ZK/U – Center for Art and Urbanistics is an artist and research residency that has hosted more than 500 artists since its opening in 2012.
KUNSTrePUBLIK is the organization behind ZK/U–an artist collective that has been working in the public sphere for more than fifteen years. Through tangible projects they have been exploring the potentials and limitations of art for citizens to freely express themselves or to be represented by an action or physical outcome of KUNSTrePUBLIK’s work.
ZK/U is located in a neighborhood in Berlin marked by conflicts between established “middle-class” citizens, precarious first and second generation migrants, and newly arriving groups. Therefore ZK/U aims to (re‑)activate the social and spatial relationship between individuals and groups that are divided by differences in education, income, gender, and cultural background. It is interested in bringing together global discourses and local practices. More specifically, it looks at how art can act as a catalyst for transformation in urban spaces. Through its work, ZK/U tries to demonstrate the feasibility of such participatory artistic practices.
ZK/U’s current projects include the intercontinental residency program Turn2Residencies (2021/22); the research project Grounded Urban Practices, Berlin (2020/21); the urban development project CTB-Lab (as part of the European Capital of Culture 2020, Rijeka); and the revitalization of Haus der Statistik in Berlin (since 2019).
ZK/U’s two contributions to documenta fifteen are citizenship and Beeholder – Beecoin. In the wake of an extension of the ZK/U building in Berlin the main wooden roof was removed and became the starting point for citizenship. The roof was turned upside down and became a boat. Starting at the beginning of June 2022, the citizenship travels from Berlin-Moabit to Kassel without the use of fossil fuels – collecting muscular energy and renewable sources – where it arrives on July 23, 2022. Installed on the Hiroshima-Ufer, the boat once again is turned upside down to become a community structure that hosts artifacts and rituals from the trip and opens a dialogue with citizens from Kassel.
At the conjunction of artistic creation, urban activism, cryptoeconomic design and beekeeping, the second documenta contribution, Beeholder – Beecoin stands out in the field of blockchain-based practices. Operating as a Distributed Autonomous Organizations (DAO), Beecoin is an art project dedicated to the improvement of the living conditions of bees. 15 beekeepers from Kassel take part and visitors can participate.