Writing means changing: The books 2-3 Straßen TEXT & 2-3 Straßen MAKING OF

2-3 Straßen

March 18, 2011

“There are six of us here and this is the first entry, and we would like to tell the world the following: …”

78 people hit the road from places such as Munich, Berlin, Moscow and Tokyo. Their destination: ordinary streets in Dortmund, Duisburg and Mülheim an der Ruhr. They came to change themselves.
And the streets on which they live.

887 authors wrote a book together over a period of a year. New tenants and old residents, guests and visitors to the streets—people from all walks of life added their creativity to the ongoing text. Over 10,000 contributions tell a story in 16 languages without a breather. From topics dealing with humanity moving seamlessly to indiscretion, from intimacy to self-criticism and truisms, from debating politics to topicalities. Near and far. The perspective is constantly changing. The text grows and grows, is rugged like a manifestation and is boundless like the present.

Writing is overcoming emptiness and thus is the epitome of change,” (Ralf Georg Czapla). Each author immerses himself alone in the bodiless digital world; the empty page, and no one knowing what the others are writing. Once the text is sent, it disappears into a digital archive. “Of course, not every writer turns into a Marcel Proust right away. The important thing is that the whole of society produced this text” (Ruedi Jörg-Fromm). The result of the work of so many people is a book which has no precedent—created in a way that no other book has ever been created. This book wrote itself.

2-3 Straßen MAKING OF outlines the process from the initial idea and planning of 2-3 Streets to the daily life on the three streets and also includes reflections on the sustainability of art and culture. The text alternates between inward- and outward-looking perspectives. Essays, interviews, analyses, quotations and a year full of pictures tell and convey an experience. 2-3 Straßen MAKING OF is a book which opposes the fixation on product consumption and the pressure to be unique at all times. Creativity, as understood here, is not the privilege of artists, but rather a renewable social energy.

Writing brings change and social change becomes literature.

The publication is result of the artwork 2-3 Streets — An Exhibition in Cities of the Ruhr by Jochen Gerz. What significance does culture, economics and urban development have in cultural society? 2-3 Streets originates in the observation that post-industrial society does not change in its art forms or because of artistic concepts, avant-garde groups or the contemporary arts, but that it has a tendency to become subsumed altogether in culture. Obviously, the arts play a part here. As Gerz sees it, society does not evolve because of a certain culture but “into culture”. It becomes cultural.

The work tests out two ideas: on the one hand, what it means to engage in art today; on the other, whether changing the environment is itself an aim of the experiment, which must be understood as something more than merely art. The path to this end leads through the collective experience of authorship. A social process unique in the artistic landscape is initiated, whose aim is to transform both the streets and art itself.

Both volumes are offered in a slipcase until 31.03.2011:

2-3 Straßen TEXT
2-3 Straßen MAKING OF

Two books in a slipcase.
Size 16 x 24 cm
Approx. 3,000 + 240 pages

Rainer Krause
krause [​at​] 2-3strassen.com

2-3 Straßen
Am Hauptbahnhof 3
45127 Essen