Trans Europe Slow

An interactive installation to explore the lesser-known areas of European cities through the eyes of an urban cyclist

What do we know about other European cities? Mass tourism and marketing homogenize cities in a list of commonplaces and a small amount of stories ready to be sold. But what is beyond the city center? With Trans Europe Slow we propose to collectively explore the city to find places which tell different stories. As a cyclist, it is easier to connect the different parts of the city, find alternative routes and explore hidden streets.

To find about these real places, we worked with a self-managed bike workshop in Helsinki and with neighbours from northern Liverpool. After listing some places, we got lost in the city, recording the routes with a camera on the bike.

Installation

In the physical installation, the videos are controlled by the visitor by a set of pedals. When the visitor pedals, the image advances, jumping between cities. Installations in Helsinki and Liverpool were connected. When somebody pedalled in Helsinki, another set of pedals moved automatically in Liverpool.
The set of pedals were built in collaboration with a local bike workshop in a self-managed social space: Los recicletos at Tabacalera

Story

[The urban Cyclist] sneak into another geography, eminently and literally “poetic”, because it offers the possibility to contact places that before were only visited independently.[...] It allows them to reassess distances and make approaches that cannot be made on public transportation, which is limited to fixed itineraries
Marc Auge "in praise of Bicycles"

Fifty years ago, Kraftwerk astonished the word with their electronic songs acclaiming the idols of modern civilisation: technology, machines, speed. The promises of endless traveling and exploration promised by the high speed trains of their TransEuropeExpress deserve to be reconsidered in the age of the standard tourist. Dreams of never-ending industrialization get old and new ways of living break through the holes. Speed must calm down, travel becomes a stroll.

Team: Sergio Galán, Jose Roncero, Tomás Virgós, Victor Diaz
Context: Developed within the connecting cities European Project 2013
My Tasks: Concept, Programming, Coordination
Tools: Open Frameworks, Processing, Arduino (panstamp)