Routes + Routines Brussels

Series of performative walks, 2006, Brussels, produced by Constant

Visit the projects website for full documentation

The project Routes + Routines takes place in residential areas in Brussels. Through interventions, actions and presentations in public space, the project creates dialogs with the day-to-day reality of the street corner, roundabout or zebra-crossing. R + R looks at the relation between technology, geography, urban representation and visual imagination and investigates the city from inside out.

The recent re-validation of Situationism has staged the city again as a platform for spectacles, unexpected situations and aesthetic coincidences, the city as a layered locus with unique live and logic, a chaotic post-industrial organism where functionalism and planning team up with historic remains and social marginality.

In an informationalist Utopian world vision everything can be interpreted as programmable and the city is no exception. Routes + Routines proposes a comparison between on the one hand romantic notions of urbanity in which the individual experience is the starting point for a subjective interpretation of locations and on the other: the structure of binary language where all information can be reduced to opposites; to zero’s and ones.

If cities, social groups and identities can simply be regarded as programmable entities, can we than approach cities as hardware on which social, economic, political programme’s play; directing and determining behavior, movement, norms, interactions and relations between citizens? Can we question how this programmability is employed and re-think and re-model urban power structures, dominance of capital, racial injustice, property, normality? How can urban programs that are seemingly fixed be diverted, changed and appropriated?

Routes + Routines investigate low-tech means of communication and is curious about the potential of no tech-media such as gossip, backchat, word to mouth in a world dominated by (communication) strategies. How can looking, observing and reporting be recaptured from the paradigm of control and surveillance and how can they be employed to stimulate the imagination of citizens? How can we map multi -plicity, -culturality, -layering and changeability starting from the details and individual observation rather then the bird perspective?