Our project was created as a part of the workshop titled REACTION (MEDS 2013), that consists of a series of small urban interventions on selected locations in the Graça neighborhood in Lisbon. The main idea behind this workshop is to provoke alternative uses and relationships between the public space and the people from the local community. The space becomes activated through different actions that appear at the empty lots.
About REACTION 15.2
Behind the small art interventions that we installed in various locations around the neighborhood, stands a twofold agenda. Firstly to develop the notion of exchanging memories between the site and the users or visitors. We installed elements that point at some hidden or missing elements of the site, proposing alternative ways we perceive and engage with experiences in the urban space of Graça. By proposing these missing elements we want to point at a possibility for the users to become active participants of the public space. The second is to physically imprint information, as a kind of a branding strategy, that promotes the workshop. The installations appear, almost always in the same color, graphically unifying the different elements as a part of the branding strategy. Our interventions are intended to remain at the locations of the workshop after the other, temporary installations, are removed. Since all urban interventions of the REACTION workshop are different, our intention is to show a unified way to imprint the information on all locations of the workshop. The elements sometimes are interactive, in the form of a game, aimed to take the notion of participation even further.
About the INSTALLATIONS
Although varied in type, form, visibility, materiality and size, our installations are strongly centered around the idea of exchanging memories and imprinting information in urban space. We have seven different installations, some more permanent and others taking the form of an event. Most of the installations were produced utilizing the technology at the Fab Lab in Lisbon, while others were composed of found objects. We altered and manipulated the found objects in order to hide their original identity/memory and reveal a new one. Our group used the amenities of the Fab Lab in Lisbon and the expertise of its members for our project.
We located elements that characterize a certain location (a tree, a fountain, a decaying wall) and place installations that point at their “missing” qualities or uses. By pointing at what is missing we want to metaphorically show that there is always a possibility for another, alternative use of the urban space and provoke the users to think about this issue. The tree on the plateau at the first location was an element that gave a special quality of the site. A new canopy was placed that is hiding the original shadow of the tree. Our installation is a record or a physical preservation of the shadow of this tree cut from acrylic plate. At two other locations we saw fountains that were not in use. Immediately the idea came to point at the missing water that was the defining element of the fountains. The third installation took a decaying wall where we experimented with filling the holes on the wall with modular units. We used a box as a starting module that we then multiplied, as an improvisation performance, throughout the surface of the wall.
Strongly influenced by the tile-facades in Lisbon, and their decaying state, we use the spots where tiles are missing as the place of our installations. We installed newly fabricated tiles with laser-engraved information that relate to the REACTION workshop. The tiles are always placed in a sequence that begins with engraved pattern that connects to the neighbouring, existing tiles. The information engraved is a map of the locations where the workshop took place, directions, a declaration for urban rights and a QR code with the website of the workshop. We used acrylic, wooden and ceramic tiles for this installation.
Using one of the Miradors (viewing platforms) in Graça as a site for REACTION, we placed an acrylic plate with engraved skyline, declaration of urban rights, and a QR code. The skyline of Lisbon is drawn as a line based on personal interpretations of the cityscape. This plate points at the specific qualities of the site, as a viewing place, and promotes the users’ awareness about the city as a subject of perception.
The aim of this interactive installation is to provoke longer presence of the users at the sites and provide information. At each site of the workshop, we placed a puzzle, fabricated at the Fab-Lab, and once completed it provides information about the workshop and contains engraved motives about some characteristics of the locations. It is aimed at increasing the users’ awareness about these sites.
EVENT - PAPER PLANES - DECLARATION OF URBAN RIGHTS
This event was conceived as an act of sending the declaration of urban rights that was written as a part of the workshop to the community. We created stamps, laser engraved in rubber, and pre-cut blank pages that form the airplane to stamp the information on. The stamping is a metaphor of sealing the declaration of urban rights on a blank sheet of paper. Once stamped, the paper planes were folded and flown by the participants of the workshop as a symbolic act to spread the message of urban rights to the users.
EXHIBITION OF FOUND PHOTOGRAPHS
At one of the locations we placed an exhibition consisted of found photographs from one of the abandoned buildings in the neighborhood. We altered the photographs, using various techniques, concealing their original identity that enable a new story to be told.
EVENT - EXCHANGE OF FOUND OBJECTS
We changed the appearance and imprinted the logo of the REACTION workshop on objects that we found and offered them to the participants of the workshop. The aim was for each participant bring home one object as a remainder of the workshop and at the same time use the found objects that would otherwise become waste.
WORK IN PROGRESS
MAP IN INSTALATION
Damjan Kokalevski; Milan Dinevski;
and Group REACTION 15.2:
Ivana Kostovska, Anastasija Kanazarević, Arron Wilson, Hania Skapska, Vlasta Kubusova, Kveta Kubusova, Manuel M. De Las Heras,
Kristina Collender, Janine Tüchsen, Igor Sladoljev, Aurora Baba, Lukasz Jan Orlowski, Alberto Valiente Gonzalez, Alberto Galindo Perez
download RE.ACTION 15.2 booklet