Shadowing the City: Hypertextualisation of Urban Spaces

Written by on 2009-05-08

Shadowing The City

On this green clouded peak
The sneering city is silenced
It is slowed by distance,
Chess pieces scuttle down
streets – carried by chance.

Peering down or looking out
A salt splattered beacon burns
Not with the heat from a flame
but with secrets from a forgotten age.

Fragile blades dance around its
base, celebrating an eternal gift.
Waves crash somewhere below
All is silent here, it’s so loud
we can think of nothing but time.”

As a special program within the project Re-Collecting City, Re-Collecting Time, an international workshop conference was organized in Zagreb, May 8.-10.2009.
at the Student Centre (25 Savska street), called Shadowing The City; with more than forty professionals, thinkers and practitioners from different fields (arts, inter-media, architecture, anthropology, cultural polities, etc.) from sixteen countries.

In the meantime, Re-Collecting City, Re-Collecting Time has expanded to the entire region of the Western Balkans. It was conceived as a series of preparatory workshops in different cities of the region (Zagreb, Belgrade, Ljubljana, Dubrovnik) that would lead to an international research workshop. The preparatory workshops were detecting innovative and artistic practices dealing with certain issues while offering the know-how of the project leaders, accumulated through the Re-Collecting City, Re-Collecting Time project. Each workshop had a somewhat different format and each was documented either in a material or virtual form (or both). Selected participants of those workshops were taking part in the research workshop Shadowing the City: Hypertextualisation of Urban Spaces, together with other artists, cultural researchers, architects, anthropologists, operators and officials from fourteen countries world-wide.

The notion of shadowing has at least a two-fold meaning: one comes from the visual arts terminology and stands for giving texture and volume to two-dimensional plains. The other meaning comes from the social sciences and is used in the performing arts as a method of merging with the surrounding as well as the situation, mimicking its unfolding and traits. Shadowing the City embraces both meanings.

This three-day intensive workshop was aimed at detecting the specifics of approaches to the immaterial cultural heritage and cultural memory in urban spaces through different artistic practices and initiatives, urban culture theory and social science. The workshop format consisted of thematic clusters of concise presentations, filled with various artistic projects and other cultural endeavours dealing with the topic. The presentations were intertwined with discussions – that way a dynamic dialogue forms, shying away from the ex cathedra principle. The concentric circles or layers of different approaches, analysed and reflected through discussions allowed for some new perspectives.

With the kind support of the European Cultural Foundation, Office for Culture, Education and Sports of the City of Zagreb, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia and the Zagreb Student Cultural Centre.


Research workshop Shadowing the City:
Hypertextualisation of Urban Spaces was financially supported by: Embassy of the United States Zagreb, National Foundation for Civil Society Development, CulturesFrance

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