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Mind the Crowd

A new project by Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Alejandro Ceron takes public space and reinterprets its potential.

By Gabrielle Kennedy /asdf 20-03-2014

The proliferation of decentralized working environments offers a new canvas for designers to toy with.  It is not just about what space looks like, but how all the parts provide context.

“This project is about utilizing public space,” Ceron says.  By this he means more than just space in the traditional sense, but space and what fills it up as a source of content.  Public space provides geography and also people. All the elements combine to form context.  

In “Mind The Crowd” a section of public space is dominated by wooden people in action.  The intervention acts like a sort of freeze frame on human potential.

“I am not interested in the people found in public spaces as a labour force,” says Ceron, “but more in their relationships with each other.  There is so much potential available in terms of the audience you interact with and the spatial environment.”

When Ceron set up his “Mind The Crowd” intervention in Blanca, Spain the public’s reaction was surprising.  “They are both positive and negative,” he says.  “Some people just ignore it and clearly don´t care. Others question or approach me because they are offended by the placement of the work … Then there are those who think that understanding or appreciating the work is secondary – their main complaint is about public money being spent on culture instead of on housing or unemployment.  I think this is fair enough.”

Ceron has always sought this sort of interaction from a participating audience. Back in 2009 he was already creating work designed to comment on individualism, loneliness and a lack of communalism.

How the public has responded to “Mind the Crowd” is embraced by Ceron as another element adding to the context of the project.  “I see it as some kind of final phase,” he explains, “although it can also offer new perspectives and ideas that might enrich the project or inspire a new one.”

"Mind the Crowd" will be exhibited until May 10th at Centro Negra, Center for Research and Contemporary Practice (Blanca, Murcia, Spain).

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