124 Spontaneous interventions

This year the U.S. pavilion at the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale does not feature any extraordinary building. Instead the exhibition is a collection of 124 spontaneous interventions in public space, carried out by a wide variety of actors: activists, designers, architects, artists, scholars and so on. The exhibition include talks, conferences, artistic interventions and all kind of initiatives of people who claim their right to the city.

They also published this collection online and you can review each of the projects on their internet site. There you can find tons of inspiration for your own city making!

The following projects are a short selection.

Pixelator

© Jason Eppink

© Jason Eppink

Pixelator is a quite simple strategy to turn advertisement spaces into colorful surfaces, free from any commercial interest. With pieces of foam pasted to the billboard, the image behind the foam pixels are blurred and become abstract.

Sightlines at the entrance of New York’s subway stations are prime visual real estate, and such real estate comes with a price tag—one paid more easily by promoting commodities than art. Artist Jason Eppink, however, devised a way to appropriate these LED billboards for a more artful purpose: Pixelator, a homemade foam core and paper screen that can be affixed to any of the monitors, transforming commercial pollution into abstract projections of light and color. The results are wholly spontaneous and dependent on the advertisements hidden behind the intervention. In keeping with this open-ended spirit, Eppink has posted on his webiste simple instructions for building your own Pixelator.

 

New York Street Advertising Takeover

© PublicAdCampaign

© PublicAdCampaign

The Advertising take over is a project which follows the philosophy of the culture jamming movement. This cultural counter action was conceptualized back in the 90’s by Mark dery. While some culture jammers have limited resources and can only afford to do isolated interventions, this project in particular has a bigger scale.

Advertising dominates the urban realm, plastered over billboards, building walls, street furniture, and automobiles. Tired of this visual and mental pollution – and indignant that much of street advertising is illegal – Jordan Seiler, founder of PublicAdCampaign, organized the New York Street Advertising Takeover. After three months of preparation, for one day Seiler and a team of 20 set out with military precision to hundreds of locations, where they whitewashed 20,000 square feet of illegal advertising. Over one hundred artists, activists, and residents then claimed this liberated space with their own artistic or personal sentiments. As a result, the city took action against the most offensive illegal advertiser.

 

 MyBlockNYC.com

© MyBlockNYC

© MyBlockNYC

This project portraits the reality of the streets online. In this way the citizens can become aware of the ever evolving identity of the city and the rich variety of people who are involved in its development.

 MyBlockNYC.com is an interactive, user-generated mapping website populated with personal video accounts of the life and culture of New York City. The public is invited to upload videos and tag them to the exact time and location where they were shot. The MyBlock map conveys not just the geography of the city but the stories, culture, and style that define a location. Videos are searchable by location as well as by time of day and topic (for example, street fair, pizza, playgrounds). The goal of MyBlockNYC is to harness the creative potential of the city’s occupants and visitors, and to paint a rich, intimate, constantly evolving portrait of the city to be shared with others.