A public art installation that records the mood of the street.

Temporary public art installation, 2004

Together with Casagrade Laboratory for Helsinki Festival 2004.

Hub was ”an urban bottle mail” that recorded the thoughts of passers-by and the intimacies beneath urban anonymity. The installation was constructed of reinforcement steel, cell plastics, old film containers, crushed glass and an old barrel. Colourful pieces of paper were provided for writing.

Hub was a part series of public art installations called Human Layer Helsinki that Casagrade Laboratory collective made for in 2004. The aim of the art installations was to open up new perspectives to the potential and diversity of urban life, hidden by the codes of expected behaviour and paradigms of use of the public spaces.

The concept

Coping in city life calls for ’indifferent politeness’. It allows city dwellers to face the multitude of strangers and smoothens social contradictions. More and more often, even indifferent politeness is rendered unnecessary or even impossible in modern urban environments designed for control and privacy.

Hub brought out the strangeness and difference lying under indifferent politeness or ignorance. People could leave their mark on piece of paper and insert that into the tiny container or read what others had written. In that way the temporary art installation offered an invitation to pop inside and excuse to stay there a while browsing the messages or contributing to collection. The wall of messages recorded the mood of the passers-by during the two weeks of Helsinki Festival.