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Hartware MedienKunstVerein

Güntherstrasse 65
44143 Dortmund
Tel. 0231 - 534 63 607
Fax 0231 - 882 02 40
aktuelle Ausstellung / current exhibition
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Juni 2006





Juli 2006 / filmvideo

Künstlerische Videos und Filme aus dem Baltikum



August -Oktober 2006 / Ausstellung

Irrationale Technologien





Hartware MedienKunstVerein invites you to the presentation of the project:
Peripherie 3000 - Strategic Platform for networked centers
Dortmund, April 21-23, 2006

Dear Madam, dear Sir,
dear friends,

Together with the Ruhr Region, Essen is to become European Capital of
Culture for 2010. But why? The essential things,
so the project Peripherie 3000 -
Strategic Platform for Networked Centers, no
longer take place in the national capitals
but, for some time now, wherever peripheral
positions facilitate a perspective on
social and cultural foundations. The periphery,
and not the center, is a position of
productive uncertainty.

Two projects initiated by relations, Zagreb -
Cultural Kapital of Europe 3000 and Peripherie
3000 in Dortmund, have, together with other
institutions and initiatives from
North-Rhine-Westfalia and Zagreb, discussed about
structures beyond centers and will present the
results in Dortmund:

From April 21 - 23, 2006, several urban /
artistic interventions will be presented as well
as the public colloquium "What kind of cultural
institutions do we need? On the (political)
effects of structures" (in English).

Comprehensive material on Peripherie 3000 are available for download at

relations is a project initiated by the Federal
Cultural Foundation of Germany aiming to foster
new ways of cultural exchange between Germany and
the countries in Eastern Europe. relations gets
active where cultural actors develop artistic
projects induced by local contexts which address
question that are relevant on a broader scale and
which critically deal with the present and the



* * * *



Published in: read relations No. 4, spring 2006
Order read relations at


In Praise of Peripheries

Together with the Ruhr Region, Essen is to become European Capital of
Culture for 2010. But why? The essential things,
so the project Peripherie 3000 -
Strategic Platform for Networked Centers, no
longer take place in the national capitals
but, for some time now, wherever peripheral
positions facilitate a perspective on
social and cultural foundations. The periphery,
and not the center, is a position of
productive uncertainty.
Peripherie 3000 - Strategic Platform for
Networked Centers is a project of the Hartware
MedienKunstVerein Dortmund in collaboration with the Croatian network Zagreb -
Cultural Kapital of Europe 3000 and relations;
the project investigates structures and
cultural production beyond the centers in the Ruhr Region.

By Inke Arns

In April 2006 Zagreb Cultural Kapital of Europe
3000 (ZCK 3000) will be guest in the Ruhr
Region. ZCK 3000 is a heterogeneous network of
originally four, today eight independent
Zagreb culture initiatives active in the areas of
visual arts, media art and theory, collective
curatorial praxis, software design and
development, theatre and performance, and urban
planning and architecture. They have been
collaborating for just over two years. The reason
behind their visit is the project Peripherie 3000
- Strategic Platform for Networked Centers,
developed together by the Hartware MedienKunstVerein Dortmund, various cultural
institutions and initiatives from the state of
North Rhine-Westphalia, and relations. The
project runs parallel to the decision-making
process and eventual announcement of which
German city is to be European Capital of Culture
in 2010. Essen has bid for the designation
together with the Ruhr Region (and won the competition just a few days ago).

Gaining the title of "European Capital of
Culture" is tied to the hope of enhancing a city's
status and quality of life through infrastructure
investment, the staging of prestigious events,
and the resultant media attention. Whereas at the
start of the cultural capital tradition the
designation was awarded mainly to capital cities
(e.g. Athens 1985, Amsterdam 1987, Berlin
1988, Paris 1989), today it is primarily
"non-capitals," cities on the periphery or with
populations of fewer than a million which are
being chosen as cultural capitals (most recently
Graz 2003, Cork 2005). In the process "Capital of
Culture" is a label and a marketing
instrument that aims to enhance the reputation of
cities and regions beyond the national
capitals and make them more attractive.

