The power outlet. An ordinary and unglamorous object.
The monopoly of infrastructures in the public space for energy production and distribution has been one of the recurrent conflicts I had to confront in the urban interventions I performed. In our streets, there is an existing obstruction of spontaneous self-powered initiatives that require a power source.
And as the Anthropocene fosters debate around the metabolic processes in the planet we live in, my personal interest zooms further into the metabolism of urban activity and the harvesting of those processes to create discourse and construct situations that provide space for temporary refuge and critical reflection.
With the proliferation of “smart cities” initiatives there seems to be less room for small-scale, spontaneous and decentralized self-powered initiatives.
Power outlets seem to have been left behind when it comes to their existence in public space and our critical engagement with them as an empowering platform. And despite being thickly surrounded by infrastructure, that very basic one seems to be incidental on our streets. Perhaps apart from 'innovative' energy practices employed in mobile phone and vehicle charging stations with a ‘futuristic’ light glow. And even though the aforementioned imply sustainability and conviviality, the solutions western societies are provided with are very much in line with an economic exploitation of public space
Can electrical power be imbedded into street furniture and infrastructure as a performative platform as well?
Can electrical power create discourse and construct situations that provide space for temporary refuge and critical reflection?
The parasite podcasts are sound interventions on the streets of cities. They are a series of interviews, poems, snippets that discuss the topic of electrical and other power in public space. They are in the shape of power plugs, that are 'repaired' of their usefulness in order to become hosts for the audio. Solar energy powers them, to survive in the streets longer.
The parasite podcasts are site specific pieces, that remain in their location until removed, broken, stolen, you imagine it. They are a trace of transience.
The Parasite Podcasts were initiated in Berlin during a residency at the ZK/U – Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik
1. Memories with pieces of furniture
2.It has to be very, very simple, but also very, very complex
3. I miss this
5. There is no name
Mobasher Niqui, architect
installing his podcast in Berlin, Tempelhof, at the birdwatch towers