Accepted paper:

Stop and go: nodes of transformation and transition

Authors:

Michael Hieslmair (Tracing Spaces)
Michael Zinganel (Tracing Spaces)

Paper short abstract:

Increasing numbers of people are obliged to spend increasing amounts of time in transit. Transition nodes and hubs acquire ever-greater significance and serve as (semi-)public spaces which have an impact on the public realm at the margins and even in the core of the cities.

Paper long abstract:

In a globalized economy increasing numbers of people are obliged to spend increasing amounts of time in transit. Therefore transition nodes and hubs alongside major transnational European traffic corridors - where traffic comes to halt - acquire ever-greater significance. These hubs and nodes are considered as (semi-)public spaces which are linked via the paths of individuals to and have an impact on the public realm at the margins and even in the core of the cities. At places like border controls, highway service stations, formal and informal markets, both individual's routes, routines, and rituals, but also political transitions, transformations of working and living conditions, and the landscapes of mobilities and dismobilities can be best explored by listening to the narratives of individuals on route, which use to be structured by the encounter of significant signs and places, while the same narratives are producing a landscape of their own. The paper presents the theoretical framework and the methods developed during preceding art based research projects emphasizing on nodes of mobility and migration as well as a part of their current project investigating nodes alongside the main road connection between Vienna and the Bulgarian-Turkish border. Using a transporter van for 'embedded' research on route and as a trigger for episodic in-situ interviews we generate a networked "cartography" of hubs and routes that displays both supranational developments and individual experiences of mobile actors, integrating their individual experiences and narratives - their imaginary landscape - as well as the impact of both on urban transformations.

panel Urba003
Ethnographies of urban public spaces