Art and Train: Transforming your train journeys into your own art

Natalia Irina Roman
Art and Train: Transforming your train journeys into your own art

Block seminar, English/Deutsch, 2 SWS, 2 ECTS
Fridays, 6 sessions, Hardenbergstr. 33, room 102: 21.4. (14-18h), 28.4. (14-18h), 12.5. (10-16h, excursion to DB), 26.5. (16-20h), 30.6. (14-18h), 1.7.2023 (10-12h)
Additional individual consultations between 27.5. & 28.6.2023

Registration on Moodle starts on the 17th of April / Anmeldung auf Moodle beginnt am 17.4.2023:
Moodle Enrollment Key / Einschreibeschlüssel: railway

This class focuses on perspectives within the railway world. Who makes art in this context and for whom? How does the relationship between the Deutsche Bahn (DB) and artists develop? Art and Train is a practice class – in cooperation with DB – on theory and methods of researching the aesthetics of train travel, the unexplored potential of disused railway architecture and art cooperations outside of the art world.  Students meet creators working in and with public transport. This class takes place both on university campus and on regional trains, and it invites students of all disciplines to learn about methods of transforming their own train journeys into works of art and to present it in a public exhibition.

The students travel by S-Bahn, visit disused interlocking towers of DB, meet DB employees, while documenting the travels and the waiting in stations, with the purpose of transforming these experiences into their own works of art. Interlocking towers and railway travels are looked at from different perspectives, among which, architectural, technical and artistic. Students apply various means of documentation such as photo, video, sound recording, drawing or text; they also learn about various art projects in the railway context, about methods of transforming the train passengers into an art public and about practices of space-making, which create new opportunities for artists. Students gain access to disused former towers along the Berliner S-Bahn, and have the extraordinary opportunity to experience such spaces.

21st April 14:00 -18:00 // at the university: Kick off, introduction, incl. guest Aleksandra Ianchenko, artist and PhD researcher at Tallinn University.
28th April 14:00 - 18:00 // at the university: The method of site-writing for art in the public space with Prof. Jane Rendell, from The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, London. Later on we discuss train passengers as an art audience with guests Jakob Hüfner and Jörn Hintzer, artist duo Datenstrüdel.
12th May 10:00 - 16:00: Field research on the Ringbahn, meeting Deutsche Bahn employees and visiting former interlocking towers.
26th May 16:00 - 20:00 // at the university: Project sketches, peer feedback, guest feedback by Christian Gralingen, graphic designer and illustrator, from Letter Verein.
From 27th May to June 28th // at the university and online: Individual feedback sessions, with appointment
30th of June, 14:00 - 18:00 // at the university: Exhibition construction, documentation.
1st of July, 10:00 - 12:00 // at the university: Presentations, possible deconstruction.

Requirements for the ungraded Studium Generale credits: Documentation of the group train travel in a medium of own choice. Work individually (or together with a classmate) on an own art project inspired by the documentation, to show in the final exhibition. Give two 15 min. presentations of their work to their classmates for feedback, and at the end of the class.

Natalia Irina Roman is city researcher, artist and curator, with a background in fine arts and public policy. On the last hundred meters of a PhD on the potentials for arts of disused railway architecture, at the Bauhaus University Weimar. Exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Germany and abroad, in mediums such as installation, concept art, video, photo, text and participative art. Worked for Berliner Festspiele, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlinale and the Hertie Foundation in the past. Jury member for Draussenstadt Call for Action competition for public art in Berlin in 2021 and 2022. Working as an artist and curator in a self initiated cooperation with Deutsche Bahn since 2017. This includes the initiative Along the Lines of transforming disused interlocking towers into spaces for arts for the train passengers, kicked off with funding from Hauptstadtkulturfonds, as well as exhibitions, discussions and classes taught at Bauhaus University Weimar. German / Romanian, since 2006 in Berlin.