Metropolis Revisited: Creative Engagements with Contemporary Urban Space

Uta Staiger,
Rositza Alexandrova,
Rudolf Netzelmann,
Kristin Veel,
Robert Wells
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This colloquium proposes to bring together two academic research papers and two art project presentations in order to stimulate interdisciplinary discussion on culture’s relationship to contemporary urban space.

ROSITZA ALEXANDROVA (Cambridge University) discusses “NuisanceScapes”, the ever more pervasive shrouding of metropolitan construction sites in Monarflex, mesh and advertising. As mere eyesores or as revered rites of ‘civic beautification’, these curious urban icons have their history imbedded in 19th-century flânerie as much as in more recent, more militant, anarchic architecture, both of which this paper sets out to explore.

URBAN DIALOGUES (Berlin-based art organisation) presents “Signs of the City - Metropolis Speaking”. In a time of rapid change within European communities, this urban research project on resemblance and diversity in Barcelona, London and Berlin documents an archive of cultural heritage through the eyes of the young generation. As a sign of our times it consciously counteracts fears of disappearing national identities in the European landscape.

KRISTIN VEEL (Cambridge University) rethinks “Representing Cityness - Online Art and Urban Metaphors”. ICT affects not only the urban experience, but also the way art conceptualises the city. This paper aims to explore the way in which the experience and representation of the contemporary city is approached through an organic metaphor in the online art project Inner City (2002) by British artist Stanza.

ROBERT WELLS (Guildhall School of Music & Drama) presents “Connect”: Whilst the Royal Festival Hall is being refurbished a series of dance/music pieces have been created that reflect and respond to changes in the building. Working with young people from across London in parts of the building normally closed to the public, including areas where building work is taking place, the project investigates how changes to urban landmarks reflect our changing priorities and tastes, and how art responds to these.

Keywords: Urbanity, Collaborations, Photography, Cybercity, Urban Metaphors, Site Specific Art
Stream: Art in Communities, Meaning and Representation
Presentation Type: Colloquium in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Uta Staiger

PhD Candidate, Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages, University of Cambridge

Educated at the universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge, she worked as a project manager and policy researcher at a Barcelona-based agency for international cultural cooperation. Recently, she has returned to Cambridge for a PhD on urban aesthetics and contemporary public spheres.

Rositza Alexandrova

PhD Candidate, MML Faculty, University of Cambridge

Rudolf Netzelmann

Project Manager, Urban Dialogues, Berlin

Rudolf Netzelmann is a sociologist and works as project manager and advisor to educational and art projects at the metropolitan arts organisation “urban dialogues”. Educated in Berlin and Barcelona, he specialises in art and media in urban and human resources development.

Kristin Veel

PhD Candidate, MML Faculty, University of Cambridge

Robert Wells

Deputy Head, Professional Development, Guildhall School of Music and Drama

Further to his post, Robert Wells is completing a PhD at Southampton University. He has taught music at Newham Sixth Form College and the University of East London, and has run projects at the Royal Festival Hall and the Barbican, amongst others

Ref: A06P0292