The ever-greater presence of the image in the street as a new advertising channel requires strategies that will transmit messages with maximum efficiency. The traditional advertising poster is being displaced by the moving image in shop windows and is gradually appearing on canopies and display panels. The concept of the public thoroughfare as an area of continuous conflict, so close to theories associated with the postulates of radical democracy, is certainly true, if we understand such conflict as the struggle to locate messages, whether political or commercial.
It is some time now since power in the advanced democracies has been associated with the flow of information. Providing the possibility of directly participating in a communication medium also means allowing new discourses. Given the difficulty of placing these in highly controlled media like television —recall the obstacles Addbusters and Media Foundation encountered to broadcast their subversive advertisements in general channels even when they were paying— the public thoroughfare presents itself as an open zone of communication.
VDM is a new technology for the broadcasting of messages, a vehicle with a video projector that operates while the vehicle moves round the city. Virtual Demolition Mobile offers the spectacle of the city in flames, virtual therefore innocuous, a playful extension of the fears of present-day urban society.
The image of the city as the theatre of catastrophe is the spectacular image of our time. An outstanding aesthetic experience is the media spectacle projected by television channels into every living-room, in every home, where the security and comfort with which the information is received contrasts with the catastrophe itself.
Virtual Demolition Mobile is a product that seeks to commercialize experience. And though, as Ogilvey says, voices are raised against the "commercialization of passion", they should recognize that passion is safer confined to the market than when, sublimated by religion or politics, it begins to erupt.
The proposal will be developed in Madrid in 3 phases:
1. A notice will be sent to the residents of Madrid, requesting them to reply by e-mail. They will be asked to choose a building or monument in the city which they would like to subject to a virtual demolition.
2. A notice stating the date and time of the virtual demolitions which have been democratically elected.
3. Virtual demolitions