ZK/U Untersuchungsausschuss (Fact Finding Comitee)
The Berlin Fact-Finding Committee (“Untersuchungsausschuss”) at ZK/U
The Berlin Fact-Finding Committee (“UA”) intends to tie local discourse to global practices brought to ZK/U by its international artists-in-residence, helping the international community understand Berlin’s unique challenges. For this purpose, ZK/U will set up a series of temporary committees investigating current issues faced by Berlin’s urban society whose resolution is a matter of public interest.
ZK/U invites individuals with a background in art, urban space research or experimental urban space production to participate in a three-month endeavor to extend its current activities and discourses to issues specifically related to Berlin.
The chosen individual will head up a committee and appoint its members, independently developing and executing a program for the public. Members of the committee might include protagonists from initiatives and networks, local and international artists, researchers from academic as well as non-institutional contexts. The committee’s final report will take the shape of a cross-media zine (combining analog and digital media), aiming to tie together Berlin-specific discourses and the manifold global practices of the program’s participants.
A budget will be provided to cover costs for participation in established formats, attendance fees for meetings, and remuneration for the coordination of the three-month program. The fact-finding committee will have an on-site meeting and production room at its disposal filled with “materials” related to its investigative work (research materials, ideas, notes, and protocols), which will also be accessible to other users such as ZK/U residents and initiatives based in Berlin, giving the process a material presence at ZK/U.
The fact-finding committee will appoint and guide two artistic positions for the OPENHAUS+ format. While these will be affiliated with the fact-finding committee, they will work independently within their artistic capacity.
Committee leadership will edit the cross-medial zine (final report of the fact-finding committee) scheduled to appear in print for OPENHAUS+.
URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE, ACCESS TO PUBLIC SPACE, INCLUSIVE COMMUNITIES, SELF-ORGANIZATION
In 2012, artist collective KUNSTrePUBLIK opened the Center for Arts and Urbanistics (ZK/U) in a former Moabit train depot. ZK/U is surrounded by a park and community garden and separated from the rest of Berlin by industrial complexes, a noise protection wall, and a fence. The space has all the characteristics of an enclave, a “State of the Art” within city limits.
As an international residence for artists and researchers, during its first five years of existence ZK/U developed a spatial and organizational structure that emulate the character of a city state, albeit on a smaller scale: its parliament - the advisory council - suggests participants for its residency program. The weekly plenary, a.k.a. “Monday Dinner”, addresses residents’ concerns, while a number of other recurring formats, including the monthly “Openhaus”, allow residents to interact with their fellows. The “Gütermarkt” project features various means of communication and exchange platforms for “post-industrial” goods, as well as many other elements linking and testing the interests of ZK/U residents to and against local realities.
As its stability as a “State of the Art” increased, ZK/U’s interactions with its surroundings also intensified, turning it into a center for municipal concerns and content. Projects including “Haus der Statistik”, “Hacking Urban Furniture”, and “Artist Dis-placement” radiated into the city, manifesting physically for the first time in 2017 with the construction of the “Ständige Vertretung” extension. Berlin-based artists are invited to use this space of “permanent representation” free of charge, further solidifying ZK/U’s outreach.
In 2018 and 2019, ZK/U’s “domestic market” of ephemeral goods is set to open itself lastingly to the Berlin “marketplace”. The “Untersuchungsausschuss” project proposes a series of multilateral partnerships, communications, and treaties promoting the sustained exchange of post-industrial goods between ZK/U and the city.
The project is funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe.