urban interface is both exhibition and artistic/curatorial research project exploring the interspaces between public and private urban space. In 2007 urban interface takes place in two European cities, Berlin and Oslo.The project deals with the changing notion of private and public space that occurs partly due to the everyday use of new technology. What can be observed is a two-fold phenomenon. On the one hand, there is apparently a growing desire to express oneself in public through media, on the other hand the public sphere shrinks increasingly and is more controlled and restricted than ever.Urban interface responses to this situation, in that the artworks convey the idea of public space as an accessible and contributive sphere. At the same time, they call attention to a more sensitive engagement with the private, physical and digital spheres.The works are developed for individual spaces by participating artists. In responding to sites and their inherent qualities, the artworks will become focal points of the shifting conceptions of private and public space.
Being sometimes immaterial, process-based and located at the difficult-to-define boundaries of private and public space, the artworks challenge all users – perceivers, organisers and the local authorities to formulate and discuss their individual understanding of those spaces. At the same time, the dispersed and temporary nature of the artworks challenges the formula of exhibitions in public space.This website is conceived as an archive and contributive forum which ideally could serve as a knowledge platform for other art projects dealing with or happening in public space. To that end, relevant processes between the involved parties such as artists, organisers, funders and the city administration will be published on this website. Hence this website can be understood as another interface between private and public, theory and practice.The thematic discourse was extended to presentations and panels accompanying the exhibition in Berlin.
In Oslo, urban interface includes a two-day international conference entitled ‘The Porous City: Art claiming the urban void’.urban interface is a project by Susanne Jaschko.
Between September 14 and October 7, 2007 urban interface | oslo presents six new artworks in a defined area within the Oslo districts Günerløkka, Grønland and Tøyen.
The city of Oslo is an interface, a space for social interaction and cultural diversity. The comparably small size of the city centre creates a dense urban situation in which housing and working go closely together. Large parts of the city centre seem to be finished, but with the new development of the harbour site Oslo will get a new face. Changes also happen slowly and less visible such as residential movements from one district to the other which are caused by appreciations of real estates. However Oslo offers a rather laid back urban environment with a lot of street life.
Similar to the exhibition in Berlin where the artworks were situated in the two neighbouring districts Mitte und Wedding, the area chosen in Oslo is characterised by huge social and cultural differences.
Almost a quarter of the population of Oslo are immigrants of which the large majority are non-western immigrants. The districts Toyen and Grønland are home to a huge community of Muslim immigrants who naturally have a strong influence on cultural life in their neighbourhoods. In contrast, Günerløkka is a hip district with nightlife and pricy shops, galleries, comparable to Berlin Mitte. In the past years, real estate prices and rents increased a lot which limits moving in and staying by economically weaker people. In many ways, this urban formation of almost mono-cultural neighbourhoods is a natural result of a once liberal immigration policy and a governmentally uncontrolled housing policy.
urban interface oslo deliberately connects fancy Günerløkka with two seemingly less attractive districts. It places artworks in the ordinary habitat of the residents and calls for their participation. The exhibition unfolds in non-places and transitory spaces between the private and public. These sites, mostly voids on the cultural map of Oslo are filled with art temporarily.
The artworks within urban interface oslo are predominately process-based which means that they develop and change over time instead of keeping to traditional formats of public art. Partly conceived as interventions with a performative element, party defining the genre of public sculpture in new ways, all artworks provoke thinking about what constitutes the public arena and contemporary art in it.
Whereas the three projects by Norwegian artists emanated from an open call the other three artworks were selected or commissioned directly.