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Safety first

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Description of idea

Describe your idea and concept of your work in relation to the festival outlines:

The topic of our performance is problems of the bikeways in Prague. On some places in Prague is bikeway or bikepath totaly useless, some other places(especialy in the citycentre) are impassable. We want to call attention on this. We are creating our own bikeway whereever we want..

What kind of communication approach do you use?

Video-dokumentation of the performance.

What are in your opinion concrete benefits to the society because of your communication?

Pointing out on topics which we consider as important.

What did you personally learn from creating your submitted work?

It was fun.

Why is your work, GOOD communication WORK?

Positive, ethusiastic reactions of many people.

Where and how do you intent do implement your work?

That was reaction on our dissatisfaction with possibilities of moving by bike in Prague.

Did your intervention had an effect on other Media. If yes, describe the effect? (Has other media reported on it- how? Were you able to change other media with your work- how?)

Yes, our video appeared around whole internet)

was on the exibition in NTK gallery in prague.


Curators comments More info on Curators & Editors ›

This was really crazy: After having posted this project on rebel:art it has been re-blogged by several Gizmodo and gadget blogs on the net. Vladimir even told me that he got proposals from a company to produce it in large-scale and make a commercial product out of it. This means: most people did not really saw it as an artistic performance, they thought about it as a "cool tool" from some clever design students. But it´s not important that the recipient understood who is the sender of the message - it´s more important that he understands the message. And this performance made its point clear - in a very fun and intelligent DIY way.

View other works commented by Alain Bieber  ››

There is no punch line in this work – and I love it for that.

I find it interesting and I want to write about it more, not because it garners up in me support for safer bike ways on the streets of Prague but because it makes me question if, in the urban worlds so many of us now inhabit, we really need to put safety first or is a little danger able to teach us something instead?

The video, Safety First, is gently absurd; to my eyes at least, nothing appears very dangerous. On the streets of Prague the cars are in their lanes, there are street lights in most places and people walk the streets, socialising well after dark. Life feels safe and there is no immediate sense of danger though there is a little inconvenience. But I don’t personally feel inconvenience, or a little danger for that matter, are necessarily bad things.

Being inconvenienced can help us to be more appreciative of what is convenient and more able to empathise with the inconveniences of others. When modern urban lives are made too safe, through over systematisation and over governance, we loose some of the skills to survive because they cease to be ‘necessary’. Right now, due to the non-existent bike lanes of Prague you have developed a wonderful ability to navigate crowds, traffic and poorly lit areas. If suddenly a system of bike paths emerge in the city you will loose these skills because they will cease to be necessary and your world of experience will be restricted to a series of bike paths that have been laid out by an urban planner sitting in an office some distant place from your home and the streets you know so well.

What becomes so beautiful in this work, is the way that your portable projector, which also functions as a light, inadvertently creates a bike path wherever you need/decide to go, which allows for a much more interesting and unique realm of experience to unfold. I once spoke with a lady who was enraged about the way local councils were making walking paths that circled the parks in her locality. These paths encouraged people to walk in a routine predetermined way that restricted the nature of one’s exploration and engagement with space rather than allowing people to walk in a multiplicity of directions on their own.

Perhaps you could start marketing your projector-cum-bike-light as a means of generating an endless plurality of flexible self directed bike paths around the city of Prague?

View other works commented by Alana Hunt  ››

It's always entertaining to see an absurdist gesture that becomes almost practical and pragmatic in it's articulation. "Safety First" has done just that. This project rides a humorous line between making bikes more visible in urban environments and advocating for bike lanes along traffic routes. Had it positioned itself solely as an illustration of the lack of bike lanes among cars, this work would not have been as enjoyable as it is.

The additional moments of video documenting the rider's routes along paths less biked (grassy hills, stairs, pedestrian thoroughfares) help to expand the work in a number of ways. For starters, the work becomes psychogeographical; an exploration not only of the major vehicular routes, but also of the perceived constraints imposed by the built environment. Secondly, it emphasizes the argument that bike safety isn't just for the cyclists but also for the safety of pedestrians and motorists (further extending the public discourse surrounding such issues). Further, it creates a poetic visual experience that compels viewers to reconcile the apparent contradictions (both presented and subjectively experienced) - and, it does so in a manner that brings a smile. And lastly, the project serves as well-crafted articulation of counter-power, DIY culture, and self-validating initiatives (all of which deserve to be highlighted).

What would this project look like if combined with a Critical Mass-type action? Are there plans to expand this activity beyond the initial recorded action that serves as gallery documentation? Can similar aesthetic strategies be deployed in other contexts to service other issues (for example, protester-projectors? shopper-projectors? commuter-projectors? etc)?

View other works commented by Aaron Gach  ››

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Curators comments

This work has been commented by 3 curator(s):
Alain Bieber Alana Hunt Aaron Gach go to comments ›

Entry details


Safety first


Safety first

Concept author(s)

Vladimír Turner, Ondřej Mladý

Concept author year(s) of birth

1985, 1986

Concept author(s) contribution

idea: Vladimír Turner, Ondřej Mladý rider: Ondřej Mladý editing: Vladimír Turner


Czech Republic

Competition category


Competition field


Competition subfield


Subfield description

academy of art, architecture and design in Prague