My home is where my mind is

by Andrei Craciun
translation by Simina Neagu

We can’t talk of the relationship between space and user without talking of what defines the user in relation with the exploited space. The user is defined by the manipulation of the space itself as a result of its comprehension and if we exist through our actions as a representation of thought, the space exists only through us and develops as much as we develop within its frame, so implicitly as much as we’re willing to understand it. The status of citizen, of active participant within a community is the appreciation of the commitment towards the space. Physical space has an ironic manner of unfolding. It tends to assimilate its understanding, its knowledge with our manner of representation, as a projection of our vision. It becomes part of a world of subjective knowledge, giving itself entirely to the individual. The individual is a persona or an l'autrui.* It’s his own creation of something else or, on the contrary, it’s an other, unknown, an anonymous person that exists one’s life in every way. This impenetrable, compact being, without any individualizing touch, completely lacking interiority and exteriority as it’s anterior to both, not knowing any accident, able, at most, to play the role of an attribute for an ordinary determined being, displaying, instead, reluctance to any kind of personal manifestation, is called by Emmanuel Levinas “the anonymous being”. Therefore, the expression that best epitomizes this concept seems to be the impersonal French il y a (there is), in which the bare facts are accentuated, without asking yourself what exists or if it really exists. It indicates, vaguely, imprecisely, an action without subject, an obscure but permanent presence, a silent background of any concrete manifestation and a more profound pulsation than the immense vacuity.

The social environment – the public game in which individualities are added or are substitutes for anonymity – thus becomes an intersection of spaces in a conventional frame, defined by the area of development through the common actions of the users. The user is the active anonymous, the passive individual, the being reluctant in its being sense, a participative anonymous in the sense of is or isn’t. The others become part of our space, subject of comprehension and object of action.

Is the perfect anonymous nothing less than the one that forces us to understand and consequently, to act in our own space, overcoming the limits of convention? The unknown subject and the incorruptible object… Is anonymity the ideal environment, in which you can express yourself and exert your rights freely?

The nomad, the one that refuses to dedicate himself to the profound comprehension of space, parasites the social environments that offer him the possibility to wallow in the pleasure of discovering new sensations, through the unfolding of new spaces, under the shelter of anonymity, master of his own identity. The nomad is the anonymous that moves. The movement is a circular one, usually disoriented, whether or not the plans and stages of movement are identical. Sometimes, it seems that the city in which we live offers us the sample of personality, the architectural context, the house, the family and the values that can define us, separating us from anonymity and placing us in the sphere of being. We walk down the street anonymously past vast groups of anonymous people, each of them desiring recognition. Are the surge of being, the rush to define ourselves, attributes of the anonymous nomad’s frustration? There’s no need for large de-placement spaces to be a nomad, you don’t need vast plains to become a nomad. You can be a nomad in the city, in the space of anonymity, in the space of gardens, parks, terraces and dark streets. The architectural weight, the pressure of crowds, the urban confluences, the desire to move or the compulsion to do it can define you as a nomad.

In ANONYMOUS NOMAD, Ditte Lyngkaer Pedersen and Trygve Luktvasslimo succeed in creating a complex system of filters through which we perceive Berlin, testing the limits of the audience’s capacity of understanding and creating space. Based on interviews taken with six anonymous people that live in Berlin, reunite six Berlins reanalyzed through the camera’s lens. The documentary character of the video environment is the one that dissolves the space, leaving the audience no other option than the one to adapt to the status of nomad.

The authors of the project, in an ironic manner, relaxed, avoiding clichés and generalities, manifest their interest for the personal experiences that define the intimate relationship with the space, the social and the urban environment. The locations, as well as the moment of interviews unfold the track of a flâneur uninterested in the global values and tourist attractions. The absence of the ensemble, of reference points in the image, induces the viewer a state of uncertainty, sustained by what initially seems like a disassociation between image and dialogue. At the same time, the six anonymous persons don’t refer to Berlin in their discussions with Ditte Lyngkaer Pedersen and Trygve Luktvasslimo. The suggestions regarding the space are only visual. Therefore, the experiences narrated by the object of the interview become the main source of information that underlies the simulation of space, of the environment, of Berlin by the audience. The authors, in a setup that mocks the news coverage and the typical documentary, offers the audience inconsistent clues, apparently lacking in logic, connected to the situations that they will be introduced to. The whole structure of the work, that induces confusion, determines the audience to anticipate, to doubt even the experience they are living, creating a very personal frame. Because of their anonymous status, the six interviewees could be us, placing ourselves in the situation in which we must criticize them and implicitly, to criticize us. Thus, Ditte Lyngkaer Pedersen and Trygve Luktvasslimo create an unusual context, suitable for the questioning of concepts such as identity, status, values of the globalized society.

In this continuous dialogue between environments, statuses, roles, references and relationships, we try to find and position ourselves. Anonymous, nomads, in our search we relate to the space that we best understand, that we control and sometimes call home. So, what is your home?

*Emmanuel Levinas - Între noi: încercare de a-l gândi pe celälalt


Andrei Craciun (b. 1988) is a curator and theoretician, studying architecture at University of Architecture in Bucharest. His research and curatorial practice is focused on the relations between architecture, politics and the social sphere. Consequently, he is interested in areas linked to activism, gender, as well as participative architecture. Among his last curatorial projects is "100 Romanian Minutes" (Bucharest, Cluj, Iasi, Timisoara). Since 2008 he is the coordinator of PAVILION UNICREDIT - center for contemporary art & culture and he was appointed as assistant curator for BUCHAREST BIENNALE 2010. Currently he is working on his new curatorial projects "Utopia of Exotic" for Pavilion and "Destroying Public Harmony" for Brukenthal Museum - Contemporary Art Gallery, Sibiu. Living and working in Bucharest.


Poster


Artist Book
- Why is Green a Red Word?
- By Ditte Lyngkær Pedersen
- 2013, English 66 pages.

Video lecture on Why is Green a Red Word?
-At the international interdisciplinary conference ”Synaesthesia. Discussing a Phenomenon in the Arts, Humanities and (Neuro-) Science” organized by Art Laboratory Berlin in Berlin, 2013.

Dear Patient Listener
- Performance speech by Ditte Lyngkær Pedersen
- 2010, English 1 page, download as PDF >>

“I spy something...” – Ditte Lyngkær Pedersen’s works on synesthesia
- By Dr. Sabine Flach & Dr. Gerhard Scharbert
- 2010, English, download as PDF >>

My home is where my mind is
- On Anonymous Nomad by Andrei Craciun
- 2009, English, download as PDF >>
- download poster with text >>

Talk Between Classes
- By HOMEWORK
- 2007, English, download as PDF >>

Give me a lie I can understand rather
than a truth I don’t understand
- On SOBJECT by Anja Raithel
- 2007, Danish, download as PDF >>