Within the framework of the Laboratory, the participants became acquainted with modern approaches to researching the urban environment, artistic research practices and implemented their projects, the results of which were included in the new issue. Because the program was designed to enable participation of a wide range of people, the carried out studies and their results have different depth spectrum, and largely represent work with the perception of urban space by the participants of the Laboratory.
This approach, in our view, is the most effective, because having no experience of working with the city and urban research, the first step in understanding why and how such research can be done is precisely the discovery of this form for oneself and through oneself. These can be approaches with different techniques and results, in our case they are: mental city maps (Osh), cultural codes of the city in the perception of participants of the program (Osh), photo drift (Osh, Almaty), maps of habitual and unusual areas (Almaty), etc.
As curators, we accompanied the implemented projects with comments to clarify certain aspects of the research projects.
The experience in these two cities is different. Thus, in the absence of artistic approaches and informal urban projects in Osh, the understanding of the urban environment – within the framework of our program – as a subject of research was more of an introductory nature and the first immersion in the city as an object of interest. Whereas in Almaty there have been initiatives working with the city for several years, which in one way or another have shaped the view of the city as a space for reflection and action.