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URBAN VOID 01-collective actions in the city

Participation in the Architectural Intervention Team "Urban Void"

Urban Void is an open group of architects and artists working on collective actions in the city of Athens. Since 1998 the group has performed 13 actions in the urban context involving the active participation of the public. The objective of the group’s actions is to bring into discussion the social and political dimensions of the parasitical, seemingly vacant urban sites. These events include walking, announcing texts and other simple everyday acts organized by the group on the sites of interest. Simply through their presence on the sites, Urban Void members invite the citizens to activate these neglected areas of the city. These empty fields are places in limbo undergoing changes and transformations, urban spaces characterized by ambiguity in respect to their identity, use or legal status. By temporarily inhabiting these spaces, Urban Void is testing the relationship of the sites to the citizens and the city life. Every action becomes an investigative journey through the urban landscape.
Regular Urban Void members are:
Eleni Tzirtzilaki, Nikos Kazeros, Christina Parakente, Zisis Kotionis, Phoebe Giannisi, Zafos Xagoraris, Lena Tziora, Hariklia Haris

URBAN VOID 01: "Spaces with Unrealized Rights", (1998)
Action in the empty space between Takis, Agioi Anargyroi and Lepeniotou streets, Psiri area.
Artists, video artists, architects, musicians, choreographers, and actors are involved.
Athens, Sunday 12 of April 1998, 9:00p.m

The original purpose of the Urban Void, while the team was still under formation, was to obstruct the building up of the district of Psyrri, which was gradually being transformed from an area of small-scale manufacturing and trade into a downtown ‘recreation center’. In this spirit, a manifold event–an open-air exhibition with the participation of architects and artists–was organized at an unbuilt site in the area. After this first action/exhibition and following a long period of collective discussions, the Urban Void began to shape not only as a team but also in terms of their activities, which evolved from multiform projects based on ‘individual work’ to uniform collective actions based on an ongoing ‘process’ of involvement in the city.

Our team participated in this action, with the 15’ video named “MEDIA MATERIAL”.
The video was then presented at the 16th Film and Video Festival Competition.

Empty space as an excerpt within a city could be a text whose components and forms are equivalent to traces of the past and their new relationship with the city can be the completion of a theatrical act. Trying to discover this experience we do an experiment using the camera. H.Muller's work “Despoiled Shore Medea Material Landscape with Argonauts”, consists of 3 essays linked together by fragments of collective memories. These passages are rendered as phrases of text or objects that are transferred from one scene-scene to another. That is, there continues to be a productive process in memory of the legend of Medea and Jason, who are not essentially persons, but materials reused to create a new landscape of text or space. The productive process of memory now passes to the viewer who becomes a reader of text space.

Video Production
Participation in collective action and Competition entry in the 16th Film and Video Creator Festival
Athens & Thessaloniki, Greece
Art, Urban Planning, Video Installation
Urban Void Team

Video Production:
Sfantou Eleni
Papadatos Giorgos, Sfantou Eleni
Papadatos Giorgos, Sfantou Eleni
Original screenplay:
Heiner’s Müller, “Despoiled Shore Medea Material Landscape with Argonauts”, 1982/1983
Liarakos Kiriakos
Director's assistant:
Milona Marina
Sfantou Eleni
Zarafonitou Claudia
Manidaki Eva, Kikidis Giorgos

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