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Contemporary urbanity continuously defies clear definitions and demarcations in the context of international political events, ongoing trends towards urban agglomeration and the digitisation of multiple spheres of life into the multilayered digital realm. The interconnectedness of international urban centres in a supranational sphere of travel and digital interaction as well as the worldwide integration of urban sprawl via logic and logistic functions contributed to the birth of the term „planetary urbanisation“ (Brenner & Schmid, 2021), which implies that we are all part of a global trend towards a collective form of urbanity based on technological, social, economic, and cultural integration. The systems of signs governing our collective understanding of reality work on a global level, and to decipher them means to enter the belly of the beast tearing urban reality apart at the seams to see what lies underneath. I appears impossible come to a stable footing in an ever-shifting terrain of renegotiated meanings, reconsidered standpoints and reflective reasoning. Chains of signs flow into rivers of meaning contributing to a sea of information framing our collective understanding of reality that is virtually endless.

The works in this exhibition, therefore, are an attempt to access these infinite and interrelated structures of meaning from an artistic perspective, to highlight unique viewpoints, parallels to and opinions of potential realities mirrored in our positioning towards contemporary urbanity. They present excerpts of potential access points to understand or frame urban realities as reflected in individual consciousness. Therefore, we witness the traces of what urbanity could entail, which language it can be expressed in, and how we can react to emotional renderings of what life in the city means. Works by Xian Zheng, Andreas Duscha und Philipp Schnell 2023.