Building a
new city
Infrastructural
interventions

Intro

A new city: Oberhausen was only built when the coal and steel industries developed in the area in the 18th century. In the 1990s, Oberhausen was imagined anew again as a shopping and leisure paradise. A shopping mall was conceived as its “new” city centre, a decision that is blamed by many for the emptiness and decay of Oberhausen’s old city centre.

With the loss of the industry that shaped the city for many years, Oberhausen seems to have lost its purpose. What does it mean for a city when its raison d’être has disappeared? What would a city look like that was built according to the desires and demands of its citizens today? How should we deal with a reality set in concrete, with the infrastructural restrictions imposed by a different age?
Infrastructural decisions create the basis for how we live together: infrastructures not only enable actions; they regulate the potential for action. Infrastructures favour certain uses and complicate others. Infrastructures regulate access to and participation in many areas of society. Because of their scale and the different interests involved (political, economic), infrastructural decisions often evade political control. Regardless of their respective visibilities and invisibilities, infrastructures can obstruct the conditions of their functioning.

For Actopolis, we invite artists to engage with the city on an infrastructural level, and to envision and facilitate new urban practices through infrastructural interventions – creating new infrastructures as well as converting existing or revitalising derelict infrastructures. “Building a new city”, starting to live in one.

Blog

Take a look behind the scenes: in the LAB, the artists are developing their projects online. Your contributions and comments to the work in progress are welcome!

  • ACTOPOLIS in Oberhausen: Activists wanted!

    7 March 2017 00:09 by ACTOPOLIS

    acropolis flag

    ACTOPOLIS travelled on to Oberhausen in autumn 2016. “We are building a new city” was the slogan put out by the artist collective geheimagentur, which carried out various actions relating to the themes of experiencing and joining in: there was a chewing gum museum to discover, some garden plots were created in the city centre, and there was even the possibility of meeting a monster. In all the actions the paramount question was, how do we want to live together and what do we need for this. Now the concluding exhibition gives you a chance to find out how the results of these actions are to be seen in the context of the other ACTOPOLIS projects.

  • Problem Solving 2.0

    23 September 2016 20:02 by ACTOPOLIS

    Fotos aus Actopolis_c_Daniel Ladnar / Urbane Künste Ruhr 2016
    Conjured up in a trailer WE ARE VISUAL (aka Felix Jung and Marc Einsiedel) answers to tomorrow’s problems were a real stunner. Participants of all ages were highly engaged, designing and presenting their intriguing solutions in this mobile future lab.

  • Anybody See the Monster?

    16 September 2016 10:56 by ACTOPOLIS

    <br />
Fotos aus Actopolis_c_Daniel Ladnar/Urbane Künste Ruhr 2016
    Lars Moritz gifted the city its very own monster. Visitors could book monster safaris in the city center, while monster souvenirs proved to be a hot seller. Word has it, the monster has since moved on. You would have needed to see it to believe it.



    Watch the video here.

  • Investigating the City’s Upmost Layer

    13 September 2016 11:33 by ACTOPOLIS

    Fotos aus Actopolis Oberhausen_c_Daniel Ladnar/Urbane Künste Ruhr 2016

    Susanne Kudielka and Kaspar Wimberley welcomed visitors to Europe’s first ever chewing gum museum. Gum however, was not the only attraction. Situated in the archaeological museum the “museological forum for utopian identities” further stimulated thoughts and discussions dealing with the role of museums and urban particularities.

  • Pedestrian Plotting

    12 September 2016 08:53 by ACTOPOLIS

    Fotos aus Actopolis_c_Daniel Ladnar/Urbane Künste Ruhr 2016
    In the midst of the city’s former pedestrian zone Dirk Schlichting positioned this row of garden plots. The initial phase featured the allotment of a ‘sample garden’, thus assigning a new function to a designated area and creating a juxtaposition of representation and privacy, of old and new urban space. Residents were then able to rent the sample garden to hold a spontaneous barbecue or spend a summer afternoon relaxing in the garden.

  • ACTOPOLIS OBERHAUSEN PROGRAMME IS OUT!

    30 August 2016 13:05 by ACTOPOLIS


    On the 31st of August 2016, Actopolis Oberhausen curators will get rid of the old city to make space for a new one. Find out what follows on the eleven days after their Destruction Workshop in the programme of We Are Building a New City!

PARTICIPANTS

Denise Ritter

Denise Ritter

Actopolis-City: Oberhausen

Denise Ritter is a sound artist working internationally in the field of sound installation and electro-acoustic music. After graduating with a diploma in geography, she studied audiovisual art as a master-class student with Christina Kubisch. The artist lives in the Ruhr area and her work has been awarded several grants.

