Workshop and Co-Lab
on Urban Lifeworlds and Aesthetic Activism
Sensing Change, Changing Seismographies in the City
GAA (German Anthropological Association) Conference 2021: Welten. Zonen. Atmosphären. Seismographien des Anthropozäns (Bremen/ online)
Convenors: Aylin Tschoepe (University of Basel), Carolin Genz (HU Berlin), Paola Ivanov (FU Berlin), Valerie Hänsch (LMU Munich)
In this session, we focus on transformative processes and multi-sensory practices in urban spaces by combining theoretical and methodological approaches. Uprisings, protests and struggles in cities visually, acoustically, materially and performatively intervene to experiment with alternative futures and new designs of possible worlds. For the first part, we invite submissions investigating how a sense of change is constituted through aesthetic practices and their human and non-human entanglements. We seek to explore the relationships between aesthetics, its affective resonance and the reconfiguration of urban spaces.
How do aesthetic practices shape public spaces and what kinds of imaginations and emotions do they create? How do they mutually inspire each other in networks of resistance and contribute to the re-appropriation of the city? Rather than focusing on an instrumental relationship between aesthetics and protests, we seek to foreground aesthetic activism and its relational practices that create alternative spaces, be they ephemeral or become stabilized.
In the second part, we ethnographically explore potentials of collaborative research on urban settings building on participants’ interests. In the lab, we engage with changes relational to urban transformations. These changes can be seismographically identified through moments where boundaries can be perceived - spatially, temporally and performatively – in infrastructures, bodies, objects, natures, in everyday rhythms and practices. We capture changes through multimodal ethnographic visualizations. The lab starts by introducing image-based urban ethnographic methods to explore boundary moments, and we provide guidance to participants for an exploration in their neighborhood. Next, everyone will be offline, using proposed methods and attending to various ‘boundary moments’ their surrounding area. Ending up, we will come back online on a collaborative virtual platform to reflect critically and map collectively, bringing our observations to a common (virtual) table.
For an overview of the conference:
critical urban tour, tracking with Relive (Tschoepe 2020)