El pueblo closed circuit
Site pecific interactive intervention
El Pueblo Cultural Center, Pilar, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2001

The Centro cultural del Pueblo privado Estancias del Pilar is a place whose access is restricted through several security guard cabins with barriers. This gated community project – including housing, schools, clubs, churches and shops – is shaped in form of a scale model of 3x3 meters. This community building is also represented in the model next to a square and three other important buildings – the actual buildings finished up to that moment – and forms 2% of the model's total size. The hall where the model is located is darkened and a projector is set to project on those three model buildings and the square. Images of the real square are projected on the model in real time, using the respective scale and angle. By this projection of ghostly images on the model's surface, images of the persons who are actually walking on the square give life to the model.

Private exhibition

Wall text

During the 90's the land close to the principal highways leading out of the city was exposed to an excessive division into lots; this development went along with the privatization of highways in Argentina and gave origin to the so called gated communities. These bubbles, isolated from the hard conditions in the Buenos Aires outskirts by wire fences and latest security technology, started to reproduce themselves and many members of the high class emigrated to inhabit those housing projects.

There were different reasons for the proposal to make a site-specific installation for the cultural center of one of those ambitious housing projects. It was a private village, without poverty, surrounded by other closed districts, isolated from the world by wire fences and constant guards. This utopia was represented in an enormous scale model which seemed as isolated from the world as one could see. The truth is that the space occupied by the housing project is quite close to poor zones. The wire fences which separates them supports the tension between neighbors with big material differences who fear themselves mutually.

A security camera is placed in a position that makes it possible to see the building where the model is from outside and a closed circuit is arranged. The filmed image is projected by a multimedia projector in real time upon the three buildings and the square of the model – the only part which actually exists as the rest is only countryside. This way one can see a projection of ghostly images on the model's surface, images of the persons who actually walk on the square until they enter into the building where the installation is working. For the people visiting the installation, the projection of images of persons, animals and children playing in the bubble-project causes a resignification of both model and true space.

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