Urban Hosts is a programme of events, which provokes and promotes practices and approaches to how we live in and govern cities. The programme brings together people who are actively producing alternatives to our existing city infrastructures, norms and perceptions.

2022
Berlin
Bristol

Exploring urban living through the contemporary techno-civic.

Urban Hosts is situated within artistic and spatial practices that draw on the tacit knowledge of creating sited-based public works, practice-centred research and the lived experiences of collaborating with city councils, public bodies and community groups.

Placing emphasis on hospitality, encountering and dialogue. Sitting at the heart of the programme is an approach to hosting and facilitating conversational formats, whereby moments of exchange, no matter how small are considered as possibilities for collectively building capacities for encountering and new urban modalities.

Hosting the Conversation

Cities are human-centred domains that are by and large administered in manners focused on human flourishing. As various climate scenarios continue to play out, this raises questions about how we co-construct, more holistic, inclusive and welcoming, multispecies centred cities.

Hosting conversations about such urban topics becomes all the more more vital as technological ‘smart‘ imaginaries and ‘solutions’ tend to view the city, citizens and so-called resources, (wild life, water sources, open spaces) as a programmable nodes.

Such renderings are most often driven by process of optimisation, which can reduce capacities for diversity and vitality by streamlining regulated pathways. This can result in normative forms and the workings and language of the city becoming abstracted, alienating and largely invisible.

Intentionally designed as a salon style event, in which such contemporary techno-civic issues are discussed in intimate scale settings. The salon format provides a level of support and welcoming, through which the cultivation of an ongoing dialogue around city living can be fostered.

Topics covered to date have predominately focused on how artists, scholars, designers, concerned citizens, activists and public governing bodies approach urban commoning, resource sharing, sonic and other urban histories and folklores, eco-centred spatial practices, sustainable food networks, algorithmic governance and care, housing, ritual and communal practices, repair and healing cultures, species welfare and rights, including data rights and the right to the city.

Back story

Established in 2013, in Dublin and Berlin, Urban Hosts emerged from a number of collaborations, including for example with Dublin City Council’s, The Studio (2011-13); Science Gallery, Dublin on ‘HACK-THE-CITY’ (2012) and Weise7 Studio (ongoing), Berlin.

Since its inception Urban Hosts held conversations in Berlin, Helsinki, Aberdeen, Vienna, New Delhi and Bristol. With Berlin and Bristol the current ‘root’ points through which face-to-face salon events continue to be held.

Over time the scope of the project has developed beyond the original conversation series to now include a set of feral resources, known as ‘expansions’ that range from experiments in sensing urban rivers and seabeds, to spatial experiments, workshops on Unpleasant Design and hosting your own website, to residencies, screenings, performances, publications, podcasts and tools.

Urban Hosts is now home to this interweaving set of materials.

Team

Teresa Dillon

Host and Founder

Artist and Professor of Future Cities, UWE, Bristol

Andrea Goetkze

Co-curator

Curator and producer

Co-hosts 2022

Kelly Wyse: Composer and musician
Eliza Chojnacka: Artist and care taker

Eliza Alice Lomas

Podcast Producer

Sound producer and editor