U10 – from here to the imaginary and back again
A call for submissions to a public art competition
run by the Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (NBGK) Berlin, in collaboration with the Berlin Underground Train Network (BVG), financed by Berlin Council’s Department of Culture and supported by Wall AG.
\”In this train of thought spirits and ghosts are as real as atoms, particles, photons and quanta…\”
Robert M. Pirsig
50 years of public art in Alexanderplatz Underground Station in Berlin came to an end in 2008. The next project on the Berlin Underground, U10 – from here to the imaginary and back again, sets a new focus on the social and collaborative
dimension of public art.
The U10 project is interested in the whole of the Underground network, seeing it as a parallel underworld, both real and imaginary. The Underground is a real, living space, that is physically linked to people’s everyday routine – it is a place of work, shelter, transportation and encounter. Despite this familiarity, entering
the Underground subtly disrupts our sense of time and place. We disappear into a mysterious world of black tunnels in the city’s subconscious.
Down here an unexpected and secretive mirror image of the city is registered seismographically. The city’s inner spirit materialises. The artists’ role in the project U10 – from here to the imaginary and back again is to examine this mirror image or spirit and its unknown, hidden contexts.
The name U10 – from here to the imaginary and back again refers to a line on the Berlin Underground which was originally conceived in the 1930s but has never been finished. Today it remains derelict, consisting of fragments of
tunneling and unused station platforms. During the Cold War, the then West Berlin-owned Underground Company (BVG) had to use part of the East Berlinowned S1 line. The BVG therefore started building the U10 line parallel to the S1
line in order to be completely independent of the East German regime. Three U10 stations were built but never completed because of the fall of the Berlin Wall. More information on www.berliner-untergrundbahn.de
Artists or collaborative groups of artists and non-artists are invited to take part in this call for submissions. Preference will be given to artists who see their work as a means of exchange and shared dialogue and who are interested in reaching new audiences. This may include a readiness to collaborate with, for example,
groups of BVG staff or passengers who have little experience of contemporary art. The organisors cannot take part in the call themselves. The U10 project will run for a maximum of 3 years.
Call for project proposals
The organisers are looking for situation specific and/or participatory projects which focus on the Berlin Underground and its staff and/or users. They can range from being short, interventionistic artistic reactions to specific occurances on the Underground to being long term collaborations aimed at creating sustainable
relationships to BVG staff and/or users over a number of years. The competition sees members of staff, passengers, kiosk and snack bar owners, buskers and ticket traders not only as a potential audience but also as potential collaborators on a joint research of the Berlin Underground.
All projects have to be realised within the Berlin Underground network.
All locations within the Berlin Underground network are possible, for example station platforms, passageways and advertising billboards – as long as they conform to the Underground’s official safety regulations.
All types of project format are possible – for example printed matter, film programs, installations, projections, performances, workshops.
The U10 line can only be used for projects with restricted viewing times, for example guided tours or programmed events.
The organisers’ activities and documentation
The organisers will set up a project space in the Underground in collaboration with a small group of BVG staff involved voluntarily in their leisure time. The project space will primarily serve as a meeting place for the selected artists,
organisers, staff and/or other collaborators. Events can take place here. An information archive will be set up housing the organisors’ on-going research into the Underground and a collection of facts, fictions, images and stories about the Underground complied during the U10 project. The project space will offer the
public background information about the selected artists and their projects through, for example, artist’s talks and by archiving a documentation of each selected artist’s working process in the Underground.
Each selected artist will receive a budget to produce printed matter documenting his or her project.
A catalogue will be published at the end of the whole U10 project (release expected mid 2012).
Submitted material should not exceed a 24cm x 32cm format.
Please submit the following:
– a completed and signed formular (see „U10_form_engl.pdf“)
– project proposal including possible location(s) (max. two A4 pages!)
– cost estimate (including artist’s fee, production costs, travel costs, accommodation costs)
– time schedule
– a folder with documentation of previous work which is relevant to the project proposal, with biographical details.
Please do not send slides, catalogues, CDs, video cassettes, editions or originals.
Submitted material can only be returned if a stamped-addressed envelope is included. Collection of submitted material from NGBK from 13.07.09 to 31.07.2009 (Oranienstraße 25, 1st Floor, Mon.-Fri. 10-17:00). Submitted
material cannot be stored after 31.07.09.
Questions by 10.06.09 by email only to:
Subject: U10 Competition
FAQ under www.ngbk.de.
Submissions should arrive by 12.06.2009 at:
NGBK / U10 Competition, Oranienstraße 25, D – 10999 Berlin
Those submitting are responsible for ensuring that their application arrives complete and punctual at the NGBK office in Berlin.
Selection proceedure, time schedule and total budget
A maximum of eight projects will be selected by the beginning of July 2009. The selected projects should be realised between Autumn 2009 and Dezember 2010.
A total budget of 60.000 Euro for artist’s fees, production, travel and accommodation costs will be available (subject to grants from the Berlin Senate’s Department for Culture).
The result of the selection proceedure will be emailed to all submitters by 10.07.09.
The organisers of the competition for NGBK are Sofia Bempeza, Ania Corcilius, Jacopo Gallico, Eva Hertzsch und Adam Page. They will select the artists’ projects with two members of the BVG staff with whom they will be collaborating during
the U10 project.
The submitted ideas will be treated confidentially, and not used for anything else.
NBGK is only liable for loss or damage of the submitted materials in case of provable negligence.
Important technical data and information
– The artworks must not obstruct passenger flow in any areas of the stations and entrances.
– Distractions in the field of vision of the train operator must be avoided, for example no mirrors, no movable parts, etc.
– Audio installations may not interfere with the train announcements etc.
– Light projections must depend on the exisiting situation at the chosen site.
– If the billboard supports behind the rails are to be used, their depth should not exceed 3.5 cm. The supports’ frames are of historical value and should not be covered.
– Only employees of BVG and Wall AG have access to the tracks.
– The selected artists should be prepared to make compromises on the locations they choose for their work, depending on requirements for authorisation.
– 220 Volt electricity is generally available.
– A permit is necessary to film and take photographs on the station. It can be obtained through NGBK. Film and photography is not possible on the U10 line.
Please refer to http://www.berliner-untergrundbahn.de/ for extensive images and texts.
Funding and support
The project is financed by Senatskanzlei – Kulturelle Angelegenheiten Kunst im Stadtraum, Berlin, and supported by Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) and Wall AG. The call for submissions and the entire project, especially its continuation in 2010 and 2011, are held on condition that continued funding is provided by the Senatskanzlei. NGBK can and will, if necessary, adapt the project to changes in
No legal recourse is permitted.
U10 organisers: Sofia Bempeza, Ania Corcilius, Jacopo Gallico, Eva Hertzsch and Adam Page