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2007. DISCUSSION PANELS / 01 Feb 2007 / Dionisio Cañas. U-TURN


Beyond human horror there is enthusiasm. Enthusiasm doesn’t move mountains nor changes the world, but does order everything that surrounds us in a different way. The enthusiast’s look is not a stupid look that doesn’t see things in a critical way, quite the contrary: the enthusiast’s look can penetrate the human soul’s darkest corner and the surrounding social framework. On the other hand, he isn’t naïve, and doesn’t get high on life, but never sees life, wherever he may be, in the showcase in which society likes to present it.

Recently, between 2005-2006 a couple of artists (or facilitators and mediators, as they consider themselves): Neil Cummings and Marysia Lewndowska presented a project called “Enthusiasm: love films, desire and work” in London, Berlin and Barcelona. It was about showing a group of amateur Polish films from the communist era that they define as enthusiastic.

In an e-mail exchange between Anthony Spira and the exhibition’s two other facilitators (that later became part of the catalogue), these said the following: “the phenomenon of enthusiasm has become an important concept. Enthusiasm is a motivational force that enables all kinds of exchanges. We are using films to draw a trajectory of enthusiasm that seems to have been extracted from art, culture, leisure time, sport and self-organization to be more thoroughly manipulated every day; enthusiasm has substituted work as a resource of contemporary capital […]. Financial incentives aren’t necessarily the ones that arouse enthusiasm. And maybe, this implies certain contradiction, but the fact that something may be accessible and free of charge doesn’t necessarily mean that there are no financial incentives to produce it”.

Cummings and Lewandowska located, in the nineteen eighties, the source of an attitude in which artists not only produce objects but become mediators; “they offer connections or build situations”, and although they mention the French Situationists as pioneers, they quote several artists such as Hans Haacke and Julie Ault and the Group Material, describing them like this: “We are dealing with a group of artists that started to focus on the structures through which art is produced, promoted, distributed and consumed”.

However, the ideological affinities of the Estrujenbak group can be found in the forties in groups such as the Experimental Group or the Cobra Group and, of course, the Situationist International of the fifties and sixties. Constant in particular, who participated in the development and was the creator of some of these groups in a text in which he spoke of “Creative Capacity and Social Organization”, said: “The heart of the cultural revolution of the twentieth century is in the step that goes from an individual static expression to an experimental collective activity […] [the artist]. Has to break apart from the obsession of a mass technological society if he wants to enter a new domain of creative capacity, in a domain in which creative potential and social organization are inseparable […]. The configuration of the surrounding material world and the liberation and organization of everyday life are starting points to new forms of culture”.(Check Jürgen Claus’ seminal book, Expansion of art. Contribution to a theory and practice of Public Art, 1970).

But, beyond any theory, we, the ESTRUJENBANK group, for the last twenty years have been enthusiasts that, while attending exhibitions and reading art magazines, philosophers or theoreticians like Paul Virilio, some trendy critic, between New York, Madrid and La Mancha, cared about what we were doing. Therefore, as we loved life; to read and drink, because we thought that our surroundings were boring pyrotechnical games linked to the ruling values established by the art market, more than true works of art that provide some type of change in the aesthetic and cultural landscape, we decided that we were going to do only things that thrilled us beyond the reasonable limits that trends and artistic institutions offered. And therefore, one day, in January 1991, we thought: Why don’t we do an exhibition with groups of artists in a village of La Mancha? Why don’t we create an exhibit in Cinco Casas?

Although in the beginning there wasn’t any theoretical plan to do it, we did have a founding idea: we have to take today’s art out of its pink mine field, the world of galleries, museums, institutions, etc. We have to take it out of that polluted realm which is subject to the market’s rule and political manipulation, we have to leave the highway of art and go for the exit on the next traffic sign; and the sign that appeared was the “U-turn”. And thus we did, we started off from that traffic sign and on a rural bar’s napkin designed an exhibit, an event, that we thought might change something, if not the world, at least catch the critic’s attention on the fact that art, at that time, not only should be present in big cities, where it was assumed that everything new should happen, everything that could renew the direction in which art was going in the nineties, but that a rural village could also host what we thought to be the most interesting art of that time.

Then, with our own money and the collaboration of Cinco Casas, in Ciudad Real, we created a call, for groups of artists only, that said: “The intention of the exhibit is to reverse the centralist cultural order that intends artistic events to take part in museums or in the galleries of big cities. Also, we would like to underline the importance of collective artistic work instead of the elitist narcissism of the conceited artist. The generally critical activities of these types of groups keep them from becoming Mainstream. However, some galleries, the press and, recently, TVE (on the “Metropolis” program) are beginning to take notice”. And we kept saying: “Cinco Casas is a small rural village with a population of less than a thousand. It was founded in the fifties with settlers that worked in agriculture and ranching. This exhibition will be directly related to the social life of Cinco Casas. At 6 in the afternoon of Saturday 11th some heifers will be fought. In the exhibition space there will be a popular festival after the inauguration. The next day, on Sunday the 12th, a collective meal will take place with artists from different groups; the press and the entire village of Cinco Casas will be invited”.

The exhibition as a whole was a success and a failure at the same time. It would take too long to explain everything that took place there and, probably, we won’t change anything in the unstoppable dynamic of institutionalization of Spanish art, but without a doubt ‘we’ have changed and also the people of Cinco Casas. But although, after the event they were still peasants, for a few days, for a few hours, they contemplated pieces of art that disconcerted them, and also had to confront themselves, because one of the main pieces, maybe the most interesting, was a collection of family pictures (weddings, christening, relatives, friends) that they had brought and that, in the end, was the only piece that was left hanging in the hall. That is, that apart from the groups’ pieces, they themselves were an art piece. And, on the other hand, we, apart from our role as managers and artists, were simultaneously spectators and part of the show.

 The attacks from critics didn’t take long to appear in different places. Juan Manuel Bonet was the first in expressing disdain of an exhibition which he didn’t even visit, in an article titled “The new social realism”. There he said: “The accumulation of committed art exhibits in Spain in these last months produces a sense of boredom and déjà vu […] the opening of the Estrujenbank hall in Madrid (where last winter the massive collect against the PSOE took place) and of Social Legacy, a retrospective by Francesc Torres in Reina Sofía […] Dionisio Cañas’ call in a village of La Mancha with a guerrilla poster, which dealt with artistic collectivism […], the reflections on the Gulf war in this or that exhibition”. And then, Bonet, arrived at the following conclusions: “the lack of aesthetic entity of these proposals is accompanied by an ideological nerve […] to sell the pup out of, none other than, social realism, a readapted social realism in terms of language, but as educational and demagogical and sinister as its predecessors”. And, finally, concluded: “For democratic ethics and for aesthetic reasons we must keep condemning new social realism as the worst trend of the times”.

 Unfortunately for Mr Bonet, he had to coexist with Picasso’s “Guernica” for many years when he was appointed director of the Reina Sofia Museum of Modern Art; I guess such a piece of political art must’ve produced daily vomits in his system every time he had to walk in front of it. And, on the other hand, it’s surprising that a person that has written an article as the one quoted above, were appointed as director of one of the main institutions of modern art in Spain. Thus, during his reign in the Reina Sofia almost every exhibit that took place there produced what he himself expressed as: “a sad sense of boredom and déjà vu”, a soporific boredom, opposite to the type of enthusiasm we believe art should inspire.

But, getting back to his article, we responded, although our response was never published then. We were able to do it a year later, when we published our book Tigers use dynamite as perfume. However, Francesc Torres, without defending it directly, did publicly express his outrage regarding Bonet’s text in his article “Answer to the fifth column”, in which he said: “From the tone of that article we perceive the fellow’s opportunism and vengeance; from its content, the hypocrisy and the most absolute lack of intellectual honesty”.

I would say that, in spite of the democratic free right to speak up and give an opinion, we must admit that Mr Bonet showed that he had an absolute lack of understanding of certain Western art movements of the time. Since the Second World War (as I have already stated in the beginning of this conference), in the US and in several European countries, a more participative and committed form of art was being generated and promoted, committed with the public sphere, everyday realities, political and social immediacy and, at the same time, was questioning the relationship between artists and institutions, art and society in general.

More than fifteen years have gone by since the “U-turn” exhibit, and, although we keep defending enthusiasm, having dissolved ESTRUJENBANK as well as all the groups that were involved in the exhibition, the initial impulse remains in our view of the art world, in our artistic activities and also in our everyday lives as a sure detonator of creative activity. In the same way, we have institutionalized that enthusiasm, the clearest proof of which is the fact that I am speaking here right now, and also the publication of a whole book on Estrujenbank, or also the fact that the group was included in a series of exhibitions that took place in 2005 in Barcelona’s MACBA and in the José Guerrero Centre, under the title “Disagreements. On art, politics and public sphere in the Spanish State”, in which’s catalogue the “U-turn” poster was shown.

