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<nettime> NEWBORN -- Undeliverable?
Felix Stalder on Thu, 5 Jun 2008 15:25:27 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> NEWBORN -- Undeliverable?


NEWBORN -- Undeliverable?
-> http://newborn.krcf.org

A truck is circulating through Zurich. Seven extra-large letters stand on 
its open holding area. They form the word NEWBORN. At different locations, 
the trucks pulls up. A rapper, EKI NOX, performs. But the truck has to 
leave again after a very short time. Will its cargo remain undeliverable?

This intervention examines how multiple, translocal networks constitute 
themselves in the common local space of Zurich and how they develop 
specific forms of visibility and invisibility within the public space. The 
truck with the NEWBORN sign serves as focal point triggering responses 
which will render these presences visible to all.

The original meaning of the NEWBORN sign will be evident primarily to 
migrants from the Balkans. Many of them were either present in person, or 
via the media, when an almost identical sculpture was unveiled at the 
Mother Theresa Square in Pristina when the independence of the Kosovo was 
declared (02.17.2008). For the Kosovo-Albanians, that sculpture symbolizes 
a new phase of their self-constitution. Not just in the Kosovo, but also 
in Zurich. Since the establishment of the state, the Kosovo-Albanian 
community in Switzerland is beginning to (re)present itself in the public 
sphere  on their own terms. Kosovo-Albanians will also understand the 
rapper whose lyrics are partly in Albanian and how he interprets the 
NEWBORN sign from his individual perspective.

The issue of a 'new beginning' is also present in the Swiss political 
public, not the least through recurring debates over and votes on the 
conditions under which foreigners can become Swiss citizens. At the same 
time,  a discourse on 'shifting identities' seems to offer -- if not a new 
beginning -- then at least an alternative conception of 'post-national' 
political identity.

The third layer which circulation of the NEWBORN through the city of Z?rich 
investigates in the capturing of the public space through commercial 
actors and their interest. The EURO2008, which starts while the 
intervention is taking place, pushes this development to new dimensions. 
Across the city highly controlled areas of intensive advertisement (fan 
zones) are being erected. For those who do not behave according to 
protocol special temporary detention facilities are being erected so that 
they can be removed swiftly from the public space. The degree to which the 
public and imaginary space as already been captured by commercialism will 
lead most people who see the NEWBORN circulating through the streets to 
interpret it as just another advertisement signage to be set up somewhere 
in the city.

The Project NEWBORN -- Undeliverable? conducts research into the 
constitution and interaction of multiple, parallel publics within the 
local space of Zurich shaped by the dynamics of translocal migration, 
national identity and globalized commercialism. Such a research endeavor 
needs to take place in the public space itself. Only by intervening 
directly the latent, often invisible dynamics can be brought to the 
surface. Activating existing and triggering new dynamics is an essential 
part of the approach. The interventions are being documented and material 
will be made available online and offline.

NEWBORN -- Undeliverable? will take place June 5-7 in Zurich. The precise 
locations of the interventions will not be announced in advance. Stay 
tuned.


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