Probably unlike those of any other city the limits of Berlin have changed and evolved throughout the last hundred years, transforming the urban fabric as well as the way the city is used, inhabited and comprehended.
Only 25 years after the fall of the wall and the end of the “concrete division” (Willy Brandt, 10.11.1989), the city of Berlin continues to undergo processes of re-definition and growth – a complex urban and political negotiation – between the often rapid development of new borders, existing or emerging invisible frontiers and the resulting clash of parallel worlds; between the renewal of its own image as a “creative capital” while simultaneously encouraging corporatism; between romantic fantasies and urban realities.
By the spatial and political frontier between the world’s two dominant ideologies of the time, Berlin has in these last 25 years been stitching back its halves. Still, if «one divides into two, two doesn’t merge into one». By removing the wall entire neighbourhoods in the former suburbs of former West and East berlin have been transposed onto the present centre of a new Berlin. A unique situation arose where an abundance of otherwise neglected and forgotten spaces were suddenly located at the heart of the new city, available to all kinds of old and new occupants – home-buyers and tenants, residential and commercial developers, companies and investors – pointing to Berlin as the city of newly born ambitions and opportunities. And while this radical regeneration of the inner-city is on its way, progressively filling the gaps and re-appropriating history’s left-overs, the expansion of the greater urban territory stretches Berlin’s self-defining limits. Is a «Great Berlin» replacing the neatly delimited «island» of the past?
By means of art and creative media, architecture and urban design, theory and research, the Berlin
Unlimited Festival at ZK/U (Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik) aims to explore an interdisciplinary narrative of the city and to cast a critical eye on former limits, today’s limitations and tomorrow’s potential new divisions.
[Robert K. Huber (Zukunftsgeräusche) about “Material.Message.Action.Value”]
Including an exhibition, a symposium, workshops, film screenings, performances and guided tours, the festival displays the work of local and international artists, architects and researchers, tackling different perspectives of “Limit”, such as “power”, “money”, “body”, “time”, “walls”, “ground” or “disctance”.
During the upcoming week @dsgnblts will keep on reporting from the festival and its various events, which started yesterday (october 3) and goes until the 10th of october. We will talk about artistic, un/realistic, speculative and applied discourses, projects and perspectives about politics, participative planning, law and transgression. About movement(s), physical boundaries and urban isolation. About urban sprawl, suburban conditions, public spaces and their possible uses. About alternative currencies and economy in the neoliberal city, about democracy and how the city works. About limits, chances, dreams and fears. About Berlin….