Nine Urban Biotopes

Negotiating the Future of Urban Living

Berlin – Johannesburg – London

from July through September 2014


In the third trialogue Terry Kurgan explores the phenomenon of co-housing cultures in Berlin, while at the same time Anthony Schrag collaborates with local neighborhoods in three inner-city districts of Johannesburg, and Ra Hlasane shares radical forms of pedagogy and self-devised curricula with a group of young people in South London.


Read more about each of these residencies and follow the project on our timeline website.













recent projects

Category: urban biotopes | 
Posted by: stefan

Conceiving and building together: 20 students of ENSAPB visit the settlement in order to investigate and start the building process with the community! For one year, many things have been happening and discussed with the Rom Community living at the Ecodrom Village. But now it is time to celebrate this great adventure and the final moment of the artist residency. And of course to inaugure the new constructions:

5 July 3.30 pm at Village Ecodrom 15bis rue Saint-Antoine, Montreuil.


Association, Collectif d'architectes
Atelier : 19, rue Saint Just / 93100 MONTREUIL
Siège : 62, avenue Claude Vellefaux / 75010 PARIS


Category: urban biotopes | 
Posted by: stefan

Compliments and Complaints, taking place for one day on Friday 27 June, is a cultural action - the product of a process of interactions between street traders from Warwick Junction, Berlin-based artist Armin Linke, and Durban-based artist/architect Doung Anwar Jahangeer (dala).


Over a period of time and a series of conversations, 10 traders were given disposable cameras in order to document their daily home and working realities and challenges. Compliments and Complaints is the result of this conversation. Taking place at two sites - inside the Early Morning Market, and along the pavement of Julius Nyerere Street - the installation will include photographic and video installations of trader photographs and interviews, as well as a dedicated wall on which those who have something to say about the challenges of their lived realities, may inscribe their opinions.


An initiator of dialogue, Compliments and Complaints thus offers a platform for those, like traders, who are constantly negotiating the delicate balance between inhabiting the informal realities of the pavement, and the formalised structures that govern them.

Parco Arte Vivente (PAV) Turin: vegetation as a political agent

Category: urban biotopes | 
Posted by: stefan

(c) Marco Bottiglione

Vegetation as a political agent


The exhibition aims to investigate the historical and social implications of the plant world in light of the ever-increasing reclaim of "green" as an agent of change in relation to current neoliberal processes. To place a plant within a historical context means to consider not only its biological constitution, but also the social and political factors, which see it already positioned at the centre of the earliest forms of economic globalisation. The colonial plantations and maritime trade of the 17th and 18th centuries gave rise to the first systems of species control, and saw the emergence of cases of land expropriation and exploitation in the pursuit to monopolise spices. The exhibition seeks to shed light on the various stages in history in which vegetation served as a symbol of social emancipation.


Two projects related to the 9UB project are contributing to the show: Marjetica Potrč established a self-organized a vegetable garden and a park in Soweto. Daniel Halter works with flowering plants that have taken root in theItalian landscape but originate from South Africa, proposing a form of a reverse colonization of Europe by African invaders.


31 May–2 November 2014


Opening Friday, 30 May, 6:30pm


Parco Arte Vivente
Via Giordano Bruno 31
10134 Turin

Opening Hours

Friday 3–5pm and
Saturday–Sunday noon–7pm







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Der Stadtkunstverein urban dialogues

Seit 1998 sind die permanente Veränderung und die mannigfaltigen Phänomene der Großstadt Gegenstand des Tuns und des Beobachtens von urban dialogues. An Orten des Umbruchs entstehen dabei immer wieder neue kontextbezogene künstlerische Auseinandersetzungen.


Ausgangspunkt war die Kunstaktion urban dialogues outside, die sich mit den letzten Momenten der tiefgehenden Umstrukturierung der Berliner Mitte rund um den Hackeschen Markt in Form von künstlerischen Interventionen bildnerischer und performativer Art auseinander setzte. Was damals als eine ortsbezogene Momentaufnahme begann, ist mehr und mehr zu einem vielschichtigen und komplexen Forschen mit künstlerischen Mitteln im urbanen Raum gereift und immer stärker in einen internationalen Fokus geraten.


Ein grundlegendes künstlerisches Prinzip von urban dialogues ist der Orts- und Perspektivenwechsel als Voraussetzung ästhetischer Sensibilisierung.    In den letzten Jahren entstand ein wachsendes Angebot für Jugendliche und junge Erwachsene, das die Partizipation am kreativen Forschen zum Mittelpunkt hat.


