Developing the First World Countries | kulturpunkt

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Developing the First World Countries

In/Visible Cities, two art projects concerned with city’s public life, are taking place in Zagreb.

by: Matija Mrakovčić

Ghana Think Tank

These pieces use the Media Façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb as their communication tool. Both projects take place in real time in the Museum’s surroundings, and the passers-by are able to see them on the Media Façade. 

Project Particle Fallz by American artist Andrea Polli takes local data on air pollution and simultaneously uses it in a waterfall-shaped visualisation. The visualisation is updated every 15 seconds. Even though the air is invisible, it greatly impacts public health. The first results of recent London studies, ordered by mayor Boris Johnson, show that 4300 people die prematurely every year due to the city’s bad air quality. The piece will be displayed on the media façade during three intervals: from October 13th to October 17th, from October 21th to October 24th and from December 1st to December 20th

Andrea Polli is an artist working on the intersection of art, science and technology, whose work includes media installations and public interventions. She engages in writing and curatorial work geared towards artistic and social projects.

The work of New York group Ghana Think Tank inverts the usual methods of problem solving: the problems of the so-called first world are solved in the so-called third world. Zagreb’s problems were collected in June (e.g. the “tent men” in Savska Street, the destroyed wall in Branimirova Street, or the young talented people leaving Zagreb). The media façade displays problems and solutions, and Ghana Think Tank established direct communication with citizens from October 18th to October 20th in Avenue Mall - a local shopping mall - using a web app interface shaped like a mounted goat, specially created for this project.  

GTT is a non-profit art collective that “collects” problems of US and European societies and sends them to think thanks that include bike mechanics in Ghana, a rural radio station in El Salvador, Sudanese refugees looking for asylum in Israel, an art collective in Iran and a group of incarcerated girls in Boston. GTT was formed in 2006 by Christopher Robbins, John Ewing and Matey Odonkor, while Maria Del Carmen Montoya joined them in 2009. 

During the past three years, the Museum of Contemporary Art has been one of the partners in the Connecting Cities project, which has brought together more than 34 European and non-European institutions and NGOs in just as many cities, gathered around the theme of media façades. The project's curator is Darko Fritz

Translated from Croatian by Lana Pukanić.

Objavio/la vatroslav [at] kulturpunkt.hr 28.10.2015