2016 _ 039 Urban Songline | Latitude: 44.434722° N - 44.440265° N / Longitude: 25.987555° E - 26.120778° (Panoptic Footnote) E - Bucharest Biennale 7, Bucharest, Romania

For the Bucharest Biennale 7 I pixelated a composite image of the 360-degree view from the former fire-watchtower Foisurol de Foc in the center of Bucharest as a billboard placed in the outskirts of the city. Placing this image in the periphery looking back at itself this compressed portrait functions as a footnote to the urban landscape and a reversed 'panopticon' (a circular architectural structure designed for prisons invented by Jeremy Bentham in the 19th century).

By reversing center and periphery and making them interchangeable the centralized socialist state and the post-socialist de-centralized system becomes fluid and sticky. Inside and outside are blending homeomorphically the city's fabric topologically continuously inverted.

Translating the billboard into music based on its individual colors represents that shifted relationship between state and people within Romania's post-socialist society. These colored pixels as numbers of their corresponding local Romanian paint brand were performed by local singer Maria Hojda.

The billboard was interpreted as a musical score as system of relationships underlaying the pixelated cityscape in collaboration with synesthete Marcia Smilack on synthesizer and performed during the exhibition Romanian Vistas, a preview of the BB7 at Onomatopee in Eindhoven.

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Part of the project Urban Songlines, taking the tradition of the Songlines, a system for navigation and care-taking of their land among Aboriginal Australians, translated to mapping urban space by creating music from its topography, discussing how we use and experience the public domain and to what degree we can claim ownership over it.

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Curator Niels Van Tomme. Assistent curator Charlotte Van Buylaere.



039 Urban Songline is made possible with generous support from the Mondriaan Fund


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