Monday, February 9, 2009

Urban Acupuncture

Marco Casagrande 2009. Statement, Helsinki University of Art and Design Department of Environmental Art.

What is urban acupuncture?

How can urban acupuncture be applied to a city?



Urban acupuncture aims into a touch with the collective psyche of the city. The collective psyche is reflected through collective conscious which is striving towards the absolute, the real reality.

The theory of the urban acupuncture celebrates the possibility of a light-weight touch with a total impact. Total is a fragment of the absolute. Through urban acupuncture the absolute finds a way to reflect in the city.

Urban acupuncture is ruining the industrial surface of the built human environment. Ruin is when man-made has become part of nature. A weed will root into the smallest crack in the asphalt and eventually break the city. Urban acupuncture is the weed and the acupuncture point is the crack. The possibility of the impact is total, connecting human nature as part of nature.

As the city reflects control and strenght the urban acupuncture has to be weak in order to break the machine. In its direction towards the truth the weak architecture and weak art is the sister of theology and philosophy, but faster: weak art meets the absolute immediately; it is free from the philosophical discussion or the theological belief. Weak architecture is art. Art don´t need to believe and don´t need to discuss - it can not help being itself. There is no excuse for art, art reflects the absolute.

The collective mind generates the social drama that keeps the city alive. People are ruining their build human environment by being themselves. The third generation city is the ruin of the industrial city. The third generation city is part of nature. Urban acupuncture is aiming to the third generation city.


Urban acupuncture can be applied to an existing city through art. The true environmental art in the urban context is urban acupuncture. Architecture is environmental art. Urban planning is the process of ruining the city. Weak artist and weak architect is a design-shaman interpreting what the bigger shared mind is transmitting.


The complexities of the city are either working to support life or against nature.The idea of the industrial city is to be autonomous from nature. This autonomity is the source of pollution. Pollution is real, it is part of nature - city is not real.

What is real is valuable: what is not real is not valuable. Urban acupuncture connects the public to the real reality through small scale interventions. Nothing is taken away and nothing heavy is added to the city organism, but the present state of being is realized as part of the process of rottening and being ruined. Ruin is not a product, it is a process. City must be a compost.

Urban acupuncture is turning the urban compost to fruitful top-soil.