El Puente Project is a bridge-shaped art installation that will bring to life a highly interactive VR experience to a part of the city that, although being walked by thousands every day, rarely brings the opportunity to stop by and connect through art.
By symbolically connecting Barrio 31 and Recoleta we want to create an impactful cultural experience for Buenos Aires’ habitants. Our idea is to bring this art piece to instal the topics of integration, urbanization process, social division and geographical segregation in the local agenda.
We are creating a conceptual experience that requires involvement and participation from it’s very conception, creation and development, a livable experience aimed to bring us together and create empathy.
We will run co-creation workshops so it is the very own communities who will determine what they want to show about their neighborhoods and their daily life.
We want to listen and learn about how people feel about life in these areas, what they identify as similar or different, how they imagine and picture their neighbors and how they feel they could build bridges between them. What would make them cross the bridge? What they expect to find on the other side? Who they picture over there? What do they have in common? What makes us one? Would they be the same after crossing the bridge?
Once the artwork is on display, the audience will be able to step on the installation and walk through it, as if it was an actual bridge. Signs will point one entrance as “to Recoleta” and the other pointing as “to Barrio 31”. Once in the middle, in order to come inside, one will have to literally connect to the other-side-participant to activate a mechanical system that will open the doors. Inside, they will find a VR helmet for each and will be invited to wear them, helped by a crew volunteer.
With the helmets on, participants will be immersed in a VR experience that will portrait life in the neighborhood they “went to” trough the “bridge”, with 360 videos made by common people in the workshops especially held for this purpose. All participants will find themselves walking on the streets, hearing sounds, enjoying a typical meal and other daily life activities, such as the ones they do at home.
By making people see through their neighbors eyes, is how we expect to connect their realities and show them how they actually look-a-like. This will enable and encourage an actual dialogue about the reality of these communities and about the city as a whole, while the urbanization process is moving forward.