An inter-neighbourhood knowledge exchange: Nordbahnhof, Stuttgart - Jessy Cohen, Holon.

Ein Wissensaustausch zwischen den Nachbarschaften: Nordbahnof, Stuttgart - Jessy Cohen, Holon.

.פרויקט לחילופי ידע בין שכונות, נורדבאנהוף, שטוטגרט וג'סי כהן, חולון



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Surveillance Screens at 77 Gare du Nord, Pt. 2

Some more of the vernissage at Aurele's Gare du Nord:

v_1 on Make A Gifv_2 on Make A Gif

v_3 on Make A Gif

v_4 on Make A Gif

v_pt5 on Make A Gif

v_pt6 on Make A Gif

Then they go somewhere. Let's see what happens next...

a_1 on Make A Gif

Well, that was not too much. But then, Aurele forgot to turn off the screens. And this gives us the opportunity to peak into an artist's life. How exciting!

a_2 on Make A Gif

a_4 on Make A Gif

a_7 on Make A Gif

Obviously, the sun also activates the screens recording. Other than that, it seems like there is something going on in Aurele's gallery, right? Maybe a new exhibition? Stay tuned... 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Project Hall

Project by Luciana Kaplun and Mai Omer with artist Ira Shalit, Musician Neta Weiner and a group of teenagers from Jessy Cohen

21.10 - Workshop at Beit System Ali With Neta Weiner.
Touching on place home and belonging.

11-13.10 - Woking with Ira Shalit during Sokkot Holiday vacation.

2.9 - Workshop at Beit System Ali with Neta Weiner

21.8 - A concert by BTY a local young band from Bat Yam.

7.8 - Visit to Tel Aviv to see Luciana's exhibition in the CCA and Pizza in her studio.

22.7 - Workshop with Neta Weiner. This workshop took place during the war and through writing touched on the political situation.

8.7 + 20.7 - Workshop with Ira Shalit, building a bench using the materials we found near Ayalon

17.6 - Sound workshop with musician Daniel Davidovsky

10.6 - A tour with the kids and artist Ira Shalit along Ayalon highway to pick up materials that can use us to build things.

20.5 - we filmed and photographed using a smoke machine.

11.5 - First workshop with musician Neta Weiner.
Weiner talked about the origins of hip hop culture, ha some voice, bit box and writing exercises.

6.5 - Film screening – We made popcorn and watched a film –
Many kids showed up including girls from Bat Yam- the City across the highway.

22.4 - Since it was in around Passover ( the holiday with spring cleaning) went to the neighborhood to collect things people through- we took a couch.

1.4 - We move to the a space the center hadn't used on a regular base that was formally used as a gym.

18.3 + 25.3 - We met in the shelter in the center – we started deconstructing a bicycle to create a sculpture. More kids joined us.

25.2 - a visit to the design museum

18.2 - We planed a constructed meeting about sound and voice, a meeting that had the formula of a youth movement activity.
It didn't work at all. It's didactic approach didn't fit neither us as moderators and nor the kids as participants.
Instead of having this activity we changed our plans and just had a long conversation with the kids that stayed about ourselves, about religion, immigration and Israel.
Since that meeting we decides not to use the methods like the one used in courses, schools or youth moments but to think more like a workshop.

1.2 - meeting in the office meeting room with four boys.
We went trough the pictures we took a week before and used photoshop to play with those images and to create an invitation. The invitation to a trip to the design museum to see an exhibition about bicycles.

28.1 - First meeting with three boys.
We asked the boys to take us on a tour in the neighborhood. The boys took us to along the highway to the bridge. We took a camera with us and took pictures. One the way we talked about ourselves as sort of introduction.

25.1 - On Saturday Luciana and I went to the Center to ask the kids if they want to participate in the project.
We met about 10 kids playing football in the center's mini pitch. I knew most of the kids but only and some by name. we asked them if they want to work with us towards an exhibition that will have bikes in it. They said yes. Talked for about 20 minutes about our plans.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Surveillance Screens at 77 Gare du Nord

Meir from the Jessy Cohen group build a surveillance systems he already used for example here:

Basically, it is a screen with a camera, light and portable. The camera records when it detects motion. Since Meir build two of them, we thought it might be fun to install one in Jessy Cohen and one in Nordbahnhof. We want to record everyday situations or special occasion. For starters, we recorded the vernissage at Gare du Nord organized by Aurele.

v_pt1 on Make A Gif

v_pt2 on Make A Gif
make animated gifs like this at MakeAGif

In a second step, we want to exchange the videos and show them to people in the other neighbourhood.

Vernissage at 77 Gare du Nord

Aurele of the Nordbahnhof group had a very fine vernissage at the end of October. Here are some photos:

An analog face change program by Julia Heuer

The Visit in Nordbahnhof: Our favorite spots

Before the visit of the Jessy Cohen group in the Nordbahnhof neighbourhood, all of us thought about our favorite spots in our neighbourhoods (one of Sylvias and Stephans favorite neighborhood encounter is Mr Normal, by the way). When the Israeli group finally arrived after a long flight, we had coffee and cake and then the first part of our workshop which was to mark these spots on two big maps. Here are our results:

Map of Jessy Cohen with favorite spots marked.

