Pia Lanzinger_Geraldton

Pia Lanzinger – collaborative art and social games

Pia Lanzinger creates socially-engaged art with places and communities, or in her words “focuses on collaborative projects in public spaces that attempt to notice the breaks and inconsistencies in the conditions of daily existence, and enable communicative experimentation.


Andrew and Pia Lanzinger

Andrew Outhwaite and Pia Lanzinger chatting at CityHive

Thanks to Spaced 2, Western Australian Museum, City of Greater Geraldton, Pia will be working on “Geraldton goes Wajarri. A city revitalises its endangered aboriginal language. Her work here will involve range of partners and co-creators to “smuggle in Wajarri in the public space of the City of Greater Geraldton in a very playful and enjoyable way”, specifically through encouraging individuals and institutions to ‘adopt’ Wajarri words. There is a website for her current work in Geraldton and you can visit Pia’s own website for more about her past. Or, you can connect with her directly via email ( and at CityHive (where we’re supporting her work through free coworking).


A meeting with Gloria Merry, a Wajarri Yamaji woman, at Mount Wittenoom Station in the Murchison region

A meeting with Gloria Merry, a Wajarri Yamaji woman, at Mount Wittenoom Station in the Murchison region


Chatting with Pia reveals themes in her previous work that are very relevant to our members and the wider Geraldton community. I (Andrew) particularly appreciate the way she connects and collaborates with communities as part of the creation process. And, the way her art not only reveals invisible people, spaces and dynamics, but turns people from passive viewers to active ‘players’ in the games or co-creators of the experiences and artefacts. Along with Five Geraldton the ‘Before I Die‘ wall and other artistic interventions,  these participatory projects seem like a naturally ‘artistic’ complement to the more rational and democratic ‘2029 and Beyond’ and ‘#cggchanges’ projects in enabling new conversations in our community. There’s something so powerful in the invitation to a sort of collective, engaged self-reflection and awareness with, and ‘as’ a community.


Some examples of Pia’s previous work are great examples of this same dynamic. For instance, she recently completed a project in Berlin what engaged citizens in the ‘Gentrification game’. This involved a literal ‘game’ on the streets, that revealed the invisible ‘game’ that property speculators, investors and developers, renters, and governments are constantly playing within urban environments.


“While the state is busy with saving the banks, the Berlin real estate market is transforming into an allegedly profitable industry: formerly reasonable and affordable rental flats are now objects of speculation and in short supply. »Rolling Dice for Berlin« transmits this logic into a huge board game to be played in the public sphere. The implications of the situation and the different trials to reclaim the right to the city are reconstructed as part of a global game with local particularities. This permits a different view on the rules of the game and on the spell dominating the events”


Transforming something from invisible and distant to something visceral and engaging is a common theme in Pia’s previous work, like creating highly visible musical and theatrical performances with formerly ‘invisible’ street sweepers in Mexico. Or, in her study of the living conditions and preferences of people in a new housing estate, where they engaged in a ‘walking tour’ of each other’s apartments and the whole experience was documented in a glossy magazine in the style of a commercial home decorating magazine.


Pollinators members who either work ‘solo’ from home or are CityHive coworkers may also appreciate two of Pia’s previous projects. One was a study of the relationships and dynamics of a commune, another looking at ‘teleworkers’ and their home offices. Her “Archive of a commune” strikes close to home for coworkers, as she documented the microcosm of the communal life of 31 residents in a commune in Cologne, eventually representing all the inhabitants as potted plants, displayed on a terrace. A real ‘ecosystem’ to reflect the social one.

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