TACT is an international network that brings together research on art, artists and the city. Involving academics, artists, activists and students, it creates a platform for investigating urban imaginaries from the perspective of art and the city, artists and public space, and the urban interventionism of street art and grassroots activism.

The network involves people from different disciplinary backgrounds including urban anthropology, sociology, art history, urban history, geography, architecture and art. It creates an important arena for the exchange of ideas through workshops, projects, events and publications, and seeks to encourage new cross-disciplinary collaborations. Through an international comparative focus on cities such as Berlin, Istanbul, London, Moscow, Budapest, and St. Petersburg, it aims to generate an innovative dialogue between post-socialist, global or globalizing cities. Through the close examination of these cities in their historical and cultural contexts, the network aims to develop new and enhanced practices and strategies for researching art and artists in the 21st-century-city.
Initiators of this project: Ayse Erek, Eszter Gantner, Juli Székely

Members of the network:

Ayse Erek, PhD, Associate Professor of Art History at Kadir Has University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences in Istanbul. She had been a post-doctoral research fellow at Georg-Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies of Humboldt University in Berlin (Oct 2012 – Jan. 2014), and a visiting lecturer at Ethnology Institute of Humboldt University in Berlin and Architecture Faculty of Istanbul Technical University. Her current research focuses on urban imaginaires in the context of political and cultural discourse, reinvention of the urban pasts for the present, urban space in art after 1980s. She recently co-edited a special issue of Visual Resources Journal by Routledge, titled ‘Urban Imaginary in the Twenty-First Century’, published in December 2014.

Christophe Foultier, PhD in International Migration & Ethnicity at the REMESO Institute (Linköping University), and Master in Town Planning and Urban development, at the Institut Français d’Urbanisme (University of Paris 8). In 2016, the Swedish research council FORMAS allocated a grant in the framework of the international research cooperation (Oct.2016-Sept.2018). My research examines how new standards of citizenship in multiethnic areas arise from successive urban programs in Europe. In my post-doctoral research, I intend in particular to understand how notions such as participation and securitization are constructed in local development strategies, how they intersect or contradict one another in European countries such as France and Sweden.

Eszter Gantner: PhD in History, currently a project leader at the Georg Simmel Center, Humboldt University of Berlin and a post-doc fellow at the Herder-Institute (Marburg). She is member of the Georg Simmel Center for Metropolitan Research, Humboldt University of Berlin. Her research deals with urban history of Central and Eastern Europe, but also includes the issue of urban interventions and the transformation of urban public space, with a special focus on post-socialist cities.

Andrew Harris: Lecturer in Geography and Urban Studies at University College London, where he convenes the interdisciplinary Urban Studies MSc. His research develops critical perspectives on the role of art, creativity and culture in recent processes of urban restructuring. Working between London and Mumbai, he uses comparative frameworks to highlight particularities both between and within cities, and to fashion more diverse and cosmopolitan agendas of urban research and policy-making.

Christina M. Heinen: has a PhD in ethnomusicology, is a urban researcher, freelance author and artist. She writes and produces audio plays, works in a variety of musical projects and regularly exhibits her drawings. As a member of the Georg-Simmel-Zentrum she is dealing with the production of (urban) acoustic spaces.

Stefan Höffken: Researcher, writer and urban blogger based in Berlin and Kaiserslautern (Germany). His main focus is the role of new media technologies (e.g. webmapping, social media, mobile computing, sensor technologies) for urban development and society. The doctoral thesis “Mobile Participation” investigates the potential of mobile media for participational processes in urban planning.Founder and member of Urbanophil, a network engaged in analyzing the role of new trends in urban planning (ww.urbanophil.net) and editor of PLANERIN (http://www.srl.de/publikationen/planerin.html).

Dr. Kata Krasznahorkai: Kata  is a Berlin-based art historian and curator working as a researcher at the University of Zürich in the ERC-research project Performance Art in Eastern Europe (1950-1990). History and Theory. Krasznahorkai studied art history in Budapest, Berlin, Vienna and Hamburg and defended her PhD at the University of Hamburg about “Walter De Marias Lightning Field between Art, Technology and Nature” 2015.She published and lectured extensively on the interrelation between performance art and state security. Kata  is the chairperson of the Berlin-based nonprofit organisationCritique&Culturee.V. empowering Eastern-European artists and art professionals in Berlin.

Dr. Heike Oevermann:  is researcher and lecturer in urban and heritage studies (Georg-Simmel-Center for Metropolitan Studies, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Tecnical University Berlin, Politecnico di Milano). She studied architecture (TU Braunschweig / ETSA Sevilla) and World Heritage Studies at the BTU Cottbus and worked for several years as an architect and planner. Currently she carries out research on transformations of industrial heritage sites in Europe.

Oleg Pachenkov: PhD in sociology, senior researcher at the centre for Independent Social Research (CISR, St. Petersburg, Russia), and director of the Centre for Applied Research (CeAR) at European University in St. Petersburg. His main fields of interest are urban studies and interdisciplinary projects, bringing together social scientists with architects, designers, urban planners and artists working on the urban environment, street art and public art.

Natalia Samutina: Head of the Centre for Studies of Contemporary Culture at the Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia). She is also an associate professor at the Sociology Department at the same institution (Higher School of Economics). Her fields of research are multiple and include cinema theory, visual anthropology, urban studies, popular music, street art and fan fiction studies. She is the Head of the research group ‘Graffiti and street art in cultural cityscape’:http://igiti.hse.ru/hsestreetart/

János Sugár is a Budapest, Hungary-based media artist, teacher and writer. He produced his first experimental films in the early 1980s at the legendary Bela Balazs studios, co-founded the Intermedia Department of the Art Academy in Budapest where he is currently teaching. His work spans from installation, computer art, film and sculpture to interactive and conceptual art. He has developed a subjective form-language characterised by sophisticated irony and humour.

Juli Székely received her Master’s degrees in Hungarian Literature and Art History at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, and later in Sociology at the Central European University. She did her PhD studies in Sociology at CEU, during which she was a research fellow at the Humboldt University of Berlin, too. Her research interests lie primarily in the relationship of art and city, with a special emphasis on public art, (in)tangible heritage and memory politics in urban space. 

Pekka Tuominen: PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology, currently Post-Doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. His research deals with the sociocultural dimensions of urban transformation in Istanbul and he has recently initiated a multidisciplinary research project in the stigmatised Kontula district of Helsinki, studying the urban transformation of the area and examining new possibilities of participatory urban culture connecting its neighbourhoods.

Lilia Voronkova: Social scientist, researcher and coordinator of the department “art- (social) science projects” at the centre for Independent Social Research (CISR, St. Petersburg, Russia); fellow of Alexander von Humboldt Foundation with research project on interdisciplinary projects at the Institute for European Ethnology in Berlin; curator and initiator of collaborative projects between social scientists and artists. Her main interests are urban studies and urban activism.

Oksana Zaporozhets: Leading research fellow at the Centre for Studies of Contemporary Culture at the Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia). Her research interests are mainly in Urban Studies covering a broad range of topics such as urban perception, urban choreography, transitive spaces, and emotional scapes. She has a keen interest in micro-urbanism (especially, in some vague concepts such as nuances, details, chances) and concentrate on the ways the city is produced and re-interpreted by the things, places, practices, and discourses identified as insignificant (such as lostness and lost things). Her recent research project is devoted to the anthropology of the subway. She is also interested in studies of post-socialism.

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