C7 Che: Lonely Landscapes: Intimacy with Urban Objects

Dasha Che

Saturday, August 8th from 12:00 till 16:00

The meeting site: Larin Paraske Statue in Hesperia Park (Mannerheimintie 38, 00101 Helsinki)

IMPORTANT: Please, confirm your participation by writing a brief email to telaboratoria@gmail.com. You will receive more details about the participation.

How does one learn about an unfamiliar urban site, turning a space into a place of personal meanings and belonging? Place-space geography studies teach us to learn about a space by entering into a social and a physical landscape of it. Yet now, due to pandemic, many urban sites became estranged, uncanny and inaccessible through regular modes of entry. In my Gathering, I offer another mode of unfamiliar urban sites study – by urban drifting and finding queer temporary intimacies with various residue objects that inhabit those spaces. A queer dance artist and a lonely foreigner of Helsinki, during the last several months of isolation I have been cherishing the moments of closeness and joy with a seagulls’ family who built their nest on the top of the garage in front of my window, with a paper bag soaked in a rain water inside a metal trash container, with a large chunk of a grey construction stone in the empty industrial area of the city. I have been learning to experience the kind of temporalities, touch and cohabitation unknown to me previously.

In Lonely Landscapes I propose to a group of urban intimacy explorers-participants to wander through the urban sites of Helsinki with maps and scores devised collectively to facilitate unusual pairings and encounters. I will introduce a workshop in a laboratory-format where the participants would join for a 4 hour exploration. The participants will need to be located in the Helsinki area since the meeting will occur within the selected urban site of the city. During the first part of the meeting we will talk about different intimacies that could happen with other-than-human urban bodies and collectively recall the incidents those intimacies developed, trace their beginnings, processes and endings. We will make scores as dramaturgical maps for future encounters and exchange these scores. After a short break we will go on a collective walk applying earlier created scores to our wanderings and encounters with other-than-human urban bodies. The wanderings will happen in human solos and pairs and, possibly, will end with a group discussion in an outdoor area. The location of the urban wandering is still being decided and will be anounced at least a week prior to the workshop. Quite likely we will meet not far from the center of Helsinki close to transportation and places to find shelter in case of rain