Stalker urban art laboratory
2 February - 20 March 2016

A path of research in the city, the place par excellence of creation and valorization between the formal economy and informal markets.

The ambiguity of aesthetic, moral, ethical and social values is investigated in the city of Rome, a territory capable of spontaneous self-organization on both the environmental and the social level. Research to explore the field of surplus and disproportion in art, aesthetic experience and knowledge production. Crossing Rome, one of the largest cities in the world in terms of geographical extension (the next nine largest Italian cities would fit into its boundaries, an area larger than that of Moscow, London and Berlin), we follow traces of values that differ from the classic values of economics, of equivalence rather than measure, to make the disproportions evident, the singularities and ambivalence of the contemporary.

In 1870 the landed gentry managed to make immense estates enter the municipal territory, shifting Rome – which had become the capital – from agricultural feudalism to metropolitan feudalism. This infinite resource of land for construction made the expansion of Rome a centripetal flight towards the unreachable city limits, carefully leaving areas empty to multiply their value.

Since then, this stratified city has continuously rethought itself inside its own limes traced in the Roman era, advancing by expansion without addressing the problem of recovering, reabsorbing, sewing back together what had already been built. Thus the modern city has fallen into ruin a little at a time: first its famous Ager Romanus, then the large public structures of the 1800s, then the Fascist city, the informal city, the city of public development of the 1970s and 1980s. A fall into ruin that clearly has its own economics, its own perverse, corrupt, even mafia-type logic that somehow produces surplus value.

Today the paradox has been reached of entire city pieces that become ruins even before they have been finished and utilized: from the Colosseum to the gigantic structures of the Sports City of Santiago Calatrava, the past and future of the city seem to both lie in ruins.

The value of the metropolitan territories explores abandoned and under-utilized spaces, crosses and inhabits “urban denial” capable of welcoming those who are rejected, of giving rise to unknown social forms often neglected in a short-sighted way, or even openly obstructed by the administration of Rome. A program of research on the informal use of ruins to cross those territories capable of envisioning original urban arrangements, beyond the many failures of the contemporary city and its ruinous speculative economy.


Rome stripped bare
Stalker Archive. Re act testimonies and places of experience    
The intersection between the archive of collective experience, which Stalker has promoted in Rome in the last twenty years, the testimony of those who participated those events and new actions to carry out where the research has taken place, provides an initial trail for the exploration of metropolitan territories. Measuring the spaces of the city through the time of experience we will try to know, share and renew the tools of reasearch and action, to incite and promote radical practices of urban and social transformation.

2 February 2016
H. 20,00

Studio Roma Atelier

#1 Archive in use
Stalker through the Actual Territories (5 – 8 October 1995)

The Territori Attuali (Actual Territories) represent the negative of the constructed city, interstitial and marginal areas, abandoned spaces or spaces in transformation. Places of repressed memories and the unconscious development of urban systems, the dark side of the city, the spaces of confrontation and contamination between organic and inorganic, nature and artifice. Here the absorption of man’s refuse on the part of nature produces a new horizon of unexplored, mutant and virtually virgin territories, which Stalker has called Actual Territories, using the term actual to indicate the “becoming other” of these spaces. The Actual is not what we are, but instead what we become, what we are becoming, i.e. the Other, our becoming-other (Foucault). These territories are hardly intelligible and therefore hardly designable, because they lack a positioning in the present, and are therefore extraneous to contemporary languages. Knowledge of them can only happen through direct experience: they can be witnessed but not represented. The archive of these experiences is the only form of mapping of the actual territories.

4 February 2016
Meeting point: H. 10,00 Metro B line Laurentina station

#1 Re act

Laurentina, Flint quarry

An itinerary from the last metro stop to the flint quarry abandoned in the mid-1970s between Via Laurentina and the GRA. A crossing of places under transformation, a nature reserve, specimens of low-cost and subsidized housing, new urban settlements. This walk leads to where Stalker, in 1996, activated a collective action as a tribute to Robert Smithson, who in this same place in 1969 made Asphalt Rundown by pouring asphalt over a cliff.

11 February 2016
H. 18,30

Studio Roma Atelier

#2 Archive in use

The games of the Campo Boario (1999-2007)

Campo Boario, the zone of the former Testaccio slaughterhouse in Rome, is an area that has been abandoned since 1975. In May 1999 Stalker, invited by the Biennale dei Giovani Artisti, proposed the insertion in the multicultural context of Campo Boario of the community of Kurdish refugees from Turkey. Having arrived in large numbers due to the presence of their leader Abdullah Öcalan, who came to Rome to apply for asylum, the Kurds built a cardboard village near the Colosseum, known as “Cartonia,” offered to the Romans as a hospitable place of encounter, but quickly dismantled, scattering the Kurds into the various nooks and crannies of the city. Through the workshop “From Cartonia to Piazza Kurdistan” conducted with architecture students, the association AZAD and Kurdish refugees, Stalker decided to occupy and renovate an abandoned building at Campo Boario, renaming it “Ararat.” In the following months, Ararat became a gathering place for the Kurdish community and a workshop of artists, architects, researchers and inhabitants in general, invited to share in the experience of this space.

