Introduction – visual artists involved in regional planning
As visual artists, we have been commissioned to contribute to the process of the regional developementplan for the Stockholm region; RUFS 2010 and between 2007 and 2010 we were closely following the work at the Office of Regional Planning and Urban Transportation, RTK in Stockholm (today TMR).
The pronounced ambition for RUFS 2010 is to create “The most attractive urban region in northern Europe”. The Stockholm-Mälar Region is located relatively far from the European center, but yet distinctly identifies itself with the European norm, seeking to compete with other European metropolitan regions in order to reach a position on the global market – attractive to visitors, foreign investors and the so-called creative class. Different strategies are employed to “put the region on the map”. This easily gets us into questioning: What do we mean with an “attractive” society? What does it imply to create a common identity? What parts of the society and who are included in the process?
In our reflective work on the planning process, the renewal of the region’s policies and identity is critically examined. We observe a constant swing between – on one hand – satisfying demands of compatibility/flexibility – and on the other – defending a local (and implicitly deviating) profile. Furthermore we have experienced the tensions between statistics and subjective life experiences, between the need for planning and space for organic growth, and consequently between the need for community and the ideals of individual freedom.
Stockholm suburbia – 200 politicians, 30 days and a black apartment in Huddinge
After a period of research and involvement in the RUFS 2010 process, we presented the concept of a communicative platform to RTK. The aim was to offer “a radical shift of scenery” for the ones involved and the proposed platform functioned as a stage for in-depth discussions during the important period of consideration during autumn 2008. Radical in the sense that we leave the regular conference centers behind.
What can an ordinary apartment tell us about the future of this region?
The apartment and its functions can be seen as a symbol for the functions that has to collaborate in society in general. There’s a micro-macro perspective. Also the apartment as a part of a bigger system where we all are dependent and share functions. Electricity, water, sewage, garbage, telephone, television, mail etc. The local come across the global, as well as to see the apartment as an interface between the private and public sphere.
The platform, which occupied an apartment in Huddinge center, was painted black from floor to ceiling. In this black space workshops and discussions was held, white crayons distributed. Black gives credit to “the black market” and “the black box” – i.e. a flight data recorder or the theatre space. After this intervention the appartment was repaninted whith white walls, again ready to house a more regular tenant. Leaving traces, only not visible from the process taken place.
”Att dela ett samhälle” [Sharing/Dividing a Society] is the head title of a series of works produced more or less collaboratively together with the artists Janna Holmstedt, Johan Tiren and Johan Waerndt, and the Office of regional planning in Stockholm. The project has been presented in a variety of contexts, as well as a major presentation in the form of an exhibition that took place at Kulturhuset in Stockholm 2009.
To Mushroom [Som svampar ur Jorden]
Mapping social infrastructures, six double-sides posters and a leaflet, 42x 59,4 cm, collaboration with Janna Holmstedt.
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