Category Archives: Vienna

Fünf und Neunzig Wiener Würstel Stände: 59 Viennese Sausage Stands

Review: Sebastian Hackenschmidt,Stephan Olah (eds). Fünf und Neunzig Wiener Würstel Stände. Stalzburg: Verlag Anton Pustet.

Why review a survey of 600 currently existing, “typically Viennese” sausage kiosks other than to say that this copiously illustrated book in German and French provides an exhaustive survey of the history and architecture of the food kiosk?

More significantly is the light that this local culinary tradition sheds on the public culture of Vienna’s streets and squares, a topic under-researched in Vienna (where the focus is on interior cafe culture, for example) and over-looked or poorly indexed by the city’s archives which focus on addresses rather than streets or squares, with the exception of the royal park, Prater.

“In Vienna, we have the paradoxical situation that sausage stands are considered a topographical peculiarity and regarded as leisure venues, while at the same tie forming part of the omnipresent traffic-, consumer- and communication-spaces — places of accelerated transit… “non-places”…. the sausage-stands convey far more convincingly the fleeting nature of the meals consumed there, than a convivial eating culture characterized by interpersonal relationships or a common history…” (p.18)

They are barometers of social change in the public spaces of the street.

“…achieving acceptance at a particular sausage-stand can turn into a regular rite of passage… Authenticated in the vernacular and amply represented in literature…”

-Rob Shields
University of Alberta

CFP – Public Life – Towards a politics of care: Bodies. Place. Matter.

Call for Papers: PhD Symposium, Vienna, 17th/18th April 2015 at SKuOR: Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space, TUWien, Technical University of Vienna, Austria.

Submit abstracts (250 words), short statements of motivation (250 words), and your short CV (250 words) until Friday 6  March 2015 to info@skuor.tuwien.ac.at.  Interested colleagues can register until 15th March 2015 to attend the conference by emailing to info@skuor.tuwien.ac.at.

Admission: Free

A politics of care needs to be situated between bodies, place and matter.  These come together both as elements of public and political life in cities and as as the subjects of research, knowledge production, and scientific inquiry.

This conference aims to take up the complexities of public life and a new politics of care and concern situated in the commonalities, connectivities, and nuanced spatialities between bodies, place, and matter. Three panels “Bodies. Place. Matter” examine public life and the spatialisations of care and concern from the perspectives of urban, design and cultural disciplines.  A common politics of care addresses the entanglement of infrastructures, resources, and affects, alignments, contradictions, and conflicts, labour, work, and pleasure, distribution and access, local site-specificity and a globalized production of space. If public space is indeed a critical part of public life or the embodied geographies of the public sphere, then we need to rethink its inherent potentials between everyday life practices and the production and critical reflection of scientific insights/knowing.

As a joint project between the Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space (info@skuor.tuwien.ac.at), Vienna University of Technology, Austria – where all three organizers worked together within the frame of the City of Vienna Visiting Professorship Programme 2014 –  the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria  and Space and Culture, University of Alberta, Canada, a PhD Symposium will take place on 17th/18th April 2015. The conference seeks to bring together activism, contemporary art, research, critical spatial practice well as urban theory, design and planning to reflect and discuss issues of public life and a spatial politics of care.

Panel 1 Bodies (Theme A, Elke Krasny)

The panel is less about what bodies are, but rather about how bodies act, what bodies can do, what bodies must do. Bodies are subjects. Bodies are subjected. Bodies produce. Bodies reproduce. Bodies depend. Bodies resist. Bodies are vulnerable. Bodies put themselves on the line. Bodies matter. Bodies support. Bodies care. The panel seeks to examine the implications and reverberations of austerity, globalization, rapid transformations, economic downturn, precarity, in/difference, in/justice, re/production, and re/distribution with regards to the spatialised implications of bodies co-producing public life and bodies co-dependent in a politics of care. The panel is dedicated to seeking new alignments, critical links, and productive transgressions between emergent practices, theories, and histories addressing bodies in public life and a politics of care. The panel welcomes contributions questioning, unpacking, and critiquing these complexities with a particular focus on feminist spatial agency in contemporary art, curating, urban research, and urban design, as well as the history and theory linking and transgressing these fields.

Keynote: Kim Trogal, Visiting Design Fellow, School of Architecture, University of Sheffield, Britain

Discussant: to be confirmed

Panel 2 Place (Theme B, Sabine Knierbein)

The debate around abstract spaces of capitalism and how they been mediated through planning and design professions and practice has been taken up again critically, both from relational perspectives on public space and from anthropological approaches to embodied spaces. This session is dedicated to unravel new urban planning, design and urban studies approaches addressing relational geographies and politics of care in these fields. Potential contributions to this panel might address issues of bodily experience and action, as well as relational pedagogies or curricular innovations to enhance education and reorganize elites through critical practice, action and reflection in and on public space. It welcomes contributions that seek to differentiate and qualify contemporary debates on the (re)emergence of collective interests, urban cultures and public claims, and strengthens a reading of forms of embodied resistance and protest as intervention and alteration in current modes of production of space and place.