Map of Nordbahnhofviertel with favorite spots marked.
Interestingly, both neighbourhoods are seperated from the rest of the city. Jessy Cohens border to Holon is a big road which you are only able to cross by food. Nordbahnhof is seperated from Stuttgart due to enclosing railroads on one side and a big cemetary and a wasteland area on the other.

The Visit in Jessy Cohen: The presentations

When the Nordbahnhof group visited Jessy Cohen, we held presentations of the respective work areas, some of which you can watch here.

Kirsten from the Kinder- und Jugendhaus Nord:

Sylvia und Stephan and their urban projects:

Lukas from the art association Wagenhallen:

Liv from the urban jungle Nordlichtung:

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Picnic Principle of Participation

Participation is an idea which is intensely worked on in Stuttgart-Nord. A few places of participation and by far not all of them are:
  • Three "KiFaze" (german, short for kids- and family-center) which invite families for Cafés, workshops, play groups or just to hang around. They often provide counseling for all kinds of problems like school, parenting, health care and so much more. 
  • Haus 49, and the Kinder- und Jugendhaus Kirsten Maiba manages right now, both centers especially for the youth of Stuttgart-Nord. They worked on the great project "Nord - Ein Stadtteil dreht sich" last summer which is worth its own post!
  • Christian and muslimic churches are visible in their work; of course on several annual celebrations, but also for example on the annual Jugendkirchefestival.
  • Aside from the social aspects there are also associations which provide participation in the cultural area like turkish or armenian dance cooperations. 
  • There is the association Infoladen Stuttgart 21 which provides information about the changes coming with the huge construction project Stuttgart 21.
  • Because of the uprising of the Urban Gardening movement, two projects came to life: the Stadtacker Wagenhallen and the Nordlichtung. This is also a topic for an own post, because since this summer, there exists a municipal management for urban gardening in Stuttgart.
Last, but not least, there is us, the glocal neighbours. This group is special, because its members are not defined by a common background. By including social workers, artists and residents from two (different) neighbourhoods (and cultures), the group has not only to define its potential but also its actual topics and tasks.

And now, I come to the Picnic Principle of Participation. A good picnic thrives if everyone coming brings something. This something is not only food and drinks but also music, ideas for interesting games and conversations. Like this merry group where someone even brought a boat:

"The Picnic" from artist Thomas Cole, prior to 1860

The point is, that there is no top-down structure in a picnic. In contrast, the social, religious and cultural centers and associations in the list above provide a place, a program, an infrastructure and then invite the people to participate. Some projects are not realizable if there are not enough participants. For someone to participate you have to have a distinctive interest or topic, sometimes even a distinctive mind-set.

Whereas with the Picnic Principle you follow a different approach by installing other structures in a participation project.
  • Not only do you provide a bottom-up approach because everything is chosen and brought by the group. 
  • Also, you appreciate contributions which are not comparable on a common basis with each other: Each contribution is equally valuable. 
  • Third, you do not need a certain group size: Your project should work with two people or with fifty. 
  • At last, you don't expect a certain outcome but trust the potential of the group.

I admit that the Picnic Principle has probably its limits. But I like the idea and I think the glocal neighbours are a good space to try it out.

-by Liv

Wasteland Twinning Project: A first draft

Inspired by the lecture about the Wasteland Twinning project, we, Stephan and Liv from the Nordbahnhof group, decided to work out an idea to participate by twinning wastelands in Nordbahnhof and Jessy Cohen. In both neighbourhoods there are still open lands. There is the Nordlichtung garden which has been an urban garden for the past four years and now has been turned into building land:

Image of the picnic place and some flower beds of the Nordlichtung from "Auf der Nordlichtung".

And there is the wasteland in Jessy Cohen which is very close to the Digital Art Center:

Image of the wasteland close to the Digital Art Center from Google Maps.

The future of both areas is unclear. It is also not in our hands. We are not even allowed to trespass on the Nordlichtung anymore. That got us thinking: Why is not allowed anymore to step on land we were working on before? Doesn't modifying something, feeling responsible for something mean that you have certain rights to this land? Why does someone has more rights to land they paid for and build a fence around than someone who lives close to it and can really use it? Isn't that strange? Why do we think this is normal?

Well, from this starting point, our thoughts swirled even further. What is normal anyway? What is normalcy? What is normal in society? Realizing that the society itself has its own mind, we also started thinking about swarms and the intelligence of swarms which is a fascinating topic. Some swarms act seemingly intelligent by having a few set of rules for every individual. For example, a school of fish can swim around some barrier by the simple rule that they have to have a distinct distance to everything (except water). Thus, they not only don't crash into underwater cliffs but also not into their neighbour fish.

All these mashed up and mixed with the third glass of a good red, lead us to the first draft for our Wasteland Twinning project.

Everyone who likes to participate gets this basic set of rules:
  1. Go to the wasteland as close as possible and look at it.
  2. Think about the question "Is this normal?" for some time.
  3. Document your thoughts.
  4. Put your results on the blog.
What is your opinion? Do you like the idea? Would you change something? Do you think this would make us more intelligent than fish?

School of fish image from pixabay.

The Visit in Jessy Cohen (Dec 2013)

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