Today Ararat has become an obligatory stopping point for Kurdish refugees in transit to the rest of Europe, and it is the central gathering palce for the entire Kurdish community in Rome. Every year, in the plaza, the Newroz holiday is celebrated, for the Kurdish New Year, when the community meets to dance in circles around a very high bonfire.

12 February 2016
Meeting point: H. 10,00 Metro B Piramide station

#2 Re act

Ostiense district, Ararat (Kurdish cultural centre)

A new exploration of the Ostiense neighborhood today, what remains of the experiences of the Mattatoio, since 2007 tranformed into the Città dell’Altra Economia. Stops at the Kurdish cultural center Ararat, Monte dei Cocci, the new market, a walk along the Tiber, the places of Vivilerive, one of the first actions of Stalker in 1993 and 1994, all the way to a glimpse between the fencing of the endless worksite of the former Mercati Generali.

7 March 2016
H. 18,30

Studio Roma Atelier

#3 Archive in use

Beyond-City Geographies (2006 – 2011)

The Oltrecittà (Beyond-City) is a wide-ranging concept in which spatial contiguity loses its meaning and belonging is no longer connected with neighborhood proximity. A concept that investigates how to approach a reality that is somehow emerging, not yet known, which we do not know how to map. This indefinite situation challenges classical instruments of investigation or laboratory, where a field is selected in which to conduct research: in this case it is just the opposite, as it is the research that has the objective of identifying a possible field. The Beyond-City is drawn by crossing it, drawing its trajectories, its stories, trying to grasp emerging features. The Beyond-City therefore requires a communal action of discovery/invention that can forcefully influence comprehension and therefore the design.

The first attempt to formulate an image of the Beyond-City was done with “Campagna Romana” in 2006: a crossing along eight axes, one hour by public transport from the main stations of Rome and five days of walking to return. Each group with at least one urbanist/shepherd, one photographer and one writer. In 2009 the collective experience “PrimaveraRomana” began, with crossings of the territories in transformation of the metropolitan area, places rich in practices of citizenship, and an opportunity to meet with neighborhood committees, associations, movements of housing struggle, communities of foreigners, examples of self-organization and self-renewal, spontaneous realities, in an attempt to make a shared drawing emerge of the becoming-other of the city/metropolis. An explorative experience to discover, share and invent a different Rome.


[Download PDF]

8 March 2016
Meeting point: H. 10,00 Metro C Parco di Centocelle station

#3 Re act

East Rome, Casilino 900

An exploration along the axes leading to the east, Via Prenestina and Via Casilina, and the Prenestino-Centocelle quarter. On the trail of Casilino 900, the largest Roma settlement in the city evicted in 2010, we will reach the ruins of the former Snia Viscosa plant, where a lake was born in 1994: nature’s resistance against abusive real estate speculation, preserved today by a neighborhood committee that is striving to make it open to the public.


[Download PDF]

15 - 16 March | 18 – 20 March 2016
Rome, various places

The Long Walk Out Of Contemporary


JOIN THE FLUX! Connect with the images and sounds produced during the walk!


A three days walk through the ruins of the contemporary city concludes the program of Studio Roma 2016: from the Colosseum to the Calatrava’s “White Shark” skelethon passing by Fuksas “Stranded Whale” at EUR and Koolhaas “City of Moles” in Ostiense.

The itinerary will produce a new Mirabilia Urbis Romae 2016.

Through the walk we will try to comprehend the reasons of the fall into ruins of contemporary city and we will investigare the ruins of contemporary as a possible infrastructure for the rise of a new urbanity like it happened in the centuries of the shift form Ancient to Modern Rome.


Meeting point: Friday March 18, H10.00 Colosseum (under Costantin’s Arch)


For the walk bring comfortable clothes and shoes, bring also a bag with your needs for the night and a sleeping bag (luggage will be carried directly by a van to the next sleeping place; please, light and small!)

For who does not want to sleep out we will provide a daily morning meeting to join the group.

To partecipate to the walk please confirm by email at studio.roma[at] by Wednesday March 16th.


Walking Tools Construction

Studio Roma Atelier, March 14th – 16th 2016 – Via Liguria 20, Rome

To prepare the walk, a three days workshop will be held at the Istituto Svizzero in Rome.





Monday March 14th

3pm – 6pm
Meeting with Giovanni Caudo, Professor of Urban Planning at Università di Roma Tre,

and former Assessor of Urban Planning of Rome from 2013 to 2015

6pm – 8pm
Mapping tools construction


Tuesday March 15th

10am – 1pm
Archive tools contruction. Visit to the Rome’s Historical Archive in Palazzo Altemps

3 pm – 6 pm
Mapping tools construction

6 pm – 8 pm
Open Archive: Arti Civiche and Stalker Walking School


Wednesday March 16th

10am – 1pm
Networking tools contruction. Experimental construction of a web and WhatsApp network to share the narration of the walk, together with Biennale Urbana, Venezia

3pm – 6 pm
Presentation and final setting of a mobile handy structure and final logistic problem solving



18 – 20 March


Roma, various places

Meeting point: Friday March 18, 10am, Colosseum (under Costantin’s Arch)

Gallery: #2 Archive in use The Games of Campo Boario - 11 February 2016
Gallery: #1 Re action Laurentina Flint Quarry - 4 February 2016
Gallery: Studio Roma opening and #1 Archive in use - 2 February 2016