Walking the tightrope between art and activism, Florian Riviere fashions himself an “urban hacktivist.” Inspired by the hacker culture, Riviere has filled his portfolio with projects across various urban landscapes, including a “don’t pay, play” campaign that saw him make soccer and tennis courts in giant asphalted areas, completed with found items like shopping carts.
He extended that to a “wild spaces game reintroduction” project where he turned various urban objects and settings into games. He put hurdles on sidewalks, limbo bars between street poles, and even basketbal hoops on billboards.
The urban hacking is all about connecting people to where they live. Riviere says he “divers public space to allow citizens to reclaim their environment.” His projects fall somewhere between “do it yourself” design work and “upcycling,” which is the process of upgrading waste.
One of his latest installations comes to us from Berlin, where Riviere has turned a rotating advertising cylinder into a functional merry-go-round. The shopping carts he used to fashion the carousel may not be an awesome as horses, but kids can enjoy the ride all the same.
Check out his work below:
If I put my art critic’s glasses on for a moment, I see a modernist statement on the world of advertising, and its grip on us from infancy. From a functionality standpoint, I see an incredibly interesting use for a basically worthless spinning advertisement. As an urban hacktivist, this “hacktion” took back a public space that’s been controlled by someone other than the people, and has given it “humanity and sensitivity.” Either way it’s awesome and I approve.