Metahaven – ‘Stadtstaat. A Scenario for Merging Cities’

Metahaven – ‘Stadtstaat. A Scenario for Merging Cities’

Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons / Künstlerhaus Stuttgart

September 6, 2009

Stadtstaat. A Scenario for Merging Cities
A Project by Metahaven

Episode 1
17 July-12 September 2009
Künstlerhaus Stuttgart

www.kuenstlerhaus.de

Episode 2
Opening: Friday 25 September, 17.00-20.00
26 September-15 November 2009
Casco
Office for Art, Design and Theory

www.cascoprojects.org

Symposium
Networked Cities: Governance, Trust, Design

Sunday 15 November 2009 13.00-18.00
Casco

Künstlerhaus Stuttgart and Casco Office for Art, Design and Theory present Stadtstaat. A Scenario for Merging Cities, a project by Metahaven in two episodes. Following episode 1 on view until 12 September at Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, the opening of episode 2 will take place on 25 September at Casco in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Metahaven is a design studio that explores the ruptures in the fields of design, research and geopolitics. They operate with strategies of fiction and allegory to revise and mobilize the role of corporate identity and aesthetics in projections of political and economic power. They stage their speculative inquiries in highly visual and conceptually dense assemblages, which can take shape on the printed page, as a client brief, in ephemera like stamps, brochures and posters or take on the form of exhibitions, lectures and debates. Much of their work, since their founding in 2006, is gathered in the forthcoming book ‘Uncorporate Identity’, which also features a host of contextual and allusive texts by architects, novelists and political scientists.

Stadtstaat. A Scenario for Merging Cities projects a mise-en-scene of an urban experiment, not city twinning but city merging. Going beyond the conjectural scenarios of place-branding that have inflected their recent work, Metahaven invents models for a regional ‘city-state.’ With a programmatic reflection on the homogeneity that might befall European ‘unification,’ we are invited to imagine a policy decision by two mid-level Northern European cities that bid to weather the economic downturn and enhance their networking capacities by becoming one – Utrecht and Stuttgart. With a nod to the EU’s primary purpose as a trading bloc, these two enterprising cities try to become more competitive by joining forces, and pursuing the dream of unlimited network power. Departing from Metahaven’s forays into encryption and the space-structuring effects of new information technologies, ‘Stadtstaat’ is managed via an information architecture called ‘Trust,’ a social networking platform that governs through participation.

‘Stadtstaat’ generates forms that render the role of design in a managed and technocratic European reality more tangible and debatable. The graphic surface becomes a platform that turns communication into political interaction. This is done through the production and distribution of ephemera like letterheads, models, tapes and posters as well as ‘tag clouds’ and ‘chats’, which embody the emerging communal netspace of the formerly distinct cities.

Metahaven consists of Daniel van der Velden, Vinca Kruk, and Gon Zifroni.

Symposium
Networked Cities: Governance, Trust, Design

Sunday 15 November 2009 13.00-18.00
Casco

On the last day of Stadtstaat. A Scenario for Merging Cities a public forum with international thinkers and practitioners will be organized in order to discuss the issue of urban governance and politics in the light of network power and the thrust of participation.

Speakers include: Pier Vittorio Aureli, architect and author of the book ‘The Project of Autonomy’, Rotterdam; Theo Deutinger, architect and infographic designer, Rotterdam; Matthias Görlich, designer, researcher and co-initiator of the ‘Civic City’ programme, Zurich; Ingo Niermann, writer and editor of the Solution series (Sternberg Press), Berlin; Marina Vishmidt, critic and co-editor of ‘Uncorporate Identity’, London; and Metahaven.

Stadtstaat. A Scenario for Merging Cities is supported by Mondriaan Foundation, Gemeente Utrecht and Utrecht Consortium/Sia Raak.

Please note that the exhibition ‘Grammar of the World – Based on Operational Play’ by Hwayeon Nam is on view till 20 September at Casco.

Contact information:

Künstlerhaus Stuttgart
Reuchlinstrasse 4b
D – 70178 Stuttgart
Tel. +49 (711) 617652

www.kuenstlerhaus.de

Casco
Office for Art, Design and Theory
Nieuwekade 213-215
3511RW Utrecht
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0)30 231 9995

www.cascoprojects.org

For further inquires, please contact Jaring Dürst Britt (jaring@cascoprojects.org).

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Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons / Künstlerhaus Stuttgart
September 6, 2009

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