Sunday, December 28, 2008

MARK SALVATUS | Urban Plan January 7 - February 18, 2009

What if you were tasked to take over MMDA and make a new urban plan? What would you do? What would you change? Be creative! It can be simple to grand/utopian plan...serious to fun-unrealisitic one...grab your camera, roam the city and see what you can do....


In a 1975 survey, one out of three people all over the world live in urban areas, with most of the 1.5 billion "urbanites" living in districts with less than a million residents. (Many of these urban dwellers, in fact, live in communities with a population of less than 5,000). Over the years, the urban residency has swelled significantly that half of the world's population is living in cities. Parallel to this growth in urban population (and the continuous rise of smaller cities) is the emergence of "mega-cities" – urban areas of no less than 10 million people.

Between 1975 and 2005, the number of mega-cities has grwon from a meager three (two of which were in industrialised, first-world countries) to a record-breaking 20 (with 15 of them belonging to developing nations).
SOURCE: United Nations Population Division, World Urbanization Prospects: The 2005 Revision (2006).


In East Asia alone, more than 2 million people have moved into urban areas. The rapid exodus to these specific areas indicates more opportunities in wealth and a chance for a better future for some. In the Philippines, where the Metero Manila region is the official hub of economy, education and contemporary culture, more and more people from the rural areas are moving into the city to try their luck. Away from home, these people would often bring their customs and traditions with them as they settle in the metro; thus making their rural culture an integral part of the urban setting.

There are layers upopn layes of old and new structures; chaos on the streets; graffiti, political and apolitical alike; street vendors; MMDA gigantic billboards; and an overwhelming influence of Western cosmopolitanism–malls in every district, pocket shanties, layers of sound –among others. And in the last 3 decades, Metro Manila has become problematic region in terms of urban planning, drainage systems, pollution, over-population–problems that affect the city dwellers negatively.


Having lived in Manila for more than a decade, the projects I propose for W.O.P revolve around urbanism and urban culture, how artists, creatives and populace see their city in varying perspectives. I will be doing personal and collaborative works that will be presented as exhibitions, screening, talks, etc.

What is our role in changing the city?
We shall make a new urban plan for our city. We are the neo-urban planners


Neo-Urban Planner

This will be an online project. I shall create a multiply or blogger account wherein I will ask people living in the city (Manila, Cebu, Davao, etc) to take a photo of certain area that they want to 'improve.' They will become urban planners. Creativity in all forms, ways that are intrinsic and integral to the daily life of the city, is encouraged. Just put yourselves in the shoes of the current MMDA chairman. Be creative and innovative. No pink please.... The projects will be presented every Wednesday. The person who submitted a plan will be invited to present and discuss what he thinks should be improved. The collected photos and proposals form the people who participated on the online call will be used for a future exhibit or publication.

email your proposals and plans to: with the subject "Neo Urban Plan"

Street Art Locator

I will make a map of street art in Metro Manila (by using printed maps or Google maps). This will seve as a guide to "streetsy" tours in the Metro. This will also be presented during the weekly WOP presentation.

Connecting Urban Spaces

The project Connecting Urban Spaces was first exhibied in Brazil in 2007 as an online art production. This project culminated in a collaborative show between artists from different cities in different countries.

The artists created a "virtual office" where they investigated, discussed and developed multimedia artworks about cityscapes and urban environments to produce a physical show. IN wline with the idea to connect and research these urban spaces in the nomadic perspective that the artists are working with, they documented their environments using digital technology such as photography, video, and sound for four months.

In 2009, the project will be a collaborative effort among artist-run organizations: web-based group from Germany, Emma THomas Gallery from Brazil and Green Papaya Art Projects in the Philippines.

Participating artists are: Adriano Casanova (Brazil/UK), Rafael Surani (Brazil/France), Nick Buer (UK), Aline Vond der Assen (Germany), Constant Dullart (Holand), Raquel Kogan (Brazil), Mark Salvatus (Philippines), Samantha Orui (Brazil), Marcus Bastos (Brazil), Klega (Holland)


Mark Salvatus is a cross-disciplinary artist based in Manila and Lucban, Philippines. He graduated cum laude at UST College of Fine Arts & Design in 2003 and currently taking up MFA at the same university. In 2007 he was granted a scholarship by the Spanish Program for Cultural Cooperation by the Ministry of Spain in Barcelona. His works have been presented in different galleries, museums and festival in the Philippines and abroad including the CCP, Ateneo Art Gallery, Domestico '08, Madrid; Urban Jealousie-Roaming Biennal of Tehran, Can Serrrat Centro de Actividades Artisticas, Barcelona; Goyang Art Studio Gallery in Seoul; LaVitrine Gallery in Maribor, Slovenia; (ATVP) Contemporary Art in Sydney, STISI in Bandung, Indonesia; No Space and Wunderspaze in Thailand and at the National Contemporary Center of Contemporary Art in Moscow.

He is currently teaching at the Kalayaan College of Humanities and Communications in Marikina, Philippines.

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