Lugano, Via Nassa
From 25 September 2020 – Current
Stickers on proxemical criteria on unused showcase in an historical street of Lugano.
Via Nassa is one of Lugano’s historical streets – its particular and sophisticated shops will accompany you in your shopping. Under the 270 meter long, ancient city porticoes on the lakeshore, there are many different kinds of shops: jewellery, clothing, gastronomy and antique shops are just some of the many, without forgetting a few department stores as well. Via Nassa, Lugano’s number one shopping destination, accompanies you during your shopping outings with its elegant and sophisticated atmosphere.
The glass showcase is in front a small place on this street. It belonged to BVL (Boutique Vintage Lugano), the previous proprietor of the space. However, a sign for BVL is still on the showcase. Currently the space is occupied by Triline Design. It is a studio focused on design, architecture, and construction. We have been in contact with them and discussed the use of the glass showcase.
Action Context / Empirical Evidence
After two months we have succeeded in localising the attention to a single spot that has become a privileged dialogue with a scratcher. Since the 25th of September, we have conducted this anthropological experiment and collected empirical evidence. It was born from the various visual laboratories scattered throughout the city.
How far will we be able to push this special communication?
Scratcher Profile until 6 October
We began to create this profile after noticing how this dot was scratched in comparison to others that have been cleaned properly from other surfaces. The quality of the scratching demonstrates a projection of anger towards the colour, form, or artistic expression. In other spots of action they are cleaned completely, so we notice an effort is made to remove it properly.
The scratcher is an individual taller then 174-176 cm (or someone in heels perhaps) that only walks in the center of this street. We have discerned this because there has been another dot on the back side (sidewalk) of the showcase that had not been touched. Also, another dot was placed a few meters away on a taller surface that was scratcher. To reach and scratch it, the scratcher must be relatively tall.
The scratcher must be someone that works on Via Nassa or passes by on the weekdays. There have been no recorded scratches to the dot on the weekends. So: the scratcher must not live/work near this street.
Workers at a spot selling food in front of the showcase have not noticed anyone so the person must move quickly. The desire to be undetected can also be a reason the scratcher does not take his/her time to remove it completely.
The scratchers level of knowledge about the project is unknown. He/she may know about it or maybe one of its members. But the scratcher may also an unknown individual that is unconsciously provoked by the red dot and action.
Physical Profile from an Eyewitness on 6 October 2020
After a few months of searching, our wanted suspect was physically described to us by an eyewitness.
The scratcher has been confirmed to be an elderly man around 65 years. He is taller than we previously expected. Our eyewitness marked him as being approximately 180 cm. Additionally, he has a “medium” body type and short hair (he wore no hat when spotted).
Psychological Profile: IT/SS (October 6)
The psychological profile definition based on a synthetic evaluation of a subject resulting from the results of a series of our tests. We used the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to help us understand who the character might be. There are 16 personality type indicators according to this test. It is based on Carl Jung’s theory on personality types which describes how changes in behaviour that are seemingly random are actually consistent. Ways of perception and judgement formation among individuals differ only slightly. The Myers-Briggs test was developed to categorize different types based on preferences. The four broad categories are:
1 World. This is one’s prevalent orientation of their psychic energy determined if they are characterized with extraversion (E) or introversion (I). It is the world they prefer.
The scratcher is an introvert (I).
2 Information. This is the method in which content is interpreted determined if someone is sensing (S) or intuitive (N).
The scratcher is sensing (S).
3 Decision. This is the mode of using logic versus emotions explains if someone is thinking (T) or feeling (F).
The scratcher is thinking (T).
4 Structure. This is the way in which someone observes the outside world reveals if they are judging (J) or perceptive (P).
The scratcher is judging (J).
According to this evaluation, the scratcher is an ISTJ personality type.
We used the type indicator on the official Myers-Briggs website for developing this profile.
We have also ascertained that the owner has nothing to do with the scratching. So it is a random passer-by, with different time availability to do the action. Convinced to do a punitive action.
A similar action happened with London-based street artist Mobstr. For a year he was stenciling the word ‘RED’ on a red area of a brick structure. It was constantly being pressure washed, but only certain limits.
Hess, H., (2014), ‘Mobstr,’ Widewalls, https://www.widewalls.ch/artists/mobstr/.
Levy, R., (2015), ‘Mobstr presents “The Curious Frontier Of Red” in London,’ Street Art News, https://streetartnews.net/2015/06/mobstr-presents-curious-frontier-of-red.html.