août 152010

Ladder-Stick-Up, 2007
Aberdeen, Scotland
9 days

Hacking the City est l’histoire de l’échec de l’espace public. Il s’agit d’une démarche citoyenne, artistique et hacktiviste qui consiste à s’approprier l’espace public et à le détourner. Comme pour les hackers en informatique, les hackers en  urbanisme vont aborder avec leur sensibilité cet espace. Certains le détruiront, d’autres l’amélioreront, d’autres voudront amuser. Voici donc une série de City Hacking réalisés par Brad Downey, un excellent hacker urbain de 30 ans. Il vit aux Etats-Unis, mais s’est amusé à hacker des villes comme Berlin, Paris ou Stockholm. Son travail est réellement diversifié et un tour sur son site pourra en intéresser plus d’un.

The work of Brad Downey :

Traffic Jam for Berlin, 2008
Museum Osnabreuk, Germany
Urban detritus, gravity
Photo by Just

Black-Hole, 2008
Berlin, Germany
Still Standing
Black velvet, wire, wood, DDR street lamp
Photos by Fahrlaessig

La Somme de L’Oxygéne Dans
une Cabine Téléphonique
, 2008
Paris, France
4 hours
Balloons filled with Brad Downey’s CO2

Helium Poubelle, 2008
Paris, France
Duration varied from seconds to hours
Helium balloons, trash cans, plastc bags

A Bunch of Bikes, Take a Shit, 2007
Bolt cutters

Take a Seat, 2007
New York, New York, USA
9 days
Hipster dog park bench, metal bars, paint
Photo by Tod Seelie

Rubbish Suicide or Homage To The Bottle Collector, 2007
Berlin, Germany
1 day
Collected litter, wood

Delete before alteration

Delete, 2007
Stockholm, Sweden
Unknown duration
Wood, paint

Wild at Heart, 2006
London, England
6 Hours
Street signs

David vs. Goliath, 2006
Queens, New York, USA
1 year and counting
Phone signs, metal

Ignore This Sign, 2004
Marietta, Georgia, USA
3 weeks
Street sign, paint

American Paranoia, New Sub-Vehicle Technology, 2004
Miami, Florida, USA
2 Months
Metal, paint
In collaboration with Tahu Deans

A Fathers Duty, 2003
London, England
3 days (father), 2 weeks & 6 days (children)
Metal, paint, street sign

Hacking the City is an innovative project which reacts to changing structures of public space, mobility, and communication in the city. The project is mainly focussed on Essen, European Capital of Culture Ruhr.2010. Participants are artists, web designers, practitioners of guerrilla communication, street artists, performers, and musicians.

Among these are: Boran Burchhardt, Peter Bux, Brad Downey, San Keller, Knowbotic Research, Christin Lahr, M+M, !Mediengruppe Bitnik, Richard Reynolds, Jörg Steinmann, Michelle Teran, Stefanie Trojan, Annette Wehrmann,, Georg Winter.

How are public life, democratic culture, and modern resistance articulated in art? Which forms are used, which can be revived, which models can artists and activists follow? The practice of Cultural Hacking is increasingly adopted by artists (in the broadest sense) who act far away from the art market and exhibitions. Among the types of actions are strategies of Adbusting as well as Faking (or plagiarism), adding in and taking away (misappropriation), irritation and disruption, forms of Hacktivism, flash mob actions, re-enactments, performances, sculpture in public space, concealed investigations, hidden actions, events directed via internet or mobile phones. These are no longer confined to urban (exterior) space as a place of action and work, but also to the World Wide Web (websites, video platforms, power sellers, servers etc.).

Urban Hacking became increasingly widespread as an artistic practice in the 90s. Starting point for this artistic strategy were political, social, as well as purely creative themes. In America, Hacktivism was initially more visible than in Europe. Groups like Adbusters organized large campaigns against American companies and media conglomerates, challenged their fellow citizens? consumer habits, or performed theatre pieces in front of security cameras. In Europe, too, a cultural practice of subversive strategies has developed throughout different artistic genres and generations. These strategies follow the logic of hackers: entering into other systems, finding their way around, and then introducing applications that change or expand that system?s limits and utility.

But who hacks, and who is hacked? While numerous successful hacking attacks in the 90s disclosed the vulnerability of the economic and political structures of the Net, there is today a growing discourse about strategies of invisibility and retreat strategies such as ?turn-off?-movements.

Hacking the City is hence also about the history of failure at, and in the public space.

[Hacking the City]

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  2 Responses to “Hacking the City, by Brad Downey”

  1. Merci =)
    J’adore tes trouvailles qui alimentent ma méditation sur le rôle de l’art.

  2. [...] is a French artist who likes to play with urban elements. I must say I like his game. Watch more pics after the [...]

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