[Learning Poster #011-A - #011-B, Everyday, Everywhere], 2012:
Learning Site (Cecilia Wendt and Rikke Luther) together with Jaime Stapleton (writer) and Þröstur Valgarðsson (sign designer)
Everyday, Everywhere was a project spread across a series of empty building sites and dilapidated houses in Reykjavik in 2012. Those sites had been left vacant since the sudden collapse of the Icelandic economy following the financial crisis of 2008. Learning Site’s poster constructions on sites and around the city explored the concept of a bank as a storehouse of value. Those interventions in public space thus set the stage for thinking about a post-financial crisis society, a society able to engage with values that cannot easily and simply be translated and then reduced to value as a monetary exchange.
The Learning Site ‘banks’ were inspired by the myth of ‘Potemkin Villages’ – a series of fictitious riverside villages constructed by Grigory Potemkin to convince Catherine II of the value of her military conquest – and today a phrase in political and economic discourse denoting both deceit and imagination. The design of the outdoor poster interventions was by the Icelandic artist Þröstur Valgarðsson, who skillfully adapted the formal graphic language of Icelandic banking institutions to the project.
The themes of finance, illusion and belief were further elaborated by a gallery installation. The three large-scale posters, reproduced here, were designed by Learning Site. The “Map of Values” indicated the location of the poster interventions around Reykjavik. The “Map to Defray The Risk of Bad Consumer Behavior” explored the theme of real property (land) to its financial derivative (the equation for a credit default swap). The third, “Everyday Nature”, set the scene for the accompanying one-act play “Everyday, Everywhere: The Dialogue” written by Jaime Stapleton. The play, also reproduced here, explores the game-playing and manipulation of appearances inherent in financialisation and the construction of ‘futures’.
Everyday, Everywhere has had a considerable after-life as many of the original posters from spring 2012 are still in place in Reykjavik and continue to be a focus for discussion.
Download #001-A – #011-E