Date: 02 May 2022 - 27 Feb 2023
Location: Helsinki, Copenhagen, Stockholm
Parasympathetic Beings – Nordic Network for art and urban planning in housing areas
Parasympathetic Beings is a network that brings together art institutions from Denmark, Sweden and Finland that are situated in social housing areas as well as artists, scholars and urban planners. The objective is to create a framework of seminars and workshops in which we can share knowledge and best practices within the field of public art in social housing projects or as a part of urban development; the long-term objective is for this to be the outset for a joint public art and research program in which we share the knowledge we have gathered and also put it into practice through research-based art projects created across member institutions and countries.
Art and culture is already a part of urban planning strategies. They are often utilised as an avantgarde before urban development – in the original sense of the word: as a vanguard creating space for the changes to an area; and are in most cases temporary initiatives employed for a year or two.
We are interested in delving into methods of longevity and sustainability. The art institutions that are part of the network have all worked in the social housing areas that they are placed in for 5 years or more. They have come about as initiatives from the bottom up and not the other way around and the projects they formulate are created site specifically with and for the residents.
The title – parasympathetic beings – refers to the part of the nervous system that controls rest and digestion which is opposite the sympathetic nervous system that controls fight or flight reflexes.
Til Vægs – an exhibition platform and an urban art intervention that sprouts within the public housing area AKB Lundtoftegade in Nørrebro, Copenhagen.
Museum of Impossible Forms – a heterogeneous space developing experimental and migrant forms of expression, a platform for experiences and a laboratory for critical thought located in Kontula, Helsinki.
Konsthall C – a public work of art, an urban revewal project and an art institution located in a former communal laundry in Hökarängen, Stockholm.
meter – an exhibition platform that pollinates other art spaces. Often working in collaboration with others, the focus is securing a mutually beneficial space for learning across disciplines.
FEMMA PLANNING – an urban planning collective specialised in participatory planning.
Adam Veng – PhD at Center for Social Urban Modelling at the Danish National Museum