Gefördert wurden die Projekte bisher unter anderem durch die Europäische Kommission Programm Kultur 2007, den Hauptstadtkulturfonds, die Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung des Landes Berlin, das British Council, die Senatsverwaltung für Kulturelle Angelegenheiten des Landes Berlin, die Jugend- und Familienstiftung des Landes Berlin, den Fonds Soziokultur in Bonn, den Fonds Darstellende Künste in Bonn, die SONY Deutschland GmbH, die Siemens AG und die Allianz AG.


Bei der Realisierung unserer Projekte im Ausland waren die Goethe-Institute in Barcelona, London und Sofia wichtige Partner. Mit dem Centre for Urban and Community Research (CUCR), Goldsmiths College, University of London, haben wir ein weltweit führendes Institut der Sozialwissenschaft als akademischen Partner für das Projekt 'Signs of the City - Metropolis speaking' gewinnen können.

urban dialogues ist Mitglied der Landesvereinigung Kulturelle Jugendbildung Berlin e.V.


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The Metropolitan Art Organisation urban dialogues

Since 1998 the metropolitan art organisation urban dialogues has been experimenting with the urban spaces of the city of Berlin searching for interesting grounds for temporary, public and participative art projects.

Starting point was a project entitled urban dialogues (outside) in 1998. The project addressed the final moments of the reconstruction of central Berlin in form of an artistic visual and performative intervention. The idea of exploring a particular area within its contemporary usage as a spatial system within its own history and through its silently slumbering visions has been repeated in various areas in Berlin through a multitude of artistic approaches.

The artistic principle of urban dialogues is to bring aesthetic sensitivity to the rapid changes of place and perspective within the city landscape. Since 2002 urban dialogues has worked within the social regeneration programmes in urban crisis zones, focussed on integrating youth and young adults in the production of art and culture.

The artistic projects of urban dialogues which began in the centre of Berlin as a scrutiny of the dramatically changing environment, have since then developed in a manifold artistic discourse with the phenomenon of urban spaces, urban literature and urban signs.

The projects have run with the support of, amongst others, the Capital Cultural Fund Berlin, the Cultural Programme of the European Commission Culture 2007, the Senate for Urban Development Berlin, the Youth and Family Foundation Berlin, the Sociocultural Foundation Bonn, the Foundation for the Dramatic Arts Bonn, the Spanish Embassy in Berlin, the British Council Germany, Siemens AG and Allianz AG.


The projects has been realised in co-operation with Goethe-Institutes in Barcelona, London and Sofia.


The Centre for Urban and Community Research (CUCR), Goldsmiths College, University of London, has been the academic partner for the project 'Signs of the City  - Metropolis speaking' in 2006 - 2008.




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L´association artistique urban dialogues

Depuis sa naissance en 1998, urban dialogues traverse l´océan urbain de la métropole allemande à la recherche de débarcadères pour réaliser ses projets artistiques temporaires, intervenant dans le contexte urbain et social.

Né sous l´impulsion du bouleversement profond de la réunification allemande et la mutation rapide du centre ville de la capitale qui en était le résultat, urban dialogues s´est constitué autour d´un petit réseau d´acteurs culturels, d´artistes, de chercheurs, conscient que la ville est aussi et avant tout une construction symbolique et imaginaire. urban dialogues (outside), était le tître de la première manifestation artistique du groupe.


Suivant l´idée que l´espace urbain dans sa structure se fait de coutumes aussi que d´événements vécus, de relations humaines et de bribes de mémoire, urban dialogues s´est mis à saisir et à faire ressurgir aux diverses lieux de la ville leur histoire et leurs visions secrets.

Entre autres les projets sont supportés par le programme Culture 2007 de la Commission Européenne, le Hauptstadtkulturfonds, la Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung des Landes Berlin, la Senatskanzlei für kulturelle Angelegenheiten des Landes Berlin, les Fonds Soziokultur á Bonn, le British Council Allemagne, l´Ambassade d´Espagne, le Siemens AG et l´ Allianz AG.

La asociación artística metropolitana urban dialogues

La permanente transformación y los variados fenómenos de una gran ciudad, son objeto de observación y acción de la Asociación de Arte Urbano urban dialogues. En lugares de ajustes o tranformaciones urbanas, surgen permanentemente nuevas discusiónes en el contexto artístico. Desde 1998 urban dialogues navega en el inmenso mar urbano berlinés, en la búsqueda de un interesante atracadero para proyectos temporales y relativos al lugar.

Punto de inicio, fue la acción artística „urban dialogues (outside)“ que confrontan en forma artística, visual y performativa los últimos momentos de la profunda reestructuración de Berlín Central, en los alrededores del Hackescher Markt.

