Common ground: GPSme / Exitium

common ground / ‘kä-men ‘graund / noun
a basis of mutual interest of or agreement

The city has defined itself, since its origin, as a double territory with two qualities: to form a delimited space and, within that space, to connect to other territories. The elements of the city evolve in time, allowing its territory to grow out of its geographical and tangible limits.  As a delimited space, it develops a public perception, not only visible (with the right to be overseen) but also accessible (with the right to be visited and experienced) by its inhabitants.

Artists Klaus Fruchtnis and Pau Garcia have defined the city of Milan as a common ground for exploration and development for their residency projects. After a couple of weeks working in the field, the artists have reached a common field where they have encountered many intersections to explore together. Their common goal is to discover an intimate city – the one reserved for the inhabitants – a space of flanerie (sauntering) and wandering where a memory of a place can become very personal, whilst at the same time add to the collective definition of the identity of that same place, and the city as a whole.

GPSme and Exitium go beyond the bounds of any assumptions about forms. The projects highlight and converge on a personal point of view to describe the joint conjunction of form and consciousness as a collective perception.

GPSme is a participative and collaborative project developed in collaboration by artist Klaus Fruchtnis and Studio Azzurro ( The project involves urban walks, photography, digital drawing, videos, sound recording and online interaction with the public. With a Smartphone and its global positioning system the artist walks around the city discovering the infinite aspect of the urban space of Milan, walking randomly and recalculating his journey in real time as he travels. He explores the city through other people’s perception, and captures his own directly on the territory.

Exitium is a project about the destruction of traditional cartography; it is an exploration into new ways of generating city maps and analysing urban behaviours. Through the use of temporal data and local perception, the artist seeks to create new maps. Exitium is a collaborative project between Pau Garcia and the Istituto Europeo di Design (

Having explored and experienced diverse aspects of the city during the residency program, both artists agreed to collaborate on a perception: forms that appropriate both time and space in order to create a new physical yet perceptual way to rediscover the city. Common ground: GPSme / Exitum, proposes flexible, simple volumes and continuous surfaces that translate their three month experience on the territory.

About the exhibition:

“The urban landscape, among its many roles, is also something to be seen, to be remembered, and to delight in.” The Image of the City, Kevin Lynch

Shape #1, is a six-audio-sculpture that recomposes the shape of the city of Milan. As a topographic map, each sculpture, with its different shapes and features, determines the group of people who designed it (architects, designers, children, inhabitants, artists, etc.) The voices behind each sculpture share a memory or a personal experience about the city. As Italo Calvino wrote in Invisible Cities: “it is not the voice that commands the story: it is the ear”. This installation goes beyond a simple form, allowing the observer to discover a collective spatial perception through storytelling.

Shape #2, is a video installation that, as a proper environment, suggests to the observer distinctions and relations. The observer, too, has an active role in both perceiving it and in creatively developing the story of what he sees. Common ground: GPSme/Exitium is a place where perception allows the observer to organize, select and understand the information in the space. The observer is confronted with a large piece composed of city patterns, questioning him or her about the visual identity of the city.

Shape #3, is a short film that questions abandoned places and their particular characteristics of time and space. It also highlights the relationship between and the importance to the development of unexplored, uncharted and unused territories, leaving complete freedom to the observer to imagine what he wants.

Shape #4, is a holographic projection of digital drawings. During the residency, artist Klaus Fruchtnis has been tracing his journey, drawing what he sees. The drawings construct and deconstruct the journey as well as give a space-time frame to what he discovered during his urban walks. He considers his walks as a shifting limit that defines a border, which is visible in every line of his digital drawings.

Interactive & paper catalogue, both projects have been detailed and recorded as an online journal. They’re not only informative documents, but also a personal and perceptive journal that tells the story of the artists on the field. It is the common ground on which both projects have found an intersection to exist together.