From July 30 to August 24, 2006, a collection of individuals from three continents traveled together through Ljubljana, Zagreb, Novi Sad, Belgrade, Skopje, Prishtina, Tirana, Podgorica and Sarajevo in the Lost Highway Expedition. The general path of this ‘socio-aesthetic movement’ was to discover new ideas and practices of Balkanization.
The importance of understanding Balkanization has been underestimated, as we begin to see more and more of such fragmentation in the proliferation of economic, social and cultural enclaves, extraterritorial phenomena, shrinking cities, global cities, “tiger mappings” of political territories, gerrymandering of voting districts and other apartheids.
About 100 travelers joined more than 200 participants from the region, moving as a network of smaller groups with paths over a wider area. People often moved from one group to another, and people entered and left the expedition at any point. The Lost Highway Expedition was intentionally under-programmed to become an anarchistic practice of cultural production. By motivating the participants to define the project and its programs, it was also an experiment in the behavior of an emergent swarm. As a decentralized and non-hierarchical network, it was designed to produce multiple process and independent projects after the expedition – i.e., exhibitions, forums, publications, workshops.
Lost Highway Expedition is a project by Centrala Foundation and the School of Missing Studies. Its founding members are Azra Aksamija, Katherine Carl, Ana Džokić, Ivan Kucina, Marc Neelen, Kyong Park, Marjetica Potrč and Srdjan Jovanović Weiss, together with partners in the cities of the Lost Highway Expedition.
Engaging the City is an independent monthly lecture series that serves as a venue for individuals in a variety of professions who engage the extraordinary and exciting complexity of contemporary cities in novel ways. Lecturers are from the fields of architecture, urban planning, and urban design, but also art, philosophy, film, and activism.