Lo que en aquella ocasión comenzó como una instantánea local, maduró a una más compleja investigación con medios artísticos en el área urbana, que la hace aparecer, en los últimos años, cada vez más fuerte en el foco internacional. El principio artístico básico de urban dialogues, es el cambio local y de perspectiva, como condición de sensibilizazión estética. En los ultimos anos, cada vez mayor surgió una oferta para adolescentes y adultos jóvenes, que tiene en el centro la participation en la investigación creativa.

La idea del análisis de un área determinada como un sistema espacial en su utilización actual, en su historia y en las allí adormecidas visiones, urban dialogues lo repitió en diversos lugares de Berlín, con diferente metodología artística.

Los proyectos han sido patrocinados hasta ahora, entro de otros, por el Europäische Kommission Programm Kultur 2007 (Programa Cultural 2007 de la Comisión Europea), el Hauptstadkulturfonds (Fondo Cultural de la Capital – Berlín), Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung des Landes Berlín (Senado para el Desarrollo Urbano del Estado de Berlín), el British Council, Senatsverwaltung für Kulturelle Angelegenheiten des Landes Berlin (Senado de Berlín para asuntos culturales), la Jugend- und Familienstiftung des Landes Berlin (Fundación Juvenil y Familiar del Estado de Berlín), el Fonds Soziokultur en Bonn (Fondo Socio-Cultural en Bonn), el Fonds Darstellende Künste en Bonn, la SONY Deutschland GmbH, la Siemens AG y la Allianz AG.


En la realización de nuestros proyectos en el extranjero, los Institutos Goethe de Barcelona, Londres y Sofía fueron socios importantes.

Con el Centre for Urban and Community Research (CUCR), Goldsmiths College, University of London tenemos como socios académico en el desarrollo y la evaluación del proyecto, Signs of the City - Metropolis Speaking un instituto mundialmnete líder de la ciencia social.



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Associação de arte urbana urban dialogues

A constante transformação e os diversos acontecimentos de uma grande cidade são objeto de observação e de ação da associação de arte urbana urban dialogues. Lugares que passam por transformações urbanas apresentam inúmeras possibilidades de discussão no contexto artístico. Desde 1998 o urban dialogues vem explorando os espaços urbanos de Berlim em busca de locais interessantes para projetos artísticos temporários, públicos e participativos. Nascido sob a grande agitação da reunificação alemã e da rápida transformação do centro da capital que decorreu do processo, urban dialogues é formada por uma pequena rede de atores culturais, artistas, pesquisadores conscientes de que a cidade é sobretudo uma construção coletiva simbólica e imaginária, mas ao mesmo tempo concreta.


A primeira manifestação artística do grupo propriamente foi urban dialogues (outside), uma ação que abordou diretamente o fim do processo de restruturação do centro de Berlim-Mitte e a região central de Hakescher Markt por meio de intervenções artísticas que utilizavam-se das mais diversas linguagens das artes contemporâneas. O que começou de modo espontâneo e intensamente relacionado com espaços urbanos específicos tornou-se uma investigação mais complexa sobre meios artísticos em áreas urbanas e nos últimos anos buscou cada vez mais ampliar os laços internacionais. O princípio básico do urban dialogues é a mudança do olhar sobre um local como condição para a sensibilização estética.

No outono de 2004 foi realizada a exposição Non Standard Cities na qual artistas expuseram suas visões sobre a cidade no antigo matadouro de Berlim. Com a participação de artistas tanto locais como internacionais o espaço tornou-se temporariamente uma estufa de ideias urbanas alternativas e de projetos de urbanização contemporânea e exploratórias do passado. A curadoria da exposição ficou à cargo do historiador da arte dinamarquês Johan Holten e trouxe obras de artistas como Hans-Christian Schink, Marjetica Potrc, Pia Lanzinger e Matthias Müller.


Os projetos foram patrocinados pela Europäische Kommission Programm Kultur 2007 (Programação Cultural 2007 da Comissão Europeia), o Hauptstadkulturfonds (Fundo Cultural da Capital – Berlim), Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung des Landes Berlín (Departamento para o Desenvolvimento Urbano e Ambiental do Estado de Berlim), o British Council, Senatsverwaltung für Kulturelle Angelegenheiten des Landes Berlin (Departamento para organizações culturais do Senado de Berlim), o Fonds Soziokultur no Bonn (Fundo Socio-Cultural de Bonn), o Fonds Darstellende Künste en Bonn (Fundo para as artes de Bonn), a compania SONY Deutschland GmbH, o Siemens AG e a Allianz AG.