Video Installation: M-30 (2007, 2009)

Video Installation (4 channel)
– 12 analogue CRT televisions
– Leftover film set polystyrene panels
– Video clips: Zeppelin, Crisis, Cha cha cha and Trolley Dash

Between 2004 and 2010, the Madrid government and the construction industry decided to divert the M-30 ring road and remodel the area it once occupied. This process affected numerous neighbourhoods and was criticized by the EU and numerous local and national ecological organizations and citizens’ movements. Their  words fell on deaf ears and the public were largely excluded from meaningful participation in the project, characterized by escalating costs and rumours of corruption.

During the process I made a number of recordings, amounting to several hours of audio and video, to document it. Some captured those actively involved in the work of the transformation, others those affected by it in all manner of ways. These were made later into short film sequences or ‘subject-object moments’ showing how these different individuals react in their own ways to the ongoing work: submission, dogged determination or futile resistance.

Exhibited 2007, El Jacalito, Madrid.

Entre 2004 y 2010, el gobierno de Madrid y la industria de la construcción decidieron desviar la carretera de circumvalación de Madrid, la M-30, remodelando la zona que este ocupaba. Fue criticado por la Union Europea, grupos de ecologistas y asociaciones de vecinos. No se tomaron en cuenta las criticas y el proyecto se caracterizó por una nula participación publica, sobrecostes multimillionarios y rumores de corrupción.

Durante el proceso, hice varias horas de grabaciones de audio y de video, documentando el proceso desde una perspectiva particular. Algunas grabaciones fueron protagonizados por agentes activos en la obra; otros por los afectados de varias maneras. Luego se editaron  unas secuencias de pelicula, pequeños ‘momentos sujeto-objeto’ que muestran como los diferentes protagonistas reaccionban a su manera frente al proceso de la obra – sumisión, determinación, o una resistencia inútil. 

Exposición 2007 en centro El Jacalito, Madrid.


3 thoughts on “Video Installation: M-30 (2007, 2009)

  1. Carta enviada a prensa local /Letter sent to local press (2010) 9.Aug 2010
    Dear Editor,
    I am writing to take issue with the article ‘ Take me to the river’ by Elizabeth Ellis which appeared in your August InMadrid. (…) The project has from the outset been characterized by a lack of transparency and public consultation. Local residents were neither informed nor involved. (…) 80 hectares of green areas were destroyed, (including the historic Arganzuela park) and gallons of concrete took their place.(…) There has been extensive criticism from environmental and professional groups of all aspects of the project. In fact, the lack of any kind of prior environmental study led to a a Brussels investigation and its being declared illegal in October 2008.
    The project will not lead to a greener city; 250,000 more cars per year now pass through the M30 tunnels, leading to additional pollution – one study presented by Ecologistas en Acción showed this to be ten times more than the safe level. In 2006 residents even staged an invasion of a tunnel in protest; numerous other protests by local groups took place but went largely unreported.
    The companies responsible for the actual building work were appointed in highly dubious circumstances. The second most expensive bid was chosen, that of ACS-Dragados Ferrovial, coincidentally companies headed mostly by one Florentino Perez.
    The initial budget of 3.900 million euros has since skyrocketed. Including debt repayments, the work will cost all madrileños 222 million euros per year – until 2040! Most of this will go to the pockets of Banco Sabadell, and Dragados-Ferrovial, who are predicted to get 14 million euros profit annually until then. This has already had a negative impact on residents, who have seen local taxes increase by over 40% in two years and will doubtless affect future quality of life, as the city is the most indebted in Spain.
    (…) Throughout the project’s existence, there has been disinformation. The work is still ongoing and initial predictions of its duration (3 years) have proven laughably false(-…)
    I believe journalists have a responsibility to challenge official accounts and question the validity of decisions. This has not been the case here. As a resident in the thick of it all, I am disturbed by the way media, including InMadrid in this instance, have uncritically reported this out-of-control, expensive, corrupt and undemocractic project and neglected even a passing mention of very real negative effects on local people and environment, which will be felt by all of us over the next few decades.
    (Below are a few links with further information on points I mentioned above:) – early overview – criticism from professionals . – M30 project illegal, 2008 -exceeds budget -real cost – resident report – air poll’n – 30 myths of the m30 – m30 arganzuela park before destruction – m30 arganzuela park after destruction (same today)

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