MATZA Edgelands

Common Grounds, a MATZA X Edgelands public art intervention, has officially begun. Over the next 3 weeks, artists from 3 different countries (Colombia, Switzerland, and Kenya -- all the countries in which we have planned pop-ups for 2022) will embark on an experiment of co-living, co-creation, and co-design o the theme of urban insecurity and the social contract.Following Te Estamos Grabandoour recent research sprint on Medellín’s use of surveillance technologies), artists will probe similar questions about how surveillance technologies shape the social contracts of the cities they are present. Artists will use the sprint participants' final output -- a manifesto students wrote that outlines their vision for an inclusive, transparent security policy as a starting place in their art process, thus linking our prior research work to this mode of public art.

Schedule: Over three weeks (January 31 - February 18), the team will live and work together in Medellín, sharing the two first weeks by exploring the city, dealing with its complexity and specificity, and sharing with local people (inhabitants, city representatives, activists, and experts). The third week will then be dedicated to producing an artwok and an exhibition setting. The exhibit will be open to the public for a month (February 18 to March 20) in Bodega/comfama, located in Medellín’s creative district Perpetuo Soccoro, in the center of the city.

What is MATZA

MATZA is a manifesto that takes the shape of residencies, exhibitions and workshops that aim to use art to address current social and environmental issues. It is based on a principle of collective dynamics, experimentation and immersion in emblematic territories.


We are going through a period of upheaval due to a succession of political, social, economic and ecological crises. In the complexity of analysis and the absence of answers to these profound planetary transformations, art must play a determining role because it knows how to anticipate, feel the fragility and experiment where other disciplines struggle to question themselves. By seeking for sparks of necessary change in the territorial margins and places under threat, MATZA makes the bet that an implied art, moved by collective dynamics and a close contact with the world which surrounds it, can contribute to change in our society.

What “MATZA” means

As a true forerunner of the popular petition and political participation, the matze is a tree trunk that was torn down and dragged from village to village in the Upper Valais (Switzerland) from the end of the fifteenth century, in order to mobilize the local populace around a common cause. If they were in agreement, the locals then planted a nail in the trunk as a sign of solidarity with the cause.

Previous MATZA projects

Over the course of 7 years, five sites have been investigated around the world. At each time, MATZA gathers communities of artists, scientists and experts to work together on issues related to the specific context of the site. To date, MATZA has been present in the Mojave desert of the United States, on the Aletsch glacier in Switzerland, on the Kerkennah islands of Tunisia and in several cities in Switzerland.

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