Exercises in Urban

an ogino:knauss project




Exercises in Urban Reconnaissance

Exercises in Urban Reconnaissance is the fruit of a daily practice of exploring cities and the very idea of the city. It is an anthology of ways to investigate the city, a collection of exercises for reading its structure, or conversely, its rhythm. Each exercise considers the necessity of maintaining a holistic gaze on the complexity of urban existence. At the same time, each suggests the adoption of a specific vantage point to bring depth and contrast to vision.

The exercises begin with a definition of the word ‘city’. True and complex, each individual definition is also partial and unable to fully explain the sense of the city. Definitions serve as starting points for exercises proposed to the reader, who is challenged to observe, assess and represent a piece of the city from a specific perspective, singling out particular rhythms or systems concurring in the production of a vaster urban eurhythmia.

Finally, each exercise is accompanied by notes, images and graphic suggestions from the authors’ travelogues. They are not meant to provide a complete elaboration, but instead to suggest possible interpretations of the exercise. These fragments from a divagation around the global city are akin to attempts at capturing the city’s breath; they are simultaneously excerpts from a biographical account of interests and passions, and lived and productive experiences. Some explorations have been fully developed, while others are merely a draft or something imagined.

This project is the result of an obstinate flânerie into the urbanised world. It is a diary filled with curiosities and practical investigations into the substance of the urban condition. It is a stroll through psychological urban territories reflecting on the relentless process of concretion and erasure that moulds the city and a decryption of stratifying remnants and memories. It is a critical disentangling of the forces, currents and shocks making and unmaking the city.

The Exercises in Urban Reconnaissance will be published online in random order, at a rate of approximately one per week until the list is complete. Subsequently they will be printed as a limited and numbered book edition. Subscribe to receive notifications of upcoming releases.


Exercises in Urban Reconnaissance

An ogino:knauss project

Text: Lorenzo Tripodi
Editing: Paul David Blackmore
Graphic design: Manuela Conti
Web development: Sergio Segoloni

This project draws on more than 20 years of personal and collective explorations by the authors, with the collaboration and complicity of numerous companions, beginning with the members and colleagues of ogino:knauss, CartografiaResistente and Tesserae. It is inspired and driven by the work of fellow explorers, psychogeographers, flâneurs and urbanites, and supported and stimulated by several organisations, projects and cultural institutions. Of the many friends and accomplices we would like to thank, we mention Michele Lancuba, Laura Colini, Francesca Mizzoni, Jacopo Mariani, Enrico Massini, Nicola Guarneri, Syd Migx, Francesca Rispoli, Maria Laura Mascelloni, Serena Di Pietro, Iacopo Zetti, Alessandro Geri Rustighi, Federico Bacci, Riccardo Mantelli, Andrea Giraldi, Mark Saunders, Jem Cohen, Luc Nadal, Gill Arno, Olver Reyes Rodrigues, Anna Bronovitskaja, Massimiliano Busti, Marco Baravalle, Tommaso Cacciari, Franco La Cecla, Luciano Spinelli, Natalia Melikova, Dan Moss, Boris Kondakov, Darko Radovic, Zoran Djukanovic, Emiliano Gandolfi, Alessandro Carboni, Danilo Casti, Rocco Poiago, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Adam Holt, Ben Sassen, Bruno Spinazzola, Amleto Elia, Rosanna Palermo, Beatrice Ruffini, Chiara Pellegrini, Chiara Manzoni, Mario Marche, Elena Bassi, Nadia Riolo, Orsola Sinisi, Susanna De Guio, Alessandra Marsiglia, Rita Maralla, Chiara Pelle, Alberto Baroni, Mariella Bussolati, Chiara Martucci and Aslı Kıyak İngin. Thanks and greetings also to various collectives and projects, including Sale Docks, Otolab, Xing, moorroom, Kinkaleri, Stalker, Université Tangente, Osservatorio Urbano-Lungomare, Videodance, Cinema Nova, Les Flottants, Immaginariesplorazioni, Ortodiffuso, and to the many that we are certainly forgetting…

Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to all those who provided suggestions and feedbacks on the text: Laura Colini, Lorenzo Brusci, Mauro Cicio, Michael Edwards, Alexandra Skedzuhn, Giacomo Tripodi, and to Paul David Blackmore for the great editing work.


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(?) After the weekly appearance online, the Exercises in Urban Reconnaissance will be published as a limited and numbered book edition of 200 copies. You can pre-order your copy here. Your pre-order is not binding: just before going to print you will be asked to confirm your order and provide your shipping details.