what’s Anarchetiquette Rotterdam
Urban Body: Fresco RemovalTU Delft, Faculty of Architecture AR0305 Exploring
AR0325 Mapping the Urban, Social and Cultural Texture
the etiquette of anarchy: preserving the writing on the wall
Researching the material surface to unveil its immaterial value. The Urban Fresco Removal studio attempts to focus on the non-institutionalised messages, to trace messages of spontaneous communication and discuss the creative communication that these wall writings may represent. We will begin by considering that wall writings generally refer to a political group or tendency, a cultural, musical or other movement, which are deeply representative of the culture of the last few decades: differentiation of the groups and relative sense of belonging. We can ask ourselves how many of these messages are truly in our daily living and investigate how many people they represent (tens, hundreds, thousands) and how many people they address: especially when the messages bear a criticising content. In this way we collect the memories of the city and return it to its people through public events and discussions.
Workshop Coordinator: Daniele Pario Perra
Program Coordinator: Alexander Vollebregt
Assistant coordinator: Cristina Ampatzidou
Anarchetiquette removes and preserves writings connected to the ideas of political parties and their inclinations, critical consumption, cultural and musical movements, among others. The project focuses on fields within the last few decades, which delineate the culture belonging to that specific place. Writings such as, ‘god shave the queen’, ‘mi casa no es tu casa,’ ‘light camera war,’ ‘TV is tanning you,’ and ‘un voile, une voix, un vote’ are examples of messages connected to the local issues in a specific community.
Anarchetiquette is an action/public workshops demonstrating the removal and preservation of wall writings on public buildings before they are covered up or the buildings themselves are demolished or renovated. These writings are removed by the technique of fresco removal and then are transferred onto large canvas panels. The canvases become a means of preserving the contemporary thoughts and feelings expressed by the members of the community through wall writing.
Anarchetiquette is not about the uniqueness of a single text on a wall but the collection of various writings, which reveal an understanding of the DNA of the city or area itself. It is a way to study the cultural behaviours in the city, collecting informal communications that reveal the differences between an unconscious visualization of single view and the perception of a global reality, which we identify in the concept of identity.This dialogue can be seen as a sign of future thoughts and opinions, showing how the place will evolve according to the expressed needs of that society.
Anarchetiquette would like to thank local partners who have been able to inform the project of where relevant writings could be found and removed before they were covered up or the building was demolished. Special thank you to MCA Denver, Christina Kreps and Roberta Waldbaum /Denver University, Platteforum, Katja Diallo, Jan Kryszons, Andrea Bartoli, and Poortgebouw for their support of the project. The anarchetiquette videos are by Erjen Prins and Jeanne van der Horst.
Spontaneous Communication in the City
Bans, public posting, graffiti, wall drawings or personal messages are used by public bodies, private companies or individuals to communicate with a large number of people and to influence their behaviour and/or actions. Private and public companies use this kind of open-communication to remind individuals of their duties and limitations but they rarely take time to remind people of their rights. Individuals use public communication to externalise their thoughts in a more informal and original way: from graffiti to large urban space interventions. Still the objective of both is to spread their message in the most efficient way.
The whole of these messages creates a communicative body, a collective cultural identity of a certain society. If suddenly, one morning we woke up with no recollection of our lives, one would only have to walk around town to regain sense of belonging to the community, with rights and duties annexed. Looking around we can catch a huge amount of messages, adverts and slogans. This shows us how the contemporary communicative system is able to create a constantly refreshing consciousness. We can ask ourselves what is the importance of these messages and what is their real purpose. The analysis of social behaviours makes us wonder how this form of communication is used to print a message in our heads.
This form of communication and our daily exposal to it can have both negative and positive effects on our behaviour. It is mostly the negative meaning of these communications, which automatically attributes bad behaviour to anyone placing an unauthorised message in a public space or standing in front of a public sign, as well as the diffuse sense of oppression by the many regulatory signs, which usually stands out. Another unpleasant situation is given by the use of spray paint to tag monuments and places of interest which will then have to be restored and conserved.
Through public communication we get to a unified message, which makes our communities identifiable for their forms of communication. Moreover, the debate about the aesthetic quality of this kind of messages is still open: some find it offensive for the urban landscape; others think they’re a form of art (conceptual or figurative). We can add up other considerations on the aesthetic criteria which they represent: the public sign posts or the wall writings which often represent the medium used by an individual to communicate one’s position on issues which the media don’t tackle, fearing unpopularity.
This studio attempts to focus on the non-institutionalised messages, to trace messages of spontaneous communication and discuss the creative communication that these wall writings may represent. We will begin by considering that wall writings generally refer to a political group or tendency, a cultural, musical or other movement, which are deeply representative of the culture of the last few decades: differentiation of the groups and relative sense of belonging. As a consequence we can ask ourselves how many of these messages are truly in our daily living and investigate how many people they represent (tens, hundreds, thousands) and how many people they address: especially when the messages bear a criticising content. In this way we collect the memories of the city and return it to its people through public events and discussions
18 April – 12 June 2011: Studying the Spontaneous Communication in the City
The first six weeks are dedicated to sharpening of the conceptual and analytical tools as well as to the understanding and embodiment of an experiential and action based approach. Students will have to analyse visible communication in many of the town’s roads and investigate the messages, their style and goals of those who create it. Focusing on the whole town will also help us to get a clearer picture to understand a culture. Touring the city of Rotterdam will help locating the best practices of territorial appropriation in the city. During this period, the locations of possible fresco removals will be tracked down, after the collective analysis of the tour results. Film projections, Pecha Kucha presentation and lectures by invited guests from partner institutions will compliment the program.
13 -17 June 2011: Fresco Removal Workshop
The second part of the program forms the main core of the course. It is the actual removal of the frescoes, a workshop directed by the Italian artist Daniele Pario Perra. The fresco removal process needs to take place preferably in closed spaces, protected from the weather conditions and starts with the application of glue on the wall. After 2-3 days that the glue needs to dry a big public event is organised for the transfer of the texts from the wall on the canvas. All participants, students and public, ca go through this procedure and create their own fresco. The event is concluded with a large public dinner. The participants can keep the frescoes they have removed and take this piece of city in their homes.
18-24 June 2011: Post Production
The days following the workshop, students will have the time to process the video and images and reflect on the results of the spontaneous communication and fresco removal workshop. At the end of this period a public exhibition will be organised with all the removed frescoes.
24 June 2011: Final Presentation
The project gives to the students the opportunity to do urban anthropological fieldwork. They also engage in round table discussions about what they would like to conserve from their culture or not. Through the process of removal and preservation students becoming guardians of the memories of the city; this allows the participants to conserve testimonies of an intangible heritage that would otherwise be eliminated.
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