Peepoint. 2010 (Action).
Exhibition; Athens here and now, BENAKI MUSEUM, Greece.
In Athens in March 2011, a group of designers, architects, and artists from Greece were joined by a group of M.F.A candidates from Parsons The New School for Design in New York for a week-long artist residency. They were asked to envision a process for working together in response to current circumstances in the neighborhood of Exarchia.
This project attempted to find a way to infiltrate the social tissue of the public space of Exharchia so that it might record the issues that need to be resolved. Initially, the artist studied the area following several routes. Through various media, they individually recorded physical and social elements that provided insight for better understanding the neighborhood and its specificities. For this reason, the group created a kind of game with Post-It notes where they imprinted their unique experience of the neighborhood in writing or in drawing. This sort of playful methodology gave them the significant advantage of instant comparison of unique perspectives and the means to identify and interpret common observation. Three general conceptual categories emerged that encompassed almost all of their observations about Exarchia: a) Life and Lifestyle; b) Collectivity; and c) Ideology. It became clear which phenomena appeared in more than one category, helping them easily identify common topics of concern and also evaluate the significance of the data in order to arrive at the final proposal for an action. The process as well as the PEEPOINT project were presented at the 2011 exhibition Athens Here and Now at the Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece.
The action, PEEPOINT, announced itself to the inhabitants of Exharchia as a satirical “pilot project” By introducing locals to their crudely prototyped “recycling machine,” the action triggered a public discussion about private issues and public smells, a process greatly enabled by humor. The artist proposed that instead of urinating on buildings walls, the nocturnal wanderers in Exarchia could use its proposed vending machine, which dispenses free empty plastic water bottles to urinate in and also provides a space to recycle them…! The locals responded enthusiastically to the possibility of realizing this project and placing PEEPOINTS in especially smelly areas of Exarchia. They encouraged the team to continue refining the model, and their constructive suggestions were recorded in videotaped interviews.