Multistable FiguresOn the Critical Potential of Ir/Reversible Aspect-SeeingVienna: Turia + Kant, 2014
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Cite as: Christine Hentschel, ‘KippCity’, in Multistable Figures: On the Critical Potential of Ir/Reversible Aspect-Seeing, ed. by Christoph F. E. Holzhey, Cultural Inquiry, 8 (Vienna: Turia + Kant, 2014), pp. 23–40 <https://doi.org/10.37050/ci-08_02>

KippCityChristine Hentschel

Abstract

This chapter explores the potentials of multistable figures (Kippbilder) for conceptualizing urban change. This potential, Hentschel argues, lies in the flip-moment itself, in the space-time of urban transformation. In Berlin-Neukölln, a neighbourhood long branded as poor and failing, multiple and partly conflicting flip-scenarios have begun to inspire and haunt the neighbourhood and its self-reflective talk. KippCity Neukölln is thus a flickering figure. But unlike an artefact Kippbild, which flickers between duck and rabbit, for example, KippCity Neukölln does not simply tip into a new pre-fabricated form, but rather wavers between different future scenarios. Neukölln’s flickering urbanity is thus nervous, full of uncertainty, frustration and enthusiasm. The article shows how the neighbourhood seeks escape from the dystopia of two dominant flip scenarios of ghettoization and gentrification by digging its claws into its Now.

Keywords: Berlin-Neukölln; future concepts; gentrification; ghettoization; multistable figures; multistability; urban change

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