26 May: Kenneth A. Balfelt
My team and I have worked for several years to create public places where marginalised, exposed people can stay in positive co-existence with other groups – so-called bright design. At the same time, we are seeing more and more people making urban space design to keep these people away. So-called dark, strategic, homeless-hostile design. But how widespread is it actually in Copenhagen? Where is it and who has set it up?
I want to use the walk to visit places in Copenhagen with dark or bright design intended to keep homeless people and other vulnerable people away or invite them in, respectively. Together with my team, we will map and photograph it and describe its context.
We start the tour by being shown around by Sami, a former homeless, from Gadens Stemmer (Voices of the Street), who for several years have stayed in Vesterbro as a socially exposed drug user. Along the way, we will invite homeless people, other vulnerable people as well as citizens we meet along the way to join us on smaller stretches and let them show their way to places they know that are either friendly and inclusive or represent dark design.
If you know about dark or bright design in Copenhagen, please send me an email about it – to firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE ARTIST
The Kenneth Balfelt Team uses art as a platform to rethink and develop new methods for urban development, user involvement, urban situations, our culture and inclusion. Kenneth has made Enghave Minipark – repositioning of beer drinkers, Development of the People’s Park, Safeguarding room – fixing room for drug users, and the interior design of the Men’s Home and has works presented in the collections at SMK, KØS and Malmö Art Museum.
As an artist, with his team, he engages in actual social contexts and initiates a ‘knowledge production’ that spreads and remains ‘out there’. He uses art as a platform for the development of specific social ‘situations’ through a committed social practice based on the principle of working with the people who are directly influenced, as opposed to working on or for these people.
The social role and ambition of KBT’s art is to influence specific structures and discourses in society.
Art becomes a space for dialogue and a way we do not usually talk together, which can lead to more sustainable solutions. In art there is a free space to establish a multifaceted reflection on what we do and how we live. Art has more nuances than politics!