The Art. 21 – Privacy-Free Zone project explores the paradox: how do the right of privacy and freedom of expression coexist in Switzerland in 2016? The right of privacy, guaranteed by the article 28 of the civil code, gives to everyone the exclusive right on their own personal image and prevents third parties from representing it. To guarantee freedom of artistic expression, though, there is the article 21 of the Swiss Constitution. In a physical space defined by a red circle, a free outlaw zone will be activated and these two articles will be suspended. How are people passing by going to react? In an era that is dominated by easy pictures, the ideas of privacy and being at the centre of attention often overlap, creating a short circuit. Which is the physical space of an image? From what are we protecting us? From whom? Anyone entering the red circle or taking a picture of someone who has entered it will be able to experience it. Thanks to the transitive relation of the artist, everybody is free to publish the shared pictures on social media (instagram, twitter, google+, vine, youtube) with the hashtag #PrivacyFreeZone, participating actively to the constitution of this controversial media artwork. All the images and videos are gathered in a public recipient and available here.
In mathematics, a binary relation R in a set X is transitive if, and only if, for each a, b, c belonging to X, a is in a relation with b and b is in a relation with c, then also a is in a relation with c.
∀ a,b,c ∈ X : aRb ⋀ bRc ⇒ aRc
So for example, “bigger than”, “equals” are transitive relations if: a=b and b=c, then a=c. So, if for each a, b, c belonging to X (project), a (artist) equals b (matteofieni), and b equals c (people), then a = c, then as a consequence all people participating to X are artists. This demonstrates that the theory, called “transitive relation of the artist” by MF, does work. Obviously, there still needs to be demonstrated
that a (artist) = b (matteo). This will happen if c (the participants) will contribute to the project and consciously to its principles.
P1: As we have the right to watch, observe, and reflect on what surrounds us to understand ourselves and where we are going, we also have the right to create photographic documentation that is relevant to us, without anyone holding us back, especially within this specific public place.
P2: In the name of research, in this zone the artist allows people to create photographic documentation, which will be useful for his studies. It is therefore allowed to express yourself and to document one’s or others’ self-expression in a variety of known ways.
P3: Nowadays, in Switzerland only pictures of adults, clearly visible, can be taken and published. This can be done without their permission only if they are aware of standing in the artist’s red circle, so with both feet completely within the space defined by the circle.
P4: The persons appearing outside the circle can be published by concealing their identity in various ways and if who is publishing considers it appropriate.
P5: Given that when we walk in the street we already are public, each of us is co-author and responsible for the public expression and the image derived from it.
P6: This artwork will increase or diminish its value proportionally to the quantity of control needed in public spaces.
P7: Together with the two mentioned articles and for the time of the Long Lake Festival 2016, also personal judgement is invited to be suspended and leave room to interaction.
P8: Thanks to the “transitive relation of the artist”, granted by the author, the project gives the right of art. 21 CS to publish the photographs through the hashtag #PrivacyFreeZone without incurring into troubles related to public order.
E1: Camera F #1 Newspaper: The “transitive relation of the artist” activates the “cercle d’artiste” of the Camera F #1 newspaper. From this moment on, this newspaper can be used to conceal one’s identity, which will later be revealed at the picture’s publication, from whichever public space you are in Switzerland, using the hashtag #PrivacyFreeZone.
E2: Artist T-Shirts: The T-Shirts with the “cercle d’artiste” will activate the transitive relation of the artist directly on the people who wear them. The people wearing the T-Shirt can therefore be photographed and their pictures published by third parties without notice through the hashtag #PrivacyFreeZone.
E3: Further: Other “cercles d’artiste” can be put in the streets as extensions of the project, but pay attention: they will be active only if given directly by the artist.
Lugano, 23rd June 2016