Madrid (April 30 – September 22, 2014 / Sabatini Building, Floor 1)
Through a selection of works from different time periods and in different mediums (paintings, sculptures, installations, videos, photographs, archive devices…), this exhibition analyses the socialising, transgressive and political potential of play when it appears linked to public space. The premise of Playgrounds is twofold: on one side, the popular tradition of carnival shows how the possibility of using recreational logic to subvert, reinvent and transcend exists, if only temporarily. On the other side, there has been two fundamental constants in utopian imagery throughout history: the vindication of the need for free time (countering work time, productive time) and the acknowledged existence of a community of shared property, with a main sphere of materialisation in public space.
The historical-artistic approach to the political and collective dimension of spaces of play, on view in this exhibition, gets under way in the second half of the 19th century, a time that signals the start of the process of free time becoming consumption time; a process that threw the concept of public space into crisis as it started to be conceived not only as an element for exercising (political) control, but also one for financial gain. Thus, cities started to become the objects of rational and utilitarian planning, where the field of architecture was redefined, providing spaces for play with new values, built as one of the key points of the modern ideology of the public.
Notes and presentation of today´s talk at #bidsantander2014 today
Aquí van mis notas y la presentación de la conferencia en el curso sobre sostenibilidad de ciudades en Santander el 30 de julio. Enmarcada en una sesión más amplia compartida con David Sim (Gehl Architects), la exposición trataba de acercar algunas ideas críticas sobre cómo abordar proyectos de participación ciudadana en espacios públicos.
A text I was commissioned last year by Barcelona Province government has been made public. It was part of a broader project in which I helped a task force of municipalities interested in understanding the possibilities and threads of transitional activation projects in unused or abandoned spaces in cities. This has not been my main interest in the last few months, but it always appears as new public speaking events or short projects. In fact, soon I will be able to share a new project at the end of the year but, in the meantime, here is this publication.
Cities at Night was launched by some Spanish astrophysicists who started following an astronaut’s Twitter account. “For us his nighttime pictures were like fire for a firefighter—it’s pretty, but you must control it,” says Alejandro Sanchez from Complutense University of Madrid. “We want to make the nighttime images useful for citizens, journalists, and scientists. And make this beauty accessible—but also make people think about if all this waste of energy is really needed.”
Birloki system is an urban space activator, an interactive outdoor piece of furniture, a smart adaptive interface between the city and the citizen. We developed the first of a family of elements that are alive in the city. They do not remain static, they interact, they can be customizable, they can be removed and changed, they breath with the rhythm of the city.