1/2/8 – Urban Frictions

  • Research-Project

Since the spring of 2017, PACT provides a future-oriented international platform with its transdisciplinary research festival 1/2/8, which makes room and time for the conjunction of various artistic and academic disciplines. The third edition “1/2/8 – Urban Frictions” focuses on urban processes and the fragile, dynamic fabric of urban societies: Where does friction take place in the urban space? How can complex interactions and structures of a city be analyzed and influenced through art?


During four-week research residencies, seven local and international artist groups analyzed public and private spaces as spheres of political, social, and cultural participation from different perspectives. In so doing, they developed practices which create free spaces and open up sovereign courses of action.  Next to “1/2/8 – Urban Frictions,” the “WerkStadt” is the gravitational center and an integral part of a number of activities in the city space, initiated and planned long-term by PACT. Acting as an independent satellite, the WerkStadt serves as a place in which cultural techniques are exchanged and resources are brought together to joint solution approaches within the city district.


Over the course of the festival period of “1/2/8 – Urban Frictions,” the artistic research project Playful Commons develops a “Genehmigungswerkstatt” (“authorization workshop”), which documents successful, absurd, and failed approval processes for creative activities within the urban space, and which provides simplified assistance for new proposals at the same time. In a workshop series accompanying a documentary, Canadian video artist Roberto Santaguida develops individual portraits of a city with people suffering from mental illnesses. The group HEFT constructs mobile ad-hoc architecture made from wood, fabric, and other materials. These transformable mini-parliaments invite visitors to public debates in-between street canyons. In installations that create alternative forms of cartography, the artist group h-artlab poses questions about territorial concepts and the demarcation of borders.


Namik Mackic’s geopolitical research centers around the idea of landscape as an object of technocratic urbanization. Sound artist Yotam Schlezinger records the city’s tensions and acoustic contradictions and composes them without dissolving them. In her search for possibilities of transfer of individual practices, Greek choreographer Lenio Kaklea interviews residents of a city district about their daily practices, customs, and rituals in a research period that lasts for eight months. She brings them together in a literary publication and a choreography – what emerges is an encyclopedia of urban practices.