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GALLERY 2010/2011





Description of campaign/project

Through little, or even naïve, interventions we intend to show that the city belongs to us! We see our role in the society as studying its system and interacting with it.

We, deliberately, haven’t chosen a radical form of confrontation with the System as a mode of our expression, instead we’ve opted for a game, a game with it and with you. UFF is a form of geocaching, nevertheless, it attempts a two-fold intervention to the public space. Game, as a vehicle for discovery and learning and as a creative approach to problems and questions, stands for us against brainless consumption and idleness!

The theme of Big Brother, however overused it may seem, is now more urgent than ever before and, most importantly, is not limited to totalitarian regimes. In Czech Republic, where after 1989 the need for democracy was met in a rather twisted way, the laws are abundant with many legal gaps. We are currently recognized as a country where privacy rights are systematically (and often legally) violated.

To escape the gaze of Big Brother sounds today like a naïve utopia. We rather pretend not to see or mind surveillance cameras. The one who opens a debate about tapped phones is considered a fanatic and is then forced to withdraw, saying, “The fact we are paranoid does not mean they are not watching.”

Apart from CCTV (Closed-Circuit-Television) there are other, more efficient, ways to monitor our lives. Thanks to our dependency on mobile phones are our location data recorded and easily looked up any time in the future. This is actually necessary due to a controversial directive of Dataretention (see below). Entire disk fields full with data about our text messages or mails are paid from our pocket, so we should at least know what’s stored in there.
Mobile phone is a tool for immediate communication. It is not necessary to arrange a meeting long time in advance for we can call it couple of minutes before it starts. This “freedom” is precisely what strengthens the system’s tentacles. Through our cell phones we are able to access the internet and write a mail to a friend which leaves yet another digital trace. We voluntarily disclose our private business to “those above” for investigation purposes and do not care “who watches the watchmen”. Processing data is very fast and precise these days. Often, tapping phone is not even necessary to find out who we are and what we are doing, all is clear from our daily schemes and trajectories. Thanks to the Opencard, electronic IDs and other “improvements” the noose is getting tighter.

Public space is not “public” to everyone in the same sense. Urban landscape is saturated with advertisements, the city is spreading and rising, noticing minute details and nuances is ever more difficult. We need to filter out the enormous torrent of visual information, hence we reduce our commotion to a transfer from place A to place B. However, some of the filtered-out information can fundamentally transform our perception of the spot, or of the city in general. We are continuously suggested to spend our free time in a shopping mall, squares have become unlimited display areas for advertising agencies. Parks give in to automobiles and the most popular green space overall is the football pitch. Where is the space for an active life and discussion, the space for us?
Social sphere deteriorates because of the private boundaries we build around ourselves. What is beyond is not an issue, hence we don’t even know who lives across. Gathering into groups smells of sectatrianism, organized are only sportsmen or criminals. Significant individuals can no longer sign themselves without being accused of narcissistic self-promotion.
Any motto without a logo attached to it becomes a pointless scream of despair for we are too lazy to find out who is its author. The church, the media, the politician and the artist hiding out in a gallery, they all moralize, but we lack morality. Street art is becoming a fake kitsch and we can no longer distinguish between guerilla advertising and activist message.

We take as a fact the ill idea of us being those in the gutter who may not change the face of the city. The one who looks for an alternative or calls for a change is labeled a daydreamer or an utopist.

The aim of UFF is not to spread paranoid thoughts. The situation doesn’t call for blocking out. Rather, we should try to understand life in the city’s web, explore the structures and through whatever means and challenge them and develop them further. Be creative, active and in this way support healthy pulse of the society. Expressing one’s opinion, needing a change, willingness to cross the border and to push the limits!

Guerilla performance, public intervention, videoart. I don't ask anybody(if I'm convinced that I do the "right" thing..which is very difficult to concude)

I try to create nonstandard situations in real life. I interact with my surroundings via unexpected methods. I therefore represent (hopefuly) freeminded citizen, who consciously create helthier public space, which doesn't belong to "them"(who btw doesn't even exist) but to us!

I learned that being creative and active(without any PROFIT) is the only way I can live in this society(which I'm bored with). People are willing to take part in sudden "roles" and they would like to live different lifes than they do. Most of them just don't know how...

We are free, we just don't realize it because of all the propaganda around us.

Curators comments More info on Curators & Editors ›

I think the UFF project is brilliant. I appreciate the philosophy & the actions taken. Instead of confronting directly, the UFF actions take on the city in a creative and playful way. This is precisely what the "Beyond..." category is about: thinking outside the box. So, as a general comment, I would argue that it's the strong creative thinking, the quality of the application in the city landscape and the clean packaging with efficient video and installation that provides UFF with its roundness.

One of the elements that most struck me was the advanced level of the project, where rationale about the many aspects of the Big Brother theory were met with a complex game. The UFF game managed to play with the city, gently criticizing the system, by proposing subtle changes to the urban landscape. It managed to get people on the streets intrigued, questioning, smiling, thinking. It also managed to get people to interact with the game once assembled in the form of an installation. This project set in two parts has the potential to hit a critical mass of people, inviting them to challenge the given, the conventional urban landscape and understanding. In that regard, I was wondering why you have decided not to include one or two actions that directly talk or pull people from the streets into the guerrilla tactics. I think that it would have been a nice way to intervene in peoples lives and to open up to them.

