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

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


"I like the freedom of bring suspended between two places; all anxieties of purpose taken care of: for this moment I know where I'm going." *

The process of conversation has been shifted and re-interpreted for me in a number of ways through undertaking this project. The first night at r e: set live improv in the transit lounge provided a space for meeting new people and forced me to overcome shyness, asking complete strangers to sit down and talk with me (only two people said 'no') and then having old friends eager to catch up. Listening to them again in the following days as they were uploaded to the website, I found myself experiencing a strange sense of instant nostalgia, memories forced into being before their natural time to re-surface.

After three days of Pixelache Festival madness in Helsinki, not only did every pixel ache, I began to feel like a conversation vampire, sucking the words out of people. Anytime there was a good conversation and it wasn't recorded I had a sense of loss, and felt out-of-sorts when drifting through the kiasma lounge with no-one to talk to. Eventually this prompted me to create a more structured framework, so that in the time 'off' I could talk naturally, without the pressure of wishing to trace every word through the microphone. Eric Minkkinen was my neighbour in the lounge area, and convinced me to sign up and 'perform' a conversation for his leplacard heaphone concert. I talked with Keirjsti, a Norwegian conceptual artist whose work with knitting and capital punishment left no words of response, and told me 'art is my home.'

'home is a very temporary place. and most of it maybe in ones heart or somewhere in ones body... the portuguese and brasilians have this beautiful word for this strange kind of longing to leave but never really arriving ....saudades...'

On returning to Berlin, to the incessant longing that is never satisfied by one place alone, I found my relationship to conversation shifted yet again through the prism of history and personal stories collected and told in 'Stasiland'. The process of monitoring and documenting conversation became filtered through the resonance of the past specific to this place. It is layered with the apparatus of power; if we are watching you ergo you are an enemy of the state.
The power of radio to transmit information from the 'other side' of the wall is a common theme, and when the decision was made to allow free travel this also came over the radio.

Listening back to the collections of voices from Helsinki with this in mind, I am struck by how many of the artists and random people I spoke to expressed anti-authoritarian and overtly political views. Interrogating the technology itself with Armin; questioning the value of the concept and framework of participation by Andrew; exploring violence and harmony through the writing of Teemu; explicitly recording 'permission to use this conversation' as instructed by the executive producer at ABC Radio; finding a new form of interaction with multiple pathways and endless associations. Now a new conversation has started, and we continue to listen to the voices of freedom on the air and in our hearts.

"How easy it is for the interviewer to assume moral authority by virtue of the fact 'he' gets to ask the questions" *

* Anna Funder 'Stasiland'

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