Tracking Berlin Personal Project

City: Berlin
Type: CAD-drawings
Scope: Plotted plans

Hardware used: Garmin eTrex Legend H, Apple MacBook Pro.
Software used: EasyGPS, Microsoft Excel, Rhinoceros (Grasshopper), Adobe Illustrator.

“Berlin is ugly but intense. It is the friction, that the body corresponds to the city’s structure, that makes her so interesting. Not until the existence of another next to the own thyself depth emerges, opening up a field of possibilities. And with this, contradiction gains entrance into the image of the city, being in the dilemma of two texts being written on the different sides of a single page, recto and verso, so it always needs a third to read it, so that the city can join itself first and only in the eye of the outsider, the stranger wandering its streets of ruins and ecstasy.”

The plan of Berlin reminds me mostly of a map of the brain and how our neural networks are being formed. With every new track a new spatial experience is recorded and charted creating kind of new synapses inside my memory of the city and like a synapses inside the nervous system permitting neurons to pass signals over to the cells, the line drawings represent my body passing through the city.
The “Ringbahn” (the overground train circling Berlin) forms an artificial border around the core city, framing it like an old fortification would have done and separating with its subsidence the inner from the outer city much like the Boulevard Périphérique does in Paris.

Another thing that seems to be obvious when you look at the drawing is Berlin’s lack of a real centre. Due to its history as a divided city but actually going back already to its origins and merging of the towns of Berlin and Cölln in 1307 and later again while next to the main fortification of Berlin Charlottenburg developed itself as a village around the castle in the west, Berlin has always been a city torn between the East and West.
The plan divides itself into different points of interest partly as a consequence of my places of residence but also showing the fragmentation of the city and the enclosure of the smaller units (here called districts) that we seem to feel so comfortable about in order to structure our perception of the city and organize the habitation of larger areas, called metropolises.

For further reading on the subject follow the links for London, Paris and New York City.

All images on this page copyright Tristan D. Grey.