Stadtstaat – Metahaven

Stadtstaat. A Scenario for Merging Cities
A Project by Metahaven

“Stadtstaat” explores the interlocked, equivocal relations between contemporary models of governance and their visual identity, by taking an imaginary city-state as a case study. This city-state is the result of the unlikely merger of two distant cities in different countries: Stuttgart and Utrecht.
The scenario for such a fictional state is considered amidst the setting of contemporary geopolitical conditions-the economic downturn, the increasing prominence of “networking,” “partnership,” and “alliance” as replacements of sovereignty, and the growing demand for cities to globally compete for visibility.

The project proposes branding and other representational models for the “Stadtstaat” that unfold in an actual policy experiment. The design is applied as an act of constructing a visual horizon, imagining the impossible to seek the possible. This “reversal” process of forming a political, governing entity creates a speculative space of reflection. Various levels of perception and understanding of the operation of a city and nation, in relation to the space-structuring effects of new information technologies, are played out. The graphic “surface” becomes visible as a platform that turns communication into political interaction …

Stadtstaat. A Scenario for Merging Cities — Episode 1
Until 12 September 2009
Künstlerhaus Stuttgart

Stadtstaat. A Scenario for Merging Cities — Episode 2
27 September – 15 November 2009
Casco Office for Art, Design and Theory, Utrecht

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