Keynote Lecture: Prof. Dr. Kirsten Simonsen, Professor in Social and Cultural Geography, Department of Environmental, Social and Spatial Change (ENSPAC), Roskilde University, Denmark

Discussant: Dr. Sandra Huning (TU Dortmund)

Panel 3 Matter (Theme C, Rob Shields)

Paradoxically, in a more globalized world where communication technologies have made interaction less dependent on bodies in a shared location, where the ‘spaces of concern’ lie either at planetary scales too large to grasp or nanotechnologies dissolve our faith in the solidity of matter, the materiality of bodies, trees and animals is still prominent. Concrete materiality anchors media and political concerns as the infrastructure of care and concern.  Political force appears dependent on bodies occupying public places.  Yet ‘what matters’ is only recognized within a context or ‘space of concern’ in which it takes on meaning. How are the empirical elements of cities, the bricks of public spaces and the flesh of bodies taken up through practices to become the pivots of ethical and political spatialisations of care and concern?

Keynote: to be confirmed

Discussant: to be confirmed

 

Schedule:

Friday, 17th April 2015 

Venue: Semperdepot Vienna, Lehargasse 6-8, 1060, Wien

9:00 Arrival and Registration

9:30 Opening

Panel I – Bodies

10.00 Bodies – Introduction Elke Krasny

10.10 Keynote Speech Kim Trogal

10:40-Panel I Bodies (3-4 Panel Participants)

12:30-Lunch break

Panel II – Place (Sabine Knierbein)

14:00- Place – Introduction by Sabine Knierbein

14:10- Keynote Speech Kirsten Simonsen

14:40-Coffee break

15:10-Panel II Place (3-4 Panel Participants)

17:00 Break

18:00 Evening Event

 

Saturday, 18th April 2015 

Venue: Semperdepot Vienna, Lehargasse 6-8, 1060, Wien

Panel III – Matter (Rob Shields)

9:00 Arrival and Coffee

9:20 Matter – Introduction Rob Shields

9:30 Keynote Speech III

10.00 Panel III Matter (3-4 Panel Participants)

12:00- Lunch break

13:30- Networking and Exchange Workshop

15:00- Coffee Break

15:30-16:30 Discussants’ Summary

Place: Mobiles Stadtlabor Karlsplatz, U-Bahn Station Resselpark, 1040 Vienna

18:00 Book Presentation „Public Space and Relational Perspectives“

Panel Debate with Dr. Sandra Huning (TU Dortmund, Germany), Prof. Kirsten Simonsen (University of Roskilde, Denmark, and others)

20.00 SKuOR Soirée (Reception)

Further information: Contact

Liveability and the Right to the City

 for the second year running, Australia’s political capital was named the best city in the world by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), a result that made northern hemisphere observers wonder if, down under, they were looking at the rankings upside down.

Canberra is a deathly place. It is a city conceived as a monument to the roundabout and the retail park, a bleak and relentless landscape of axial boulevards and manicured verges, dotted with puffed-up state buildings and gigantic shopping sheds.  (The Guardian 12 Dec. 2014)

“Liveability” and “liveable cities” do not have anything to do with the right the city, Lefebvre’s vision of cities as oeuvres or collective “works of art”.  The Guardian complains “The Economist Intelligence Unit puts Melbourne in first place, followed by Vienna, Vancouver, Toronto, Adelaide and Calgary. There is never any mention, on any list, of London or New York, Paris or Hong Kong. There are no liveable cities where you might actually want to live. ”  This is a common complaint, for liveability means public spaces that are in practice new, untroubled by historical memory, and often-times actually private property “lawns” and fountains in front of office towers, “lobbies without walls” as Oliver Wainwright sums up.

“Liveability” is a dream of an urban communion in the consumption of public spaces as a collective good.  Public sidewalks are privatised as outdoor cafe spaces to enhance the spectacle of enjoyment.  But the resulting urban environments are not platforms for self-expression, collective memory or political voices.  Contra apostles of “new urbanism”, bodies do not assemble here but pass through in a pedestrian transit vision of public space and social order or they pay to stay.   The architects protest that they are powerless, just following orders of capitalist owners.  But this total vision suits the paternal order that sets these bodies in motion, atomised and probably texting, at the feet of monumental buildings.  In Wainwright’s article, Gehl is quoted saying “It’s good for democracy if people can meet each other on the street.”  But people are discouraged from any collective encounter in these streets.  In this sense, is “liveability” totalitarian?

Totalitarian: Lacking rights to redeveloped urban spaces, has there not been a new enclosure of the urban commons?  Totalitarian: what sets limits or counterbalances a version of liveability that privileges a professional class of well-heeled “Bobos” that are “bohemian” only in their own eyes?  As consumption goes online and is thus increasingly individualised or enclosed in the “telephone booth-sociability” of online tweets and comments, these unpublic spaces become a key ritual site of belonging for inhabitants of the cities of OECD.  It confers on some the rights to these spaces and excludes others that are not “properly” active economically, bodies that do not comply, are disabled or disordered.

As consumption goes online and is thus increasingly individualised or enclosed in the “telephone booth-sociability” of online tweets and comments, these unpublic spaces become a key ritual site of belonging for inhabitants of the cities of OECD.  However, Occupy and the revolutions of the second decade of this century demonstrate that it is in the moments of political ferment when these spaces are occupied by people that there is a self-recognition by the public as a public and as citizens.

How about a liveability index based on the total number of park benches — ideally “sleepable” benches — the absence of loitering rules, and the number of public events and demonstrations held annually?

-Rob Shields, University of Alberta