In the framework of the topics that are discussed in these debate sessions, “Exchanges: artistic experiences and strategies on public space”, the rural world is conspicuous for its absence. Without a doubt the whole concept of public art is being amply studied and questioned, but the rural world appears more like “nature”, or “landscape” in which to insert public art and, in many cases, bearing in mind the urban audience that visits these public spaces, planted in the landscape. I don’t mean to say that there haven’t been public art experiments in which the people of small rural villages have taken part, but we know very little about their reactions. With “U-turn” we learned something: in the rural world you can present any avant-garde type of art work, as controversial as it can be, but you have to be ready to accept their reactions which may be radical and aesthetically conservative to us.

This is what happened to us when some people from Cinco Casas didn’t like one of the pieces we had exhibited and a situation of conflict arouse without us expecting it. What was considered a disaster now seems just the opposite: I think that the “U-turn” was a complete success. A success, because, although the controversial piece by E.M.P.R.E.S.A was not judged for its aesthetic value, but for moral reasons (it showed several naked men), the rest of the works not only received total acceptance by some of the people in Cinco Casas, but also made them confront art forms that they didn’t understand, being a great feat to have art, artists and audience, in a kind of festive mix that ended with a dance, including a brief fight between an artist and one of the people of Cinco Casas. Everyone moved at the same time in the dynamism of a frenzied dance in a place where we had changed for a few hours not only the direction Spanish art was taking but also the relationship between artists and the rural world, between the succulent plunder of spectacle art and the modest budget of our exhibition, subsided by ourselves. 

With “U-turn” we hadn’t changed the world, not even the world of art, but we did change it for some hours in a specific location, and all of this was possible thanks to our enthusiasm and to some of the people in Cinco Casas. What else could we ask for? After all, the exchange, the interaction, although brief, is what matters and what probably makes any public art event flexible.

Ultimately, as Constant advocated for culture (urban in his case, of a New Babylon), we had achieved a creative exchange between artists and village; Constant said: “Every creative initiative, even if individual, becomes […] an intervention in the collective vital environment and produces, in consequence, the opposite immediate reaction of others. And each and every reactive act can become the origin of other reactions. A chain reaction of creative acts is thus created, that can only end when the climax has been reached. The climax point represents, then, an environmental moment, susceptible of being conceived as a collective creation”.

Our exhibition and our intentions had maybe reached that climax. The exhibition had lasted as much as the brake of a car in the highway, but something had happened, and that’s what matters, and all thanks to individual and collective enthusiasm, the energy of which remains alive with us today.


















2009-2010. URBAN BUDDY SCHEME / 06 feb 2009 / Studio Kawamura-Ganjavian (transcription)

Extracts from the MADRID_ABIERTO Urban Buddy Scheme sessions

6th OF FEBRUARY OF 2009Luis Úrculo (moderator)Studio Kawamura-GanjavianC.A.S.I.T.A.Uriel FoguéExprimentolimonCecilia AnderssonKyong Park (moderator)Alexander GerdelApolonija Šušteršič + Meike SchalkTeddy CruzKyong Park (questions)Discussion with the audience

Friday 06th/first session/presentation. Luis Úrculo (Key Portilla and Eli Ganjavian)(…after nominating the different teams)…we are talking about the city, not as an autistic project, but as that which exists, that functions…its citizens. They activate the city and due to that, a series of responses and projects are generated, to use this area as a means and place for reflection…


KEY… we met in London, in the University Office of London, later in the Royal College Art and later in the Architecture Association…after working in several countries and cities we decided to work in Madrid, the time was ripe, the city had a vibrant energy that had much to offer, as well as we had things to give in return…After some debate we have decided to show ‘our house’, our studio, the place where we work.When we arrived in Madrid three years ago we decided to create a place, a platform in which not only both of us would work but also other creative people, to develop synergies, to share and contaminate each other.Looking around we found Plátano street, in the north part of the Madrid centre, near plaza de Castilla, towards where the city centre gravitates. Urban development, skyscrapers, office buildings…but also, this area of Valdeacederas (within the neighbourhood of Tetuán) is an almost rural structure, which with the explosive growth of the 50/60/70’s has been gobbled up by the city.Here there is a light industry, garages, light metallurgy, printer’s…in fact, when we saw an old printer’s we had no doubt about it; that was the place for our platform.We are literally under the shade of Castellana’s four towers. ..

ALI...the main goal of this project was on how to put people from multiple disciplines together in one platform. How to manifest our ideology and things learnt in our teaching experience and to use it in one space. With the intent of putting our philosophy into practice, as architects, we started out from the smallest objects to the largest scales and understood that this only works by using systems……more than 38 people share our studio, contaminating each other and working in common projects……they are two main spaces, a ‘space for communication’, where we explore and communicate what we do to the outside world, and a ‘contamination space’ (we think of it positively) essential in order to work, to know what the other does and learn from each other.This is the context, but space is not relevant without the people involved.We didn’t choose the neighbourhood in an arbitrary way; we chose it for its possibilities and we are interested in our potential interaction with it.

.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Transcriber’s comments.(1) A video is played to show how neighbours ignore the studio’s activities…a street survey, ignorance of its existence, vague ideas, the acknowledgement of its presence…images of people that look through the window…and slowly change their opinion, friendly accepting these ‘youngsters’…(2) Then another video is played showing the ‘perplexity’ of studio members.“A great canvas where we can all participate…” says Ali.“…set designers, fashion, communication, architects; we also have the Banana Association, for ‘non-institutional’ cultural activities. On Thursdays there are activities, every two weeks there are conferences, debates, performances…”(3) Ali continues…”and as third part there is the ‘Banana TV Studio’, an audiovisual platform; we want to promote multidisciplinary audiovisual culture. The platform is made up of a series of editors, specialists on different fields that edit an audiovisual magazine selecting videos from Internet following the own editorial guidelines. We also have our own audiovisual production agency to publish interviews, articles, documentaries on the world of art, design, culture, architecture…We show a concrete project, an assignment by MATADERO. They asked for a reflection on different utopian cities of the XXI century. Upon the possibility of expressing only one answer, we are 38 people with different backgrounds…we decide to play four different short movies to show the plurality, its multiplicity. They are presented in a summarized form, a superposition of statements on the city’s inconveniences, the noise, the skyscrapers, the machines…the need for a utopian city, plausible… You can watch the videos in in studio banana TV…thanks”








2009-2010. URBAN BUDDY SCHEME / 06 feb 2009 / Wunderkammer + Ludotec (transcription)

Extracts from the MADRID_ABIERTO Urban Buddy Scheme sessions

6th OF FEBRUARY OF 2009Luis Úrculo (moderator)Studio Kawamura-GanjavianC.A.S.I.T.A.Uriel FoguéExprimentolimonCecilia AnderssonKyong Park (moderator)Alexander GerdelApolonija Šušteršič + Meike SchalkTeddy CruzKyong Park (questions)Discussion with the audience



(presentation)…a team made up of three architectural studies: BBLAV, GIWGALVEZ and MISC. They share a working space, developing projects together in realms such as architecture, urbanism, design, landscape and teaching activities. Their collaboration is not performed in the usual manner, but is a kind of lab that integrates different ideas and experiences.They will explain the general guidelines of their work, which is done both in common and individually. An investigation on urban utopia, understood as a transformation vector linked to reality.They have participated in the urban research lab called “ARTEPOLIS”, through an exhibit that includes proposals from 8 architectural studios on the utopian city. For 8 months “ARTEPOLIS” has tried to reflect on how to build a city, which, designed for man, propitiates interaction. Architects, critics and researchers have integrated a work platform on the concept of city, a concept to be dealt with from a humanist point of view. “ARTEPOLIS” is a project that has been developed in Intermedie (Madrid’s City Hall), in the Matadero Centre.

(conference) David Franco, Isabel Avichore, Luca BRunelli and Pablo Martínez, intervene.

David_ In the last decade, Madrid and its metropolitan hub have grown enormously by filling a territory which’s geography hardly offers obstacles to expansion.All the great operations developed in Madrid have been focused, on the one hand, on a disproportionate increase in housing construction, encouraging land speculation and, on the other hand, the construction of massive infrastructures needed to supply these housing areas.In this urban development model, based on the extensive occupation of the city’s external limits, the paradigm of sustainability and the current economic situation are shifting people’s attention towards the existing city.Recycling and the transformation of traditional areas seem to be the most efficient modes of development in relation to consumed resources. Therefore, it seems especially convenient to rethink our methods in areas which attract citizens’ interest…Madrid’s historic downtown.The trend in the handling and rehabilitation of these areas (not only in Madrid), public areas included, is to ‘respectfully’ build sham constructions that reproduce in an uncritical manner a series of features universally assumed to belong to a certain realm of history.In Madrid’s downtown these interventions have been specific and aesthetic, without questioning its identity as a crystallized and finished city, dismissing any relevant change or meaningful renovation. Is it possible to conceive more intense interventions in strategic points of such areas, introducing dynamics which are better adjusted to contemporary life? Can we imagine new forms of symbioses between the traditional city and life’s current complexity?

