The medium is the message. /M. McLuhan/
In the City of London, as in most entities nowadays, politics means propaganda – and with the rise of Internet-based social media, this propaganda can now be – and is – everywhere, having transformed the whole political process into a media-circus freakshow with no actual political content. Guildhall 2012 is at the heart of it: a stage set for this media spectacle, a backdrop in politically charged imagery, and an instigator of propaganda creation.
As for any stage, the main purpose of the project is to create dramatic views – to display the “politcal life” of the City – the conflict situations between the City of London Corporation and various protest movements – in all its glory. These mass scenes, in the form of virtually disseminated images, are the most important part of the project, and the physicality is just a means of acquiring them.
The old Guildhall, which from the beginning has served only a representational purpose, has now, with the internet-induced transformation of political representation, completely lost its meaning; thus a new Guildhall complex is proposed, transforming the whole area around Guildhall yard into a permanent parade ground – a new Guildhall 2012, a political festival for the masses. Multiple giant inflatable objects are introduced in the area – these are what organize the crowds into cinematic views for the multitude of cameras, at the same time serving as the backdrop for these views.
The inflatables are not passive, they incorporate technologies that enhance their appearance in digital images – flash detection coupled with projection, changing the appearance of the objects for a couple milliseconds; markers allowing for customization of scenes in one’s mobile phone, just like an Instagram filter; and optical distortions in the very physical appearance of the objects.
And, just as any festival and parade, this media-circus is desined to travel; inflatable replicas of the Guildhall are recreated in other cities, countries and continents, leaving a mark of the City of London, and bringing the personal-propaganda-based politics of the masses to the world.