Conspiracy Dwellings

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Conspiracy Dwellings, video still, Pam Skelton, 2007

Conspiracy Dwellings was a site specific art exhibition in Erfurt Germany. For more information see:- Konspirative Wohnungen // Conspiracy Dwellings websiteAs a gallery installation it was shown as, Conspiracy Dwellings: Portrait of a model city, South Hill Park, Bracknell, 2008, Dwelling in the Space of Conspiracy, ISEA09, Belfast, 2009, and In the Space of Conspiracy, in the Art Hall Tallinn, Estonia and ICA, University of  Bath 2008. As a book Conspiracy Dwellings: Surveillance in Contemporary Art eds, Outi Remes and Pam Skelton, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010.

Conspiracy Dwellings is a video installation of variable dimensions and is part of a multidisciplinary art project initiated by Pam Skelton and Joachim Heinrich to investigate, identify, visualise and map  500 Stasi conspiracy dwellings that were active in Erfurt a former East German city between 1980 -1989. The dossiers containing the conspiracy dwellings files were accessed at the State Archives of the German Democratic Republic (DDR) in 2004.  Conspiracy Dwellings were secret meeting places used for spying, mainly situated in homes, offices, shops and public institutions. They were  set up by the East German Secret Police to  maintain secrecy in an environment of fear, observation and control. In this project the notion of home is dramatically upset as the domestic space is used as a vehicle for the invasion of human rights and personal autonomy. In these places a secret agent would meet with his informer on a regular basis.

Visualising a city as a three dimensional inscription of surveillance the work reveals the blank spaces absorbed by the urban geography, linking the architecture of a city, its buildings, streets and neighbourhoods in an unfolding spiral of control and deception.

Konspirative Wohnungen // Conspiracy Dwellings was initiated by by Joachim Heinrich and Pam Skelton.  Artworks by  C.CRED, Tina Clausmeyer and Verena Kyselka and Pam Skelton.   Produced in Erfurt by Verena Kyselka in 2007 at Kunsthaus Erfurt, State Parliament of Thuringia, Erfurt Town Hall, Berliner Platz Public Library, Glasbox, University of Erfurt, Radisson SAS, Erfurt.

See  DIE ZEIT Review:

Funded by:-

German Federal Cultural Foundation (D) // Kulturstiftung des Bundes (D)
Arts Council England (GB)
Arts and Humanities Research Council (GB)
International Centre for Fine Art Research (GB)
University of the Arts London (GB)
Thuringian State Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service of the former GDR (D) // Landesbeauftragte des Freistaats Thüringen für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen DDR (D)
Kunsthaus Erfurt (D)
South Hill Park (GB)
The Photography and the Archive Research Centre (GB)