In reality, the traditional city is already a hybrid and complex structure where the public and private realm, mingle…an unequalled reality that the modern city has been unable to surpass. However, in some areas in downtown Madrid, what we find is an excessively homogeneous two-dimensional structure, in spite of its physical density and of use, where the lack of facilities and green areas (integrated in its fabric) involve a great pressure on local inhabitants. This triggers ‘gentrification’ processes which endanger city as a plural place.In opposition to this we can analyze the most beautiful monuments in today’s cities…the encounter between topography and urbanism…river banks, the great urban parks and, in general, the introduction of discontinuities and three-dimensional exception.…thus we can focus on a new view which is known by omitting historic, mythic and tourism values to understand the city as a physical structure and construct, on this hybrid notion of what three-dimensionality, new transformation tools for Madrid’s downtown.

Pablo Martínez_ The project we have brought to present, ‘TRIPTIP’, explores the possibility of two apparently opposed operations…increase the cities porosity, ‘sponging’, and increase the density of that which has been built, ‘process of three-dimensionalization’. The natural and the artificial, the planned and the unexpected, the real and the dreamt…we have chosen the Maravillas neighbourhood; we live and work in it. Also because the virtues and defects of Madrid’s downtown are intensified in that spot…It’s a neighbourhood with an absolute lack of facilities and representative public areas, with a homogeneous and compact fabric…therefore we conceive it as a generic environment, a scarcely qualified and neutral background to maximize radical change operations, triggering internal development and the renovation of Madrid’s centre.

Isabel Avichor_ and if a new vision on the role of Nature in the city enabled us to transform the main axis of the Maravillas Neighbourhood into a soft and flexible area focused on pleasure more than on simple circulation? We suggest a new type of urban space which combines the intense density of activities (typical of downtown Madrid) with a more smooth and cosy physical quality.

We start off from the street of San Bernardo. Due to its size it hides a great potential to be transformed in a radical way…usually taken by slow and irritating traffic, it’s the areas’ worst public spot.Maybe it would suffice to pedestrianize the area while lining some blocks in its margins…it would be a lineal garden which solved the lack of green areas in downtown Madrid.This new green, soft and inviting fabric that climbs through the walls, multiplying the surface for a new relation with the urban and rural realms, producing an urban three-dimension milestone. A system of towers superposed on the existing urban framework producing a new perceptive rhythm throughout the street’s route and creating, through the new skyline, a new scenery, direct descendant of the Gran Vía. These towers not only integrate new uses the neighbourhood needs, but include part of the apartment buildings upon which they support themselves, leaving them available for larger space facilities.

Our dream of creating a ‘Great Boulevard’ in San Bernardo materialises thanks to a synthesis between nature and urbanism, with vibrant life, flexibility and open to any imaginable use. A new type of public area that is able to synthesize modern man’s dream of living simultaneously immersed in urban while enjoying the pleasures of urban life.

Would it be possible to contemplate the sky, the horizon and the city from the inside?…and run and walk at 50 metres above the ground.This proposal was born out of this nostalgia for the skies in Velazquez and Goya that the city can barely see…we imagine a system of horizontal skyscrapers, that can provide the city with the facilities and uses it needs although lacking the floor on which to build them.A city with multiple layers that takes advantage of its elevated position to become supports for mechanisms that generate energy, tank-buildings to accumulate water from rain and irrigate the squares in which it’s supported…and to enable the creation of new atmospheres, fabricate clouds or rain, or if the temperature is appropriate, snow.

These new structures are built upon a series of small theme squares, some already existent, reprogrammed, and others to be created and construct a dispersed and un-hierarchical ‘sponging’, providing new poles of activity.Beyond solving the neighbourhood’s needs, with its lack of services, the proposal explores a new horizon of situations that respond to intangible necessities. Above all, enable something that Madrid’s development and topography has made impossible: a new relationship between the city and its outside.

We want to provide the city’s hub with the possibility of enjoying the marvellous and always changing sky and cycles of nature; linking locality and territory.To see the city from a new and surprising point of view, not only it becomes an amazing sight, but we recognize ourselves as part of it.Above, to run or walk at 50 metres high, to look at the Gran Vía from another perspective, bathing in winter in an indoor swimming pool and see the city at your feet, to have dinner in the 2 de Mayo square enjoying a beautiful sunset, to have breakfast in Fuencarral street watching the sunrise, skating above Comendadoras’ dome, bungee jumping from ‘Luna’ square, got from Hortaleza to San Bernardo without having to see a single car, without having to dodge a single bollard…or anything that we might imagine.

David_...and if the streets of Malasaña always seem too narrow and filled with people, they will become an immense common void where every person in the area might find his place…And the mass that is built through this operation is transmuted into vertical masses that emerge from the edges of this new space creating a new profile between geological and urban.

The new park is modelled with a new, rich and interwoven orography so that the enormity of common space is perceived as a chain of more intimate rooms, isolated from the noisy city streets. Under the highest hills will be large resource buildings covering the neighbourhood’s needs. The towers will be located in the perimeter, each will establish an interdependent relation with the park’s void depending on their topographical characteristics. Each of them will enrich the city centre with new facilities and elevated public areas. Instead of a homogeneous density of events, the environment we have created provides us with a new urban view of Madrid’s downtown, a view in which metropolitan public space can unite use, nature and urban intensity, while becoming a point of reference, a great void to expand our perception of urban landscapes, creating a stop, a moment of discontinuity and paradoxically opening possibilities to maximum density.

These three new watchtowers in Madrid’s skyline will enable the city to expand upon itself. The skyline will be more exuberant, adjusting to the city’s more dynamic quality of the last decades. Madrid as a whole will gain public space, altering the balance between public areas in the city centre and provide its inhabitants with the option to enjoy top floor housing in the verge of free space.To close these three proposals on a concrete environment we should open new perspectives on our historic downtown and the strategies to act upon it.Beyond a hopeless and conservative critic of our cities’ realities, in particular Madrid, we have to find the needed legitimacy and energy to suggest ambitious and viable alternatives to conquer, for once and for all, the city centre, the hub of the city.


(presentation)…is a socio-physic and chrono-topic research lab, a platform open to analytical discussion, from a recreational and playful standpoint. It doesn’t produce materials or objects but images to be consumed…Ludotec proposes a work of analytical exploration on modern man’s recreational activities…Ludotec investigates BOY, produces video-essays with children, ludo-grams for kids, ‘boy’ documents and plays with them without educating…They have done several projects like “Clearance Sale”, INTERMEDIAE, DOCUMENTA 12 IN KASSEL, AULA DE DANZA in Alcalá de Henares, Grosz festival, Institute of Architects of Madrid… It’s formed by Susana Velasco, Jordi Carmona and Rafael Sánchez Mateo.

LUDOTEC doesn’t provide any intervention, it projects a video for one of its workshops…(!)

















2009-2010. URBAN BUDDY SCHEME / 05 feb 2009 / Jorge Díez, Cecilia Andersson, Javier Duero, Basurama (transcription)

Extracts from the MADRID_ABIERTO Urban Buddy Scheme sessions5th OF FEBRUARY OF 2009Cecilia Andersson and Jorge Díez (presentation of seminar and Madrid Abierto 2009)Javier Duero (moderator)Basurama (Javier Duero presents + conference)Andrés Jaque (Javier Duero presents + conference) Ludotek (Javier Duero presents + conference)Wunderkammer (conference)

JORGE DÍEZ OPENS THE SESSIONS… since 2003, for five years, annually, interventions in the city are taking place and since 2007, at the same time, we organize our meetings, debate sessions, with specialists interested in public space and participating artists… to put things in common, comparing projects and proposals…

… until 2007, when we decided to create a consulting committee with some of the participating people or that had intervened as curators in MADRID ABIERTO… Cecilia Andersson, Ramón Parramón (director of Idensitat) with a longer and more interesting career in the field of open space interventions in Spain, Fito Rodríguez (with participation of the Montehermoso Cultural Centre)… and we created an audiovisual section… done with the collaboration of Canal Metro and last year as part of Casa Encendida’s programme …… we will also have Guillón Sanz, María Inés Rodríguez and the Democracia Group, curators of the previous edition……this committee had worked on MADRID ABIERTO’s model and introduced different ways of artist selection, the curator’s participation… and how to advance…

We decided to do the next edition in a two year period, to have more time… and with today’s start, the selected artists and groups, artists and architects of Madrid, could discuss matters with less stress, developing projects and having more time (for them) and more guarantees to manage city permits (which are always so complicated) to make them happen.

