Alpine Remix—A Work in Progress About the Social Co-production of Staged Touristic Landscapes

Installation and Concluding Presentation in the context of performIC 2009,

The installation Alpine Remix stemmed from artistic research conducted for the Exit—Stop and Go project. Its analysis focused on the representation of a hybrid constellation of actors (and likewise, target groups), as well as the hybrid cultures and sign systems that circulate through the Inntal Valley region.

Michael Hieslmair writes: “Thanks to a network of international actors, a multitude of themes and their staging are finding their way to Tyrolean valleys. Typically, three topographical constructions stand out in Alpine adventure landscapes. In the entrance to the valley, there is a gas station, souvenir shop, supermarket, a discotheque and a bridge over the river. The center of town contains a ski station, a parking lot, ski rental shop, the Schirmbar, hotels, restaurants and night clubs. Finally, halfway up the mountain, there is a food court and an area for special events.

At these places, visitors are encouraged to buy an array of goods from diverse popular cultures (including the popularization of former “high” cultures), which are presented through improvised bricolages made from various techniques of construction and representation, both indoors and outside. The interchangeability of themes, sign systems and range of services offered—services that can be adapted to changing demands—is central. Permanent edifices, as well as temporary event-architectures, find themselves in a continuous process of transition and renewal in this area.

Their construction, adaptation and performance (both in the day-to-day activities of the tourist service industry and during occasional mega-events) consist in a co-production that involves not only local actors, but also urban experts, expats and migrants. For visitors, the area simultaneously represents the entrance of a valley, a ‘seasonal city’, a ski glacier, and—in a rush made up of the experiential breadth of the Alpine landscape on the one hand and its clever orchestration of interpersonal proximity on the other—a space of longing that is also constructed out of visitors’ own expectations.”

The Alpine Remix installation consisted of a walk-in model built on a U-shaped event tribune which served as the setting for the abstracted spatial structure of an Alpine valley landscape. Representative sectional models of key constructions in the area were placed on three different levels. Each of these model-groups included a listening station, where short audio tracks describing the involved actors could be heard. Networks of passages inlaid in the stands marked the crossings of diverse actors in the valley and connected their stagings to the regions beyond the valley that they use as models.

To conclude his presentation, Michael Hieslmair led a performative exploration through the installation in Büchsenhausen.

Michael HIESLMAIR lives and works as an artist in Vienna. He studied architecture in Graz and Delft. Working both individually and in group contexts, his work focuses on the influence of mobility on architecture and landscape design and the transfer of culture in socio-spatial transformation processes.

Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen

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