Polytropos – Dada on Tour, Part II: Zurich

Monday, 11th May 2015, to Friday, 22nd May 2015

Polytropos will go on a research journey in Zurich and view the faces of different districts, read the city as a face, uses face as a metaphor, as an imaginary map while scouting and mapping the places. Between 11th and 14th May 2015 students from Hong Kong and from ZHdK will install the mobile „Dada on Tour“-tent at five different locations in Zurich. Starting from this locations, the scouts research into their environment, develop different mapping strategies to read the city. As a finale, they present an exhibition in the Cabaret Voltaire.

Exhibition Opening / Lecture

Friday, 15th May 2015, 6 pm
Cabaret Voltaire, Spiegelgasse 1, Zurich

Introduction by Hayat Erdogan and Adrian Notz
Lecture by MAP Office (Laurent Gutierrez und Valérie Portefaix): Islands, Archipelago, and Other Liquid Territories
Songs by Vincent Ip

Laurent Gutierrez and Valerie Portefaix will present “Hong Kong Is Land”, a project by MAP Office, exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) as part of “Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities”. In this lecture, the co-founders of MAP Office will share the process of making the exhibition and its relation their previous work.

Scouting and Mapping

Monday, 11th May 2015, to Thursday, 14th May 2015 (open to the public)

Monday, 11.05., 1 to 5 pm: TONI-Areal
Tuesday, 12.05., noon to 4 pm: Helvetiaplatz
Wednesday, 13.05., 10 am to noon: Rote Fabrik
Wednesday, 13.05., 1 to 4 pm: Seefeld: China Garten & Mühlerama with Pius Tschumi
Thursday, 14.05., 1 to 4 pm: Basislager Altstetten with Sonia Bischoff


Friday, 15th May 2015, to Friday, 22nd May 2015
Cabaret Voltaire, Spiegelgasse 1, Zürich


Project lead / concept: Hayat Erdogan
Cooperation parnter: Adrian Notz, Cabaret Voltaire
Artistic director: MAP Office (Laurent Gutierrez and Valérie Portefaix)
Website (programming / design): Astrom / Zimmer (An­thon As­trom and Lukas Zi­m­mer)
Film: Tashi Sotrug Lobsang
Zurich University of the Arts; The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, School of Design; City Unversity Hong Kong, School of Creative Media


Jan Koslowski, Student ZHdK Master Direction; Franz-Xaver Mayr, Student ZHdK Master Direction; Sarah Buser, Student ZHdK Master Dramaturgy; Maria-Cecilia Quadri, Student ZHdK Master Dramaturgy; Lisa Friedrich, Student ZHdK Master Dramaturgy; Irina Müller, Student ZHdK Master Dramaturgy; Lukas Sander, Student ZHdK Master Set Design; Vincent IP, Photographer, School of Creative Media; Brigid Leung, Designer, School of Design, Polytechnic University; Shruti Sadani, Designer, School of Design, Polytechnic University; Ling Hoi Lam, Video Artist, Photographer, Artist, School of Creative Media; Mo Yat Ting Leong, Student  School of Creative Media; Ernest Hui Hei Yu, Student School of Creative Media.

Mapping@High Island Reservoir

About the project

Maps provide abstract standardized knowledge about territories; they are orientation and navigation guides. But, what is with the manifold appearances affecting our senses, determining, extending and addressing our perceptions when we stroll around the city, when we use streets and buildings, when we face things and observe what catches our attention?

We use maps to navigate the world, but at the same time we make up our own maps, we have our own interpretations of the world and construct our own maps in our heads. How can we make a complete map bringing together the quantitative (commensurable) and qualitative (incommensurable) information?

What is “Polytropos – Dada on Tour”?

Polytropos – Dada on Tour is part of Connecting Spaces Hong Kong – Zurich, a transdisciplinary and transcultural project by the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). Polytropos launches two initiatives that are developed in successive, interrelative phases.

Making New Maps: The Face of a City

Polytropos is an aesthetic urban research project in search for the face of a city and asks if there is the one face or if there are multiple faces, and how these faces can be assembled, joined together and configurated to one face of a city. Is it a phantom image, a photofit picture?

The project further asks, how artistic mapping strategies and methods would apply to make new maps of a city, a map that e.g. represents the physiognomic qualities of a city?How can aesthetic means be appropriated in a new way within the urban research discourse and practice?

The Mobile Museum as a Curatorial Device

Polytropos has a curatorial purpose, a cultural exchange mission; it transfers, transmits, transacts cultural ideas and specificities by travelling around with a Mobile Museum, the Cabaret Voltaire in form of a tent called „Dada on Tour“, which is constantly growing by travelling and collecting new maps. The tent itself is an other space, a Mobile Museum visiting communities, giving and taking, collecting, actively archiving. “Dada on Tour” sets up in different locations in Hong Kong and Zu- rich visiting communities. It is wandering around like Odysseus the Waderer, who is referred to as anthropos polytropos (the man of twists and turns, of many ways), changing by collecting stories, datas, information, by mapping specific ideas, by exchanging ideas etc. The Mobile Museum is a device and trigger, which travels around and functions also as a temporary landmark and research base.

What happened so far?

From June 16 to June 26 “Polytropos – Dada on Tour, Part I ” travelled to different places in Hong Kong. With a tent called “Dada on Tour” and artistic research agents

3 Artistic Directors: MAP OFFICE, Hong Kong and Adrian Notz, Cabaret Voltaire Zurich

13 Scouts: Students from the Master Theater Program Zurich University of the Arts, from the School of Creative Media from HK City University and the School of Design, HK Polytechnic University

Polytropos went on a research journey in Hong Kong and viewed the faces of different districts, read the city as a face, used face as a metaphor, as an imaginary map while scouting and mapping the places.

Like genuine travelers we made journeys aiming to be in-between the figure of the explorer seeking to discover the unknown and the figure of the tourist following the suggested trip advisors, the participants of Polytropos travelled around as theoroi, in this project referred to as Scouts, who were sent out as certified “world viewers” (Weltschauer) to map the surroundings …

On November 28 “Polytropos – Dada on Tour” went back to Hong Kong Connecting Space and hold a Workshop. The project offered in insight into its activities and future plans. Little works, sketches and concepts of the Student-Scouts based on their first travel- & mapping experiences were presented and discussed. The project also presented its Website in its conceptual phase, which is being programed and designed by Astrom/Zimmer.