Sustainable Destination Development with Art and Culture as Partners – an Experiment?

18 July 2013

Note by Contributing Editor, Chris Doyle: A movement to enrich the human experience in any given destination globally is well underway. In recent months, myriad discussions I’ve had in Europe recently with experts in the fields of “experience design” has transformed my perspective on how adventure tourism might be developed – leveraging the truly extraordinary artistic and culture treasures our world possesses to intensify individual understanding of people and place. Conversations with Dr. Serafine Lindemann of Artcircolo were refreshing, fun and energizing. For me, her exclusive contributions to AdventureTravelNews fall into the category of “food for thought.” Enjoy this feast!

© By Dr. Serafine Lindemann of Artcircolo kunst  & Transdisziplinäre projekte -  Author, concept and curator. Since 1989 Dr. phil. Serafine Lindemann is engaged for an international and experimental art program focusing on topics as cultural identities and social transformation processes. Her main activities comprise exhibitions, workshops and dialog panels with experts of art and culture, science and environment, technology and economy.

“The aim of artistic offers is to acquaint human beings with the reality they are embedded in, for them to perceive and experience it in a more intensive and extensive way. This is why we need art: To keep the gates open to something more comprehensive so that we can understand and experience that which underlies this reality. Scientific-technical innovations count less today than social innovations – with art as a medium. We need a world culture of cultures, in which the whole is more than its parts. Despite all external differences we stand on a common ground. Art and music let us remember that there is something we have in common in the background. Their object is to contribute to the discovery of hidden treasures.” ~ Hans-Peter Dürr, Quantum Physicist

Climate change, dependence on scarce resources, globalization and demographic developments are confronting humankind and our planet with existential challenges. Sustainability and ethics are now key factors to ensure that a responsible society uses its resources wisely.

We all are aware of the loss of cultural roots and environments. Worldwide many regions have changed into faceless areas dominated by commerce and industry, animals are treated like "products," not as beings. We are experiencing a continuous flush of speed - "time is money."  But we learn more and more that time is much more than money. We miss so many things being able to do so many things at the same time.

More than ever the question is how fit for the future is a society when it boils down to each individual acting solely on the basis of a realization of the necessity of giving up comfortable, customary ways in return for that which is new and uncertain? And what level of responsibility must we take for our actions, both on a local and on an international plane?

How do we have to perceive, seize and process experience in order to enhance our knowledge and education to be able to use it as a basis for survival and new concepts?

Golden Fountain by Meschac Gaba; Genoveva-Schauer-Platz, Munich 2005.
Gaba is from Benin, where mineral water in bottles is an absolute luxury product, makes preciosity of water 'valuably' visible. He gilded a plain public fountain in Munich.

What we need is destination development with the aim of achieving a balanced interaction between environment and society. What role does art play in this much-evoked call for transformation? Artists can contribute to visualize the seemingly impossible as a potential solution to the problems of survival. Art is an important communicator and translator of scientific knowledge using emotional images, metaphors and facts. Art does pose different questions and helps us to find new ways of looking at ourselves and our system in order to initiate the necessary restructuring and redefinition of social values. And: Art enables travelers to discover and uphold local values while becoming involved in the world in a different way.

MAP ~ a new interdisciplinary art project dealing with cultural identities

MAP addresses the regions we know as day-trip or holiday destinations or even as nether land. Here, artists deal with the native people, the history, the legends, traditions and the term “home.” New maps are evolving that thrust themselves over the usual cartography of industrial parks, streets, car parks, amusement parks and residential areas and hint at the previously hidden, forgotten and obstructed. They lead to “lost property” – to designed visualizations, acoustic accompaniments and sensory experiences.

Art as strategy - We harness the power of art to promote awareness, provoke dialogue and inspire action.

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Listening to the environment ~ guided sound tours with Kalle Laar

The sense of hearing has much more to offer then we use it for in our daily lives. It can open up the world around us, let us perceive our environment in new ways.

Participators, regardless of any cultural or national backgrounds, appreciate guided tours emphasizing the unique aural qualities of city streets, traditional villages or rural areas. Adding the sounding world to the visual deepens the experience of a place, while the sensory interaction forces one to give up the normal tourist speed for a more human pace.

You might hear somebody telling the story of the place, listen to the place as it might have sounded one hundred years ago, or maybe only what it sounds like on the weekend. Some local will tell you in his own voice and dialect his personal experience. Speech and local sounds, natural or man-made, historical or contemporary let you make a personal experience beyond the usual tourist tracks.

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Flying Windmill by Tamiko Thiel is a solar-powered paraglider windmill, symbolizing the hope for a future with renewable energy. It is an augmented reality artwork from the ongoing project “Transformation.” It investigates daily life in a city and asks how we can transform our regions for a more sustainable future. Augmented Reality artworks are geo-located at relevant sites and can be viewed using a smartphone app as overlays on the live camera view of the surroundings, embedding them visually and experientially in the “real” world.

Transformation - a new city guide:



Project partner of MAP is Frauke Liesenborghs, managing director of Global Challenges Network e.V./