Madrid Street Advertising Takeover

"MaSAT (Madrid Street Advertising Takeover) is the second international street ad takeover project, and the third in a series of civil disobedience projects intent on changing our expectations of public behavior in our shared environments. For this SAT project we targeted Cemusa bus shelters in 4 heavily populated locations around Madrid. This time, at the request of our Madrid based collaborators, participants were asked to submit only text based works. This fantastic idea allowed us to open up the submission request process to a wide range of individuals including sociologist, teachers, lawyers, gallery owners and anyone with a concern for the curation and participation in public space. Each of the 106 individuals were asked to submit one sentiment they wished to see exhibited on the streets. The result is a variety of unique visions of public dialogue and a glimpse at the possibilities available when we open up our public environment in a truly public way."

The Space Hijackers were one of the many artists and groups asked to take part in this fantastic project, so we decided to include a message about one of the major Bees in our bonet of late: public/private property. With our No No No project we've been touring London's public/private spaces with a giant sign explaining the unwritten rules for such areas. Often land that appears public is actually owned by private corporations and all the private control that that entails. On the surface, London is a city full of open spaces bustling with shoppers and tourists. If you scratch beneath it, you soon discover that this openness is a scam.

If you’re a local council, selling off land to private developers is an easy way to raise capital. But these public land sales come at a cost - our civil liberties are eroded, as we are turned from citizens into consumers. Take the construction of the Olympic village in Stratford for example. It’s an entirely privately owned complex. Although there will be public space, shops and entertainment, there will also be robotic CCTV drones monitoring everyone coming and going – thousands of cameras watching your every move, a ban on begging, busking, skateboarding, hoodies, public assembly, protest, loitering and much much more. Everything that makes our city so vibrant is drained out of the space and replaced with a 2D image of a city. Unless you're shopping you're not welcome.

The project organisers loved the idea, and so our tirade about the rules and regulations forced onto public space when sold off, hit the streets of Madrid. Have a look through the work of the other artists and perhaps give a donation to the lovely organisers.

Thank you so so much to the organisers and the daring mob who snuck around the streets at night installing the art...

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