The Institute for Applied Heterotopia

IFAH is the result of a critical discourse in the field of urban tranformation and urban public space that lasted for months. Finally, the team of independent artists and sociological scientists in Barcelona, Dresden and Nuernberg founded the institute at the beginning of 2016 to be able to create artistic and scientific tools beyond political or economical determination.

When the Insitute for Applied Heterotopia (IFAH) was founded, many single Utopian desires and narratives came together to form an institution that reflects about its limits and compromises. Therefore the IFAH plays with the choosen term heterotopia that can be seen as strong or stable and also as fluid and inconsistent. The focus lied on the perspective of an (ambiguous) description by Michel Foucault where the mirror served as the awareness for the process of the reflection.

„The mirror is a utopia after all, since it is a placeless place. The mirror is a utopia after all, since it is a placeless place. In the mirror I see myself where I am not, in an unreal space that opens up virtually behind the surface; I am over there where I am not, a kind of shadow that gives me my own visibility, that enables me to look at myself there where I am absent – a mirror utopia.“

What we can see in the mirror is a reflection of the self. But that is up to us and our own imagination. The mirror stands here as an example for the opportunities to create new Utopias or to collect innovative influences for the individual expressions or the imagined Utopia when human beings are coming together with open eyes and practices to share their imaginations. It gives us an example how the Utopia can work and therefore how our own subjects and expressions can lead and influence others, and inversely can give us a feedback about our own efforts if we reflect on the reaction of others confronted with our narratives and techniques.