Press Release | 10 10 2003
Public Netbase
Nike Square: Art Intervention in Urban Space

Excitement and Controversy Around A Project Of 01001011110101101.ORG

An alleged plan to re-name the historic Karlsplatz square in central Vienna to "Nike Square" has generated a great deal of excitement since early October. A two-storey pavilion located on the square offers information on the plans of the transnational sportswear company. The suggested re-design of the square is centered around a 36 meters tall sculpture of the company’s logo.

The glass pavilion is manned by cheerful young staff who guide visitors around the exhibition. The nikeground website offers background information and details of an international campaign of establishing Nike Squares all over the world.

The structure, visible from afar, triggered off strong reactions on the part of the public, many of whom sent complaints to the city government and the media. Newspaper reports appeared across Austria concerning the "tremendous excitement" around the alleged sale of Karlsplatz square.

But now the confusion around this urban hallucination has come to an end. The project "nikeground.com – rethinking space" is the product of the "hardly believable nikeplatz trick" of the art group 0100101110101101.ORG, who developed the project in cooperation with the net culture institution Public Netbase. As a spokeswoman of the art group explained: "Our intention was to turn the city into the stage of a play and to transform the perception of the city by a hyper-real mis-en-scene." The activists, reputed for their spectacular net art projects, combine the artistic tradition of mythopoesis with global information infrastructure.

Konrad Becker: "Our motivation is to stimulate a debate on the tensions between public interest and the commercialization of all realms of life, and to expand the spheres of action in urban and media space." Nike corporation has already announced that it will file a lawsuit against the art project. To Konrad Becker, this does not come as a surprise: "It will have to be decided whether a large corporation is in fact able to prevent art and culture from addressing the omnipresent symbols of everyday culture. This would mean that cultural production is only possible in dependence on economic interests", Becker concluded.

  DEUTSCH

07 01 2004
Nike-Klage gegen Kunstprojekt zurückgezogen
Public Netbase

27 10 2003
Nike-Platz: Erster Erfolg für Freiheit der Kunst!
Public Netbase

16 10 2003
Nike-Platz: Großkonzern attackiert Freiheit der Kunst
Public Netbase

10 10 2003
Nike-Platz: Kunstintervention im urbanen Raum
Public Netbase
 

  nikeground.com
 

  ENGLISH

07 01 2004
Nike withdraws case against art project
Public Netbase

27 10 2003
Nike-Platz: A First Victory for the Freedom of Art
Public Netbase

16 10 2003
Nike-Platz: transnational corporation attacks freedom of art
Public Netbase

10 10 2003
Nike Square: Art Intervention in Urban Space
Public Netbase

10 10 2003
Nike buys streets and squares
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