Baghdad Wittenberg Downtown

by Michaela Rotsch


18th May 2017 at 9.30 pm



Michaela Rotsch, Videoinstallation with 7 Syntopian Vagabonds and 3 projected videoloops, Wittenberg 2017


The artistic structure SYNTOPIAN VAGABOND is a prototype of GLASPALÄSTE, a mobile glass cuboid developed by Michaela Rotsch and has been implemented in diverse countries and urban spaces since 2012 as an instrument with which to connect places. Syn- and -topos means the combination of places; these can be either places in the mind or different disciplines. The cube always takes up residence in institutions or entire cities that are currently in a state of emergency. Most recently, the SYNTOPIAN VAGABOND cube was in Baghdad.

Wittenberg is also a city currently experiencing a somewhat exceptional state of being – it is the site of the Reformation jubilee celebrations, with the city centre transformed into an open-air museum, and partly even museum shop. Furthermore a direct link will be established with Baghdad’s city centre.


The video installation WITTENBERG_BAGHDAD_DOWNTOWN approaches questions regarding the impact of global business and trade relations, modern day indulgences if one may, regarding today’s trading centres of the world, made evident by World Trade Centres. The video focuses on the streets of Baghdad, divided and enclosed by defensive walls since 2003. It shows a trip taken with the transparent SYNTOPIAN VAGABOND cube through four districts of Baghdad’s downtown area. This city – once a prosperous global trading centre, in the midst of a process of globalisation, isolated and derelict, in a state of emergency, the capital city of a country, the soil of which is one of the most coveted in the world – is the centre of world trade, not a World Trade Centre.


Videostill: from DIRECTION_BAGHDAD_DOWNTOWN, 9 min, 2016/17

Michaela Rotsch

Bildende Künstlerin, transdisziplinäre und -kulturelle Forschung mit arabesken Organisationsstrukturen und syntopischen Werkstrukturen.

* Der Prototyp der Glaskuben stammt aus der künstlerischen Werkstruktur SYNTOPIAN VAGABOND, die hier mit dem transkulturellen Projektansatz von GLASPALÄSTE durch die gemeinsame Rahmenstruktur der Glaskuben verbunden wird. Dadurch wird die Grenze zwischen Bildender Kunst und anderen kulturellen Bereichen ausgelotet.

Michaela Rotsch

Fine artist, transdisciplinary and transcultural research with arabesque organisational structures and syntopic work structures.

* The prototype of the glass cubes comes from the artistic work structure SYNTOPIAN VAGABOND, which is linked here to the transcultural approach of GLASPALÄSTE through the common structure of the glass cubes. Thus the boundary between contemporary art and other cultural areas is explored.

Irmtraud Voglmayr

Soziologin und Medienwissenschaftlerin, Schwerpunkte in Forschung und Lehre: Stadt- und Raumforschung, Medien, Gender und Klasse.

Irmtraud Voglmayr

Sociologist and media theorist, focussing on research and teaching: city and urban planning, media, gender and class.

Juliane Zellner

Juliane Zellner studierte Theaterwissenschaft (M.A.) in München, Urban Studies (MSc.) in London und promoviert derzeit an der Hafencity Universität im Fachbereich Kultur der Metropolen.

Juliane Zellner

Juliane Zellner holds a degree in Theatre Studies (M.A.) from LMU Munich and a degree in Urban Studies (MSc) from UCL London.

Currently she is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Metropolitan Culture at the HCU Hamburg.