While the number "3000" in the title of
Peripherie 3000 clearly refers to Zagreb Cultural
Kapital of Europe 3000, the concept of the
"periphery" plays on an understanding of a
(cultural) capital as a center and expressly
counters it: the periphery as a position on the
outskirts or a site of frayed edges that allows a
different perspective on shifting social and
cultural foundations.

The Ruhr Region - and beyond it the region
between Dortmund and Rotterdam - possesses
a specific network structure which Rem Koolhaas
has characterized as the "Euro core."
Here, in a poly- or non-centric urban network
that is comprised of a series of nodal points
each with a population of fewer than one million,
live 10 per cent of Europe's total population.
This "Euro core" is made up of continuous
transitions between urban and non-urban areas.
To speak of a center here would be to misjudge
the peculiarity and the quite unique quality of
this specific structure: "the edge is
everywhere," is how the Dortmund project
formulates it.

Peripherie 3000 takes this permanently
"peripheral position" to be a positive and
vehicle and makes it the starting point for a
meditation on structures beyond centers. This
entails a fundamental revaluation of the concept
of "periphery": it is no longer understood as
a negative term, as a designation for something
secondary or unimportant, but as a position
of fundamental uncertainty undermining those
binary oppositions which we have become so
used to that they slip through our perception.
During the first meeting between the groups from
Zagreb and North Rhine-Westphalia in
December 2005, which was preceded by a visit to
Zagreb in September, the first joint
thematic fields were discussed. They are all
location-specific and at the same time point
beyond the local context of the Ruhr Region, as
the working titles show: "The disappearance
of labor and the transformation of the concept of
work - from the industrial to the information
age"; "From the guest-worker culture of the 1960s
to new migrant communities"; "The 'old
West' as the 'new East': structural change in the
old versus structural fracturing in the new
federal states"; and finally, "Peripherie 3000 -
Off Center: will we still find in the centers what
we are searching for?"

Up until January 2006 four joint projects
tackling these themes were developed by groups
from different disciplines from North
Rhine-Westphalia and Zagreb. In April they will be
presented to the public in the form of
artistic-urban interventions and a colloquium. The
colloquium focuses primarily on the question as
to which kinds of institutions cultural
production needs today and what type of qualities
are produced by specific institutional and
organizational structures. Is a large central
structure characterized per se by hierarchy,
impermeability, and immobility, while smaller
units are distinguished by the converse
qualities? How can long-term structures be
preserved in the context of cultural work that is
increasingly based on project funding? The relationship between independent and
institutionalized culture is to be investigated,
with special attention given to the context of
advancing globalization and the institutional
transformations taking place in this framework.
The "Klub Peripherie 3000" will kick off
proceedings on the eve of the colloquium, which
present theoretical, philosophical, and artistic
statements on the theme of "periphery"
collected on the website or directly on location.

In addition to the colloquium, the following
projects will be presented: "Discovering Zagreb
(via Dortmund)," an excursion into Zagreb urban
space along images of Dortmund's
cityscape by (Andrea Knobloch,
Markus Ambach, Düsseldorf); "The local
transformation of global standards - a
phenomenology," an investigation into the gas
phenomenon in the Ruhr Region, a cooperative
project between orange.edge (Stefanie
Bremer, Henrik Sander, Dortmund) and platforma
91,8 (Damir Blazevic, Marko Sancanin,
Zagreb); and a performance evening with k.o.
(Zagreb) and experimental music trio Pajo &
Labosh & MariOK (Zagreb) as a project by MeX
(Dortmund), the Multimedia Institute mi2 and
Center for Drama Arts CDU (both Zagreb).

The key element in the project Peripherie 3000 -
Strategic Platform for Networked Centers is
reciprocal exchange. For over two years now ZCK
3000 has delved intensively into the
relationship between independent culture and
institutions - and done so under the
aggravated conditions of so-called normalization,
i.e. the transition, accelerated by the
increasing pressure of globalization, to a
neo-liberalist system. These developments, felt
directly in Croatia (a country where a socialist
system has been displaced by a capitalist one
within just 15 years), are either yet to bite in
the former west or they are taking place at a
much slower pace and the social fabric is still
able to absorb their corrosive effects better
than in eastern Europe. It is in this sense that
the members of ZCK 3000 are experts who
have most likely already developed effective
strategies for dealing with accelerated


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