avait le Vénitien, à la rue Grossier, et l'immeuble le Catelle. ♥ J'ai toujours rêvé que pendant les soldes, les nanas de la rue de Berne nous offrent une banderolle du genre 'Monstre braderie sur les pipes ' ou 'Prix sacrifiées, prix exceptionnels '. En travers de la rue, au niveau du deuxième étage. Ca serait drôle et joli. ♥ 26 mars 1879: les régisseurs Pilet-Bouvier informent que les auteurs de tapage à la rue de l'Entrepôt 11, font le même bruit au premier étage. (...) Des voisins m'ont assuré que tous les jours une vingtaine d'individus et souvent de nouvelles figures montaient dans les appartements de ces deux personnes. Ces deux personnes, deux prostituées vaudoises de 26 et respectivement 27 ans, ont un appartement au premier étage de cette rue et l'agent les décrit: 'Elle (sic) sont à la fenêtre, se faisant remarquer par leur tenue et leurs gestes, elle (sic) sont sans occupation et ne vivent que du produit de la prostitution. ' ♥ En 1961 déjà, étaient dénoncées au Grand-Conseil une série de démolitions dans le quartier ayant entraîné l'évacuation des habitants: Entre autres 22, rue de berne. ♥ Dans votre immeuble (22, rue de Berne), elles payaient jusqu'à 1800 frs. un studio (de 25 m2). À l'époque, comme il n'y avait pas beaucoup d'endroits où elles pouvaient travailler, elles étaient prêtes à payer 1800 frs... C'étaient des immeubles où il y avait une espèce de mafia derrière, ça augmentait, ça baissait... ♥

♥ O. Archambault ♥ R. Hippenmeyer, ♥ Pasteur Privat, ♥ Mireille Rodeville ♥ Sarcloret, ♥ A. Cairoli, ♥ O. Archambault ♥ Mireille Rodeville, Aspasie