Urban Matters

How can we develop new visions for urban and regional matters and introduce new social and societal values as intrinsic aspect for urban development? Which role can art and artistic strategies play in the context of urban issues and urban development? How can art maintain its autonomy? Which conditions are needed?

The project database www.urban-matters.org  is a growing platform which was installed as major element of the artistic research project PLANNING UNPLANNED Barbara Holub directed at the Institute for Art and Design/ Prof.Christine Hohenbüchler at the Faculty of Architecture/ Vienna University of Technology (2010-2013).

www.urban-matters.org presents
Artistic-urbanistic strategies, (public) art projects, urban interventions, programs and organizations of diverse cultural and geopolitical backgrounds worldwide for locating and connecting urgent urban issues, discussing critical and innovative approaches, and analyzing urban tools and innovative strategies at the intersection of art, urban planning, critical political involvement and theory for employing new artistic-urbanistic methods in a process orientated urban planning aiming at creating a more just society.

In particular, urban-matters.org investigates the potential of “unplanning” as a possible new strategy for dealing with today’s urban challenges. “Planning” seems no more an adequate response to today’s challenges of a multilayered society permanently on the move. Yet, critical projects developed during the last decade by architects, urbanists and artists continue to be a parallel production to conventional planning methods which are predominantly investor-orientated. How can we develop new visions for urban and regional matters – counteracting the dominant pragmatics of neoliberal economy?

www.urban-matters.org aims at
a new positioning of artistic practices, exploring the diverse and often conflictual interests as potential for a new role: the urban practitioner. www.urban-matters.org also serves as information platform for current urbanistic issues between research, theory and practice, transferring the experience of specific local contexts to urban and regional issues, public space and society to other specific contexts worldwide.

www.urban-matters.org invites
practitioners and theorists to contribute to this platform as an ongoing project conceived as an open-ended process:
www.urban-matters.org collects information and data of public art organizations, institutions, biennials, as well as projects or initiatives by individuals, dealing with urban issues, in order to create a complex and growing overview from the perspective of various and transdisciplinary backgrounds like artists, architects, urban designers, sociologists, theoreticians. We are especially looking for projects/ initiatives exploring critical artistic and spatial strategies (see Jane Rendell) reconsidering and counteracting the principles of decision-making currently dictated by neoliberal economic interests, for establishing innovative methods of urban planning as major element for producing a more just society.

If you would like to contribute please contact us: office@urban-matters.org.

Advisory Board
Markus Bogensberger (architect; director of HDA/ House of Architecture Graz), Grant Kester (art theoretician; UCSD San Diego), Paul O’Neill (curator; director of PUBLICS[B2] , Yasmine Ostendorf (curator; Van Eyck Academy, Maastricht/ NL), Kathrin Wildner (urban ethnologist; HCU Hamburg), Jane Rendell (art/ architecture theoretician; The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, London), Georg Winter (artist; HBK Saar / Saarbrücken)

For more information see the publication Planning Unplanned_Darf Kunst eine Funktion haben? Towards a New Function of Art in Society (eds. Barbara Holub and Christine Hohenbüchler), Verlag für moderne Kunst, 2015.