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B_Tour Festival 2014
Germany / Serbia

Scholarship / Financial aid: N/A

Date: 8 – 10 August 2014 / 26 – 28 September 2014 

Deadline: 15 March 2014

Open to: international artists, groups and individuals

Announcement follows

B_Tour is an organization which revolves around guided-tours-as-an-artistic-strategy. The tours presented in B_Tour Festival provide both a fertile ground to bring audiences and artists together; and generate an artistic and local discussion about urban environments. B_Tours aim to provoke various forms of creative and active civil participation. Therefore, B_Tour is a platform for artists and citizens to network, share, collaborate, cooperate and exchange ideas about cities they live in. B_Tours utilize participatory creative strategies in order to allow underrepresented narratives to surface and question the hegemonic discourse that shapes cities. This is why B_Tours explore for instance the politics of public space, gentrification and civil responsibility.

Communication in Urban Space – The Characteristics of a B_Tour

A B_Tour generates an interaction between a guide, an audience and a space. The guide is not necessarily the creator of the tour but mostly is. B_Tours are engaging in the sense that they call for participation and enable exchange. On a route through the public space, a guide leads an audience along a narrative and is therefore a narrator interpreting the urban space. A B_Tour simultaneously deals with its meta-level and its particular theme/narrative/site-specifity. It questions the convention of a guided-tour and challenges its format. A B_Tour is conscious of the existence of multiple narratives and truths and presents the audience with one of these. It doesn’t provide THE true perception of a space. A B_Tour is not a spectacle. It is not to be confused with a conventional touristic “alternative city tour”. The tour tends to a subtle approach towards its environment. This subtleness and attentiveness is the result of the guide’s personal connection (artistic research, educational background, locality, interests etc.) with the space.

Walks – Walks as Artistic Practice

In recent years, numerous artists, curators and theatre directors have insistently explored the variety of possibilities which walks, participatory strolls, alternative mapping and guided tours provide. These artistic strategies developed out of sciences such as promenadology, psychogeography and strollology. Nevertheless, the differentiation between them has never been established. In order to work more precisely with these terms and enable artistic innovation within these formats a definition/distinction might be useful.

Walks can be well defined by Deleuze and Guattari’s notion of "Nomadism". The nomadic way of life is characterized by movement across space which stands in sharp contrast to the rigid and static boundaries of the State. For a nomad “[…] a path is always between two points, but the in-between has taken on all the consistency and enjoys both an autonomy and a direction of its own. The life of the nomad is the intermezzo”. Therefore, a walk is always about the process one goes through when she is “on the way” rather than when she is trying to reach a destination.

Tours – A Guided Tour as an Artistic Strategy
A tour on the other hand, utilizes the framework of the differentiating, external, strategic, organized striated space. Tours are attentive and reactive to the stratification of the system and the apparatus of control within the very production of space.

Tours target and are associated with urban environments. Urban environments cultivate, establish, maintain and sometimes, at their rigid edges, manifest different aspects of mechanisms of control. Deleuze and Guattari stated that “the city is the striated space par excellence”. The striated space is in contrast to the nomad’s smooth space. Smooth space is a space of affects, more than of properties. It is haptic rather than optical. It is an intensive rather than extensive space, one of distances, not of measures and properties. It is a Body without Organs instead of an organism and organization. Tours are in a way opposite to the nomad’s walk. They relay on the stratified space and pre-mapped starting points in order to challenge and infiltrate it with destabilising tendencies. They reframe urban planning, traffic control, recycling, rubbish and waste management and highlight them as non-neutral socio-political structures that act in a non-neutral political space.

B_Tours often implement the Situationists’ approach of “détournement”. This is a method of interpretation, reinterpretation and reordering of pre-existing materials to expose their banality or function within a system of control. This technique involves creatively reconstructing social elements for the purpose of denaturalizing and exposing the system’s bulimic reintegration of all social elements. Accordingly, by restructuring conventions within a conventional space, tours also present a variety of geographical imaginations which are hypotheses or assumptions regarding how space and relations in space initiate and shape societal processes and changes, and how these processes and changes are spatially expressed. Within B_Tours the voice of the narrator must be clearly stated. B_Tours are not walks since traditionally walks do not state the voice of a narrator.

B_Tour Festival 2014 Guidelines

B_Tour is the first festival which revolves around guided-tours-as-an-artistic-strategy.

B_Tour invites groups and individuals, to create tours that rethink storytelling, and suggest innovative, experimental approaches to the conventional format of a guided tour. Tours should encompass engaging ways of intervening public spaces and relate strongly to Berlin’s social/cultural/geographical fabric. The festival is particularly oriented to projects that challenge us to rethink our everyday relationship to the urban environment. The festival is a multidisciplinary arts platform where various artistic expression/disciplines meet social activism. We look for audio tours, video tours, tours without a guide, tours lead by animals! Anything goes.

Tours should aim to explore the critical dimension of citizenship, locality, mapping, high art, popular culture, gentrification, human- technology interface, geographical hegemony and politics of public space. Community involved projects, arts discipline cross-over projects and collaborative endeavors are particularly welcomed.

The festival is called B_tour because it's not A, it's an alternative to the hegemonic narrative of conventional guided tours;
B_tour because it's all about personal and communal Biographies;
B_tour because we want to Breach the Borders between public and private spaces.

B_Tour Festival 2014 - Application Berlin&Belgrade

The deadline to send in your proposal is 15 March 2014.
Before completing the application form please make sure to thoroughly read the festival’s concept paper and artist guidelines.

If after reading the guidlines and concept you still have questions, please send them to:

Application stuff

- B_Tour is welcoming applications for the 2014 B_Tour Festival. Please send the online application by 15th of March 2014. Any additional material to support your application (video recordings, pictures, press clippings etc) can only be submitted in electronic form, via links to the relevant materials and should be sent to: info@b-
- All videos should be hosted on an external website such as Youtube or Vimeo or any other webpage or hosting site of your choice.
- B_Tour will endeavour to inform all artists about the conclusions of the application process end of April beginning of May. Unfortunately at the moment, because of limited man power, we will not be able to specify the reason/s for not accepting a proposal for the festival.
- The final program line-up won’t be announced until May 2014.
- The initial selection will be made by the organizing team of the festival. Chosen applications will then be
transferred to the festival committee (comprised of a team of performance/fine art/theatre professionals from the local and international scene- final list of committee members to be announced).
- Once the tour is selected for the festival and when the registration details are complete, we would like to have a chat (could be over Skype) so that we can go through all the details of your project. We will also ask you to sign an artist agreement (which is mainly about your commitment to the festival and our commitment to support your work). We will at this time also discuss: promoting the project, performance times, technical details etc.


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