Participation in a curatorial project is an integral part of the course of study taken by the members of the Research Training (RTG). Thanks to its content and methodology, the RTG is in a particularly excellent position to offer its members the potential to participate in a curatorial project that challenges the genesis of knowledge, structures and processes of social participation and of representation inside and outside the established spaces and formats of academic practice. The project is conducted in partnership with the Academy of the Arts of the World and creates a framework in which the participants from the RTG collaborate on an exhibition project with an urban reference. Participating in the public space is a relevant process in the RTG’s urban-related, inter- and transdisciplinary exhibition project.
The project makes it possible to address the manifold operations of connecting and excluding in the city of Cologne on the premises of the Academy of the Arts of the World and at other locations. Furthermore, our intention is to exhibit (southern) global projects that deal with the key issues in this field: the structures and processes of social participation in socio-digital networks in the city and in society. These projects show for example that digital networks create new opportunities for the emergence of public spaces in a variety of historical and social contexts. One example is the coordination of public gatherings in public and semi-public spaces through social networks, accompanied by a digital discourse. Further examples of such gatherings might include socio-political collectives, protest movements and migration networks, which follow their own specific practices of publicity and secrecy.
The purpose of the proposed exhibition project is to study public spaces which, as a consequence of local or global processes of exclusion, have been neglected or consciously overlooked. However, as alleged “non-spaces”, they are gaining in attractiveness for socio-political counter-movements and experimental artistic collectives. The proposed exhibition, which is located at the nexus of art, experimental design, architecture and urban research, seeks to transform these public spaces into temporary laboratories for the contemporary production of informal networks within and beyond the urban space.
The exhibition will be designed, organised and arranged by members of the RTG together with guest artists, designers and architects in close collaboration with local partners. The artistic and creative approaches used for the exhibition are intended to encourage its contributors to shed light on visions, critical issues and individual facets of the topic at hand and to discuss them with the wider public. Accompanying the exhibition, various events and platforms such as round table discussions, workshops, performances and film screenings are also planned.