Transformer by Vigdis Storsveen
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Transformer is a development project for reclaim of urban scars and leftover sites. The urban growth in Oslo has for many decades been governed by real estate developers, whose final goal is seemingly little else than investment revenues. With rising prices for real estate in central Oslo, this has led to an ever more aggressive approach to development of available building sites and existing building-mass. Over the years we are seeing more and more scars in the urban fabric; derelict sites where buildings used to stand due to the rising level of conflict between developers and the public planning authorities. The consequences are obvious.
- The aesthetic deterioration is an issue which arises when beautiful old buildings are replaced by cars and parking spaces.
- Loss of city functions and the consequent dysfunctionality is another grave side effect. Urban dwellings are important for the human bio-diversity in a city and commercial space on street level is generating life, human interactions and safety.
- Social degeneration is one of the most serious consequences of this situation. The cities have throughout our history been our meeting places, where everything from informal gatherings to political riots take place and shape our cultural and democratic development.
The transformer project aims to reverse these negative processes by educating and raising awareness of the ongoing situations, and implement a process where some of these sites can be liberated for public use. This process will take place on three levels: a) identifying urban scars and leftover sites by engaging in a dialogue with real estate owners, b) free the sites for temporary public use by establishing a dialogue between land owners and art producers and c) building arenas where children can experience art in public space.
Our target group is children and teenagers, the next generation of city dwellers. This group of individuals is equipped with a strong interest in social interaction and curiosity towards art and cultural activities. This is very often neglected by art institutions which offer most of their resources to the educated art lover, resulting in a boundary between generations and social strata. Transformer wants to break this artificial boundary and cater art to everyone.
At the moment there is a temporary structure up in Ullevålsveien 75 in Oslo. There has been one event already, “Guitar Machine” and on coming in September “Parasite structure” . As part of the project I have invited artists, opera-singers, dancers and people living in the neighborhood to make use of the structure. In August there will be a dance performance, but there will also be few other small events.
The idea behind Transformer is that neighbors can use the structure in the time between the larger events that Transformer organize.
This project will only be displayed as documentation at the exhibition.