what is orgacom
From May 19th to June 6th curator Holger Nickisch organized 'Nieuwe Domeinen' a festive event encompassing art, urban development and architecture. Central in Orgacom's project is the theme of public space in renovated residential areas in Stadsdeel Westerpark, Amsterdam. Based on interviews with local politicians and employees of Stadsdeel Westerpark, Orgacom formulated an artistic answer to the questions:
Who owns public space? Does the state own public space, or maybe of those representing constituents, special interest groups or everybody? Which groups and interests are at stake if a specific public space needs to be furnished?
What is public space? public space can be catogorised in the way it is used: space for special groups (playing grounds for kids), use by private parties (café terrasses, living boat gardens), green prohibited public space (nature reserve), temporary public space (park with openings hours), temporary private space (square with event asking entry fees), view (air), public buildings (city hall) and invisible public space (cables underground), just to name a few.
Where is public space? Orgacom researched where in the Westerpark district certain types of public space emerge according to city counselers, employees and inhabitants. Orgacom publishes a small booklet with photos of different types of public space in the district. The photos are commented upon by the city counselers, employees and inhabitants.
Why are some spaces public? The aforementioned booklet also offers some answers as to how public space historically came about, what its functions are and why public space is important.
In reaction to interviews Orgacom comes up with a number of interventions in public space in which the protected toad 'Bufo Calamita' is used as metaphor for contested public space. The toads can be found in the district in which the art event New Domains takes place. Their impact on public space is substancial, like an employee of the city green department told us:"as soon as they are spotted, there is nothing you can do but pat them on the back".
Orgacom produced orange T-shirts with the graphic depiction of the toad, that can still be bought today via the art project of Ki-osk and Orgacom. At the back of the T-shirt the line by the employee is written in Dutch.
Orgacom also planned to scatter twelve concrete toads over the district that inhabitants of the district could move or take home. By means of these concrete toads inhabitants could symbolically or practically claim public space, mixing public and private space when the toad ends up in their gardens.
All photo's are taken by Dutch photographer Thomas Lenden.
An English summary about the event is available at » Niewe Domeinen
Website of activists that protect the Bufo Calamita » BP Nee!
Interview in the » Staatskrant
» Stadsdeel Westerpark
Handout Nieuwe Domeinen
download dutch document: » Handout Nieuwe Domeinen
download dutch document: » Inleiding Publicatie
Zonder het bijbehorende beeldmateriaal
download dutch document: » Publicatie
Orgacom ontwikelde een Public Space Management System
download dutch document: » Inventarisatie
Alleen T-shirts met dit voorblad zijn echt!
download dutch document: » T-shirt voorblad