Now I want a straight line crossing the square from north to south

now I want a straight line crossing the square from north to south is part of the ongoing interventions which take place from Oct 9 till Oct 13 2018 in the framework of the new local.


now I want a straight line crossing the square from north to south sets out as an observatory at pedestrian level, inspired by different observation methodologies from the past century, such as Whyte’s 1971 Street Life project on New York plazas, or the Mass Observation of Everyday Life project in 1930–70 in the UK. It sets out to rethink the observation and interpretation of the ubiquitous type of square, namely the Muntplein, taking into account the recent intensification of mapping, modeling, and monitoring taking place there. Urban spaces are now constantly marked by these activities, dictated by the urge for customer tracking and general surveillance and accelerated by expedient discourses on security and public order.

As observers, Zakkas and Tichy will join a broad range of human and machinic agents already watching over the square to question the different prediction and prescription agendas. Whose perspectives produce what modes of describing, evaluating, projecting, nudging, and preventing possible courses of events? How do different perspectives interact, mask, or distort each other? What other types of behaviors are ignored by these types of observation, and what types of behaviors are influenced by being observable? How does observation relate to a practice of exercising control and of complying with control?

Zakkas and Tichy (Constant)

Constant is a nonprofit, artist-run association based in Brussels and active in the fields of art, media, and technology. Constant departs from (cyber)feminism, copyleft, and Free Software, crossing technical and social questions in transdisciplinary work sessions and other collective practices.

Alex Zakkas uses perspectives from interaction design and media theory to observe the changing behavioral patterns of life in synthetic environments.
Kurt Tichy is interested in developing critical interpretations of technical objects, be it submarine network infrastructures or ice-cream machines