Borderline Moving Images 2007

23 June – 1 July
Art Direction: Beatrice Leanza (Bao Atelier) & Pauline Doutreluingne
VI Design: Bao Atelier

Borderline-Moving Images is as an independent research platform exploring visual production and urban culture. Operating as a zone of amplification, where artistic visions, academic research and corporate development translate into creative capital, Borderline 2007 was conceived as a 9-day long urban palimpsest.

Between June 23 and July 1, a wide range of activities – centred around the identity of the moving image and predicated on the hybrid nature of contemporary culture – were set up in Beijing. As a staging of liquid disciplines, Borderline operated as a mobile device superimposing site-sensitive exhibitions, performances, workshops, lectures, concerts and public screenings across various locations in the city.

Orchestrated in a sequential framework of 6 key movements (1.Grand Opening, 2.Exhibition Seduction, 3.Exhibition To Stop is To Fail, 4.The Mobile Lab, 5.Night Events, and 6.Closure), Borderline targeted the artistic experience as a discursive laboratory appropriating assumed spaces. Positioned in indoor/outdoor, public, private, institutional, educational and commercial venues, the festival investigated the mechanics of artistic production as an act of knowledge and sharing, dealing with the theoretical and spatial dynamics of ‘change and juxtaposition’.

This approach reflexively questioned its own limits and potentialities by positioning artistic practice as a device for communication with and about specific urban conditions. Borderline’s flexible operating network engages with new urban spatialities and temporalities that, in the ‘interplay of their difference, strategic openings have emerged’ (Sassen).

The Mobile Lab | Mobility of Thinking and Intellectual Nomadism
One of Borderline’s key initiatives was The Mobile Lab, a projection-unit truck repurposed for artistic intervention. Moving across three locations over six days, The Mobile Lab operated as a space for performances, artist’s presentations, open talks, lectures and public screenings. As a minor-scale of public intervention, The Mobile Lab plugged itself into to the city’s artistic infrastructure, institutional systems and urban conditions, while exposing and enhancing the possibility of expedience as a form of collective cultural agency.

The programmes and events featured in Borderline were situated in a range of institutional and urban-consumer settings: university, music bar, club, shopping mall, gallery and independent art space. In selecting various locations, Borderline sought to illustrate how issues pertinent to local artistic and philosophical analysis, spatial practice and the media performance, can inform a singular regime of cultural production, namely the ‘creative industries’. Within such transdisciplinary contexts, these projects ‘performed’ in zones of indetermination. Most evident in the opening exhibition Seduction, the seemingly opportunistic use of the underground parking lot in the newly inaugurated complex of Soho Shangdu foregrounded the highly ambivalent status and condition of contemporary public spaces underscored by commercial interests and modes of regulation. Vectors of everyday exchange coupled with experimental practices within such spaces make possible pluralistic new spheres of sociality. Confrontations such as these stimulate the spatial encounters of bodies and brains, habits and desires, opening up the possibility for new subjective regimes.

Borderline aspired to invent novel modes of communication, establishing relations by forging a zone of intellectual hospitality in spaces alternative to existing institutional models and stagnant market systems. The project framed the possibility for an inter-cultural action based on affinity and mutuality. Engaging the public and the content makers in a nomadic form of collective participation consistent with the spatial dynamics and imaginary regimes of local communities and their dialogical processes, Borderline remains responsive as an ever-expanding cultural network not solely limited to the city of Beijing, but establishing a dialogue with ongoing artistic, cultural and urban changes across the Asian region.

Beatrice Leanza is an independent curator and researcher, she obtained an MA in East Asian studies from Ca’Foscari University (Venice) in 2002, then she joined the China Art Archives and Warehouse (CAAW) as curator with artist Ai Weiwei. She contributes regularly to international art publications, and is founder of the Beijing-based studio BAO Atelier.