The Conspiracy Group

Research, Teaching
Location: Berlin, Germany
Year: 2007-2009
Program: Urban Studies
Tag: research, teaching

conspire: c.1300, from O.Fr. conspirer, from L. conspirare "to agree, unite, plot," lit. "to breathe together," from com- "together" + spirare "to breathe" (see spirit). Conspiracy is from 1386; conspiracy theory is from 1909. (source: etymonline.com)

The art world, a system of producing, showing and exporting art, is obviously starting to shape the city of Berlin. Artists, collectors, curators, galleries have become pioneers in the colonization and transformation of spaces: flats, warehouses, factories, streets, whole neighbourhoods and districts are being converted into both individual and shared studios and galleries. The borders between private engagement and public institutions are shifted & dispersed, new collaborations and typologies emerge. A complex relationship between the Art world and the urban fabric of the city of Berlin can be observed, waiting for conceptualization.

The Conspiracy Group was founded by Jens Casper, Nicole Zahner and Sven Pfeiffer in 2007.

In 2009 Jens Casper and Sven Pfeiffer conducted a unit for the AA Berlin Laboratory of the Architectural Association, and turned The Consiracy Groups research into the unit topic.

The fieldwork started with individual observations at various locations spread all over the city, task: 1. go there 2. immerse yourself into the situation, use your oblique strategy & your knowledge 3. get to know at least one person 4. take notes. During the week four expert groups were formed to concentrate on specific topics.

A collaborative map with several layers of information using different media was created, giving a deeper under­standing of the urban dynamics of Berlin. The map was continuously updated and extended by adding the work of the expert groups: Memory (inside / outside: The Wall, Kunsthochschule Weissensee, Zimmerstrasse), Accessibility (Charlottenburg Power Plant & around Blumenhalle in Kreuzberg), Transformation (Tracking the Art Crowd; Whole City Area), Sound-/Signscapes (The Sensory Exploration Map of a Small Slice of Urban Paradise - Skulpturenpark Berlin).

The AA Berlin Laboratory of The Architectural Association School of Architecture took place at the Aedes Network Campus Berlin from Sep 4th to Sep 12th 2009, students from six continents joined the AA Berlin Lab! Programme Directors: Marianne Mueller and Olaf Kneer; Unit Masters: Jens Casper, Sven Pfeiffer (unit 1); Christopher Dell, Stephano Rabolli (unit 2)



Publication:
Jens Casper, Sven Pfeiffer: Mapping the Berlin Art World,
in: Kneer, Olaf & Mueller, Marianne (Ed.): ‘The City as Laboratory’.
AA Berlin Laboratory. London / Berlin 2012.