The project “dazwischen / in-between” was accompanied by an interdisciplinary team from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. By means of photography and video, we observed social relations between the residents of two housing estates in the city of Zürich, along with everyday activities in semipublic space and the traces that are left behind by such activities. We were interested in two aspects: we wanted to present everyday activities and relationships in a wider context, and the architectural situation within its spatial nexus. The video sequences are simply assembled, but not reprocessed. The audio track strictly follows the image.
In two respects, this mode of presentation transgresses against a strictly scientific and participatory approach to observation using film: on the one hand, it intervenes in the events that occur on location; secondly, it fragments the action into montage sequences instead of showing them in context. When representing a spatial continuum, this approach is better adapted than – as in a further instance, for example – an unedited take using a subjective camera in constant motion.
Dr. Fred Truniger, film scholar, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts – design and art
Dr. Ulrike Sturm, architect, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts – technology and architecture
Prof. Alex Willener, sociologist, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts – social work
Dr. des Bettina Nägeli, media expert, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts – social work
Sarah Bühler, student, Master’s in Design, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts
Mirjam Steffen, BA in Art and Communication, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts
Video and editing:
The first group of videos shows individual actions and modes of appropriation of space in the form of simple filmic sequences. For purposes of comparison, we present a rapid sequence of analogous situations. The study of the use of the spacious balcony displays a private sphere that is also visible within semipublic space. Striking here is the transparency of the balcony railings: they disclose everyday behavior, yet without depriving occupants of a sense of privacy. Implicitly, the sequence also features the difficulties of filming this form of social interaction. To be sure, contacts were observed, but only after much hesitation could they be recorded on film.
A second group of videos is devoted to the question of how spatial relationships within a residential milieu can be captured cinematically. The sequences experiment with familiar techniques of filmic spatial construction, i.e. staging and continuous shooting. Deployed to present sequences of spaces is an action involving a strolling actress whose movements allow viewers to locate the perspectives preceding and following each take spatially. During the viewing process, fragmented spatial continuities are reconstructed. In another example, viewers maintain their bearings in relation to striking environmental elements that promote orientation beyond the individual take.