The transit lounge is the archetypal transit space, the point where the hyper-global + hyper-local coincide; a location which blurs traditional conceptions of geo-political boundaries, creating pockets of international space within the borders of individual nation-states. An in-between space, it exists relative to a fixed departure and arrival point, not to the area that surrounds it.

The Transit Lounge is a series of overlapping residencies for Australian and German artists and architects in Berlin. It is also a blog where themes relating to the project will develop, collaborations will be initiated and sustained, and observations on the city collected. The Transit Lounge invites you to participate in these transnational conversations by commenting on the blog.

For more information email us: transit [AT] transitlounge [DOT] org

The transit lounge is supported by Culturia and the DAZ

Sunday, February 25, 2007

SUSPENDED PATHS (01.03.07 19-22H)


Movement reveals a layered and unfolding passage. Landscapes overlap, intersect and diverge. Formations emerge; clarity is exposed. With a destination in mind the in between is certain; the transit compulsory.

Rob Curgenven(AUS), Govinda Lange(AUS), Silvia Marzall(DE/BRA) and Kristina Matovic(AUS) transform the spaces of the Transit Lounge into an immersive landscape. A 14-channel soundscape leads you along the path, changing in response to the movement of the audience.

VERNISSAGE 01.03.07 19-22H @ TRANSIT LOUNGE
OPEN 02.03.07 16-19H

Friday, February 23, 2007

08.03.07 VOLLKONTAKT BERLIN + VIDEOS BY YANDELL WALTON

On the 8th March, Vollkontakt Berlin will hold its first event. An international electro-acoustic ensemble will play across 2 rooms. In addition to percussion instrumets, double bass and flutes, there will be a group of musicians playing self-made instruments.Interacting with the sound, two video artists will create a visual experience. The unique ambience of the Vollkontakt Bar is created through the combination the industrial character of the Josetti Hoefe with Electronic, IDM and Ambient sounds. The bar will open at 6pm, and the performance begins at 9pm.



YANDELL WALTON

Yandell Walton’s work explores representations of the contained figure. She is interested in the interaction between the projected image and three-dimensional spaces to help blur the boundaries between the real and unreal. By working with reality and combining this with the use of technology, it creates a crossover of the real and the virtual allowing for the viewer to experience the actual and fantastic. The nature of her work reflects inner thoughts and emotion, challenging the audience to delve into fantasy, imagination as well as desperation.

Behind the window of an inner city building, passers by discover a virtual figure approaching from behind the glass. In the increasing desperation to escape from the building the figure captures the audiences attention by pounding on the glass, then disappearing into the darkness, leaving them haunted by the experience.

Yandell Walton has been exploring through projection and video installation the contained body, this containment being a metaphor for the interior space of the psyche. Walton’s latest projection installation Inside utilises a window of the Transit Lounge gallery space to comment on human emotion and the feelings associated with being in different spaces. The projection installation reflects how the city can affect the human psyche in a negative way. Her fascination in blurring the boundaries between the actual and illusional is again created using video projection.

Yandell is visiting Berlin from Australia and completed her Masters Of Fine Art at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 2005. She has a growing profile in Melbourne exhibiting regularly in galleries and installation spaces both nationally and internationally as well as involving herself in arts based festivals. You can view more of her work at www.yandellwalton.com


[1] In Different Spaces, Place and Memory in Visual Culture, Victor Burgin pg29

Saturday, February 17, 2007

on representation vs. reality

before anything, a short text that inspired me to participate in the Transit Lounge:

"In that Empire, the craft of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a Single Province covered the space of an entire City, and the Map of the Empire itself an entire Province. In the course of Time, these Extensive maps were found somehow wanting, and so the College of Cartographers evolved a Map of the Empire that was of the same Scale as the Empire and that coincided with it point for point. Less attentive to the Study of Cartography, succeeding Generations came to judge a map of such Magnitude cumbersome, and, not without Irreverence, they abandoned it to the Rigors of sun and Rain. In the western Deserts, tattered Fragments of the Map are still to be found, Sheltering an occasional Beast or beggar; in the whole Nation, no other relic is left of the Discipline of Geography."

Jorge Luis Borges, From "Of Exactitude In Science", A Universal History of Infamy.

my thoughts come next.



Friday, February 16, 2007

INFORMALISM: ARCHITECTURE LEARNING FROM AND WORKING WITH THE SPONTANEOUS CITY

By Hugo Moline

Informalism is the online presence of an international research project, 'working with the informal, learning from the informal', which seeks to explore the way architects and other urban practioners engage with the the informal city, the city as built by people themselves
....
According to recent international estimates more than 900 million people are living in informal settlements (slums, shantytowns, favelas, poblaciones etc.) worldwide . That translates to almost 1 in 3 city dwellers who are housing themselves without access to basic services or secure ownership of land. These informal settlements are a massive and growing urban phenomenon that architects must come to terms with if we hope to be of relevance to the city and its inhabitants. We must acknowledge and seek to ameliorate the hardship and exclusion faced by people living in these conditions. We must also recognise and learn from the ingenuity, resourcefulness and cooperation manifested in the building of such environments.
...
Through the project I will seek both to contribute to the practices and communities with which I will work and to gain skills and knowledge to be incorporated in my practice as an architect and shared with others. I will use the techniques learned in all my work as an architect, especially in the service of marginalized communities, both abroad and particularly at home in Australia. I will share my experience at the 2008 Global Studio in the People Building Better Cities forum. I will work with universities and professional organisations to organize talks and workshops which seek to encourage others, particularly students, to become interested in the global urban condition and active in exploring the social potential of architecture and its practice.

