Berlin – New York Tunnel

The idea of collaborating on a piece across the Atlantic with people we do not know, and moreover, do not know if we can rely on them or their aesthetic, was both exciting and a little bit terrifying. Who are the people I am working with? How big is the time difference? How will I coordinate working across the world with my own schedule? – were probably one of the more frequent questions we all had in the beginning. Our team decided to work on a project that will not only require each member to be active and present the whole two weeks, but that will also give us a chance to get to know each other, our surroundings and lives. This is why we decided to build a conceptual tunnel across the ocean.
Our concept is based on compressing the geographical distance into a photograph, an endless tunnel of experiences and explorations. We have set a number of rules with which each member has to work with regardless of their position in the world. First of all, we had to photograph ourselves and send the photo to each other in a specific order. We decided to take the first photo in Germany, send it to the US and bring it back to Germany – the time difference made the whole experience much more exciting. Secondly we had to include the previous photo in the new one any way we could. That means using paper, laptops, phones, projectors or Skype cameras. We had to photograph ourselves between working on final projects, flights to Texas, gallery openings – however we could as long as the chain is not broken. And finally, we had to include spaces and surroundings that will tell a story about us so that the next person can get to know us better – be it our kitchens, studios, walls covered with chalk from a party, our backyards, any place that will give a glimpse to our everyday lives and routines.
This way our final piece functions not only as a trans-Atlantic artwork we created with modern (and not-so-modern) technology, but also as a documentation, or a testament, of the beginning of our relationship as artists and designers – a beginning to possible future collaborations. Creating a formal piece of work that serves as a catalyst to the entire Berlin – New York project for the three artists involved.

The Berlin – New York Tunnel is done in collaboration with Philipp Tögel (Berlin) and Žarko Dumičić (New York) and was a Digital Class projekt at Berlin University of the Arts, that is supervised through Professor Joachim Sauter and Professor Jussi Ängeslevä