Does the city posses memory? How does the city remember itself? How do we remember the city and ourselves? Where and how do we discover the traces of this memory? These are the questions that are leading us towards the realization of the product of art.
We are working to discover the lasting and the transitory traces in the memory of the city and its inhabitants.
We are trying to free the human being as well as the city environment from anonymity and facelessness; to realize that we are here and now so we can pay attention to the permanent traces we are leaving in the memory of both the city and ourselves; to make events out of insignificant facts such as for instance, that we are walking along the sidewalk; to acknowledge that the one walking is myself and that this is indeed the sidewalk; to see differently each moment and each place; to search for both ourselves and the Other in the city, as well as the city in itself!
With the realization of these two projects we want to link up separate segments of time that have left traces in the memory for both the material and the behavioral culture of our capital city; to activate the memory about the former look of a particular location and to trace back once again the changes it has gone through; to build up visual and behavioral installations that will work for the exposition and the reconstruction of both the memory of the places and that of the people.
The “X-tendo” association for urban studies by artistic means was established in 2002 by graduates of the Theater Department of the New Bulgarian University in Sofia.
Members of the association: Victor Ivanov, Elena Koleva-Ivanova, Eleonora Mihalkova, Lilia Purvanova, Maria Popova, Maria Shipochka, Tzvetelina Gospodinova.
Mission statement “X-tendo”
To investigate the city as a system of elements - behavior, environment, traffic, communication, signs, etc. while using these for the production of artworks. To realize projects and programs in the sphere of art and culture through observation, research and work in the urban environment.
To work on the perception, understanding, and awarding of new meanings to the city as a substance, structure and situation - event;
To search for possible ways of intervention of art within the specific urban system;
To investigate, describe and expose the urban environment by means of art - characteristics, attitudes and behavior, semantics;
To use the research, concepts and experience in the interpretation of the city that has been accumulated by theory and to apply these by artistic means;
To investigate the human and his/her place in the surrounding city environment;
To encourage the inhabitants of the city to think of themselves as the main player in events;
To convert the viewer of art into a part of the product of art.
Principles and means
We are treating the parameters of the city and behavior patterns in the city through the means of art. We are concentrating our attention on typical locations and their respective behaviors, characteristic emotional states, ways of interaction between Me and the Other, everyday life actions and gestures, etc.
We are describing the city features in collaboration with people from various fields of knowledge. We are looking for relations, interaction and collaboration between science and art.
- ∙To synthesize the perception of the city on the level of the sign;
- ∙To incorporate the means of art and science in the realization of projects and programs in the field of art and culture within the context of the city and its inhabitants;
- ∙To develop the interaction between man and environment;
- ∙To encourage the city inhabitants towards self-expression and self-reflection as people acting and existing here and now;
- ∙To shorten the distance between the one who is seeing art and the one who is making art;
- ∙To integrate art in the city environment;
- ∙To enrich and develop the Bulgarian city by means of art and help from science from the point of view of its functioning and its dwellers;
- ∙To transform the city from a site of art into means for the production of art.
VS Resident Fellows 2/2004
The Resident Fellows Program is the product of a partnership between the ICA-Sofia and CAS-Sofia activities and programs on a more theoretical level. It will be organised by the Centre for Advanced Studies Sofia in accordance with the ICA. Within a given year, CAS hosts four resident fellows from Bulgaria for a period of six months each. They come from the fields of contemporary visual arts, other artistic areas, or academia and are selected by the Experts' Unit of the Visual Seminar based on their submitted applications and the application/selection procedures appropriate in such cases. The resident fellows have a stipend and reside in Sofia for the period of their fellowships while working on a specific artistic or research project related both to the topic of the “Visual Seminar” project and to the other activities of CAS. The finalized projects are presented in public in Sofia and discussed by the Forum of Visual Culture (see Module 1).
The idea of cooperation between academics and artists is based on the familiar experience of the Centers for Advanced Study in Europe and USA. Their established practice involves the artists’ participation in the intellectual community of researchers gathered for other research projects of the Centers for Advanced Study. They engage in, and contribute to, the debates and the heuristic atmosphere of the Centers and develop their own artistic projects based on this experience.
Such fellows would be selected by a special procedure appropriate in such cases.