The Urban Alphabet
THE URBAN ALPHABET - A temporary art project in public space
Scientific calculations are assuming that by 2050 more than 60 percent of the world population will be living in cities. Amsterdam, Berlin, Chongching, ..., Xian, Yokohama, Zurich: cities are vivid, dynamic structures. Cities are information nods and enormous centres of knowledge and memory. Cities are fluctuating mulit-dimensional systems. Each city has its own very intrinsic character. Cities are growing. Cities are changing.
Out of pool of maps of urban agglomerations I developed in alphabetic order a selection of urban-characters. Each depicted sign is a letter in a fictitious alphabet and becomes expression of a form of global language. By presenting the alphabet like a blackboard in public space the way of learning and transferring knowledge is wittily reflected.
26 city maps were chosen to form the basic characters of a fictitious global alphabet of urban topographies.
List of maps in alphabetic order: Amsterdam, Berlin, Chongqing, Delhi, Edmonton, Florence, Guangzhou, Hongkong, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Kyoto, Las Vegas, Moscow, Nairobi, Oslo, Phnom Penh, Quebec, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Tehran, Ulaanbaatar, Vienna, Warsaw, Xi'an, Yaoundé, Ziguinchor.
Nikolaus Gansterer, The Urban Alphabeth, 2009
Dimensions: 620 x 560 cm
Material: self adhesive plotter cut typeset on wall
Exhibited in the frame work of:
– 2011: "Sprawl", interventions in public space, Innsbruck, Austria. Curated by Doris Prlic and Lucas Norer.
– 2009: "Urban Signs - Local Strategies II" Praterstern Vienna, Austria. Curated by Ursula Maria Probst, Walter Seidl, Martin Wagner.
Reviews on the project:
– "Angewandte Glokalismuskritik", ad: "Urban Signs – Local Strategies", Franz Thalmair, Kunstforum, Band 200, p. 314, 2010.
– Review by Franz Thalmair in: der Standard, 06.10.2009
– "Wiedersehen am Praterstern", Review by Andrea Winkelbauer, in: Artmagazine, 29.11.2009
– "Störung des Gewohnten, Ein urbanes Alphabet steht vor der Uni-Bibliothek in Innsbruck", ver, in: der Standard, 17./18. September 2011
– Interview with Nikolaus Gansterer and Lucas Norer and Doris Prlic in the frame of the catalogue of the SPRAWL Festival, Innsbruck, Austria published in 2012.
"The Urban Alphabet" was published in:
– Fluc - Tanz die Utopie!, Martin Wagner, Ursula Maria Probst, Peter Nachtnebel (Eds.), Falter Verlag, Vienna, 2014.
– Kartographisches Denken, Christian Reder (Ed.), Edition Transfer, Springer WienNewYork, 2012. ISBN 978-3-7091-0994-6
– SPRAWL, Lucas Norer & Doris Prlic (Eds.), catalogue, SPRAWL Festival, Innsbruck, 2012; including essays (by Anette Baldauf, Axel Borsdorf, Lucas Norer & Doris Prlic) and interviews with the artists.