2006. Tanadori Yamaguchi + Maki Portilla-Kawamura + Key Portilla-Kawamura + Ali Ganjavian. LOCUTORIO COLÓN (theoretical data)


History says that Christopher Columbus discovered America but we prefer to express ourselves in less Eurocentric terms and believe that Columbus established the first communication channel between the Old and New World, the first string in a net that has grown exponentially along the centuries.

We think that the Square of Colón (Columbus Square) should have that communication element with which we identify the historic figure (ironically the neighbouring gardens are called Gardens of the Discovery). Now, more than five centuries after that first contact, we suggest the use of this downtown Agora as an exponent of the state of relationship between Europe and Latin America.



Michel Serres describes the hyper-communicative condition of contemporary life with his brilliant reflection on the hors là in his book Atlas. Hors-là is a state that connects the local context with the global context, community networks and international networks; the tiny and the huge.

Inside the social tangle of Madrid we find new emerging communities, mainly made of groups of immigrants. Among them, the ones corresponding to the Latin American countries are the most populated. In general, a catalyst element of cohesion to work is always necessary. In our society of communication, cyber cafés are used as catalysts among groups of immigrants that have just arrived. They’re physical vortexes of an imprecise and dense net of local relations and allow global relationships; In other words, an epitome of hors là.



The proposal is so simple and practical that it seems to enter the realm of the arguably non-artistic. We are aware of that, and even so we suggest the installation of a free of charge phone booth in the Colón Square for Madrid Abierto.

This project intends to move away from objectivity and cravings for eternity that are characteristic of modern art. However, the project wants to investigate the collateral aspects of a piece (phone booth) itself: on how the rumour about it spreads and how the turns to use it are organized, in the parallel activities that may appear unexpectedly around it, the schedule of its nocturnal use…

We like to think that the square will be the same once the phone booth is dismantled, however, it will have participated in creating a more complex social network between people in one and other side of the Atlantic.