#analogposting was a project undertaken in the heated atmosphere in the run-up of the presidential elections 2016, but also represents a general strategy for the distribution of positive impulses in reaction to urgent topics concerning the general public. Without moral condemnation, sticky notes with open questions, ironic statements and positive, yet critical, thoughts were distributed in public spaces.
#analogposting was a project that focused on the distribution of positive, yet critical, thoughts and open questions in the public realm. In the heated atmosphere in the run-up of the presidential elections 2016 and the instrumentalized topic of the arrival of refugees in Austria since the summer of 2015 positive impulses were needed. Therefore we developed a strategy to reach people with optimistic thoughts, apart from polarising media. In order to do so, sticky notes were chosen as a medium, that is usually used for temporary notes and reminders and therefore has a well-known informal character. Also within this project the sticky notes were deliberately used in such a temporary and flexible way. Due to the easily removable glue strip, all arguments about vandalism averted and permitted the hacking of existing infrastructures in the city. A selection of 16 personal questions, humoristic statements and subtle wordplays was used to address sociopolitical dynamics and aimed at evoking empathy and reflexion about personal fears. Without moral condemnation or campaigning, #analogposting intended to highlight similarities instead of differences.
Beside the playful and informal aspect of the analog “Post-its”, as colloquially called, a critical examination of digital postings should be provoked also. Digital posts in social media have taken up an important role in the political discourse and a critical reflexion was needed. Another advantage of the medium of sticky notes was the easy duplication through open-source artworks for printing that would allow everybody to produce the media on his/her own initiative. In order to reach also rural areas, notes were sent to project
supporters living outside of Vienna by post as well as they were pasted in trains that would distribute the positive thoughts outside of the urban bubble.
The notes were distributed at places, where they would reach as many people as possible in public space, but also in private spaces, where people would have time to ask themselves personal questions, e.g. in toilets, in metro stations, in waiting areas, on shop windows, in entrances, on glass surfaces, in public transportation and many other places. Beside the analog distribution there was also the possibility to share the notes digitally on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #analogposting.
In the project phase two weeks before the presidential elections on the 4th of December 2016 over 10 000 notes were distributed which awakened interest and led to discussions and interaction in the course of the distribution. The possibility to reuse the strategy and the medium to spread information or thoughts was an important aspect of the project. Apart from the topics being used in this context a low-threshold medium was strived to be found, that can be used to spread positive thoughts in a subtle way without imposing beliefs or views.
On the occasion of the national elections #analogposting goes into the second round at the Urbanize Festival 2017. A place of production will be installed at the festival centre, where new content will be discussed and developed for 50.000 notes to be printed and distributed throughout the city in the course of the festival.
Further dates and information: www.urbanize.at