The Human Layer_Taipei is based on the ideas and methods of the Urban Acupuncture and Fritz Lang’s maxim in the movie Metropolis: “The Mediator between the Head and the Hands must be the Heart.”
C-Laboratory Taipei was set up by C-LAB Helsinki personnel Marco Casagrande, Martin Ross and Kerby McGhee in September 2004 in co-operation with the Tamkang University’s Department of Architecture and reinforced by Tuomas Makkonen in November. The C-LAB moved to China with one motorcycle and one car.
With a design force of 10 operators the first step of the urban acupuncture in order to understand the energy flows and patterns in the case of Taipei was taken. This initial intelligence was analyzed and 8 basic strategic ways of the energies (Chi for the energy in classical Chinese) could be determined.
The symbolic Head of Taipei is Mayor Ma (Ma = Horse in Chinese). The Hands are the citizens. We needed to create the Mediator, the Heart. The result was to build up 8 Trojan Rocking Horses out of steel and move them following the 8 Chi channels collecting all the time data from the citizens to be brought to Mayor Ma. The citizens were asked to write down their dreams, memories, wishes or other comments about Taipei and put these letters inside the Trojan Rocking Horses that were working as mobile mail boxes.
After five days of marching the army of the Trojan Rocking Horses surrounded the Taipei City Hall and eventually forced Mayor Ma to step out. The cavalry was lined up for his inspection and the keys of the city were presented to him. The horses were locked with the citizen data inside. Mayor Ma opened the horses and started to read the letters to the media. After some time we agreed that C-LAB will document and analyze the data and base designs of urban planning and architecture in combination with other disciplines of art, science and humanism on this information and present him the results.
C-Laboratory realized 8 reactions for the citizen data resulting to some important ways of possible urban future planning. This is now taken further during the Spring and Summer 2005. The main goal is now focused on the ecological rehabilitation of the Taipei City.
C-LAB for Human Layer_Taipei: architect Marco Casagrande, industrial artist Martin Ross, painter Kerby McGhee, station manager Tuomas Makkonen, operator Ai, operator Point, operator Neil, operator Bruce, operator Emily, operator Shinu Shin Jr., operator Daniel and operator Luo. The Trojan Rocking Horse action was kindly sponsored by Taipei City Government Department of Cultural Affairs for „Taipei on the Move” – exhibition curated by Jo Hsiao. The C-LAB exodus to China was kindly sponsored by Halti, Harley Davidson Finland, Wärtsilä and Jussi Salonoja.
Marco Casagrande is a Finnish architect and artist who is currently a guest professor at Tamkang University, Department of Architecture in Taipei.
See also: www.clab.fi