Clear fire and inspire!
A social design & community art project for the suburbs of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen and Lahti by Dida Zende. In cooperation with the social responsibility & design project by the Goethe Institute Helsinki. The social sculpture FIREFIT is a mobile extension of the FIT – freie internationale tankstelle. The converted Fire Truck is no longer saving lives but saving the energy of life, the creative spirit as a base for a wide spectrum of creative possibilities. Not tied to a place the FIREFIT communicates the free spirit of creativity. It shows ways to act responsibly in an ever-growing network. The art work floats in a non-defined social space as a casual alternative to communicate.
Why a Fire Truck?
The aesthetic effect of the Fire Truck is used to visualize today’ social emergency. It represents the phenomenon of change, instability, insecurity. We know it can not go on like this, but where to start? Before we change the world we must change ourselves. This only works if we reactivate our disused creative resources. Such resources, however, must be identified. FIREFIT is a dialogue for those who are willing to understand better.
How do we come to a better understanding?
People, who normally act within a defined space are now confronted with an open space. This initiates internal processes. The understanding to be a creative part of a whole, the transformation of everyday life into art, this is FIREFIT. The prevailing systems have failed and must be shut down. Possibilities must be created to gain new perception, taking different point of views. Art is the last possibility to take a fresh look on the existing world.
This other view, however, can only be triggered in each of us individually. The aim of FIREFIT is to find new perspectives and to help new visualization on the way. It is less a finished work of art but an open source or open-space situation. The actions around the FIREFIT are not predefined as a work of art, but are treated as an organism which is being developed through the participation of visitors and interest groups involved. That process itself is a work of art. In the field of creative mobilization of communities, converting abandoned gas stations into creative stations, I experienced a lot of willingness to interact.
My work has often been an impulse to comprehend and understand activities anew which before were regarded as hidden passions or hobbies. It shows how much energy is set free amongst citizens when possibilities are offered on their doorstep. Of course, possible interest groups should be contacted in advance to give them the opportunity to participate. In addition, experts will be invited to open discussions. The focus of this discussion will be the specific problem of recorded urban space. The FIREFIT works as a mediator between insight and outsight, between men and women, old and young, between expert and amateur.
Public space will temporarily be extended by the residents, discussed and reconsidered, but without a compulsive agenda. The viewer becomes an actor based on the dialogue on human interaction. The FIREFIT as vehicle to start dialogues,from here the spark of new ideas can be carried on. The specific atmosphere of an urban environment shall beapproached cautiously. The process of communication is the result. The end is open. This process is documented and made accessible to everyone on the Internet. New opportunities arise for participation in the sense of the open source ideas. Finally, an exhibition of the work is planned in Muoto Huoltama, Lahti.