<body> Public Ad Campaign: Anaïs Florin – “Les Vaîtes avant l’écoquartier” #1
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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Anaïs Florin – “Les Vaîtes avant l’écoquartier” #1

A few years ago I participated in Bien Urbain in Besancon France. After installing a bunch of pieces around town, I then held a workshop. Participants of the workshop made thier own posters and then as a group, we went out and put them up together without permission from the city. The basic idea was that you had to put up your own poster so that you broke that barrier between you and your shared public environment. With the entire group watching, there was a sense of safety in numbers that made it much easier for people break the rules, not to mention you didn't want to be the one person in the group that decided to chicken out in front of your peers. It was a really fantastic experience and everyone came away with a grin from ear to ear and plans to do more actions in the future. I left a set of PublicAccess keys for the Bien Urbain team and since then there have been several projects that have taken advantage of them. Quentin Cousirrat recently made me aware of a project by artist Anais Florin who made the advertising space around Besancon integral to her participation in Bien Urbain this year. Unauthorized civic media production seems to be a small but vibrant part of the Besancon public life. 
Leaving keys in cities and then years later seeing them still in use makes me incredibly happy. While I do enjoy making the keys, it can sometimes seem like a chore. When I run out of keys I spend several days restocking them by hand cutting, milling and welding all of the parts until I have enough to last another year, or sometimes just a few months. People purchase the keys for between 25 and 30 dollars, which seems like a lot, but after materials comes out to between 10 and 15 dollars for what can be several hours of work depending on which key. I don't really exhibit these functional sculptures, they just go out in the mail and I never see them again. What I do see are projects like this, which make all the time behind the drill press, boring out the centers of 6mm Hex bar, well worth the effort. 
Anaïs Florin focuses her attention on places, on their history, their transformation and the struggles associated with them. Her practice mixes art and activism in a listening dynamic and a benevolent collaboration with the people of the territory.

For the 9th edition of Bien Urbain, she intervened in the Vaîtes district by meeting the gardeners who defend this place. Her first work, “Les Vaîtes avant l’écoquartier” (“The Vaîtes before the ecodistrict”) was a collection of 25 photographs put in billboards and bus shelters in the city center and the tram line linking it to the Vaîtes district.
More [HERE]

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