2005. Raimond Chaves. EL RIO, LAS COSAS QUE PASAN (published text)


Over the past few years I have been basing my work on the preparation of publications with varying levels of public participation in their elaboration and which aim to promote the circulation of those stories, images, ideas, etc. which due to their importance and at the same time the lack of public awareness of them deserve to be known and spread.

Thus, restoring the capacity of people to tell their own experiences to counter these stories to the domineering capacity of the media to create events and set out concrete action to be taken, all in all, to create reality.

A large part of these editorial proposals is the work of processing images, mainly found images, to have a bearing on the willingness to respond from other angles and with other views of that which “is happening”.

Thus, stories, news, echoes, new images, drawings and collage, edited in street newspapers, posters, templates, mural paintings and other supports propose new ways of understanding the world while putting the notions of objectivity, impartiality and the rôles of preparation and receipt of information in doubt.

Why “El Río”?

Apart from the affectionate allusion to the famous sentence of Hercules, there is a dialectic intention in the image of a river to speak of that which we see as inevitable. Reality, that which happens, the event, and this and its recreation and / or construction i.e. that, which we understand as news, are usually presented as inexorable flows.

This is why this project wants to be an invitation to find another way to confront events and the process of reconstruction that takes place when we read them. One can easily be led but if one wants or knows how, one can actually get somewhere.


“El Río, las cosas que pasan” is a project based on the guidelines set out in previous projects (see Background Information at the end of this document) intends on going even further and to be a handmade “newsworthy group” of low intensity divided into three spheres of Madrid´s public life.

“El Río” initially intends to disconcert with an atypical name for a means of communication. Beyond Hangueando –the project it comes from-, El Río wants to respond to the rôle of the media in our society, distancing us from compiling miscellaneous news and questioning it so as to construct a reality through the news.

“El Río” , constituted as a multimedia corporation shall confront the matter from different angles. Firstly considering as news that which a priori is not considered as such, secondly, the news we receive from the traditional means of communications shall be turned inside out and thirdly, great importance will be given to drawing and manipulating images. All ideas of objectivity and a consensus in story telling are forgotten. El Río will convert texts and images into poetic/political tools. El Río is positioned on the thin line between inventing news and analysis events, an unmistakable space which may also be contrary, i.e. that of creating events and that of analysing news. “El Río” will build tables that will always be missing a leg, as while it doesn´t want to be objective nor does it want to tell any “truths”.

Thus each prop in which “El Río” had decided to use, it will attempt to widen the margins of the conventions of use of these. Let´s take a look at the props:

A poster for MUPI “El Río, las cosas que pasan” dispalys a large collage with different texts, testimonies, quotations and images considered relevant regarding events and processes taking place in South America and are hardly covered in Europe. Events which whether local or relevant to certain areas of South America and have consequences for Spain due to globalisation. In this way, MUPI will become a wall “street” newspaper, inviting pedestrians to stop for a moment and read. The poster also publicises the presence of El Río on the Metro channel and the web.

On the programmes of the Metro channel, “El Río, las cosas que pasan” presents simple animations based on drawings and images with the inclusion of short lines of text and a very restrained use of sound. The contents of the animations will have a similar register to that of the posters but will emphasise the most absurd by presenting news that one would not really consider as news.

“El Río, las cosas que pasan” poses a third space of presence on the web. A web site created for this will act as a source for broadcasting the project for Madrid Abierto at the same time as containing and showing the contents of the poster and the animations on video. It is planned to work on this more intensely later on


I would like to take advantage of my being a travelling artist who bases his work on gathering stories and the processing of images to offer versions and “news stories” which I believe to be relevant on local matters which have global implications. As a passer-by, citizen and artist, I offer these stories, on the streets of Madrid, to strengthen its public character and my desire to bring these stories closer to everyone.




“El Río, las cosas que pasan” - slogans

The newspaper of that which is not considered news. Analysis if events through quotations, testimonies, drawings and images.

El Río of things that happen to attempt to understand a world that is going to change forever.

With the arbitrated story telling of certain things which deserve to be heard about South America, the Caribbean and other places...

“El Río” on this occasion is a unipersonal project, but may later be worked on as a group.

Why the change from Hangueando to El Río?

There are numerous reasons. Firstly, what I consider to be the difficulty to explain Hangueando –the very meaning of the word- to an urban public that needs to be approached with less preparation. El Río is understood, and it is disconcerting, and once said that it is a street newspaper, no further explanations need to be given.

Secondly, that which is mentioned above regarding will, above all, in the case of the posters, which is more newspaper and less miscellaneous. To continue attempting to understand the world and at the same time not declining to intervene in it.

Thirdly, the possibility of creating what I have called the press conglomerate “of the three to the quarter” and to better confront the capacity of the media to construct events and set out what is important... to construct reality.


Hangueando(*) –Periódico con Patas.

(*) Hanguear. Spanglish version of the English verb “To Hang Around” and which is used as synonym of to roam without a fixed destination or set aim in Puerto Rico.

Poster newspaper glued to street walls and shown at exhibitions as well as been sold at public presentations which end in a party, it is exchanged, given as a gift.

HANGUEANDO feeds on many different independent initiatives as is the independent and bright elaboration of images, the capacity to refer to its self-existence, the critical sense of the context and symbolic meaning of certain objects, either due to their usefulness or their symbolic power help us to know the world better. HANGUEANDO is a publication based on the recycling of images and senses, on the spreading of stories and points of view which usually get no coverage in other media and in celebrating the joy of life.

So far, the following posters have been published:

N0 0. October 2002, 59,4x84cm. 1500 copies. Four colours. Published and printed in Lima. Distributed in Lima, San Juan de Puerto Rico, Bucaramanga, Bogotá, Barcelona, Madrid, Rotterdam, Berlin and Ljubljana.

N0 1. April 2003, 59,4x84cm. 1500 copies. Four colours. Published in Bogotá and printed in. Distributed in Lima, San Juan de Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, Bucaramanga, Bogotá, Barcelona and Módena.

N0 2. November 2003, 100x140cm. 1500 copies. Digital printing. Published in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Printed in Barcelona with the backing of 22a. Distributed in Puerto Rico and Barcelona.

N0 3. Spring-Summer 2004, 70x100cm. Published in Terrassa. Printed in Madrid with the backing of El Perro, Distributed in Spain. (Unpublished on October 20th 2004)

“Coca Crónica” (Rotterdam, 2002) See images at the following link:

“Veni, Sentate, Contame”(Lima, 2003) and “La Pura Oscura” (Bogotá, 2004) on screen processing of journalistic images of the Colombian conflict. –See attached images-

“Mural Candela" (Terrassa, 2004) Mural painting for street view at a place of meeting and political discussion. -See images attached and the following link: