Routes + Routines

Routes + Routines was a series of city walks and surprise visits to unexpected corners of Brussels. The project tested out various methods for diverting and changing routines, and as a result your experience of daily habits could possibly shift. Through treading on unknown territory, these performative explorations investigated rhythms, patterns, movements, circumstances and situations which make up our so called "normal" world.

The project Routes + Routines took place in residential areas in Brussels. Through interventions, actions and presentations in public space, the project created dialogs with the day-to-day reality of the street corner, roundabout or zebra-crossing. R + R looked at the relation between technology, geography, urban representation and visual imagination and investigated the city from inside out.

The recent re-validation of Situationism has staged the city again as a platform for spectacles, unexpected situations and aesthetic coincidences, the city as a layered locus with unique live and logic, a chaotic post-industrial organism where functionalism and planning team up with historic remains and social marginality.

In an informationalist Utopian world vision everything can be interpreted as programmable and the city is no exception. Routes + Routines proposed a comparison between on the one hand romantic notions of urbanity in which the individual experience is the starting point for a subjective interpretation of locations and on the other: the structure of binary language where all information can be reduced to opposites; to zero’s and ones.

If cities, social groups and identities can simply be regarded as programmable entities, can we than approach cities as hardware on which social, economic, political programme’s play; directing and determining behavior, movement, norms, interactions and relations between citizens? Can we question how this programmability is employed and re-think and re-model urban power structures, dominance of capital, racial injustice, property, normality? How can urban programs that are seemingly fixed be diverted, changed and appropriated?

Routes + Routines investigated low-tech means of communication and was curious about the potential of no tech-media such as gossip, backchat, word to mouth in a world dominated by (communication) strategies. How can looking, observing and reporting be recaptured from the paradigm of control and surveillance and how can they be employed to stimulate the imagination of citizens? How can we map multi -plicity, -culturality, -layering and changeability starting from the details and individual observation rather then the bird perspective?


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