Given that the city is our main object of attention, and desire, we are aware that in industrialised societies, where so-called ‘disposable goods’ are increasingly present, waste and waste management have become a major challenge. In this context, we believe it is extremely important to move towards a model of consumption designed to extend the useful life of objects by means of the reconception of their original meaning.
A journey through the history of the visual arts has not only taught us that many of the things we throw away, considering them useless, could become key tools in the creation of something new, with renewed objectives that could even change our way of looking at the world—as did Marcel Duchamp, or the well-being of communities with fewer resources—suffice it to think of architect Shigeru Ban.
Almost intuitively, we created ιδArteRecicla, a programme intended to convey the simple idea that ‘anything, however trivial it may seem, can change our daily lives or immediate surroundings, someone’s joy or the happiness of entire communities.’ So far, the result is a series of actions that, given the importance of the matter, have been directly or indirectly interwoven with the development of other projects in process. Here are a few of some such projects.
In direct collaboration with Integrated Management Systems—SIGS, for their initials in Spanish—particularly those that manage waste cardboard packaging, so-called ‘light containers’ (tin, plastic and Tetra Pak), glass and electrical and electronic waste, we set up the first ιδArteRecicla, art and recycling competition. Consisting of two different sections, audiovisuals and spatial works, participants must base their creative proposals in these areas on the benefits of environmental protection, either through their choice of materials or through their message. The common denominator of the projects is the three Rs: ‘Reduce,’ ‘Reuse,’ ‘Recycle.’ The award in the Audiovisual Section is prize money in cash for the three winners, while that in the Installation Section is the production of the two selected projects.
The Ministry of the Environment and Territorial Planning of Comunidad de Madrid, together with the main waste management bodies and collaborators, presented the first competition. The event was hosted by filmmaker Rodrigo Sorogoyen, who wrote and directed the short film El iluso for the occasion. Following the presentation of the film, the young promise of Spanish cinema chatted with the audience, and revealed some of the particulars of the competition: he himself would preside over the jury of the Audiovisual Section, which would also count on the director of Madrid’s School of Cinematography and Audiovisuals—ECAM, the film producer Gonzalo Salazar-Simpson.
Recycling was the leitmotif of the third urban trends festival, Mulafest. Young architect Sofía Blanco-Santos and designer Carlos Maciá conceived and built Re-Scape, a space envisaged as a micro-city where visitors can relax and amuse themselves. Blanco-Santos and Maciá, who would preside over the jury of the Installation Section, accompanied by Rufino Ferreras in representation of the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, shared the space with La Nave Nodriza, that made a huge installation out of obsolete electronic devices to broadcast the message of the three Rs: ‘Reduce,’ ‘Reuse,’ ‘Recycle.’ Furthermore, the signage of the event was made out of recycled carton and printed in ecological ink.
The gala held at Cine Callao that announced the award winners of the first art and recycling competition was not only attended by sponsors and collaborators but also by participants. The venue, presented by Luis Pedrahita, welcomed other activities such as the actions of e1000ink and Little is Drawing on glass containers, and the performance by Tam Tam Karibú, who danced to the beat of the percussion of recycled instruments. The three prizes in the Audiovisual Section went to ¿A qué huelen las flores?—by Ohana TM, Baile con ellas—by Sergio Sánchez, and Trashformation—by the Ekoactivo group. The three works will be distributed through the organisation’s communication channels and collaborating bodies such as Callao City Lights exterior screens. The winning projects in the Installation Section were Des-Tensa—by Camen Fernández and Alejandro Villena, and Moebius—by Marta Olivares, which would be erected in spaces at Ifema premises in connection with some of the most important events hosted at the fairground.