by Damiano Cerrone & Daniele Giovannini
presented at Von Finster vernissage. Hildesheim 24 November 2011
Darkness and cold. Two fundamental elements that make the open air public space of a city just a place where to pass by when going from one place to another. Roads get crowded only for their primal function of connectivity, and people keep walking on these channels as the blind, rushing to get in the next bar and get warm. Squares are just a meeting points, an empty space to cross, venues for tourists.
Our idea is about challenging the cold creating an open public space which can be used “at night” at cost-zero. We use simple lights not for illumination purposes but to smoothly define a “recreational space” where one can take a break during a walk and or stop there, experiencing the space and performing some activity in order to have fun and fighting cold.
In Hildesheim we thought about the role of kids in a dark city as they are mostly warned to “don’t play out when darkness comes” and the night here comes at 5pm during the winter. Yet we tried to provide a fun-scape at the local recreational space of the primary school, encouraging kids to come out with their families to play at night, when led lights ribbons are shining and the city has the very different look. This way we may give the possibility for kids to experience the city in the time they are used to spend indoor and giving lights to the games they used to play.
Regardless our effort to stimulate the use of public space at night, at the opening of the vernissage we saw appearing a big yellow sign on the recreational space saying: ACHTUNG! KUNST (Watch out! art) and next another signs reminding that: Kids are forbidden to use the recreational space until the lights are on it.
Still, more effort must be done.