We also thought publishing the works, which annual editions couldn’t provide, and we started by editing, collecting 55 projects produced in these years and incorporating texts… it’s this big book. There are few copies,… a good working tool.… we use these days to discuss and learn…… we would like to thank Alberto Sanjuán Benito (Altadis Foundation) who has just retired, for his support since the first edition, we lose a great protector…

CECILIA ANDERSSON, CURATOR OF MADRID ABIERTO, TAKES THE FLOOR… how I have thought this edition should be, now in a new format; with more time to develop projects…To me, not being Spanish, MADRID ABIERTO has to be something for the city’s residents. Thus I have contacted a lot of people that live here, inviting them to present their works... it’s a gesture for those who come from abroad, to do their projects, and learn about Madrid, which would take longer otherwise… they are willing to share their knowledge of the city… something that is very important when working on public issues, to work with the city’s information to develop ideas and projects…That’s why I have named it URBAN BUDDY SCHEME, concept that we haven’t been able to translate… but it involves the idea that today artistic practices integrate several practices, entwining with many disciplines… I want to create links with the city, these can’t be created, but we can offer a platform, this session, to introduce people to each other…

…that’s why now we will do a ‘speakxxxx’, to introduce a lot of people, successive introductions to those we haven’t met before, changing every four minutes…every time I make the bells ring…we will try…Also, on Saturday at noon we will develop a ‘one to one’ session, to question the experts that appear in this list hung on the wall, an efficient way to know Madrid…Lets start talking to one another, let’s know each other.

JAVIER DUERO OPENS THE 1ST DEBATE SESSION WITH A LONG INTERVENTION…we begin by swiftly expressing a few ideas, a few thoughts on our working context which is Madrid…this edition’s novelties, on theoretical reflection, on the way in which we are going to work these days, for we have a new work model for this edition…as you can see we have given you candy for the brain, we have functioned as adults but using adolescent or children’s practices……a new form of managing our professional capital, invited to think in a critical way, acting within social commitment with the territory, in a horizontal, democratic and transparent way…we encourage you to learn and teach, to share knowledge…although being positioned in this totally hierarchical scenery, knowledge will not leave this session, but we will share it…this is an ephemeral scenery that will last only this afternoon.

This interesting work method defuses two control and power mechanisms…the institution/curator and curator/artist or artistic group relationship. That is, I consider that the institution VS civil society hierarchy and the role of the traditional curator are clarified… the curator becomes a cultural interface that doesn’t legitimize people or discourses. This has an enormous transcendence in a city like this, with its institutional relevance as the country’s capital city.This happens in Madrid, a city with great resources that has grown incredibly in the last 15 years, being Spain’s first economy, with the country’s highest GDP and one of Europe’s highest.

It’s important to locate where we come from, where we are building our project, where it’s taking place…also highlight the years’ delay in our sustainable cultural production model, show the brutal asymmetry that has existed between artists and institution/public administration… thus this year’s model for MADRID ABIERTO is a great novelty and somewhat transgressor, in the sense of inviting organizations and groups that work in the fabric, in that ‘underground’ that exists in the margins of institutional circuits.…Cecilia, who is Swedish, knows PIMFORUN(¡) (I’d like to dwell on this), an example…the first company or platform (created in the fifties) to watch Swedish cinema, in the 70’s became an production/distribution company for experimental cinema and video-art…to define where it’s at, in today’s Madrid there doesn’t exist any experimental film or video-art distributor, we don’t even have mediatecs…to any curator or researcher that wished to know what is being done in this field…I won’t dwell on the subject, you all amply know it.Currently all of Madrid’s problems are well known and the solutions are in process. We have to be optimistic, especially after the generational shift that has taken place in the administration’s every level, most of all as new profile art managers emerge, with a new spirit and a will to comprehend what cultural production is.

In this year, 2009, four initiatives converge in Madrid…the first of which would be “MADRID ABIERTO”, a critical research project on the territory, the city…and how we, civil society, interact, think and act upon it, this would be a civil society’s general context related to its territory……a second project would be “Map Madrid”, an initiative by the ‘2 de mayo’ Art Centre, in Mostoles, which intends to create a cartography, a ‘mapping’ of the whole of Madrid’s cultural scene, the associative and cultural mediation fabric separate from institutions and the market. A work group will do it along the year.…a third project would be “Madrid’s creators’ archive”, although it sounds incredible, it’s the first time an archive is made in which, through selection, 120 artists will be reflected on at the end of the year with profuse data on their projects and work…it will travel through different cities to make these artists known. One of the main problems for Madrid’s artists is their limited international visibility…some ‘mobility grants’ have been created to improve this, a lot more has to be done…And the fourth project is “Web2.o Project”, an initiative of ARCO and the Vocento publishing House. Through an open call they have created research computing and programming teams, to create a semantic Website to identify and structure the market and industry aspects related to sales, production and distribution of art works, most of all galleries and distributors.

Everything is changing very fast in Madrid’s cultural sector…in this MADRID ABIERTO we also encourage this new way of handling things.

Before presenting these groups it is important to say that participants are art groups that function as work groups and committed social activists that work together and have developed collaborative activities into professional strategies and have almost established a philosophy of life.

The first group is “Basurama”…a group that is dedicated to research and art management since 2001 and has focused on production processes, the residues they produce and the creative possibilities that this contemporary juncture arouses. Originated in Madrid’s Faculty of Architecture, it has evolved and adopted new forms since it begun, it wants to study phenomena inherent to the massive production of factual and virtual garbage in consumer society; providing new perspectives to act as generators of thought and attitude, it finds cracks in generative and consumer processes, establishing questions not only to our way of exploiting resources but also to our way of thinking, working and perceiving reality…Basurama carries out activities, projections, workshops, conferences, contests and edits publications. They also intend to establish a platform to create interactions between agents of the social and cultural fabric.They have worked in Brussels, San Sebastián, Sao Paulo, Linz and Caracas, their headquarters are in Madrid.Of all their projects I would emphasize “You throw away almost everything you buy” in which they carried out different activities and actions in several cities between September and December of 2008.It is made up of different people and today we will be joined by Alberto Nanclares and Miguel Rodríguez Cruz ‘Mister’.

BASURAMA...we will present a work from 2007, “Tourist visit to the M30”…we will visit the works in the city’s first loop. And another project, “Panorámicas” that considers the brutal change Madrid has undergone.…we work in Alpedrete, San Sebastián de los Reyes…never in the city’s nerve centres, we have never been in London, or NY, or in Paris, Berlin,… in Barcelona, never; we always work in weird and ugly places…it’s what we like best. 

When we were invited to Linz, not to ART FUTURA, as you may have thought, we were invited to work in neighbourhood cultural centres. In the end it didn’t happen for methodological reasons, but we truly celebrated it to be an ugly and filthy city that smells bad; that’s our work zone…we are dedicated to garbage, rubble, residues…lately we think that we are studying happiness, what progress means, the future.

When we talk about trash it has a lot of economic, psychological and Psychiatrich implications…we discuss development. What’s the future? When will tomorrow come?...

PROJECTION OF THE VIDEO-WORK, “VISIT TO THE M30”…we love the city of Madrid, its typical and ancient things, stew, the chotis…we loved the M30, it was an urban road, it separated the river, it appeared in a lot of films…it was a place we hung around a lot, a place with a lot of history, with a football stadium just above it…both a strange and fascinating place.

The works were done without any debate whatsoever. Supposedly the biggest works in Europe at that point…fascinated with this deployment we created a tourist visit to the works, this video. A year and a half after the works started Madrid was crazy over them, they had transformed citizens’ daily routine, the city’s psyche…the city was crazy over what it was seeing happen…everything started out to see the works, which was our joy (!) as they couldn’t be seen but only suffered, we rented a double-decker bus and filled it with tourists to go and see the works…

Projection of videoWhat’s interesting about the project is that it had great impact, media-wise. We thought of it as a tool for those social movements that criticized the destruction of Madrid or the radical changes that the city was suffering these years…due to the lack of information offered by institutions it was consumed keenly by citizens, demanded, absorbed by television channels, with a lot of audience… 

The “PANORÁMICA” project discusses consumer and production processes that trash generates in Madrid, taking pictures where garbage is kept…domestic garbage is generated, dangerous garbage… and it ends up in different dumps in the periphery, far from downtown… 

Pictures of dumps

Walking through this illegal tire cemetery, we find at the end, the housing development of Paco ‘El pocero’…it was really the same thing, an absurd creation of the city… it was the same way of throwing money away…  

A lot of money has been invested in Madrid due to the financial market’s revaluation, and as money can’t be eaten, it turned into millions of flats, 4 million flats in Spain, in Madrid a million in 5 years. Complete insanity…we also analyze Madrid’s dumps, car dumps, the construction of infrastructures…Madrid has spent public money to make roads as if there were nothing better to do…one car roads (picture of the M50), roads that connect areas that need to be connected (?), waste grounds…

We continue with “Panorámicas” investigating new neighbourhoods, what does their existence imply? Like an excrescence of the city, like an urban piece of shit…like San Chinarro, where there is a very famous building done by MRDV (some very cool Dutch architects) while the rest of buildings are copies of copies of copies…this area has almost been finished but others where infrastructures now exist have only been built halfway through because the bubble ended up bursting…

Here we can see the city of Valdeluz, close to the AVE railroad, in Guadalajara, in plots of land belonging to the family of the President of Comunidad de Marid, a neighbourhood for 30000 people where only 300 live…these 6 or 7 ghost towns surrounding Madrid are a fascinating subject……in contrast with the Cañada Real, a series of stockbreeding paths that existed around the country which are now occupied by chalets and houses of acceptable quality…but in an area close to Madrid’s dump…to us this is a lot more Madrid! 

