The BCA-I Versions
The BCA-I has had many versions. The grid on which the BCA-I is based returns unconsciously in the first drawings of the border experiences. It is only during the Research Studio at the RWTH in Aachen and in collaboration with students in that studio that the grids have been worked out more and more by going out and adapting them each time.
Herewith all the versions of the BCA-I in chronological order.
The Balance of the BCA-Instrument
BCA-Instrument is a grid helping the border crosser to document the BCA. The BCA-I is carried along during the border crossing but is usually redrawn afterwards, for real[RK1] . Recording, documenting and noting in a grid has many advantages and disadvantages. The strict direction of border experiences in a grid is compelling and influences and guides the border experiences. At the same time, the BCA-I also can structure and, on the basis of this structure, facilitate a more intense and focussed experience in the field.
It is difficult to find a balance in steering and structuring the documentation of the border experience and leave enough room for the autonomous, personal performative and intimate experience of the border area in the BCA-I. The challenge is to find a balance between a fixed language without fixing the experience. To promote the readability and divisibility of border experiences without sacrificing the border experience itself.
The BCA-I tries to keep that balance by:
- The upper part of the BCA-I asks the border crosser to link his experiences to more traditional maps and representation techniques by drawing the BCA on existing maps and representing the border by means of a legend. Because of this, the personal and individual border experiences are not isolated but linked to known representation techniques and localised clearly.
- The lower part of the BCA-I asks, by means of horizontal strips, to draw each border experience in a new strip during the BCA and to connect them with the upper part of the BCA-I. As such, the different border experiences can be compared with each other and can be unambiguously located on the upper part of the BCA-I.
- Each strip on its own is subdivided into different parts, each of which asks the border crosser to map out the border experience in a diverse way, in a different scale and representation technique.
In addition to these three aspects directly linked to the design of the BCA-I, the BCA-I forces a different view on the border as a line. The border is no longer a thin black line that must be crossed. Instead, by organising the grids perpendicular to the border, the border becomes an experience that is built up in several, sometimes hundreds of metres before and after the actual (crossing of the) border. This makes the border flexible, dynamic and different in impact and ‘thickness’ (and thus avoids drawing a ‘black line’).
[RK1]Tja, toch niet echt ‘voor het echie’