POINT City of Names 2005
Material: Euro pallets, chipboard, wooden laths, acrylic paint
The signpost with cardinal points was made by Inka.
City of Names was a project we did outside the Kunsthaus Bethanien building as part of the Back Jumps no. 2. I dare to say that Back Jumps No. 2 was a key graffiti and street art event in Europe. City of Names came out of the head of Zasd who initiated it with Akim. It was attended mostly by Berlin writers and a few guests from abroad, I being one of them. The idea was for each writer to build a house shaped as their name (or something else), to create a city of names.
It all happened spontaneously. I cannot really describe the atmosphere that well now but it was a sort of summer camp with attributes of a city. Roger and Mr. X built a metro line, Akim a bridge, Caf Crew made the tower and I did the gate, Ukrainian writers made a post office, and so on. We cooked communal meals, sourced material on the go all around Berlin and some even slept in the buildings they had made. I think the way it grew was similar to a real city, organically, without any major planning and based on the actual needs. In the end we populated the whole circular shaped sand pit in the park outside the building. Years later, it is still evident how important this event was and how many people have been influenced by it. When we did the Names festival in 2008 nobody came up with a better name. Swoon too later named her world-famous project the “Floating Cities”. And Zasd, he was in big trouble then, since it was all pure punk. This city had neither standards nor regulations. One fine day, after the official opening, a child got into a place they were not meant to be and got an electric shock. The summons to court was obviously sent to the one who was held responsible – Thomas Bratzke, the mayor of the City of Names.