 This is a very serious issue because it happens in a city that has great amounts of money, ‘saudi Madrid’…we don’t follow a closed discourse, but the crisis comes and it’s a power subject matter …and now, where do we go?...ghost cities, half built houses, dumps; we are in that paradigm, not a city that develops further but a city that has just ‘crashed’…this is the most interesting material for MADRID_ABIERTO. 

This is the subject, so that the institutional steamroller doesn’t knock us down, and leave us looking stupid, Esperanza Aguirre’s hair gel, Gallardon’s gel…

…I remember when we did the ‘M30’, Miguel Sebastián called us (now Secretary of Industry, then just a candidate to be city Mayor) and looking at us with a serious stare, while sucking on a popsicle, said: What do you think of Madrid, do you think it’s dodgy? And we said, no way! We love Madrid, we love this city…but it is an absurd city! all of the consultants, about 15 of them, looked at each other, they didn’t understand anything.

… Madrid is an absurd city that is trying to clean up, using a lot of deodorant but it still stinks, it smells like one of those British tourists dancing in Benidorm, which smell awful and on top of that use cologne, which is disgusting…

This is what we are working on, we believe Madrid is just like one of these characters…








2009-2010. URBAN BUDDY SCHEME / 06 feb 2009 / Grupo Casita + Uriel Fogué (transcription)

Extracts from the MADRID_ABIERTO Urban Buddy Scheme sessions

6th OF FEBRUARY OF 2009Luis Úrculo (moderator)Studio Kawamura-GanjavianC.A.S.I.T.A.Uriel FoguéExprimentolimonCecilia AnderssonKyong Park (moderator)Alexander GerdelApolonija Šušteršič + Meike SchalkTeddy CruzKyong Park (questions)Discussion with the audience



We are Loreto Alonso, Eduardo Galván and Diego del Pozo Barriouso, we work independently and also as a group. CASITA is an acronym that changes (its meaning) depending on the projects we’re working on. I am interested in emphasizing the original nature of our activities… collective and collaborative… we like collaborating with each other but also with other networks and disciplines, and dealing with other non cultural characteristics.

Loreto_ We started in 2003, considering ourselves an ambiguous group, its members could change. We started out with a simple project, some mailboxes used in urban interventions, and ended up calculating the IPF (Indication of a Project’s Feasibility)… from then on we focused on expanding the field in which art is framed, and generate an interaction device.In this case, the IPF, was intended to measure what different perspectives we had on our ideas, thinking together…After that we did a larger project “As long as you live in my house”, then, the group was called ‘Open.House.Interdisciplinary.Situations.Artistic.Works’.It discussed a subject, a realm: that of family.We found a house with the help of Universidad Complutense and El Escorial’s City Hall, carrying out activities with organizations from the area…We discussed power relations that are created in families, immigration, families of older people…

In 2006, and with this method, which dwells between exhibition and redaction, we approached the subject matter.The project was called “How to earn a living, the transparent entity”. At this point the group was called‘How.To.Articulate.Hopeful.Situations.(between)Work.(and)Art’.It was an autonomous installation… there were screens, in the main one, people with different backgrounds commented on their situations. We weren’t interested in filming a documentary, we wanted to know what they thought about work and compare it with what we thought about work.We also used drawings to keep discussing our subject.

…we project the film’s ‘trailer’, people say:“…they have all our time!”“…it’s my hobby, I enjoy my job!”“…we all have a right to be lazy at times!”“… (personal fulfilment) this is the great sham from which multinational companies spring!”

__In a booth there was a sound piece with people’s opinions, different generations, of a family…their roles at work, there social position due to their job activity…etc. This in the realm of work, the other one was more public.

__There was also, a meeting space, where we had some meetings to develop ‘interactive time’. Three public meetings; The first was done to discuss the project’s questions. The second was done with former and current workers of Matadero; two generations of workers talked: those who had grown in ‘material’ working conditions and those who worked in ‘post-ford’ production conditions.The third was with children. A theatrical dynamic with the use of a mediatec, two characters, Time and Money… helped children learn about the history of work during the twentieth century.

__It was important to have people participate in our project. Thus we built a mediatec, with discourses on work, norms, news (in 99 the first anti-globalization demonstration in Seattle, in 2006 the integration of China in the World Commerce Organization…), books which contained classic narratives on production…and we created a Decalogue. It can be looked up in the web.These ten items, this practical/theoretical/visual construction, was the starting point of our current project: ‘The Black Box’.This artefact is based on an airplanes’ device, which accumulates information to be consulted in case of necessity. Our subject is the modes of production. Its nature is distributive…we started with it in Austria and Slovenia. It contains information on work and ‘backgrounds’ that we collect.An important idea is the ‘proposal-wise’ aspect, we ask the public to answer our question: “what do you think…what type of action could change the sense of our productivity?”What we suggested was for people to answer and intervene in the ‘black box’ with words and images. In Austria, when we started with this project, we met groups and artists such as Oliver Ressler, Martin Creed; Intellectuals like Isabel Puschmann, Christan Fleck or social activist groups like Chalass d’Grass…and suggested them to distribute it in their environments. The box can also be used in public areas and everyday situations.It should be given also in the street, to widen commonplace debate, out of strict cultural and artistic parameters, to break the taboo regarding work and the current recession. Financial discourses seem to annul hopes when we most need them…we want to create a collection of ideas, not too utopian…of any kind and we want you to participate by giving an opinion.



…basically I want to discuss three ideas: one is, INVASION, another is, THE GAMBLE, and the last one, CELEBRATION… I will explain them as well as our work in the studio with architects Carlos Palacios and Eva Gil.

Invasion1_we are being invaded by infrastructures. In the picture, a typical modern city, in which the floor is transparent…and through a layer of infrastructure (an unseen, invisible technological space) social space can be seen, above, to which the layers of infrastructure are veiled…we can see a clear frontier, between the two worlds. The social area (relationships), and that of experts (technological).There we have a frontier.

2_these other images have to do with a very special infrastructure, photovoltaic solar panels. A type of technology we are testing in the studio for different projects.This image shows a small village that uses photovoltaic energy. The picture has been redesigned to show the different layers; nature, the urban layer, and infrastructures. We’re investigating the process and find that these two borders are being undone. These projects are in process, an invasion is taking place. Frontiers make no sense any more. There is a new invasion by some new technological citizens…we, as architects, are designing a cohabitation of such citizens and urban spaces.

I’m going to put an example that we have recently created for Madrid’s City Hall (a proposal to intervene in the city’s public space). This the square of General Vara del Rey, in El Rastro…it belongs to different urban spaces, of different scales and époques, connected, articulated, well connected, from any spot in Madrid you can get there relatively fast…The square is clearly affected by El Rastro’s activity…an outdoor market which provokes these type of situations…here we can see it (pictures are shown) on a normal day, as usual, and here, on Sunday morning, the square has been invaded by stands, people, by a market that strongly determines and activates the area, with a rich social variety, in a square with different levels, with buildings belonging to different centuries…Lets see how we managed such an invasion…first we suggested a practical case of how to introduce this photovoltaic infrastructure, a clear example of an infrastructure that needs to be visible. It’s not closed-underground as others; it is not thrown into the background by society. We made an energy survey to find out how much energy could be used in this synthesis between the public realm and technology, under the current norms.

We created a geometrical module that harmonized the way it was installed in the public space and the way it worked, regarding the sun, its movement through the seasons.The foundation of the project is this elevated fabric of ‘infrastructure’, a mix of solar panels (photovoltaic) and ecological supports (vegetation). This hybrid landscape, which this combination of ecological panels and photovoltaic supports, produces; some short term solutions in the pavement, with these little ‘mountains’ (water deposits for the rain) of recycled water for irrigation use; a number of big scale trees, of deciduous leafs, drains of CO2; a net of vegetation of small evergreen trees, not to veil the solar panels,…This type of landscape is what we envision to manage this invasion. The geometry that interrelates the sun’s movement and the administration of optimized solar energy with a range of efficiency of 90/95% (the panels aren’t expensive, we used standard commercial ones).

