14th Venice Biennale: Andrés Jaque wins Silver Lion

Sales Oddity. Milano 2 and the Politics of Direct-to-Home TV Urbanism

Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation

Silver Lion to the Best Research Project of the 14 Mostra Internazionale di Architettura, Biennale di Venezia

Project Description
In 1970 Edinord, Berlusconi’s development company, promoted Milano 2, a 700.000 m2 residential city 7,5 kilometers from Milan. It was advertized as ‘the city of the number ones’ and designed to exile affluent and family oriented sectors of society from Milan, a device that has so far exposed them to air pollution, crime, workers and uncertain market promiscuity.

At the time that Zuiyo Enterprises pervaded homes and minds with sweet Heidi’s escape from the city to the Alps, Milano 2’s apartments were encapsulated by a green “TV static” of healthy conifers, and crowned with pitch Alpine roofs that conveyed the fact that TV aerials could be replaced by invisible underground connections. Once wired, TV interaction became traceable, and spectators profileable. Cable TV rendered the living rooms as distant components of the ultimate core for urban coordination: the Palazzo dei Cigni; the architectural complex where lakes with swans, Fininvest offices and Mediaset flagship studios centralized the production of mirrored fictional living-room-life TV shows in which a number of sexy celebrities translated ordinary life into consumption patterns designed to be desirable to selected isolated audiences.   

Talking of his role as urban purveyor Berlusconi stated: “I do not sell space, I sell sales”. Fininvest’s media agency, Publitalia, increased its profits seventy times from 1980 to 1984 by transforming the way marketing constructed society. Whereas post war European national TVs programmed educational contents meant to homogenize social heterogeneity, Publitalia designed TV contents to attract the targeted social groups sellers ambitioned to influence.

Mediaset, and direct-to-home-TV have systematically challenged European post-war urban archi-political regime. Whereas 1950 European Broadcasting Union EBU rendered daily life as a combination of government-owned national TV channels, national markets and public space with a few of concrete-made modern architecture and annual Eurovision Song Contests; Mediaset promoted a transnational urbanism of never ending couches, targeted social segregations and red brick neo-Alpine fantasies.  

To explore what is the way politics get embodied in the direct-to-home urbanism is the aim of the Sales Oddity project.


SALES ODDITY. Milano 2 and the Politics of Direct-to-Home TV Urbanism
by Andrés Jaque/Office for Political Innovation

Research and production/Ricerca e produzione
Roberto González García, Lubo Dragomirov, Alberto Heras, María Alejandra Sánchez

Ruggero Agnolutto, Enrico Forestieri, Margherita Gioia, Matteo Pace Sargenti,
Pietro Pezzani, Anna Tartaglia

Audiovisual production/Produzione audiovisiva
Bollería Industrial: Paula Currás, Eugenio Fernández, Ana Olmedo, Enrique Ventosa

Miguel de Guzmán

Textile production/Produzione tessuto
Mari-Carmen Ovejero

Sound art
Jorge López Conde

With the support of/Con il supporto di
Acción Cultural Española (AC/E)
AECID Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo
Imagen Subliminal
Politecnico di Milano

English edition/Edizione Inglese
John Wriedt

Translation into Italian/Traduzione in Italiano
Giuseppe Tota Ballardini