Recommended – „Initiate!“

Sassen, Saskia (2006): Public Interventions. The Shifting Meaning of the Urban Condition. In: Open 2006/12, S. 18-26.

Saskia Sassen’s essay deals with the influence of globalization and digitization processes on urban space and analyzes artistic strategies to make things which are visible on a local level only, accessible to a worldwide audience. Sassen discusses two urban places which are increasingly challenged: public spaces and also so-called “terrains vagues”. Dwelling between mega buildings and terrains vagues reinsert the possibility of urban making by e.g. critical architectural interventions on small or medium-level scales. Sassen defines these in-between zones as a chance to open up questions about the urban condition by using different artforms in order to transform awkward unused spaces that have been forgotten or do not fit the needs of utility-driven plans. The author talks about community-based art, installations and also public sculptures.

Sassen’s argument is that the existence of the global economic system has made the formation of new global circuits possible, the same system that the new formations contest. So one can say that different groups use the same sources to pursue their aims, but the critical voices grow in terrains vagues and not in perfectly designed places.

(Tina Dehner)

( 2012): Recommended – „Initiate!“. In: p/art/icipate – Kultur aktiv gestalten # 01 ,