The online and offline combination during the day of action was a sure fit. Making use of geocaching and and a robust website in which one could follow your actions on the day they were happening is not only a way to draw people into the play, but also a fine way to voice criticism of Big brothers tools by using them for creative and citizen objectives. I continue to wonder how you managed to obtain footage from the CCTV... In any case, the offline actions meshed in well with the online presence of the game on the day of actions. This situation is inversed with the installation. The actions (offline) become the online, while offline visitors are invited to push buttons.

I find the conceptual effort to have been very high. This is also true for the technical effort. As much during the day of actions as with the interactive video installation. It is on the level of what I would call the "people effort" that I would say could have been somewhat stronger. From the description of your project, I do not gain the understanding that it has attempted to dialogue with the public so much. The postering and the online presence made an opening to the general public to follow your project. But wouldn't it have been even more encouraging for people to feel they could partake in a creative way, beyond following and pushing buttons?

I believe that this project has had strong local social impact. Meaning that people who saw the urban landscape actions have had a chance to be confronted with acts of "détournement", while the video installation and the well-made film have a lasting impact on its viewers.

I would like to mention that the description of the project was not very clear. It took me a long time to understand that it was a day of actions + a video installation/film. For all future submissions, I think it would be good practice to keep descriptions short, concise and clear. The project is strong enough on its own account. It does not need long and tortuous explanations.

Congratulations to the UFF team!

View other works commented by Frédéric Dubois  ››

The spirit of ‘the game’ made UFF, as reflected in the video document, seem like a very enjoyable intervention into the city of Prague.

It seemed as if this series of actions and interventions would either appeal to a random person in the city or an informed participant going along for the ride. The video documentation was masterful in its execution. The proposal for the after-the-fact installation seemed well conceived. The professionalism that was exhibited throughout was impressive. However, I must ask: was it the professionalism of insurrectionists or artists that was on display? Was this ambiguity was part of its aim?

If corporations, surveillance and all manner of productive oppression – "Big Brother" – have overtaken the city, then a continual intervention is what we desire, no? Have more actions like this been planned? Is UFF an organizational structure for planning ongoing interventions, or was it more discreet, to further this specific project?

There were questions that arose once the video stopped: why was the focus on the agent and not the participants? Were you able to organize prior to the event to attract interactive participants? Did you witness much spontaneous participation? How would you do it again?

Your project keeps alive an idea that we can bring spontaneous life into the city in an attempt to resist corporate and state control: for how long? Maybe only as long as until the video starts rolling and the documentation machine starts its obsessive activities. Video first became accessible in the 1970s, when "performance art" just started to get going. Documentation of the intentionally ephemeral has been with us ever since, in increasingly sophisticated ways. Which now is the site, and which the non-site? Perhaps today their roles have been reversed.

View other works commented by John Calvelli  ››

This series of actions in the city of Prague, makes me remember situationist art, its idea of active citizenship witch goes beyond a passive role; it is curious to see during the actions the role of the passer-by, the citizen who is unprepared to witness as his everyday life breaks through these micro stories which move at like a game in the apparent tranquillity in the first world.

However, it is possible glimpse into the registry of the performances a lot of silent fear that is part of these orthodox and organized societies. I wondered during the visualization of the material, on the possibility of generating these actions in Latin America and what implications would, if within so much chaos, the same may have greater visibility.

Probably an interesting experience for next stages is to think what devices could make part of the project to achieve greater visibility in other cities that need to think also in the idea of citizenship, state & power.

One of the interesting aspects of this project is the idea of paranoia that i think, can be perverted even more with interventions that appeal more to humor, such as the closure of the video, where the institution is challenged to trace and find the "guilty party" of these actions that apparently become invisible.

Moreover, thinking about the possibility of displaying the registry material in video of UFF, i think it is important to think that if you are going to locate again inside the institution like the Museum or Gallery, it would be worth incorporating the graphic pieces (which can be spread freely to viewers), and which in turn will make an active part of a mass action and eventually anonymous, where the viewer is going to be user at the same time as performer of the work.

View other works commented by Sandra Rengifo  ››

“The contemporary (post-) graffiti artist is a 24/7 Homo Ludens”, wrote art historian Tineke Reijnders. “Not planning to bring down the ruling powers and hardly interested in unadulterated political activism, he engages in his artistic play. High and challenging, in the urban arena. He is a solo performer.” UFF is game theory, Derive, Situationist International, Street Art, Guerilla Performance, intervention in public space - and tries to achieve the best thing an artwork can achieve: To change everyday life into art! Beeing a "homo ludens" is also my ideal idea of man - great work and it needs to be re-done, everyday in every city!

View other works commented by Alain Bieber  ››

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Curators comments

This work has been commented by 4 curator(s):
Frédéric Dubois John Calvelli Sandra Rengifo Alain Bieber go to comments ›

Entry details




UFF is a dialogue between the city and its citizens. Am I a passive or an active city “user”? Am I able to adjust rules of the game myself?

Concept author(s)

Vadimir Turner

Concept author year(s) of birth


Concept author(s) contribution

Invented whole project, made installations, directed it, edited the video, realized installation...


Tarkan begzads

Designer(s) year(s) of birth


Designer(s) contribution

webdesigner, graphics

Other author(s)

Tadeas Trojanek

Other author(s) year(s) of birth


Other author(s) contribution


Competition category


Competition field


Competition subfield


Subfield description