The top_OS csop_Ort (top_OS Group), consisting of established artists, lecturers and writers, is an artistic research collective, aiming at a complex, large-scale and long-spanning investigation of the notion of place and space (topos in Ancient Greek) in various manifestations. Connected to this, the collective understands itself as a societal and community-making force, as a virtual and sometimes even concrete meeting space, a continuous discourse on the theory and (artistic) practice around our topics in the widest sense.
In order to capture the notion of place/space and everything it involves, we identify the following focal points for our work:
investigating urban existence, as the paradigmatic space of our age, involving the social and historical aspects, the real and imaginary traumas and coping mechanisms of the city and the city-dweller;
a conscious reflection on the conceptual space thus opened, using and expanding the methodology of artistic research, and involving non-artistic disciplines as well;
investigating the capturability of space experience by means of photographic and cinematic techniques, in particular, exploring the tension between the immutable (atemporal) and the dynamic (temporal) components of our places and spaces; in general,
exploring the complex relation space and its perceiver, i.e., the very notion of locality itself, involving its digital and virtual appearances, exposing the idea of locus, as well as that of being-in-place, sometimes even questioning the locality-related preconceptions in art.
Thus, the name of the collective can also be read as a reference to the aesthetic, theoretic meaning of the word: underlying theme, recurring motif. The stilization of the name, especially the underscores and the unconventional capitalization, is a reference to our intended reflections on the omnipresent digital media and the increasing virtuality of our real and mental spaces; the word ‘csop_Ort’ is, in addition, refers to our own geographic locatedness (Berlin, Budapest), being a German-Hungarian word hybrid from Hungarian ‘csoport’ (group) and German Ort (‘place’).