Throughout the duration of my research I will be continuously documenting and displaying my experiences (primarily through text and photographs) on this blog. The contents of which will be the raw material from which the final report will be drawn. I hope that the blog will significantly broaden the numbers of people who have access to the research and will allow mentors, advisors and colleagues to comment and contribute throughout the process.

http://www.informalism.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

hello berlin

I'm listening to a Lee Hazelwood song 'nothing' on 2SER, a duet half in german, and only understanding one word in ten. Better get those four language courses I borrowed from the library onto the CD player now. Hope that immersion will bring back some of the forgotten deutsche from high school. It was great having a chance to meet some of the transit loungers in newtown before they headed off to various places on the way to berlin, and I'm looking forward to receiving the image/text/video/sound from our exquisite corpse to play with when I arrive.

Thinking a lot about the nature of connection, how ephemeral or lasting that moment can be, and becoming intrigued by the missed connections section of craigslist. Such incredible yearning and poetry expressed for someone glimpsed on the subway, usually a moment of eye contact taking place, but neither person having the courage to step forward and speak, or a short conversation but no further details to meet or reconnect. So the dreams and hopes are posted in this anonymous forum, where they become a hymn to longing (and hotties).

Wondering, in a life of constant transit, when do you decide to stay?
When is the pull of gravity or desire or stability stronger than the pull of adventure, the unknown... and desire? Where have you traveled to for a kiss? asked a friend in Slovakia last year 'hmmmm; Glasgow, Helsinki, New York'.
Happy Valentines Day!

I took myself on a lovely sonic adventure courtesy of soundtransit, taking me from a stormy night in sydney to bubbling mud in karosta via Tibetan roof thatching, old factories along the canals of montreal, crows in cuba, and woodcutters in latvia who kept our friends warm during their stay. Completely fantastic, design your own itinerary and book a flight around the world through the sonographic contributions of an international community of sound artists.

Maybe I'm jaded and weary, but I'd like to talk to friends in the same place and time zone. Preferably the same room.
I've developed an insatiable craving for embodied interaction rather than virtual.

This is what I'd like to explore during my time in berlin at the transit lounge.

An open invitation to conversation. Who knows where it will lead, or what we might uncover or discover? People tell you all kinds of things, if you just listen. And keep asking questions.

Unlike the wonderful dropping knowledge project in berlin last year, I won't be talking to experts or seeking answers to important questions. I'll just be talking to people - on the streets, in the gallery, in bars, cafes, bookshops, grocery stores - listening to their experiences, ideas, take on life, moments of transition and change where they willingly leapt into the unknown; and sharing some of their favourite music. (copyright issues depending)

People often ask me: why bridges? And I think it's largely the simple reason that they are points of connection and departure. Not in one place or another.

They offer the possibility of change, and then there's always the river, flowing away beneath you, to and from somewhere else. I have a pathological fear of being stuck or trapped, I like to be near an open window or the aisle seat so I can always get out quickly if necessary. The bridge between one place and another lets you leave, and it lets you arrive/return.

I've noticed in the course of my adjunct career as a gonzo radio journalist making out-there cultural features, that when you talk to someone with a microphone in hand, it creates another level of intimacy and purpose to the conversation. Often allowing you to go deeper, somehow people just open up to you and often you can ask pretty much anything and get an honest answer. I was always frustrated having to edit these long conversations into false brevity, keeping only two or three sentences and cutting the rest.

So now I've decided to take control, I'm not editing anything in or out; they can be heard in all their rambling, messy, meandering, incoherent glory of a freeform verbal dance - no time limit or structure, it was going to be fifteen minutes but I decided against imposing an artificial structure or limit. Although maybe I will. Maybe fifteen minutes of fame is the right amount. Or see what happens naturally.

Conversations with three friends simulataneously adrift in the world, one in london (then melbourne via st petersberg and berlin); another in Delhi (choosing between helsinki, sydney and delhi for the next few years), and another one trying to leave helsinki but not sure where he's going next. Apparently you need at least three conversations a day to avoid isolation and insanity. The conversations I crave take place over time zones and electronic pulses.

Philosopher Michael Oakshot describes good conversation as "an unrehearsed intellectual adventure," and "a boundless sea with no destination."

