– THE CLEAN CITY PROJECT

THE CLEAN CITY PROJECT, 2011, video installation: 

Panoramic video projection. 04:08min.

Monitor with sound and text. 01:17min. 

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The Clean City project is a video installaton consisting of a looping panoramic video projection showing an intervention on a billboard owned by the public advertising company JC Decaux. The billboard is advertising the company it’s self with a text saying “a larger media exist’s than television”. The advertisement is referring to public space wich is largely controlled by such multinational public advertisement companys as Jc Decaux.

The installation also includes a monitor displaying a phone call with text and sound. In the phone call a city official agrees to give gray paint used by the city for cleaning graffiti to an unknown person.

The piece is a comment on the Helsinki City’s zero tolerance policy towards graffiti and the dominance of commercial advertisement in public space. The intervention takes place in the local context of Helsinki, but addresses issues that are part of the discourse on public space in most urban environments today.

 

Conversation from monitor with sound:

 

In 2002 the city of Helsinki launched the Siisti Stadi project (“Clean” or “Cool City”),

which aims at a cozier and cleaner environment.

Different operators in the area, from city officials to regular workers

participated in the project.

 X: Hello, this is ____.

I called last week about the gray paint for cleaning purposes.

I was supposed to come and get it from Vihdintie.

 Worker: Excuse me, what did you say?

 X: Are you at the office in Vihdintie?

 W: Yes, what do you want?

 X: The gray paint for cleaning purposes.

I need to clean up some texts.

 W: Oh yes!

We are just on our way to the office now.

 X: Ok, great!

And the address is Vihdintie 19?

 W: Yes, Vihdintie 19.

It says “project department” in front.

It’s opposite of the gas station.

Just press the buzzer and come pick it up!

 X: Ok, thank you.

Bye.