At the beginning the outcome of the ExRotaprint project was completely open, success improbable. New routes require passion, grit, and stubbornness. Failure as a possible result of all efforts must be taken into consideration. We consider it advantageous when strategies from art are employed: questioning and shifting one’s perspective, approaching details in novel ways, the appropriation of ideas and problem-solving methods, the principle of collage, integrating different levels of meaning, a sense for the public and pragmatism for what’s necessary, the potential to define and generate form without ideologies but with a sense of pragmatic idealism.
Within a heterogeneous group of artists, social organizations, and businesses there are differing visions that must be discussed and moderated. “Urban design, participation, community organizing” or “sustainability” are buzz words for a socially engaged, enlightened, and cultural public. If one steps out of the space of art and takes the strategic approaches of culture into real space, encounters of a totally new, strange, and absurd kind are the result. One doesn’t speak the same language and pursues different goals.
Berlin’s Wedding district is a real space of urban theoretical discourses. Immigration, unemployment and poverty, and the fledgling appreciation in property values via creatives are converging to produce a conflict in the years ahead that will be reflected in many cities and redevelopment processes. Real estate industry representatives have long recognized the potential affiliated with artists, who in unison with those on the left and leading alternative lifestyles seek out new spaces for working and living, and, as a kind of “area fertilizer,” are channeled into so-called problem zones. Those involved, regardless of affiliation, pave the way with cheap living and workspaces for the next stage of the gentrification caravan.