Denise Ritter realises electroacoustic sound installations and sculptures which are mostly site-specific and always use precisely composed electro-acoustic pieces made of field recordings and concrete noise recordings. For the Industrial / Musique concrète pieces of her CD releases aka "Schachtanlage Gegenort" she makes sound recordings of the coal mining and iron and steel industries. In 2013 she initiated the global participatory sound art project "small world wide".
© Till Schlichting
Dirk Schlichting

Dirk Schlichting

© Till Schlichting
Actopolis-City: Oberhausen

Dirk Schlichting was born in Düsseldorf in 1965. Between 1988-1995 he studied at the Art Academy in Münster under Prof. Joachim Bandau. In 1992 he was a master student and was awarded the "Förderpreis der Gemeinde Everswinkel" and the "Förderpreis Studiogalerie XVI" in 1993.He is a member of the Westdeutscher and Deutscher Künstlerbund and lives and works in Herne and Dortmund.

Dirk Schlichting's main interest is sculptural work with a focus on site and space-specific installations. His installations are often designed as temporary interventions.
Examples of his work include:
2015 stiegenmuseum.ebensee, Festival der Regionen, Ebensee/ Austria;
2012 erwartet, Kunstkirche Bochum;
2010 Expedition, liquid area/ waterways, Städtische Galerie Herne; 2010 schrankenlos, grenzgebiet ruhr, Westpark Bochum;
2008 Innere, Dortmunder Kunstverein; and
2003 Panorama, Sukun/ Stille, Mobile Städt. Galerie im Museum Folkwang, Essen
www.dirkschlichting.de
© geheimagentur
geheimagentur

geheimagentur

© geheimagentur
Actopolis-City: Oberhausen

geheimagentur is an open collective; people who have participated in geheimagentur projects are free to use the label "geheimagentur" for future projects. In order for this to work, we remain anonymous ‒ geheimagentur translates as "secret agency". Thus, it is difficult for us to provide "personal info" - but we have recently celebrated our 12th birthday.

geheimagentur produces situations and institutions that appear to be fictional but then nonetheless withstand the test of reality. The performances of geheimagentur cross the boundaries of symbolic politics towards "instant pleasure": they create a miniature version of another reality rather than confirming the old world in critical gestures. geheimagentur is an independent label, an open collective and the attempt to practise the "art of being many".
www.geheimagentur.net
Lars Moritz

Lars Moritz

Actopolis-City: Oberhausen

Lars Moritz lives in Vienna and works as a performance artist and artistic researcher of everyday life. He is an assistant in the department for Architecture | Urbanism at the University of Arts in Linz (A). He runs the co-working space Ver:schwender in Vienna.

Lars Moritz founded the Institute for Research of the Everyday as a platform for artistic research and direct action. Research projects, installations and performances of the institute have been presented in different countries and various locations, from theatres to motorway service areas. In 2014 he created the Neighbourhood National Park in Vienna, the first national park in an inner city area. Together with performance artist Otmar Wagner he invented the news journal AKTION AKTUELL as a mixture of TV and performance art. These and other projects work with the idea of radical infotainment and new ways of producing and presenting knowledge. As part of irreality.tv he creates internet series based on a strategy called soapification.

alltagsforschung.org/
irreality.tv
Susanne Kudielka / Kaspar Wimberley

Susanne Kudielka / Kaspar Wimberley

Actopolis-City: Oberhausen

Susanne and Kaspar work as artists, producers, curators and researchers, specialising in site-responsive and inter-disciplinary 'public-art' practices. They are based in Stuttgart and Jersey.

Re-imagining the everyday
Projects have been described as an invitation to experience or take part in something extraordinary and a catalyst for dialogue and exchange. The common thread that runs through their work is an attempt to sensitise people to existing social, political or cultural conditions, exposing, negating or interrogating the hierarchy of the moment.

Susanne and Kaspar have worked for museums, art festivals, art institutions, universities, NGOs, schools and as independent producers, in collaboration with dog owners, bakers, landlords, bikers, gardeners, fishermen, homeless people, magicians, teenagers, shopkeepers, a choir and asylum seekers.
www.treacletheatre.co.uk/portfolio
© Sebastian Asiedu
WE ARE VISUAL

WE ARE VISUAL

© Sebastian Asiedu
Actopolis-City: Oberhausen

Marc Einsiedel *1983 in Flensburg, Germany.
Felix Jung *1985 in Stade, Germany.
Working as an artist duo since 2010; based in Hamburg

We are Visual is an artist duo working mainly in the public space but also in galleries and museums. Their focus lies on installation, intervention and invention.
www.wearevisual.org