Depending on how you look at it, we have different landscapes. Looking at it from the south the whole landscape is photovoltaic, from the north you can see the inferior parts of the panels, looking from an angle you see a mixed landscape……in a section, the conical water deposits are covered (water gets dirty when exposed). This elevation, this ‘unevenness’ produces topographical figures……the panels’ supports are particularized depending on the weight… they are customized producing different uses for urban furniture; seats, swings, gymnastic artefacts…even a roundabout supplied with photovoltaic energy. Here we present (the projection continues) scale tests, fast drawings to test how the project would work once installed in the square…ENERGETIC STRATEGIES__ The project works on two types of ‘panels’. Opaque, solar ones and the ecological elements that support small ‘pots’ with vegetation, letting the sun pass through in winter and not so in summer, when they create shade.

VEGETATION STRATEGIES__ A uniform net of evergreen trees and the CO2 drain with deciduous trees enlarge the green area, adding the green panels.

PAVEMENT__ Avoiding ornamentation, we studied the received solar radiation, visually interpreting each dot/pixel per floor tile, creating a composition on the pavement…materials were chosen depending on their power to absorb…obtaining a map according to our research…an interpretation of colour and texture, another energetic pact in the pavement.

THE WATER__ According to the radiation map, and knowing which areas were warmer, we installed water micronization and evaporation areas, sources emerging from the ground…refreshing Madrid’s dry weather with vapour. The structure also deals with El Rastro’s commercial geometry.

The GambleCOMMUNICATION__ If these new citizens enter the cities, we have to communicate with them. We have to connect with a previous concept: the gamble.A previous project of ours; “Energetic sports lottery”…we wanted to question the role of ecology in society.This project was tested in the Universidad Javeriana of Bogotá and started off with this idea: why ecology seemed a negative and pessimistic instruction? Always saying what to do…don’t waste water! Recycle paper! Don’t consume too much!, with citizens always on the passive side.

We tried to question ourselves: why aren’t we capable, as technicians, to offer desirable strategies from an ecological standpoint?And we set out to rehearse “energetic sports lottery”…using monitored solar panels we could gamble on what was captured every day…developing a long term calculation, although it is subject to contingencies such as clouds, birds, dirt…

A panel in Madrid, in our studio, sent the information through Internet to a classroom in Bogotá, where it was projected like if it were the stock market, with questions such as: “how much will this panel capture tomorrow at twelve in the morning, in Madrid, and with these technical characteristics”.The students didn’t guess any of the questions on the first days. From the fourth day on, due to the money (they had collected 20 €, quite some money in Colombia and there were some 80 students)…because of the money there was a strong involvement and everyone acquired the scale in an indirect manner.Everyone knows how much electricity bills cost, but not how much energy a solar panel produces. Therefore, we found ways of involving people with strategies, even of this type (which could even corrupt!, says the speaker, ironically)…although it would be good to be corrupted by ecology.

Speaking of the project: How does the square communicate? We have an indicator of daily collected information. If the geometry I have explained before installs the solar panels in a way that once they are superimposed I only see a green landscape or technological one, depending on my point of view, the same thing happens when looking from beneath.Therefore, the inferior parts of the panels have some indicators that shine at night or project with certain intensity according to the light they have captured during the day. Thus, in some privileged spots of the square, ‘reading points’, citizens, with a book, can participate in this strategy. This is important to us; as you can see in the sketches of the project, there are spots where you can’t see. We try to codify the energy in spatial sensations or possibilities of spatial relations.In any case, the important thing is for this strategy to become an offer, not an instruction…to have the opportunity to participate if one wants to.

AMORTIZATION_ The infrastructure changes its colour as the investment is being repaid. The square pays itself in the long term. In eleven years it will be repaid for. It changes its colour so the citizen knows the time left to recover the investment.

WATER GAUGE_ How much water has been obtained? There is a territorial water gauge. Flood zones, the territory of Madrid has as many of these as water reservoirs, they are flooded depending on the level of water in the reservoirs. Water is not a local but territorial subject. It’s machinery that works for you when you open the tap.

RECYCLING panels, each time you ‘score’ glass to be recycled, the panel indicates what is going to be done with it.Make a website for the square, or a facebook to the citizen that explains his profile…

ECONOMIC SURVEY_ I don’t have time, they are telling me to finish…

From our point of view, this ‘invasion’ has to be managed from the standpoint of architecture and urbanism, as well as from other realms. And this agreement, these emigration laws aren’t documents to be written apart. We are studying Spain’s controversial 2001 “immigration laws”, and translating them to the technological immigration laws. The truth to us is, these are the Immigration Laws, a clause in our contract…the materialization of this square, once it’s built, is the “agreement that puts technological citizens in relation to one another”.

I end with THE CELEBRATION_ An invitation to everyone in the UHF group…with this publication. With different formats, this is the nº 1…this is jamón, this is fish honey, these are some maps with counters…the ‘arch-bingo’ to enjoy when attending architect conferences, this edition is a soap bar with a magazine inside, you will wash yourselves until you use it up and then you might read it… And this, and last, that we will present on the 14th of February, is called ERRA, Errors, Risks, Noises, Accidents…a lot of fun to present it on Saint Valentines day…

Thank you very much.













2009-2010. URBAN BUDDY SCHEME / 05 feb 2009 / Andrés Jaque (transcription)

Extracts from the MADRID_ABIERTO Urban Buddy Scheme sessions

5th of February of 2009Cecilia Andersson and Jorge Díez (presentation of seminar and Madrid Abierto 2009)Javier Duero (moderator)Basurama (Javier Duero presents + conference)Andrés Jaque (Javier Duero presents + conference) Ludotek (Javier Duero presents + conference)Wunderkammer (conference)


ANDRES JAQUE(presentation)… is a group of architects, Andres Jaque Architects and Cinthya Associates, Political Innovation Office, explore the role that architecture fulfils or may fulfil as agent in the construction of societies. It manages the “Parliament architecture” brand of political quality, designing hosts for the “TECNOGHEISA” contemporary city, Plans for political transparency, “Twelve actions to reveal Peter Eisenman or a line of Steep Garden jewels, urban plans based on word of mouth, “TUPERHOME”, buildings that make you want to hug “TEDDY HOUSE” or social assemblies that generate controversy, building (priest dormitory) in Plasencia…

…some of their current projects include Rolling House, architectural prototype of shared housing in Barcelona; the Nevernever Land House in Ibiza; Hostel for the Floating Pleasures, Mallorca; the Walk Around the House Museum, a global project to be distributed around big shopping malls

(conference)… I would like to show you four pictures that are urban to me…In my opinion there exists a very wrong idea, thus it is important to relocate the concept of urbanism in architectonic and urban activities

____ Great scale/Urbanism. Urbanism is not equal to those thousands of houses that have been built in last years, those ghost towns, it has nothing to do with crystallized concepts that deal with great scale interventions or with strategic design, 20 year term decisions… first, infrastructures, then housing, then… that which we all know.Neither does it have to do with cities, the construction of cities, what is believed to be urban at this point in time; in my opinion it has to do with, it’s defined as “some kind of qualified air in a particular way”, that is, with the way of building an interaction context”…SHIFT__I think this ‘shift’, in our conception of what is urban, towards something more adjusted to political and democratic frames is crucial to rethink urban and architectonic activities and the management of cities…I suggest four very elementary ideas… and find the way to incorporate it to the construction and transformation of our environments.

1_HOW ARE THESE INTERACTION SYSTEMS, WHICH WE COULD CALL.. URBAN, BUILT?The materials that I suggest are these, ‘Parliamentary parenthesis’.We have worked in the “city of political innovation”, with the Universidad Javeriana of Bogotá, in the development of ‘soap operas’, as well with Carlos Plitnick, Omar Rincón, art, urbanism and architecture students…They can be seen in ‘youtube’, putting “I hate you, love you so”, to explain why soap operas construct a “parliamentary parenthesis”… with the poster, made by Julia Roshenfal of the Global Show project. To see why film reviews have been so rough with soap operas… critics haven’t been able to comprehend the ‘social commitment’ that soap operas imply… when the main character confronts a difficult decision, at some point in time receives advice from a friend that is usually liberal as well as from her mother that is usually conservative. In a100 chapter soap opera diatribe, the protagonist has to make a decision, a triangle is built, the liberal and conservative options, and is in a political ‘twin be twin’, between two options. It’s the moment in which all of them end up looking into the infinite and action is suspended… this is the narrative disaster to which film critics refer… however, if we check out what really happens in ordinary households, where controversy appears, taking part, is precisely because a ‘parenthesis’ has been created.When the decision takes places in specific or local environments, due to this political construction, it is there where these ‘parenthesis’ occur, it is where urban interactions take place.

