“Ocho por Tres” (“Eight by Three”) continues a process of investigation of art on advertising that Elisa Rodríguez began in 2012 in the Lithuanian city of Vilnius, under the name of "Billboards as free thinking space". The project aims to recover commercial areas in Valladolid, Spain, and return them to a public use through the participation of local and international artists during the year 2017.
On March 1st, a first RGB print is placed over a huge Toyota CHR advertising in the Felipe II Street, displaying the artwork of the first artist during a whole month, in which he/she is open to proposals, discussions, interviews or debates. At the same time, Elisa Rodríguez takes over several bus shelters and 175 x 120 cm signboards throughout the city, as many artists have been doing for years such as Jordan Seiler in the US or Vermibus in the streets of Berlin.
The participant artists, not entirely defined at this very moment, will be shown every beginning of the month in order to focus the attention of pedestrians on each specific aspect of the process. Meanwhile, all relevant situations will be documented with pictures and videos during the development of the project: the placement of the first poster, the reactions and opinions of the citizens, the conversations with the institutions and companies involved, as well as any unexpected turn to which the project itself can be directed.
“Ocho por Tres” is a collaborative project, not a curatorial one, because it shows a personal approach: a completely subjective selection through the experiences and affections of Elisa Rodríguez in her passage through cities such as Madrid, Vilnius or Yogyakarta. Although the approach is a personal matter, the background is open to dialogue and political action, which de-individualizes the purpose of a social grounded project. It is open to proposals and dialogue, so this website is enabled to receive comments in the Blog section, as well as receive emails or images through social networks with the hashtag #ochoportres.
«Consumers are like roaches — you spray them and spray them and they get immune» - Yumiko Ono, "Marketers Seek the Naked Truth in Consumer Psyches", Wall Street Journal, May 30th 1997. With this outrageous phrase, the senior executive of the Omnicom marketing group David Lubars reflected the consideration that many publicists have towards society, where they keep seeking for more and more publics and spaces in their relentless dependence on growth.
Authors like Naomi Klein in her famous book "No logo", Frédéric Beigbeder in "13'99", the anonymous group Brandalism in the section "Why Brandalise?" of its website, or Jean Baudrillard in "The consumer society: its myths, its structures" (to mention some of the many experts in the subject) explain very clearly the multiple reasons why to consider advertising as a constant manipulation of the behavior and thinking of citizens through innovative psychological practices. “Ocho por Tres” is a protest against these practices and, in turn, a vindication of the art in the street, proposing new ways for its legalization in order to legitimize the cause and make it part of the social structure itself.
In our time, when the more conservative sectors seem to radicalize while at the same time the system is questioned more than ever, new interpretations begin to be possible. In this political rethinking there is a greater diversity of opinions that generates opportunities to receive support from institutions and companies, assignments of spaces, scholarships such as the one received by the "Mobiliario Urbano / Ocho por Tres" project by Fundación Villalar de Castilla y León.
Not only the advertising tactics and the privatization of public space are open to debate, but the art itself seems to reconsider its formats, spectators and attitudes through this type of projects, turning into a beautiful daily tool, getting wasted and wet in the rain, disappearing…but being useful, acquired by any ordinary person and giving rise to new ways of seeing the World.