Urban Mining

Urban Mining: Playful Acts in the City

Every city offers a wealth of inspiration for creative play already present in its social and cultural assets. In a workshop on Perfomability and Media led by Christopher Hewitt I created with Rui Guerra a series of minimalist interventions which examine how small, unusual acts become suddenly performative: acts that are packaged for viewing.

Public space is volatile, unpredictable, and this is precisely its charm and draw. People react differently to artwork done in public than they do in traditional art spaces. They are less guarded; they give more direct responses. It is a great way to learn if your ideas are communicated effectively or not.

Fake Face Video clip by Rui Guerra (3:04min, 13.5MB)
July 2007 in Linz (Austria):
videosClick below to watch.

Momentarium Movie.

This action is created for an urban audience with the idea to remove my presence using a form of media (here the masking tape and black marker). It is interesting to observe how the worry and incomprehension of the bystanders is turning into plain curiosity as the performance proceeds.

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Together with Rui Guerra I looked at the shifting dynamics of the public spaces in downtown Linz and the impromptu social situations evoked through minimal performative interventions. In the following images we used the media of photography to turn ourselves (our body) into an object through very specific placement and composition. We directly utilized public space, and the encounters we created within it, to both gain a better understanding of the potential of this aesthetic explorations and to get to know how that space can be completely altered, if only temporarily.

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Urban Mining

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Urban Mining

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Urban Mining

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Urban Mining

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Urban Mining

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Urban Mining

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Urban Mining

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Urban Mining

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Urban Mining

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Urban Mining

All photographs by Rui Guerra

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Transart Institute
This intervention series took place within the 2007 summer residency of Transart Institute. This is an international low-residency MFA program for working artists in a highly individualized format. The program consists of three intensive summer residencies with lectures, workshops, critiques, seminars, performances and exhibitions in Europe and two shorter, optional winter residencies in New York. In the four semesters between residencies, students create their own course of study realizing individual art and research projects with the support of faculty and self-chosen artist mentors wherever they work and live.


Christopher Hewitt is the initator of Liveartwork.com an incredible archive that provides resources and regular DVD releases for the international live art and performance community.