2__CRITICAL SPACEThe construction of spaces, which in itself reveals shared public issues, that matter to all of us… therefore we are interested in being able to discover how our environments react or ‘position’ themselves towards them… I refer to things such as gender equality, equity in access to resources, sustainability, space representation…This is an example, an assignment we received from the City of Culture Foundation of Galicia, the M30 of Galicia, which is going to elaborate the community’s budget for the next 20 years. We received the assignment to conceal the works of the City of Culture, which were ugly to politicians; they even suggested us to create a wooden barrier to ‘cover that massive earth movement’.However, we redesigned the assignment, said that the works were beautiful, that the problem was that they weren’t visible enough, transparent, they weren’t comprehensible to people that weren’t taking part in them. We developed a “Transparencies plan” that was very simple… Build some towers in Santiago’s historic centre just to watch the works and for five minutes every hour the sound of the works was heard through small amplifiers (conversations, bricklayers having lunch…), projecting it downtown as a transplanted ghost; bus lines to visit the works; to equip the works as if they were El Retiro, as a public infrastructure (coffee machines and food, services…) to spend one’s day…And more complex proposals; to assign each construction company actively working there a code of colours so that they were visible to the whole and at first sight…We suggested more things; some were rejected because they created ‘risky situations’ for the politicians. We tried to make the trace of residue and material transportation visible… from the works outwards and from the outside within, to really see the trace that such a massive work leaves in the environment…To me this is a city (referring to a fallen sign in the works of Santiago de Compostela’s City of Arts), this is an urban situation… the sign fell and we had to solve it, we found the men in blue fixing the yellow sign, we asked the directors, how come the men in blue worked in the yellow area? They didn’t know… However, a group of elderly people standing against the fence… “we come every day and we have observed that they have an agreement, when the yellow men have a lot of work to do the blue ones help them…”Thanks to those transparency devices, the works were understood, transparent to those not involved.In my opinion, the city could become urban by simply installing devices, enabling “public concerns”, shared by all of us, to be evaluated and visible to all.

3__ The third property of urbanism has to do with INNOVATION COMMUNITIES AND EMOTIONAL NETWORKS. Urbanism occurs when we develop systems that link a community in the development of sensibilities, cultural forms, in conclusion, the notions of quality that the community as a whole experiences and the people contribute to implement…It has to do with ‘Tupper Home’, the development of houses, that, with demonstrative marketing formulas (Avon, Tupperwave…), we can establish a ‘word of mouth’ urbanism.Basically, the idea is that specific formulas of quality in serial production, specialized conditions for those who are involved in the works, efficiency in the use of materials that make costs cheaper and the management of space…Would reduce the quantity of work hours to pay a mortgage, all that construction of a qualitative society could be done by a simple ‘word of mouth culture’… thus, that woman could build a ‘tupper ware’ house, invite others and build an urban community, word of mouth, an expansive horizontal urbanism, as a network… so that users themselves were producers, designers and beneficiaries of economic performance; the transformation and exploitation of the city.

4__... the last thing has to do with the area of ‘long term confrontation’, the urban aspect as a political space in which differences can be built without a violent horizon in mind, without crossing a rupture horizon.Our experience… some years ago we started working, Enrique Krahe, Miguel de Guzman and myself, in the transformation of a fifteenth century building, a minor seminar, a factory of priests, a geriatric hospital, a priestly house, that would host the same people that had been educated there. After having lived in rural environments as parish priests, now when 90 years old it’s impossible for the Church to take care of them in their houses, dispersed through the country. And, as there aren’t that many people that want to become priests, the factory had to be transformed into a dormitory for people who have been independent, with great ability to make important decisions in a day to day basis…This is what it looks like, it was very controversial, it became known with the phrase “what a whorehouse the priests have built for themselves…”

… I would like to say something about this project, of how architecture, the material devices that we architects manage can contribute to transform a building; from a factory for unity (the idea of uniting bodies around an exclusive and desirable doctrine) it turned into a controversial network (public space), disputed but durable. We did it by inserting a bunch of toys in the building, playful devices… that fulfilled the role of perfect hosts, to ask a question: What is your opinion about this? What do you think? Building a dinner’s conversation on different views of things… in the garden, instead of a French design, as the bishop had requested, we decided to divide it in small parcels, one per room; we didn’t define their exact limits at any point, nor the entrances, the idea was to create a conflicting space in the garden… like the remote control that makes us argue and fight over it and to decide…

… Another idea (taken from the Situationist International’s minutes), that lights are turned on and off centrally. If we ask about this, the answer is: “what a problem, the debate would begin, the discussion on when to turn it on…”, that’s what we wanted and to a great extent we distributed switches…We designed benches and furniture that incited people to adopt several postures, several decisions…

… in these vegetable gardens (commenting on a projected photo) you can see a retired priest keeping an eye on some lettuce. He had agreed with the neighbours to cultivate several gardens and then distribute the crop.

… there were many pacts. In this picture (open air dance in the dorm’s garden) we see an urban image , a group of residents are together in a party without conciliating their opinions, this group discusses the colours that had be used, the director defended them but another man strongly criticized them, saying that he didn’t like them in order to receive visits… The priest was blind (!).











2006. DISCUSSION PANELS / 3 feb (video)

Friday February 3rd 6pm to 9pmTALKS AND ROUND TABLES

Coordination of the Madrid Abierto 05 programme of debates and exchanges: Ramon Parramon. Director of Idensitat and co-director of the Master’s course in Design and Public Space, Elisava-Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

1Ramon Parramon (presentation of the program and speakers)

Bartolomeo Pietromarchi: Art critic and exhibition organiser. General Secretary of the Fondazione Olivetti. Author of the investigation project Trans:it. Moving Culture trough Europe.

Cecilia Andersson: Critic and exhibition organiser. Director and founder of Werk, a curatorial agency and projects promoter, located in Liverpool and Stockholm. Coordinator of the project, Urban Workshop in Liverpool.

Maribel Doménech / Emilio Martínez: Artists. Both are professors at the Sculpturing Department of the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. Members of the Plataforma Salvem el Cabanyal and the management team of the public art project Portes Obertes taking place in the district of El Cabanyal in Valencia.


2Maribel Doménech / Emilio Martínez: Artists. Both are professors at the Sculpturing Department of the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. Members of the Plataforma Salvem el Cabanyal and the management team of the public art project Portes Obertes taking place in the district of El Cabanyal in Valencia.

Guillaume Desanges: Critic and exhibition organiser. Art projects coordinator at Les Laboratories d’Aubervilliers. Ile-de-France.







06mdvc0789, 06mdtb0812

2006. DISCUSSION PANELS / 2 feb (video)

 Thursday, February 2nd 6pm to 9pmPRESENTATION OF THE MADRID ABIERTO 06 PROJECTS

Place: La Casa Encendida (Ronda de Valencia nº2)Selection carried out by Eva González-Sancho, director of FRAC Bourgogne.Moderates: Ramon Parramon

1Ramon Paramon (presentation)00:00 – 03:00

Virginia Corda y Maria Paula Doberti. Accidentes Urbanos.03:00 – 19:00

Nicole Cousino en colaboración con Chris Vecchio. Speakhere¡ 19:00 – 29:50

Gustav Hellberg. Pulsing Path-ambiguous vision. 29:50 – 43:08

Colectivo Lorma Marti. Blend out. 43:08 – 53:30

Tere Recarens. Remolino. 53:30 – 56:06

Arnoud Schuurman. Translucid View56:06 – 1:01:02



2Arnoud Schuurman. Translucid View00.0    – 01:30



3Tao G.Vrhovec. Reality Soundtrack. 00:15 – 09:00

Maki Portilla-Kawamura, Key Portilla-Kawamura, Tadanori Yamaguchi y Ali Ganjavian. Locutorio Colón.09:00 – 26:36

Wilfredo Prieto. Ouroboros. 26: 36 – 29:28


Ramon Paramon (presentation of the interventions by Jorge Díez, El Perro and Javier Avila)32:35 - 34:48

Jorge Díez: Director of Madrid Abierto. From 2004 to 2005 he was General Secretary of Cultural Management and Promotion of Castilla-La Mancha (Secretario General de Dirección y Promoción Cultural de Castilla-La Mancha).34:48 – 47:44

El Perro: Group of visual artists (Pablo España, Iván López y Ramón Mateos). From 1997 to 2002 they organised the public art exhibition, Capital Confort in Alcorcon. Took part in the organisation of MAD 03 - Arte público. 47:44 – 1:01:03


4El Perro: Group of visual artists (Pablo España, Iván López y Ramón Mateos). From 1997 to 2002 they organised the public art exhibition, Capital Confort in Alcorcon. Took part in the organisation of MAD 03 - Arte público. 00:00 - 01:39


5El Perro: Group of visual artists (Pablo España, Iván López y Ramón Mateos). From 1997 to 2002 they organised the public art exhibition, Capital Confort in Alcorcon. Took part in the organisation of MAD 03 - Arte público. 00:00 – 13:30

