The pictures are from a poetry-installation / public art project, there was a collaboration between the conceptual- public artist / poet Jan Hatt-Olsen, all people in downtown Værløse, Værløse Municipality and the local business life. Værløse is a town with 18000 inhabitants, in the Greater Copenhagen area. Downtown Værløse was transformed into a Collection of Poetry from 3. September – 12.September 2004, by the installation of 61 new poems by Jan Hatt-Olsen, printed on 61transparent plexiglass plates and 4 poetry roads with a length a little over1 km, constructed of141 stickers pasted to squares and streets. Downtown Værløse as a Collection of Poetry was published by the experimental Danish publisher Tiara. ISBN nr, title and author was printed on one of the plexiglass plates and placed on the second pillar in the main square, when you arrive from the local train station)

The poetry-installation / public art project was selected to be one of the 30examples of street creativity in Europe exhibited in City Living – Living City |the 6’Th European Biennial of Towns and Town Planners.


Sponsored by BG Banks Litteraturpulje, Københavns AmtsKulturfond, Værløse Kommune og Colorgruppen.


web-catalogue www.lyrik-installation.dk/Vaerloese











START                                                                               END

July 31 2006                                                                August 5



Urban Space as an Artwork


The concept of art.

The concept of art is an art, which is not something there purely intervene or is installed or exhibited in the urban space, but an art which give the whole urban space an extra dimension. Everything and everybody in urban space will become art and artist. The role of the professional architect, urban planner and artist is to make and organize catalysts for this process to take place.



The workshop is from July 31 to August 5.



July 31.

Presentation of participants their earlier works and there concept of art, urban space and art in urban space.


Urban Artscape will present different examples and strategies


August 1

The participants will work with urban places they have selected.

They can work in groups or by themselves. The work can be theoretical and or the making of installations/interventions in urban space by different means.


August 2

The participants will work with urban places they have selected.

They can work in groups or by themselves. The work can be theoretical and or the making of installations/interventions in urban space by different means.


August 3

The participant will make their presentations to the seminar the august 4 and august 5


During the workshop there will be presented some tools and examples related to art in urban space and urban space as an artwork.  


The tools are perspectives, optics and mapping there can be used in the process of transforming an urban space as a whole into an artwork,


         An expanded concept of the work of art.

Hierotopy a new research field where associated professor in art history at the University of Copenhagen Nicoletta Isar is one of the international experts. Associated adjunct professor in modern Culture Torben Sangilds concept of the work of art from his ’Objektiv sensibilitet’ and Jan Hatt-Olsens ideas as he has worked with them in different artworks since 1998 and Àsta Olga Magnúsdóttir’s concepts of art as she has worked with them in Urban Texting and Urbanistan.


          The City as text – The City as meaning

The idea is that everybody and everything has meaning and can be written as a text. The theories of Roland Barthes can be emphasized here, but there are an exiting development in new anthropology and new cultural history, there a likewise ideas about meaning, where music, poetry and dance are fundamental


    The City as music – The City as a partitur

The sound of the City can be perceived as a work of music and the urban space as a whole as a partitur


    The City as a Theater

The City can be perceived as a theater. A way of perceiving the City, which have some parallels with the Teathrum Mundi form the Barock.


  • The City as a Film

The City can be perceived as a film which is not playing on the silver screen or in liquid crystals in a LCD screen, but in an augmented reality in urban space.


    The City as Chôra

Chôra is the space in-between. In Plato’s philosophy it is the space between the physical world, the world of senses and the world of the ideas. Chôra is a space in flux, where everything is in the process of creation. The art historian Nicoletta Isar, who is researching in chôra has written an article about Værløse Bymidte as a Collection of Poetry, where the chôra perspective is central.


   William Blake’s Cosmos.

It’s still a radical idea the English poet and artist put forward in his art. The world is a world of imaginations, if you perceive it as it really is, where everything is art and everybody is an artist (is they se the world as it is) and even smallest scratch in a red brick wall is the gateway to a new living world of art. Jan Hatt-Olsen will talk about this perspective on basis of his master thesis in William Blake’s Cosmos. A contemporary artist who uses Blake’s Cosmos but in video art (not in urban space and street art) is Bill Viola. His works of art will also so be one of the topics, because they are relevant to the concept of Urban Space as an artwork.


    Art as urban planning

Through an installation/intervention to transform an urban space into an artwork, demands that the artist work with the art as urban planning. How does the art installation/intervention relate to an influence the infrastructure, architecture and live of the whole urban space.

Jan Hatt-Olsen has written about it in connection with the exhibition of ’The City as a Collection of Poetry’ in the Street Creativity Exhibition’ One of the exhibitions in City Living – Living City | the 6’th European Biennial of Towns and Town Planners.

In October there will be published a paper by Jan Hatt-Olsen in Western Humanities Review’s issue ’What is a City?’, where he will go into it in more detail.


    Municipalities as a work of art.

Jan Hatt-Olsen, has during his job as an artistic planning consultant in Furesø Municipality developed this concept, he talked about it in the opening seminar of Metropolis ’The City as Stage and the Stage as City’


    Psycho geographical Mapping

Besides working with traditional maps is it a good tool to work with psycho geographical mapping. An art form which is part of the legacy from the situationist movement in the 50 – 60. Is basic idea is to map emotions, thought, behavior connected to different places. There is a renaissance of the psycho geographical mapping connected to the new mobile and digital forms of communication, there makes it possible to create interactive psycho geographical maps.

Examples are yellow arrow, which started in New York, Urbanistan, Reykjavik and Urban Texting, the last two projects with the Icelandic Àsta Olga Magnúsdóttir as a central figure. A none interactive psycho geographical mapping Rhizome | Psycho geographical mapping of New Herning Municipality was performed by the Danish poet and artist Jan Hatt-Olsen in a cross-over project with urban planners,


    Dérive og anthropological fieldwork

To be a flaneur in the city collecting thoughts, emotions, impressions and expressions or to engage actively in using the others as informants of urban space is valuable for understanding and connecting to urban cultures and values,


    From Urban Spaces to Urban Places    

Some urban spaces are only a space somewhere in an urban environment, but others are places. Places you relate to and talk about. What is making a space to a place. Cynthia M. Grund Associated Professor at the University of Southern Denmark and Wayne O. McCready, Professor at the University of Calgary is researching in that topic.






Simultaneously with the workshop during the day, the art group Urban Artscape (Jan Hatt-Olsen, Copenhagen, Ásta Olga Magnúsdóttir, Cape Town) will during the night make an installation/intervention ’urban alchemist in the night’ where they re-enchant urban spaces with laptop, video projector, video camera, microphone, loudspeakers and two bikes one with a trailer.


The installation/intervention is from 22-01 each night (when it’s not raining) if some of the workshop participants want to join they are welcome.


The workshop is each day from 11-17






Metropolis Laboratory http://cph-metropolis/en/laboratory2007


Urban Artscape www.urbanartscape.org


Jan Hatt-Olsen jh@urbanartscape.org

Ásta Olga Magnúsdóttir astaolga@urbanartscape.org


The Metropolis Laboratory is supported by The Danish Art Council and Realdania