Thursday, March 22, 2012

I N V I S I B L E  W A L L 
Psychogeographical expeditions in border area between Austria and Slovakia
Vienna and Bratislava are almost the closest capitals in the world, the distance between the cities is around 56 km. After Slovakia entered into Schengen zone, there is no active border control between the countries. Conditions for interaction between the two cities are good (infrastructure, regular public transport, small distance, etc), but still Bratislava has quite a marginal position among many people in Vienna, who`s geographical priorities are West-oriented (as almost everywhere in the world). The causes such tendencies might also be related with the Austrian imperialist nostalgy (Bratislava is still known as Pressburg among many Austrians), prejudice at former Eastern Europe and the isolating matrixes of nation state ideologies. 
Psychogeography is a metaphor, which characterizes a site related consciousness as a developing process in constant change and recovery. The site might vary from direct physical surroundings to wide abstractions. The process might involve artistic practices and outputs, related to any content – from perception matters and interpretations (poetics of space, synesthesia, apophenia, mythogeographies, etc) to critical research and intervention.
Psychogeographical expeditions create personal and/or shared experiences of space. Crossing borders or experiencing border areas expand the geographical consciousness to marginal non-places, that exist as scaffolding and buffer zones for mainstream landscape units. The participation of such expeditions is based on individuality (the aims and outputs of every single participant are different and can be used for different purposes) and shared experience, which are usually reflected by documentation, intrpretation, symbolization, etc.
INVISIBLE WALL is a part of my artistic PhD research project and is focused on studying the set-up of (former) East-European landscape paradigm.
First expedition of INVISIBLE WALLS project takes place in 24-th of March 2012.
a) Border and it`s embodiments: natural borders (Danube) vs political borders; the politics of nature and natural borders. Embodiments of the past – the contemporary border landscape as result of Socialist past. 
b) The identity of border: border as the political language of landscape; Danube river as fundamental border (grand narrative of landscape) in Europe; Danube as communication channel and rhetorical platform – border as communication unit.
c) The identity of landscape: understanding nature; from idosyncrasy to biopolitics. How do border landscapes deconstruct landscape iconographies (Austrian landscape, Slovakian landscape, Western landscape, Eastern landscape, Capitalist landscape, Post-Soviet landscape, Globalist landscape, etc)?
d) Allusions of landscape: Roman imperialism (Petronell-Carnuntum, Danube), Austro Hungarian imperialism, Socialist Era, East vs West.
e) Contextualization of landscape and the experience; de-conceptualizing the whole event and setting up alternative, artistic and non-artistic positions.
The expedition in not a sensational artistic one-timer event, it is a starting point of continuous thinking about borders in different geographical contexts. The output of this event might be collection of experience in the form of texts and artefacts, thoughts and activities.
List of former psychogeographical expeditions, performed with Tartu experimentalist movement "eksp".