Javier Avila: Art critic and exhibition organiser. He has promoted and managed numerous editions of the Periferias project in the city of Gijón.d de Gijón.13:30 – 28:00

Round table28:00 – 48:36








06mdvc0788, 06mdtb0811

2007. DISCUSSION PANELS / 01, 02 feb (images)

2007. DISCUSSION PANELS / 01, 02 feb (images)


1st FEBRUARY 2006

José Iges    José Iges    Dionisio Cañas    Rocío Gracia Ipiña

Arturo-Fito Rodríguez    Arturo-Fito Rodríguez    Tania Ragasol    Tania Ragasol



2nd FEBRUARY 2006


Ramon Parramon    Ramon Parramon    María Inés Rodríguez    María Inés Rodríguez

Daniel Villegas    Daniel Villegas    Ali Ganjavian    Rocío Gracia Ipiña









07mdic1153, 07mdic1154

2009-2010. URBAN BUDDY SCHEME / 08 feb 2009 (video)

Sunday 8th of February, 2009Moderated by: STEALTH

1  Cecilia Andersson presents STEALTH00:00 - 00:30 STEALTH00:30 - 26:07



2STEALTH00:00 - 23:53



3Pablo Valbuena00:00 - 10:40

Lisa Cheung11:00 - 26:12


4Lisa Cheung00:00 - 00:26

STEALTH (questions and discussion with the audience)00:26 - 18:14


5Jorge Díez + Cecilia Andersson + all the participants (questions and discussion with the audience)00:00 - 21:06


6Jorge Díez + Cecilia Andersson + all the participants (questions and discussion with the audience)00:00 - 21:12


7Jorge Díez + Cecilia Andersson + all the participants (questions and discussion with the audience)00:00 - 20:10













2006. DISCUSSION PANELS / 03 feb (images)

2006. DISCUSSION PANELS / 03 feb (images)




Bartolomeu Pietromarchi    Bartolomeu Pietromarchi    Emilio Martínez    Guillaume Desanges

Maribel Doménech    Maribel Doménech    Ramon Parramon    Santiago Cirugeda

Cecilia Andersson    Cecilia Andersson     

Photographer: Enrique Escorza






2009-2010. URBAN BUDDY SCHEME / 07 feb 2009 (video)

Saturday 7th of February, 2009

1 Cecilia Andersson (presentation of International Festival)00:00 - 00:55

International Festival00:55 - 19:35


2International Festival00:00 - 19.39


3International Festival00:00 - 06:49



4Josep-Maria Martín 00.00 - 16.56

Susanne Bosch18.37 - 19:39

5Susanne Bosch00.00 - 19.51

6Susanne Bosch00.00 - 01:22

Laurence Bonvin 01:40 - 18.35

STEALTH (questions)18:35 - 19:46

7STEALTH (questions)00.00 - 00:45

8STEALTH (discussion with the audience)02:20 - 15:14

PRESENTATIONS, GROUP 2ºModerator: International Festival

International Festival15:14 - 18:50

Jean François Prost18:50 - 26:29

9Jean François Prost00.00 - 05:27

Adriana Salazar 05:27 - 20.41

Gustavo Romano20:41 - 26:13

10Gustavo Romano00:00 - 09:50














2008. DISCUSSION PANELS / 07 y 08 feb (images)

2008. DISCUSSION PANELS / 07 y 08 feb (images)



Fito Rodríguez, Rocío Gracia     Rafael Tunes, Diego Peris   María inés Rodríguez, Pablo España, Rafael Burillo    Diez, Noaz

Fito Rodríguez, Rocío Gracia    Fernando Llanos    Annamarie Ho, Inmi Lee    Dier, Noaz


Fernando Baena    Jota Castro    Dier     Anno Dijkstra   

Annamarie Ho    Inmi Lee  










2009-2010. URBAN BUDDY SCHEME / 06 feb 2009 (video)

Friday 6th of February,  2009

1Luis Úrculo (moderator)00:00 - 02:30

Studio Kawamura-Ganjavian02:30 - 21:49


2C.A.S.I.T.A.00:00 - 15:48

Uriel Fogué15:48 - 22:13


3 Uriel Fogué00:00 - 10:59

Exprimentolimon10:59 - 18:22


4 Exprimentolimon00:00 - 05:05

Cecilia Andersson05:05 - 06:39

Kyong Park (moderator)06:39 - 28:18

5Kyong Park00:00 - 08:27

Cecilia Andersson08:27 - 09:24

Alexander Gerdel 09:24 - 27:18

6Apolonija Šušteršič + Meike Schalk00:00 - 13:31

Teddy Cruz13:31 - 23:20


7Teddy Cruz00:00 - 05:40

Kyong Park (questions)05:40 - 24:31

Discussion with the audience23:35 - 24:31

8Discussion with the audience00:00 - 01:30















2009-2010. URBAN BUDDY SCHEME / 05 feb 2009 (video)

Thursday 5th of February, 2009

1      Cecilia Andersson y Jorge Díez (welcome speech)00:00 - 24:15

Javier Duero (moderator)24:15 - 28:08


2Javier Duero (moderator)00.00 - 03:37

Basurama (presented by Javier Duero + confernece)02:30 - 20:50 Andrés Jaque (presented by Javier Duero + confernece)20:50 - 27:15



3Andrés Jaque (conference)00:00 - 06:58


4Andrés Jaque (conference)00.00 - 09:26

Ludotek (presented by Javier Duero + confernece)09:26 - 18:08


5Ludotek (conference)00:00 - 10:50

Wunderkammer (conference)10:50 - 18.50


6Wunderkammer (conference)00:00 - 02:02

Javier Duero + debate02:02 - 19.09


7Debate00:00 - 11:46













2009-2010. DISCUSSION PANELS / 5 feb 2010 (video)

5th of February 20106pm to 9pm.  PRESENTATION OF THE INTERVENTIONS

1Presented and moderated by Cecilia Andersson and Jorge Díez (00:00 - 00:40)

Iñaki Larrimbe, Unofficial Tourism(00:40 - 20.05)

Adaptive Actions, AA Camp, Madrid(20:05 - 27:05)



2Adaptive Actions, AA Camp, Madrid(00:00 - 26:36)



3Adaptive Actions, AA Camp, Madrid(00:00 - 05.17)

Lisa Cheung, Huert-o-Bus(05:17 - 27:29)



4Lisa Cheung, Huert-o-Bus(00.00 - 01:24)


5Gustavo Romano, Time Notes: Mobile office(00.00 - 05:36)

Susanne Bosch + Zoohaus + María Molina, Hucha de desesos: ¡Todos somos un barrio, movilízate!Susanne Bosch(05.36 - 20:28)


6Susanne Bosch + Zoohaus + María MolinaSusanne Bosch(00.00 - 03:00)

Zoohaus(03:00 - 19:46)

Susanne Bosch + María Molina, Educational ProjectSusanne Bosch(19:46 - 20.29)

7Susanne Bosch(00:00 - 05:33)

María Molina(05:33 - 11:30)

Susanne Bosch + Zoohaus + María Molina(11:30 - 20:29)

8Debate and questions(00:00 - 06.27)














2009-2010. DISCUSSION PANELS / 4 feb 2010 (video)

4th of february 20106pm to 9pm. PRESENTATION OF THE INTERVENTIONS

1Presented and moderated by Cecilia Andersson and Jorge Díez (00:00 - 00:35)

Lara Almarcegui, Going down to the recently excavated underground passage (00:35 - 23:05)



2Lara Almarcegui, Going down to the recently excavated underground passage (00:00 - 08:30)

Laurence Bonvin, Ghostown(08.30 - 23:05)



3Laurence Bonvin, Ghostown(00:00 - 18:06)

Pablo Valbuena, Tower block(18:06 - 23:05)



4Pablo Valbuena, Tower block(00:00 - 14:57)

 Questions(14:57 - 23:05)


5Questions(00:00 - 01.23)


6Josep-Maria Martín, A digestive house to Lavapiés(00:00 - 23:05)


7Josep-Maria Martín, A digestive house fot Lavapiés (00:00 - 16.20)

Teddy Cruz, Vallecas Abierto: How is you art going to help us?(16.20 - 23:05)


8Teddy Cruz, Vallecas Abierto: How is you art going to help us?(00:00 - 23:05)


9Teddy Cruz, Vallecas Abierto: How is you art going to help us?(00:00 - 02:04)

Debate and questions(02:04 - 15:35)












2009-2010. URBAN BUDDY SCHEME (images)

2009-2010. URBAN BUDDY SCHEME (images)
















2009-2010. MESAS DEBATE / 04, 05 feb 2010 (imágenes)

2009-2010. MESAS DEBATE / 04, 05 feb 2010 (imágenes)