364 pages



DM 42,-

been there and back to nowhere

Geschlecht in transnationalen Orten / Gender in transnational spaces

post production documents 1988-2000

Ursula Biemann


The publication presents a cultural practice that focuses on gender in cross-border and migration movements and in the geographic context of post-urban zones such as the ones that have developed along the U.S.-Mexican border or on the periphery of Istanbul. From different perspectives, the projects look at how female bodies circulate in the transnational space, how gender relations are being regulated in the urban public sphere, in the subcontracting economy of international labor division and border economies, and in virtual and physical migration flows. At the same time, these projects pursue a continuing interest in gender and minority representations in the media and in the signifying systems of art and ethnography. Many of them have been realized in collaboration with migrant women in Europe or in global production sites. The publication sets out to link gender-specific social and economic analysis to the institutional critique of art and the cultural production and circulation of images.

published by b_books Berlin, info@bbooksz.de

Distribution for the U.S.A: www.autonomedia.org



Diaspora, Border and Transnational Identities/ Diaspora, Border und transnationale Identitäten by Avtar Brah; Survival and Exploraterrarism. Re-mapping the posthuman space/ Überleben und Exploraterrarismus. Den posthumanen Raum neu kartographieren by Yvonne Volkart;


art projects ... video scripts ... interviews ... texts ... images

performing the border

video essay 1999


A video essay set in the Mexican-US border town Ciudad Juarez, where the U.S. industries assemble their electronic and digital equipment, located right across from El Paso, Texas. <performing the border> looks at the border as both a discursive and a material space constituted through the performance and management of gender relations. The video discusses the sexualization of the border region through labor division, prostitution, the expression of female desire in the entertainment industry, and sexual violence in the public sphere.

Includes: Performing the Border - Gender, transnational bodies, and technology, an essay by UB, interview with Bertha Jottar, border script and other photographic documents

kültür - a gender project from Istanbul


Kültür is a research and exhibition project involving eight women from Istanbul who are artists and/or social scientists of the media and urban studies fields engaged in cultural analysis and art production on the subject of urban space, the correlation between centre and periphery and the position of women within these social and economic structures, particularly women in the garment industry. We developed this project together, first for an exhibition at the Shedhalle, Zurich, later for a publication, and finally for another project at the Istanbul Biennial in the Fall of 1997. The Biennial project focused on issues of migrancy, urban politics and Istanbul's plan to become a global city.

Includes text: Outsourcing and Subcontracting

mediated identities

a collaborative cultural production


This project has been conceived as part of the exhbition"Art Strategies in the Nineties," at the Glarus Art Museum. It comprises the installation of a collection of media images of women from the South and a one-week workshop with migrant women held in a mountain house in Klöntal, a nearby alpine valley. The workshop focused on media representations of gender and ethnicity and brought forth two collaborative productions: a fotonovela and a video.

... "As soon as a channel opens for minority representations in the press or the electronic media, the first impulse is always to contradict the criminalizing, stigmatizing images by posing positive ones. Producing positive images is an obvious motivation. But such counter-representations are relatively ineffective because they don't really counteract the other reductive media images, since these are already positive in the articulation of very specific, albeit diverging, interests. Critical media producers therefore feel it is extremely necessary to portray their own community in its entire complexity, including inner conflicts, even at the risk of once again being perceived as a trouble spot." ...

Includes text on media criticism, the collaborative projctes and other videos by Simin Farkhondeh and Bertha Jottar

Writing Desire

video 2000

Writing Desire is about the rapport between words and body and the creation of desire. The fast-paced video links the writing of romantic desire by means of electronic communication technologies to the increasing disembodiment of sex-uality and commercialized gender relations. The booming bride market emerges as a site where the virtual and the physical exchange of bodies converge. The video examines the different subjectivities produced through this exchange in both the industrial world and in post-socialist and Southeast Asian countries and looks at their respective desires.

bodies move through various spheres .. passing through transnational spaces .. shopping for another body .. that represents desire .. that represents pleasure .. bodies turn to images .. bodies turn to words .. bodies turn to codes .. culturally coded .. always .. a simple electronic device .. has allowed to order bodies .. passing borders .. passing officials .. passing through transnational wires .. to some proper place (from the script)


and other projects: Global Food, Lexicon Hispanica, Platzwechsel, Zwischenräume ...

...To operate both inside and outside the art context in pursuit of a language that could mediate these worlds was one of the major challenges at the end of the eighties, when the art museum still played a decisive role in setting aesthetic and political standards. This dilemma has decreased in recent years, since lately the international artist and media activist community has become increasingly networked and thus many of the most relevant cultural events have begun taking place outside the major art institutions. ... (from the introduction)

ursula biemann been there and back to nowhere Geschlecht in transnationalen Orten/ Gender in transnational spaces, postproduction documents 1988 - 2000, english/german, 364 pages, 4-color, 42,-
published by b_books Berlin, info@bbooksz.de
U.S. distribution by Autonomedia New York, info@autonomedia.org

isbn 3-933557-12-7