In December 2008, I started working on projects at CitySpinning I refer to collectively as The POROUS CITY. As a part of POROUS CITY I started out doing two things: one was to shape some construct of a space or a vehicle, which could be moved around and be parked around Bangalore. And the other was to locate unused land or building in the city and establish a space for neighbourhood conversation there.
POROUS CITY sees the city of flows and obstructions also as a city of accidents, shadows, parallel realities, diversity, fiction and imagination. Across this year POROUS CITY has been practicing different ways of experiencing, sharing and articulating these realities. These ways involved writing, performances, walks and interventions. Spaces are the locative anchors for memory and history. The city of flows finds it very difficult to change with the “anchors of memories” weighing it down. Performative dreaming about what our cities and neigbourhoods is what POROUS CITY is about.
A “cultural space” is any space which is open to diverse expressions and aesthetics. A space which allows a wide range of social interactions, across hierarchies and boundaries. And I think to be inspired, people go where there is a possibility for a rich social intermingling.
And sometimes there is a vacuum, there are very few spaces which can play this role. My project has been prototyping some possibilities for bridging this gap.
Time-line and process
July 2008: The concept of a “mobile cultural space” for Bangalore was thought of and shared amongst friends and peers.
October 2008: The concept became a part of a proposal for Openspace India, a Pune-based trust which supports city-based programmes through personal fellowships.
December 2008: Work started on the Porous City call.
January 2009: The Porous City call was opened. The call was an invitation to artists, architects and others around the world to send in their interpretive proposals for a “mobile cultural space” for Bangalore city.
April 2009: A short-list of fifteen short-listed proposals was announced on April 2nd, 2009. more: the proposals
July 2009: An exhibition of the fifteen short-listed proposals was exhibited at Protospace, Sanjaynagar. The exhibition drew an audience of artists, writers, journalists and others from all over the city and became an opportunity to discuss spaces, cultural spaces and scope for intervention. more: LINK 1, LINK 2
August 2009: The first mobile space was setup at a construction site in Thippasandra on August 20th. The space had a range of projects in conversation with the neighbourhood. more: LINK
Archive of Blog Posts
This project was supported across 2009-10 by OpenSpace India through a 12-month fellowship for Prayas Abhinav and Quintessence Creations Pvt. Ltd through a sponsorship.