Urban Subjects is a cultural research collective formed in 2004 by Sabine Bitter, Jeff Derksen, and Helmut Weber, and based in Vancouver, Canada and Vienna, Austria.
Together they develop interdisciplinary artistic projects focusing on global-urban issues, the texture of cities, and on civic imaginations. Urban Subjects do not work on a consensus model.
Amongst others, they have organized the exhibition Not Sheep: New Urban Enclosures and Commons at Artspeak, Vancouver, in 2006 and participated in the conference Contrapolis; or Creativity and Enclosures in the Cities at Poortgebouw and NAI, Rotterdam organized by Marina Vishmidt (Jan van Eyck Academy) in 2008.
Since 2008 Urban Subjects has collaborated with Vancouver Flying University on a public program regarding housing in Vancouver.
In 2009 they devised and edited the book Autogestion, or Henri Lefebvre in New Belgrade, with a previously unpublished manuscript by Lefebvre (Fillip/Sternberg, 2009) Press) and collaboratively produced a book with Bik Van der Pol and Alissa Firth-Eagland, entitled Momentarily: Learning from Mega-events (Western Front, 2011).
For WE: Vancouver at the Vancouver Art Gallery they wrote a manifesto concerning the historical endurance of the political imagination of revolution, a Manifesto for the Poetry of the Future, with geographer Neil Smith.
Currently they are developing an international research project on artistic works related to the urban affects of Olympics and Expos, “Where the World Was: Cities After Global Mega-events” and they are working on a project on new forms of autogestion in relation to the state in Caracas, Venezuela. Their essay on “The Spaces and Temporalities of Dual Power and Autogestion in Gramoven, Caracas” has been recently published in Waking Up from The Nightmare of Participation, edited by Nina Valerie Kolowratnik & Markus Miessen (Expodium, 2011).
Presently they are working on the project ,“Filling the Weak Points” regarding autogestion and horizontalidad, in cooperation with Kunstraum of Leuphana Unversity of Lüneburg and as artists in residence at the Leuphana Arts Program in 2012/2013.