Wired hat einen extrem spannenden Artikel über UX (Urban eXperiment), ein Künstlerkollektiv, die in jahrelangen Aktionen alte Kunstwerke restaurieren, die Uhr des Panthéon restaurieren oder Kinos unter dem Trocadéro bauen und dazu das jahrhunderte alte System aus Tunneln und Katakomben unter der Stadt nutzen. Underground-Art-Hacking in Kunstraub-Ästhetik, oder so ähnlich. Toll!
UX is sort of like an artist’s collective, but far from being avant-garde—confronting audiences by pushing the boundaries of the new—its only audience is itself. More surprising still, its work is often radically conservative, intemperate in its devotion to the old. Through meticulous infiltration, UX members have carried out shocking acts of cultural preservation and repair, with an ethos of “restoring those invisible parts of our patrimony that the government has abandoned or doesn’t have the means to maintain.” The group claims to have conducted 15 such covert restorations, often in centuries-old spaces, all over Paris.
What has made much of this work possible is UX’s mastery, established 30 years ago and refined since, of the city’s network of underground passageways—hundreds of miles of interconnected telecom, electricity, and water tunnels, sewers, catacombs, subways, and centuries-old quarries. Like computer hackers who crack digital networks and surreptitiously take control of key machines, members of UX carry out clandestine missions throughout Paris’ supposedly secure underground tunnels and rooms. The group routinely uses the tunnels to access restoration sites and stage film festivals, for example, in the disused basements of government buildings.
UX’s most sensational caper (to be revealed so far, at least) was completed in 2006. A cadre spent months infiltrating the Pantheon, the grand structure in Paris that houses the remains of France’s most cherished citizens. Eight restorers built their own secret workshop in a storeroom, which they wired for electricity and Internet access and outfitted with armchairs, tools, a fridge, and a hot plate. During the course of a year, they painstakingly restored the Pantheon’s 19th- century clock, which had not chimed since the 1960s. Those in the neighborhood must have been shocked to hear the clock sound for the first time in decades: the hour, the half hour, the quarter hour.
National Geographic hat einen schönen Artikel inklusive Bildstrecke über die Katakomben von Paris, die voller dunkler Gänge, Knochen, Gold, Clubs, Feuerspucker und Graffiti sind: Under Paris – Getting There: It involves manholes and endless ladders, What to Wear: Miner’s helmets are good, What to do: Work, party, paint—or just explore the dark web of tunnels. Ich hatte da vor knapp zwei Jahren schonmal was drüber: Feuerspucker und Graffiti in den Katakomben von Paris.
A man in blue coveralls is emerging from a hole in the sidewalk. His hair falls in dreadlocks, and there is a lamp on his head. Now a young woman emerges, holding a lantern. She has long, slender legs and wears very short shorts. Both wear rubber boots, both are smeared with beige mud, like a tribal decoration. The man shoves the iron cover back over the hole and takes the woman’s hand, and together they run grinning down the street.
Paris has a deeper and stranger connection to its underground than almost any city, and that underground is one of the richest. The arteries and intestines of Paris, the hundreds of miles of tunnels that make up some of the oldest and densest subway and sewer networks in the world, are just the start of it. Under Paris there are spaces of all kinds: canals and reservoirs, crypts and bank vaults, wine cellars transformed into nightclubs and galleries. Most surprising of all are the carrières—the old limestone quarries that fan out in a deep and intricate web under many neighborhoods, mostly in the southern part of the metropolis.
Under Paris – Getting There: It involves manholes and endless ladders, What to Wear: Miner’s helmets are good, What to do: Work, party, paint—or just explore the dark web of tunnels (Bild oben: Zoriah Miller)
Der international bekannte und preisgekrönte Fotojournalist Zoriah Miller (Snip von Wikipedia: „Initially trained in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Aid to Developing Countries, he worked for international aid organizations such as the Red Cross before returning to photography after a long absence“) hat Menschen begleitet, die Nachts in die Katakomben von Paris einbrechen, um dort Graffiti neben Knochen zu malen und auch mal ein bisschen Feuer zu spucken. Pure firegraffitiabandoned Awesomeness.
Deep below Paris’ winding streets lies a vast network of subterranean tunnels and caverns stretching more than 300 miles/777 kilometers. Formerly mines and quarries, the catacombs became a dumping ground for human remains in 1786 when Paris’ cemeteries began to overflow from generations of the dead. The catacombs have had many uses over the centuries, including housing members of the French Resistance and a German bunker during World War II.
Now Paris’ Catacombs are explored by small groups of urban adventure seekers and partiers called Cataphiles. They illegally descend into the tunnels to explore, dig, take part in parties — some of which last for days — and place new art and graffiti on the walls. Entering through the city’s sewer systems, metro tunnels and other secret entrances begins a game of cat and mouse between the Cataphiles and the French police unit tasked with patrolling the tunnels, the Catafics.
For years I have wanted to explore the Catacombs of Paris but have not been able to get access, as it is even very difficult for most Parisians to get connected with a group willing to take them into the tunnels. On a trip last year I met up with a group of Cataphiles who offered to bring me into their world and allow me to photograph a two-day descent into the Catacombs.
Schönes Video von Space Invaders 763. Paris-Invasion.
The structure was built between 1887 and 1889 as the entrance arch for the Exposition Universelle, a World’s Fair marking the centennial celebration of the French Revolution. The structure of the Eiffel Tower weighs 7,300 tons. Depending on the ambient temperature the top of the tower may shift away from the sun by up to 18 cm (7 in) due to thermal expansion of the metal on the side facing the sun. The tower also sways 6-7 cm (2-3 in) in the wind.
Dieses Langzeitbelichtungspanoramafoto von Paris sieht aus, als würden nach einem Erdbeben der Starke 18 in der ganzen Stadt Magma-Massen durch die Straßen laufen oder als wär die Hölle ausgebrochen oder sowas. Streets on Fire, yeah! Wie sagt man eigentlich korrekt zu einem Langzeitbelichtungspanoramafoto? Das Wort liest sich dermaßen holzig, bä.
Langzeitbelichtungspanoramafoto, Langzeitbelichtungspanoramafoto, Langzeitbelichtungspanoramafoto, Langzeitbelichtungspanoramafoto, Langzeitbelichtungspanoramafoto, Langzeitbelichtungspanoramafoto, Langzeitbelichtungspanoramafoto, Langzeitbelichtungspanoramafoto, Langzeitbelichtungspanoramafoto, Langzeitbelichtungspanoramafoto, Langzeitbelichtungspanoramafoto. Narf. Und wer als erster unpassende Witze über unterbelichtete Hotelkettenerbinnen macht, fliegt raus.
Die Kooks spielen einen ihrer besten Songs vom Superalbum “Inside in/Inside out” vor Straßenpublikum in Paris. Natürlich alles geplant und arrangiert, aber so what? Außerdem ist die Süße, die Sänger Luke Pritchard da im Hauseingang anmacht, ganz mein Geschmack. Der Saque… Rockstars eben.