tiistai 25. marraskuuta 2008

and off we go..

With very little introduction to the theme of the workshop, I decide to further with the idea I already had when writing down my preliminary thoughts about urban acupuncture – opening views to unseen layers of the city. Time is short and with no real limitations and no material to begin with I see it important to start realising the actual piece as soon as possible. It will be a periscope, attached to a side of a walking bridge close to the area envisioned by Marco.

The location is one crossed by hundreds of walkers and joggers daily, with all the train traffic to and from Helsinki flowing next to it. It is also one of the sites where I’ve heard homeless people would be sleeping in the open, under the bridges. Two flows, one in an upward movement, the other one at a complete standstill. Two layers, invisible to one another. I hope that my periscope would stop the rush on the upper layer for a moment and offer a new viewpoint to the city, and hopefully bring these two layers closer to one another, towards a better balance. A big hope I know, but hopefully this would be a stimulation that in the long run would have that effect.

I actually find the concept of urban acupuncture a very nice metaphor. Sadly only a couple of the texts and works done on the theme by C-lab were presented in the opening lecture however, not to mention any other background material. Because of the other constrains of the workshop I have limited time to do any research myself, so I will leave further elaborations of the ideology behind the work for later and partly for chance, depending on how my presumptions on the location and on the issues I want to address happen to meet reality (partly they will be left to be discovered by the viewer later on). I just hope I will have my acupuncture-periscope ready in time. If all else fails, I decide to throw a rope-ladder over the rail of the railway bridge to give people a way to go and see the other layers of the city by themselves.

The fact that we have no material possesses the first obstacle. I was thinking of using slightly rusted steel to give an impression that my piece had always been in its place and that it was left there by accident. However, with the soon 30 cm of snow we had in two days, it is virtually impossible to find anything useful lying around or dumped on a trash skip. I tried checking the Recycling centre, but to everybody’s surprise the market value for rusty metal is too low for them to stock it (it is a small surprise actually, as it is quite widely used for decorative purposes these days). A demolishing business near by had all I need, but for some reason they refused to sell me any.. If I can’t think of anything else by Wednesday afternoon I will have to go for the shiny round ventilation tube that Recycling centre had a couple of meters in stock. I could do the piece out of wood, but as it started to look like there’s little to learn in terms of practicalities in making public art, I decided to take this mainly as a possibility to find out how I can use the school premises, and the metal workshop is on the top of my list.

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