THE TERRITORY OF THE ARTISTIC SQUARE METER
In his dual role of artist and director of the private estate company of
the artistic square metre, Fred Forest has created the "TERRITORY OF
THE ARTISTIC SQUARE METRE".
He is personally responsible for the running of it, its development and
all schemes to be realised upon it in the future.
The area is established in the open air on a surface of one thousand square
metres of land. Each square metre is visualised on the ground by a system
of bordering which sets out its perimeter. Numerous fixtures protect the
installations on the ground and allow pedestrian traffic. A building has
been annexed to the site, and this constitutes the seat of the administration
- with its conference room, a secretarial office and an archive centre.
Development and organisation
The territory of the artistic square metre is an area of creativity which
includes the setting-up of various arrangements on site which materialise
in a concrete way. This area is divided up on the ground according to a
geometric structure whose basic unit is the square metre.
The territory of the artistic square metre is the perfect symbolic space
for the manifestations of life in all their biological, chemical, political,
cultural and social force.
It is a privileged milieu of different creations which are realised on the
spot in manifold forms.
For example, Fred Forest launches regular artistico-property programs :
individual dwellings, public gardens, areas for contemplation, cobbled streets
for controversial demonstrations, banks, airports, stations, industrial
complexes, and so on ...
Each holder of an artistic square metre can subscribe to the program of
his choice and see his project realised in concrete terms, in the form of
a model on the scale of the artistic square metre - on condition that he
has obtained the necessary authorisation from the territorial administration.
Each operation gives rise to an exclusive and unique artistico-administrative
dossier signed by the artist-director (it can include diverse documents
: plans, photographs, and so on ...), and this dossier automatically becomes
the property of the holder of the artistic square metre who has financed
Reciprocal propositions for such programs may of course be made on the initiative
of the owners of the territority. To summarise : the "collector"
acquires, step by step and in a coherent and continuous fashion, a series
of autonomous "works", over which he holds sole rights at the
same time as his successive options are realised on the land; options made
concrete in the form of permanent models. Thus the territory is born, it
grows, it develops as a pattern of critical simulation of land organisation
in relation to the existing reality of urbanism.
The Running, Administration, Creation, and Information side of the scheme.
The running of the whole as well as the artistic direction of the territory
depends on the artist who fixes the rules and sees that they are carried
out. At the same time an individual consultative system and the possibility
of free referenda guarantees minimum democratic rights. The roles of the
artist as animator, organiser and director are integral parts of his creation
; therefore, as an artist he co-ordinates and directs the operation in its
In certain cases, he assembles a committee of experts : urbanists, representatives
of consumer associations, sociologists, philosophers, legal experts, poets,
art critics, artists, plumbers, and so on ...
In his role as an artist offering his services he ensures regular information
on the progress of the territory in a three-monthly bulletin, numbered and
signed. Only the citizen-owners of artistic square metres are entitled to
this service (which is free and gratis). Various publications are intended,
especially that of a book narrating the lives and daily existence of the
inhabitants of the territory.
The idea of the artistic square metre, its realisation and functioning have
as their united aim the construction of a representation of social, cultural,
political and economic phenomena.
All schemes realised on the area are one of two types - they are either
"happenings" or "concrete schemes" - and are carried
out on the initiative of the director or at the express request of the citizens
of the territory after agreement of all parties. The territory may be visited.
A boundary wall delineates the perimeter. A red neon sign announces its
existence. When models are set up on the territory, site visits are organised.
The citizens of the territory are invited to meetings in the form of informal
sittings. The owners of the blocks of land are the exclusive beneficiaries
of the invitations and publications to come. Organised visits are to be
planned for the public, as well as "open days". Finally, various
colloquia on the problems of society are organised on the spot.