cyclingscaping project

Resident Raphael Franco is mid way through his socio-cycling-landscape project “cyclingscaping” below he tells us more about his work in progress:

images by Raphael Franco

“Through the interaction between artists, bike lovers and citizens of all ages, Cyclingscaping aims to challenge notions of visual identity and forms of experiencing, representing and relating to the landscape. By reinforcing the value of cycling as a sociable, healthy and enjoyable activity, the Cyclingscaping projects promotes informal encounters in which people can share experiences, talk about the city, its surroundings, history, places of interest and disinterest, in a way that cycling becomes not just a leisure or sporty activity, but an artistic, collective action, in which a collective knowledge is built through the discussion about the present, past and future of the city. Such a process will result in a informal cycling map of Biella and its surroundings.

After the first month of residency, when I started to make contacts and explore the centre of Biella, the project has developed positively, establishing partnerships, gathering friends as well as a number of Biellese citizens who are contributing to the development of the map. The first tours outside the city centre took place on the past few weeks and brought citizens from Biella and artists from UNIDEE 2011. There will be a bigger tour on September to launch the map within the city.

images by Raphael Franco

For me, the contact with local people is fundamental for the success of the project, so I’m quite happy with the rides led by Biellese individuals as well as with the dialogue about buildings and spaces with people here. As I’m asking them to talk a little bit about places they like/dislike and why, I’ve been having the opportunity to learn about a different history of the city; a history that unfolds through people’s life stories, which gives an experimental input to the work, rather than a pure analytic observation. An interesting aspect of working with this approach is to eventually confront opinions about the same place/building, taking as examples buildings such as the new residential buildings of Via Lamarmora, or the “Esselunga (the biggest supermarket in town) buildings”, which represent the “verticalization” of the city and the controversial clash between its new and the old architecture.” Raphael Franco

first bike tour of Biella (distance 9.1km)


eduardo cachucho

(photo mvp)

Since he has been here, resident Eduardo Cachucho has developed an urban exploration application that acts as a guide to a town or city, he has created one specifically for Biella, here is what Eduardo has to say about it:

(photos unless otherwise stated by Eduardo Cachucho)

In a dérive one or more persons during a certain period drop their relations, their work and leisure activities, … and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there

(Guy Debord, Les Levres Nues #9, Nov 1956)

Dérive is a mobile application that aids a user in exploring their surroundings through the use of randomly drawn ‘task-cards’. These cards are refreshed every 3min creating a sense of urgency in the exploration for new objects, things, colours, people etc to follow, find, experience.

Influenced by the Drift Deck created by the Near Future Laboratory in 2008, Dérive allows a user to install the application to their phone and take the ‘cards’ with them wherever they are.

Please feel free to add your own cards by making a drawing and sending it to me, or merely suggesting new possibilities. I am making localised versions for specific cities. They will be added over time according to interest from specific parties. These localised versions do not include specific iconic buildings or objects, but rather center around cultural customs and architectural forms that can be found in the area. Currently Biella, Italy is already live, with plans for Johannesburg, South Africa and Italy, Milan under way.

Tested the app for the first time in the wild yesterday with Özgür Demirci, a visual artist from Turkey.

Project Specifics:

Compatibility – iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad

Card Count – 29

City specific – Biella, 12