hic sunt dracones – servus.at artistic research lab

In the course of 2017, the participants of servus.at artistic research lab playfully departed from maps and classic cartography to explore and discuss the landscape of currently available cartographic tools, services, and applications. Focusing on the narratives these tools could generate, Davide Bevilacqua, Veronika Krenn, System Jaquelinde and Us(c)hi Reiter wandered physically and virtually through the city, discovering the beauty of the imperfections in its representation.

Their explorations are based on a doubt about the current paradigm behind scientific mapping. Can this system work only through a compulsive generation, accumulation and analysis of data? In this almost over-mapped landscape, is there still something that can be discovered? How can one generate a novel sight on the well-known local territory? Or how can one go outside the personal “filter bubble” and find new places that are worth of visiting? What role could a playful approach have in this towards cartography and mapping?

They reflected on the landscape, looking for the presence of technological infrastructure, to visualise how virtual and physical spaces are connected. Applying situationist methods to find unusual places, they tried to embed stories and interventions in these, aiming at overcoming the outdated conception of separated “online” and “off-line” life, behaviour and landscapes.

(… read the whole text by Davide Bevilacqua)

All these works were created in the frameworks of the Research Lab and were thought, planned and produced as a form of collaborative experiment amongst all the participants.

(… see the whole project documentation, all experiments and projects, as well as the biographies of the participants)

Glitchcar (Object, Photos, Google Street View Spheres)
Transforming a digital glitch into an analogue object, creating a feedback by putting it back to its digital origin.

Street Poems (A4-Sheet, typewriter, GPS-path)
Walking a path, writing a path. A Street Poetry Walk is an urban dérive focused on words and letters. A method of mapping through reading and writing.

Histeria (Manipulated map, print)
Maps not only reflect spatial conditions and structures but also illustrate religious, philosophical and political concepts, as well as fiction.

Dérive Updated (Postcards)
A series of 8 instruction-­based postcards playing with the ideas of psycho­geography and (des)orientation.

There be Dragons (Print, Google Street View Spheres Manipulation)
In the financial world, high-risk speculations are informally named “T.B.D.” (there be dragons). Leaked documents from the Panama Papers contain addresses in Linz, now marked with dragons.

“Post for F.X. Fridelli” (Intervention in public space: house number shield, mailbox, submissions on digital mapping services, online accounts, fidelity cards)
F.X.Fridelli, a fictional descendant of the cartographer Xaver Ernbert Fridelli (Linz 1673 – Peking 1743), has a new home in Linz.

Dragon (Digital video)
We’ve seen dragons fly over the city! They usually come and go as they please, always leaving changes to the city. Telling a story by twisting the context, playing with glitches.

Presentation of the research lab 7.–15. Dezember 2017
Kunstraum Goethestrasse xtd, Linz

16.–23. November 2018
pixxelpoint Festival, Gorizia (Italy) / Nova Gorica (Slovenia)