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Random Encounters

Urban Tour

Link to Hacking the City project website

Hello there. I really liked your videos and thanks for publishing them online so that I could have a look. I’m sorry that your girlfriend left you but, as you said, you were not very nice to her and you kind of deserved it. It’s really cool that you’re eating spaghetti now. I’m sure it’s really tasty and an interesting experience for you. There are many more to come. Too bad I missed Maria’s birthday. It looked like a great time. I’m sure it took a lot of courage to sing that song, even thought it was in the privacy of your own home. I’m really saddened about your father. I also lost mine to cancer a few years ago and it was really difficult. Time heals. Gosh, you play really well, and I’m impressed by the amount of guitars on your couch. Your dog has gotten really big. How does she eat in a day? Its amazing how well your house finally came together. You can finally start to enjoy it with your loved ones. Dare I predict a new addition to the family soon? Wow, you sure are good with that bow and arrow. Your ghost video was kind of weird and scared me a bit. It’s really intriguing the kinds of things that you do when you are bored. Anyway, I’m going to be bringing a small group of people for a visit, though I haven’t decided which one of you yet. It will be exciting and I’m sure we’ll learn a lot from each other. Thank you in advance for your hospitality, I look forward to seeing you.

In dieser Stadt leben zahlreiche Menschen mit ihren eigenen Geschichten. Hätten Sie Lust, einige von ihnen zu besuchen? Für das Hacking the City hat die kanadische Künstlerin Michelle Teran auf der Videoplattform YouTube Beiträge recherchiert, die in der Stadt Essen eingestellt wurden. Dabei nutzte sie die Geo-Daten, die die Personen hinterlassen haben, während sie ihre Videos online stellten. Funf dieser Personen wurden ausgesucht, um sie mit einer kleinen Gruppe von Leuten zu besuchen. Dabai wurden die Personen gebeten, der Gruppe etwas vorzustellen bzw. vorzufahren; das konnte eine Lesung, eine Performance oder ein Workshop sein, bei dem wir etwas lernen konnten. Die Besuchergruppe wurde vorab nicht aber das Ziel ihrer Reise informiert und konnte somit eine ungewöhnliche Erfahrung machen: die zufällige Begegnung mit einem Unbekannten.

trans: There are many people living in the city with their own stories. Would you like to visit some of them? For Hacking the City, Canadian artist Michelle Teran researched YouTube videos located in the city of Essen, taking advantage of the geo-data left by people when they put their videos online. Five of these people were chosen to be visited by a small group of people. They were asked to present and demonstrate something to the group; it could be a reading, a performance or workshop, where we could learn something. The group of visitors were not informed in advance about where they were going or who they would be meeting, and could therefore make an unusual experience: a chance encounter with a stranger.

(Hacking the City catalogue text, Museum Folkwang, Essen, July 2010)

Random Encounters was commissioned by Museum Folkwang for Hacking the City. Sabine Marie Schmidt, curator.

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