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Stadt Teaser / City Spoiler

Public Interventions 2006

Stadt Teaser (City Spoilers) was a group project concerned with gauging responses to disruption, or provocation in public space. We brought the very notion of public space under heavy scrutiny, and in the end restricted ourselves to the squares and parks around the city. Beginning with simple displacements we would place boxes of water-bombs in areas of heavy pedestrian traffic, or section off areas of busy parks with construction tape. Perhaps impatient with the slow pace of results allowed by offering the public a choice to interact, or perhaps in a fit of self-importance, we decided we needed to force a public to engage with our objects.

With that intent, the project culminated by barricading an area of Friesenplatz, a central square, that included the exit of an underground station, in peak hour. A wooden gate was erected, and from it hung about 50 water-bombs between head and waist height. The people had to choose to either walk through the water-bombs, or climb over the barricades. The reactions of people were diverse, but the responsive decisions happened mainly in sequence, that is, people just did what they saw the person in front of them doing. Some (two in four hours) returned down to the underground to find alternative exits, but even those who were initially confronted, walked away with huge smiles on their faces. And when they rounded the corner to see us hiding there with cameras, sent big gestures of appreciation!

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