Advertisement spaces in Stockholm are very controlled. There are strict rules and regulations concerning who and what is able to be advertised. But who should have the power to decide this? And what do people in Stockholm really think about the stuff being advertised? Should there be more spaces in Stockholm where the citizens are able to put up there own 'advertisements' in the form of pictures, illustrations or messages? Is it necessary for the citizens to have a greater say in what is being advertised in Stockholm?
On December 15th 2009, a grafitti performance took place on Plattan, Sergelstorg, where people were asked to illustrate how they would use the advertisement space if it were their own and what freedom of speech meant to them within this space. This performance questions the power and value of the existing advertisment spaces and its' messages, and uses the power of our body in order to do so.
This project was inspired by experiences from the two previous weeks, where we performed and designed projects about Cosmopolitical Experiments and Institutionalizing Beauty. My main inspiration came from Prang Lerttaweewit's project Yoga Vagn. Watch this video!
During this event large paper signs with the text Yoga Vagn were put on the platforms in the subway station. We found out quickly that this was not allowed, and was viewed as vandalism and graffiti. Luckily no fines were given, because the signs were removable. This made me realize that we all hold the strongest tool with us, our body. If someone would of held the yoga signs instead, it would most probably be accepted. Therefore, this idea became my starting point for my project Ad(d) Metamorphosis.
RESEARCH & EXPERIENCE PROTOTYPING
Before the final graffiti performance took place I experience prototyped it, which gave me lots of information of what not to do and how to design the performance in order to achieve the response I wanted.
I started with a space in Gamla Stan with the help of Nina Bacun, where I wanted to use the plexi-board to frame certain views or objects that I wanted people to react on. This was not successful for many reasons, but mainly because the space was not a piaza therefore making it hard to stop and engage people from just passing by; and using a blank canvas with no initial question or statement to react on made it impossible for people to become inspired.
Therefore, I moved to Sergelstorg, where there are more people hanging about, but it is also a place commonly used for events. Here, I used Nina Bacun and Vijai Maia as initiators for drawing and writing on the blank canvas. This was more successful, however it was only children and teenagers that dared to draw. And the outcome was completely different from what I had in mind (drawing their friends faces, as seen below), which made me realize that some type of question or statement needs to be given for people in order to react. It would not only give me more reactions, but a more specific outcome which I could controll.
Reflecting back on the graffiti performance that took place, it was the actual time spent, space used and conversations that were the most interesting, rather than the messages or illustrations that were made. The space at Sergelstorg, that I would normally not use other than to pass through, became changed after I spent two hours. Not just because we physically used the space and changed the visual surroundings with out graffiti, but emotionaly it became a space for interesting conversations, where ideas and feelings were shared.
In the future I am interested in using this insight, which could create other similar events and projects that would focus on the temporal change of the space used highlighting the emotions that arise.