Our century converted the grand modernist idea of global village into an urban territory that shrinks and expands according to its own political and economic needs. Continuously pulsating from a single point to a total territory and vice versa, urbanization took over urbanism, significantly changing the ways we think, feel and operate within space. The political drive to understand our own position between the global and the local has been reduced to a single intuitive click inside a mapping interface. The pointillism of screen tapping has rendered visible the well-connected social systems and the brand new political agendas. Yet, the dream of equality and freedom that emerged through this long pursuit, evaporated soon into a limited number of social clouds - shaped and controlled by the latest programming codes.
Are we able to read layers of code inscribed into a territorial palimpsest we have occupied over the last century? To what extent can we understand our own space after it has been reduced to points and fragments dispersed on different sides of political, psychological and economic borders? Finally, are we sufficiently equipped to recognize the points and amplify their potentials to (re)generate an entire territory; and how can we (re)imagine the territorial totality while aiming to change the nature of each specific point?
Today, after urbanism, new spatial practices come to the fore, they choose neither means nor media; geography mutates into entirely new systems of spatial understanding that freely slide from one scale to another.
Situated between the phenomena of territoriality and site-specificity, this issue of Život umjetnosti intends to tackle the interscalar mechanisms of our world.
The topic of Život umjetnosti Issue 96, focuses on diversity of spatial practices that intersect and connect different domains of interest: from speculative and technological approaches to the urban environment, to installation and land art, public art, performance and activism.
Aiming to spatialize non-spatial concepts and disciplines, this issue proposes the use of geography as a flexible research and design framework. Instead of relying on its autonomous scientific apparatus, it advocates for the use of hybrid geographical disciplines such as experimental and radical geography, psycho-geography, geography of memory, geography of the body, etc.
Along with their textual contribution, the authors are invited to create at least one original map or model that visualizes a specific subject, a methodological or cognitive process, a theoretical concept, or any other construct important for their research. Authors are free to determine the media, format, and visual style of their maps.
Aiming to further explore the possibilities of spatializing journal’s main hypotheses, visual and textual contributions will be presented at the exhibition planned for late 2015. Transgressing from the text to the map, and then to a specific exhibition site, this issue of the Život umjetnosti tends to experiment with its own body of interest.
Nikola Bojić is a researcher and designer interested in spatial storytelling. Whether on territorial or site-specific scale, his practice often digs into the social and political dimensions of space, analyzing and disturbing the lines that divide public and private realms. He holds a Master degree in Art History and Museology from University of Zagreb and a postgraduate Master degree in Design Studies from Harvard University. nikolabojic.com
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