I'm looking forward to exploring the way different places have different conversational styles.
Berlin, New York, Helsinki, Glasgow, Sydney - as Lou Reed said, just a New York conversation.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

TRANSIT LOUNGE RADIO

Transit Lounge Radio

Every Conversation is an Invitation

I spend my life in transit. Writing festival proposals in internet cafes from Paris to Christchurch, keeping art projects and life administration under control using wireless access in airports, cafes and libraries, and working creatively on the run wherever and whenever I find a moment to focus. Amidst the constant travel and participation in cultural activities, engaging with new people and developing projects; having the time and place to ground yourself in a daily practice, be part of a community and undertake rituals in everyday life is very attractive. In response to this moment of transit overload, I am interested in exploring the possibility of being ‘at home’ somewhere in the world. Setting up a comfortable lounge space in the Transit Lounge studio, creating a warm inviting corner to share with friends and visitors with the conversational ‘Transit Lounge Radio’ show recorded in the space for exhibition, installation and podcast.

The Transit Lounge Radio offers a transparent process of socially engaged and networked community interaction with an experimental form of hybrid radio. The project has grown out of my freelance cultural feature programs for ABC Radio, and aims to create an alternative space for highly specialised explorations of ideas, culture and philosophy which does not have to fit into any prescribed format or listener demographic.

There is a particular quality to Berlin conversations which I am eager to explore, and will provide a contrast to ongoing development of the project in Helsinki, Australia and beyond.

In a physically embodied iteration of social networking and peer-to-peer interaction, I will invite artists and audiences into the Transit Lounge Studio to talk with me about life in general, transition, participation, networks, experimental interactions, art and technology. Each conversation is recorded, uploaded to the website and podcast, with a photo and text about that person. This forms an online archive, documenting the ephemeral transactions of communication with a variety of artists, musicians, writers and local businesses, passersby and residents.

The result is a hyper-local community radio broadcast, transmitting conversations with people who pass through the Transit Radio Lounge. It offers a respite from transit, in a fast-paced world. Collecting conversations instead of frequent flier points. As people pass through the studio and my life, they leave something of themselves and share my ‘home’ space with a focused interaction that can be traced online.

http://transitradio.wordpress.com/transit-lounge-radio/

Monday, February 05, 2007

TL3101

Sunday, February 04, 2007

step 6


















We are still in transit ... and think about authentic places.

Our visual introduction of the last days shows different perspectives of a historic place: „Dreilinden Raststätte“, designed by Rainer G. Rümmler (1929-2004) in the end of the sixties. Today the ensemble stands under conservation of monuments and historic buildings.

A short review on a transit route:

Dreilinden was an important official inspection point. Here the highway connected West-Berlin with West-Germany. Dreilinden was also named Checkpoint Bravo (by the Nato phonetic alphabet). Here was the entrance to the GDR.
One left near Helmstedt (Checkpoint Alpha) only then again the area of GDR. Dreilinden – Helmstedt was the shortest street connection between Berlin-West and the area of the federal republic and accordingly frequented. A distance of about 200 kilometers transit route.
Dreilinden is situated in the southwest of Berlin. The service area was a very important stop. A meeting place for tramper usually students who wanted westward. A place with a big bustle and a special atmosphere of anxiety and departure.

Today Dreilinden service station is a point which one can reach neither by the car nor officially on foot. Here the highway still goes past, but there is no exit. So this historic place has lost its function. An abandoned, a recollection place.

It is nonetheless an authentic location, certainly, not a museum, but it admits as a real point of contact reflections about past, present and future. A space, a vacuum which is in the middle of a movement network. Round this area, something happens, something is in movement. The driving past cars were already mentioned, but not yet the official place for Sinti and Roma on the ground of the former traffic jam space near by the border inspection point.
This camping facility for Roma and Sinti, travelling in Germany as seasonal workers in the month of May through October is the result of a gesture by the Berlin Senate. Still a provisional arrangement with minimal infrastructure. At least they pursue a school, accommodated in containers which is used obviously gladly by the children. To us very much sympathetically is the indication that Sinti and Roma are called outside of the German-speaking countries „Rom“. This term stands for human being and leads us to an abstracter view which is not necessarily bound to the direct place. Favour also has to us the poignant statement of a Sinti residing there, the freedom flows in his blood.
Perhaps this place is a metaphor which stands for the variability of not changeable believed political settlements, just as to be for the movement in the life without purposeful determination.

The whole areal seems to be a setting for the discourse on who we are, where we have been, and where we are going.


So much for today

FOUND TAPES EXHIBITION

The Found Tapes Exhibition is an evolving online documentary audio project. It has been accessible on the web since late 2002, and has continuously been expanding since. Due to its 'evolving' character, the Found Tapes Exhibition is not really a 'completed' production; nor is it a 'project to be realized'. In fact, it is a mix of both. The Found Tapes Exhibition's URL is http://www.harsmedia.com/Chronson/FT/. To listen to the Exhibition as a continuous stream of chronological montages, use the following playlist URI: http://www.harsmedia.com/Chronson/Playlists/magmig.m3u All soundfiles are 128kbps 44.1KHz stereo mp3, and hosted by PARK4DTV, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The FOUND TAPES EXHIBITION will be taking place in the Transit Lounge as part of the Kleine Field Recording Festival.