News from Nowhere: Zürich Laboratory

News from Nowhere: Zürich Laboratory

The Korean artists, MOON Kyungwon & JEON Joonho have teamed up with the design collective, Urban-Think Tank, based at ETH Zürich, to launch the newest version of the ongoing project, “News from Nowhere.” Past versions have appeared in documenta (13) in Kassel and the Sullivan Galleries of the School of the Art Institute in Chicago in 2013. The “News from Nowhere: Zürich Laboratory” establishes an interdisciplinary and participatory platform to discuss the urgent social, political and economic issues.

Located in the Migros Museum for Gegenwartskunst, the “News from Nowhere” exhibition brings together artists, architects, designers, scientists, and documentarians in order to discuss issues facing contemporary society. Urban-Think Tank collaborated with Moon & Jeon to develop a novel adaptation of the classical agora—the place of assembly as well as festive congregation in ancient Greece— in order to "reclaim" urban space. In their vision, the traditionally static agora has been mobilized; it can leave the exhibition space to roam the urban environment. It consists of a converted bicycle (Mobile Agora (Mothership)), which records images and sounds and plays them back, as well as movable stands for spectators (Mobile Agora (Tribune)) that can also be folded and deployed outside, on streets, sidewalks, and plazas. The ensemble is intended as infrastructure enabling the residents of a city to talk to each other and share ideas.

The Mobile Agora from the "News from Nowhere" exhibition. Image Courtesy of Urban Think Tank

Inspired by mobile street vendors’ carts, the bicycle is equipped with media appliances facilitating interaction in a range of formats: microphones, speakers, screens, projectors, recording devices, etc. In the Mobile Agora, U-TT and Moon & Jeon have built a replica of an essential element of ancient democracy enhanced and brought up to date by mobility and multimedia capability.

The Mobile Agora from the "News from Nowhere" exhibition. Image Courtesy of Urban Think Tank

Lead designers of the tribunes and mothership were Diego Ceresuela, Alfredo Brillembourg & Hubert Klumpner. The mobile agora transforms the museum into a site of interaction and communication by serving as a platform for lectures, discussions, and workshops, while also preserving traces of the urban environment of Zurich and other cities around the world. During a performance event held in the run-up to the exhibition, the sound artists and engineers Nadine Schütz, Zlatko Baracskai, and Marcel Aubert recorded Zurich's urban noises and combined them with music and sounds from all over the world to create a distinctive global urban composition. The city is brought into the museum—the walls of the exhibition space become permeable.

In addition, Urban-Think Tank and their spin-off film company, Gran Horizonte Media, produced a new short film inspired by the work of Moon & Jeon. Entitled, La continuación del mundo, (2015) the movie portrays a young resident of Medellin, Colombia as she explores the ways in which cities form memories about the future and predict the past. The film was directed and filmed by Daniel Schwartz.

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Cite: "News from Nowhere: Zürich Laboratory" 27 Oct 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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