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Art IRL > Non-Pedigrees > The Glamorous > Istanbul > Cultivated Neon Signs

Non-Pedigrees constitute art IRL. Non-Pedigrees are those graphical, spatial, and medial forms that can still be found in Istanbul. Non-Pedigrees contrast to the self-reproducing International Style that is called contemporary architecture, design, or art. Non-Pedigrees contrast to those forms that not only represent the global cultural system, but also global capitalism (for example müteahhit). They […]

Non-Pedigrees constitute art IRL. Non-Pedigrees are those graphical, spatial, and medial forms that can still be found in Istanbul. Non-Pedigrees contrast to the self-reproducing International Style that is called contemporary architecture, design, or art. Non-Pedigrees contrast to those forms that not only represent the global cultural system, but also global capitalism (for example müteahhit). They have not sacrificed local identity to modernity, they are still somehow specific. Non-Pedigrees contrast to the big player forms in attention, in appreciation, and in cultural reflection. They are not considered as intended or authored; they are not recognized at all – if ever, as trash or kitsch.

Non-Pedigrees are leftovers, marginal, often too-small-to-be-noticed forms and spaces that live their life below radar level. They are usually not product of any adequate profession – be that art, architecture, or design. They have been there for the ordinary and common life. They have been there for a business that has already lost the competition within global economy, but that carries on. Non-Pedigrees do not comply with aesthetic or qualitative standards and fashions.

But they are valuable in at least three points, referring to the international global style. They contain the local, the romantic, and the glamorous. Insofar, they are able to create an organic public sphere, open for participation, business, and talk. Thus, they embody spaces, essential for political, social, economic and aesthetic negotiation.

The Glamorous > Istanbul > Cultivated Neon Signs

Istanbul has been described as exotic and oriental. These terms obviously originate in a Western perspective, in which Istanbul appears as the ‘Other’ of the old European city. Yet, there might be a better term to describe specific phenomena in Istanbul: glamour. Glamour stands for something irrational, ineffable, and enchanting. It is rather the uncontrolled situation than the image-perfect sleek scenery. It is not associated with success and superiority; that would confuse it with glossy or luxury. Glamour is a more ambivalent, difficult, broken, and even critical form. Glamour is not just beauty. It is rather an effect of imagination than a particular kind of style. It is inspiring in that it includes the risk of achieving something that is actually not achievable: the light works that refer to shops that are hardly there at all, too small, too barren. These lights promise outside, what there does not exist inside. Yet, they have these led signs that attract attention and mean modern business. They are hilarious and in that they show optimism and energy literally and metaphorically. They create a street show that is communicative [1] challenging communal high voltage decoration. They promote the business while creating a special kind of symbolic architecture, using iconic signs, smileys, hearts, crowns, etc. They are popular culture producing an aesthetic without knowing. Still, they light the nights for local, mostly poor, neighborhoods, characterized by layered complexity and seeming chaos. It is these aspects that decide over death and life of great cities – adapting the title of the famous book by the American activist Jane Jacobs [2].

[1]
Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, Steven Izenour: Learning from Las Vegas, MIT Press 1972
[2]
Jane Jacobs: The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Random House 1961


Internet Café and Call Shop, Sultan Internet House, Aksaray, Istanbul
In Sultan Internet House it is possible to “smoke water pipe and check mails at the same time”. The surreal space is about 40 square meters and full with computers. They play loud arabesque music inside; smoking is allowed. The neon signs are produced by Animasyonlu Led Tabela in Istanbul.


Internet Café and Call Shop, 3D Internet, Aksaray, Istanbul
Also called Cybercafe, this internet café is at the basement of an apartment building. It advertises 3D Internet with blinking LEDs. Below the typography, there is an image of 3D-Glasses that do not blink anymore. On a big poster in front of the entrance they write “3D Internet, for the first time in Istanbul”. Inside, there are about 20 computers connected with 3D-Glasses and headphones, separated with simple wooden boxes from each other, like the open space office of Jacques Tati’s Playtime. Inside this wooden boxes not PlayStation but PolyStation game consoles are connected. The owner tells, “we have internet, yes, but if you want to see 3D, we have games and films.”


Internet Café and Call Shop, Internet C@fe, Aksaray, Istanbul
They say: “We don’t have Internet”. They offer orange juice, toast, coffee and black tee. Students with uniforms are not welcome inside.


Internet Café and Call Shop, Internet Club, Aksaray, Istanbul
Internet Club, actually is a 24 hours open game hall, with a huge range of games. They also check examination notes, or make reservations from hospitals for old people, who do not have internet at home and “print everything you want with a laser-printer”. On the shop window it is written in English: “Have Arabic Keyboard”. They offer Playstation 3, Digital TV, Cinema 3D, Call Shop as written at the entrance door. Everyone can become a member of the Internet Club.


Photography/Internet Shop, Ender Teleskop, Sirkeci, Istanbul
In Ender Teleskop, the reconstruction of one of the first built telescopes by Galileo is exhibited. On the shop window there are a lot of binoculars, telescopes. Inside, there is wireless internet and black tea for free, and a big table for laptops.