Stefan KrÜskemper


Auratic City - Die Auratische Stadt (2004) · Halle, Leipzig

The »Auratic City« (Die Auratische Stadt) is the lived space of its participants. An existence space. Space understood as existential human experience is ever-changing, living world-space. A cultural space which has to be actively embraced to attain its unique significance. So as not to experience the surroundings as meaningless. Thus establishing meaning implies expanding, sounding out the limits of space and understanding the surrounding reality as an active shaping process. City is the complex of intricately interlocking worlds, of shared living. A multidimensional space interwoven within itself in the most manifold ways.

One explanation of how an aura comes about is that an enormous energy transfer produces the aural radiance – in other words, the radiance is a sign of invisible inner forces. Thus »Auratic City« does not mean the built city, but the subjectively experienced city. The idea of this project is to reveal the liberating space in the fleetingness of social activities which is unfurled and opened up by the vibrant presence and energy of this activity. Its form is generated by movement and energy vectors, the involvement of human beings. A temporary form, in a permanent state of change, and yet – there is an interior, a boundary, the protection and the identity of a shared space which comes into being because a mind embraces it and because many call it city: the »Auratic City«.

The »Auratic City« is about the growth of social competence, of non-material values, of integrative thinking and authentic action. This promotes identity and connectedness with the surrounding living space. In accordance with the principles of the Athenian Charter and Team X, the »Auratic City« shares the same form-defining zones of Living, Leisure, Work, Transport and Tradition.

They grow within the city as a spatial network of individual cells of lived reality. These are the auratic energy fields of the city, which generates an architecture of living space that as a mental construct represents the essence of a built reality. In the Auratic City, reality is not manufactured, it is experienced.

LIVING: Communal-living projects are places where the acquisition of non-marketable skills and productive idleness become a source of true productivity. The aim: To introduce alternative financing models for communal living environments and lifestyles. The idea: Workshop »Productive Styles of Habitation«.
LEISURE: The unemployed and people living on benefits, being the client group with the most leisure at their disposal, are better placed than anyone else to open up new fields of activity. They are the avant-garde of our society. The aim: Division of functions to be transcended by the systematic unity of a situation made up of mental construct and material elements (space for action), revaluation of concepts. The idea: Project »Living Space – Mentoring«.
WORK: For people without a job, voluntary tasks carried out on an honorary basis are an important way of providing meaningful activity and social integration. The aim: Formation of mental worlds, growth of social competence and of non-material values, integrative thinking and authentic action. Transition from an acquisition-centred to an activity-centred society. The idea: Info-pool »From Acquisition to Activity – Forms of Usage«.
TRANSPORT: Auratic values are non-material values. Transporting this information and these emotions means creating the conditions for sympathetic understanding. Sympathetic understanding is participation. The aim: Participation strengthens the sense of city, enables identification. Self-perception. The idea: Network diagram »Auratic City Ticket«.
TRADITION: Church is an active constituent of urban life. The aim: Creation of an Auratic Forum for contemporary forms of worship. The idea: Stimulus »Church in the Neustadtpassage«.

The »Auratic City« as designed and realized represents an already future scenario for communal living focused on quality of life, and demonstrates how new forms of subjectivity can be lived with dignity. Any resident of Halle can get involved by way of the topology of the »Auratic City«, and so explore and open up the city fully for him- or herself. For we live within what we have discovered for ourselves.

Project proposal
2004 Open Public Art and Architecture Competition »Shrinking Cities«, region Halle Leipzig

Office of Integrative Art - Jörg Amonat, Stefan Krüskemper



»Aura is an experience, not a quality attaching to an object.« (Peter Eisenman)




»The first act of any political change, of any social upheaval, is a cultural change. The first task is the development of subjectivity: the creation of new forms of socialization.« (Andre Gorz)



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© 2000—2014 VG Bild-Kunst Bonn - Stefan Krüskemper - and the Office of Integrative Art