Scanning The Horizon

Scanning the Horizon aims to create a digital archive of selected queer spaces in Berlin. It currently shows ten spaces that were digitally captured with a 3D laser scanner and then made accessible online. The spatial portraits are expanded through interviews with the spaces, allowing the locations to speak for themselves and tell their own story. The project sees itself more as a listening practice. In it, the cold and ostensibly neutral gaze of the scanner is complemented by the warm data of the interview. Scanning the Horizon regards existing places as part of a queer history: Only in the present is it possible to document these spaces in three dimensions and thus to archive them. This archive work nurtures a practice that writes history; a process that cannot be taken for granted, especially for queer spaces and their historical representation. If not us, then who's writing our story? The means and technologies of choice are not innocent, because the technology of the laser scanner is politically charged. The aesthetics of the resulting scans speak the language of digital mapping, reminiscent of the preliminary stage of the exploitation of urban spaces. Yet at the same time, the empty spaces seem like a utopian approximation – a space that can never be fully reached, always on the horizon, in another space and in another time. Scanning the Horizon does not claim to be complete. Many queer spaces are not accessible to outsiders and their security would be violated by scanning and making them publicly accessible. The current selection aims to portray a cross-section of queer spaces and is simultaneously dependent on the spaces and their own openness. The archive seeks to ask an important question: How will 3D representations affect history, narratives and archiving practices when such 3D representations of spaces become more and more part of our everyday lives? This interweaving of historical location and futuristic memory creates a narrative of rapprochement that cannot be described, only experienced.