Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik (ZKU) Berlin
A new, innovative venue offering artistic and research residencies of 2–8 months duration for art production at the interface of urban research has opened its doors in the district of Moabit in Berlin-Mitte, on the edges of Berlin‘s largest inland port, Westhafen, in August 2012.
Located in a former railway depot surrounded by a freshly landscaped park, the ZKU – Center for Art and Urbanistics - is the outcome of a concept developed by the Berlin-based artists' collective KUNSTrePUBLIK.
Analogous to the nineteenth-century transport of goods by rail, this unique new venue is set to become a lively hub for the transport of ideas and ideals in the postindustrial era.
Transdisciplinary Exchange and Residencies
The ZKU sees itself as a laboratory for inter- and trans-disciplinary, activities centered on the phenomenon of “the city”.
ZKU promotes international exchange on global issues, in the light of what is happening in one’s own backyard. Working with local and international partners, ZKU residencies brings together critical minds at the cutting-edge of artistic production and urban research.
Contemporary artistic positions, ranging from contextual and interventionist to conceptual and street art, address selected themes.
Work at ZKU is informed by theoretical and practice-based critiques developed in the disciplines of geography, anthropology, urban planning, architecture and the humanities.
Facilities and Activities
ZKU, with the support of its partners, provides “living & work“ spaces for international and local applicants. ZKU also maintains a Common Room, conceived as an adjacent public space for use on a project basis by residency program participants, as well as by local or visiting groups and initiatives for production, exhibitions, lectures, workshops, performance and presentations. See also Space.
In addition to this physical framework, ZKU maintains a theoretical superstructure —consisting of regular conferences, publicly accessible (online and print) publications and archives, etc.— emerging from, and feeding into, the expertise of participants and associates. These combined activities underpin ZKU‘s commitment to an interdisciplinary approach to art production, urban discourse, and creative, inclusionary and publicly-engaged practices. Artists and fellows are selected on merit and according to how their proposals further develop ZKU thematic focuses.
ZKU seeks to develop projects, co-produce knowledge and share values created through exchanges. ZKU does not offer a fixed set of ideas and principles for its fellows. Rather, individual projects and needs shape what could be described as a continuous formation. Instead of letting the ‘final product’ constrain the possible routes that a practice might take, ZKU focuses on the processes that come from, and feed into, the particular contexts of the fellows’ practice, whether they be locally-defined situations or international discourses.