Tàrrega, January – September 2017.
At seven o’clock on a Thursday morning, a heart starts beating loudly in the middle of the square. An artist invites us to join her, synchronize our beat and amplify it, so we can feel it. UrGENTestimar suggests us to relate to others in the public space, to engage with those whom we confront, to look at each other’s eyes and reveal how unique we are. This collective experience promotes an exploration that recognizes the role of the public at FiraTàrrega and does so in the street, without barriers, limits or differences.
Photo: Martí E. Berenger
UrGENTestimar is an artistic and scientific project for all audiences based on community participation and specifically conceived as the inaugural performance of the street art festival FiraTàrrega 2017. In order to reduce boundaries, artist Ada Vilaró and scientist Josep Perelló propose a performance of 40 uninterrupted hours in the middle of Tàrrega’s main square that involves inhabitants, associations and spectators in research about love, coexistence, respect and acceptance of the other.
Apart from the purely artistic performance, UrGENTestimar is also a citizen science work that explores the expectations of cooperation in a hypersocial context such as FiraTàrrega, with or without prior visual interaction. In order to prepare the 40-hour intervention in the street, several research actions are carried out with Tàrrega’s social and cultural associations both in person and through a digital conversation chat (chatbot). Finally, on September 7 and 8, during the 40 hours performance, a collective experiment is carried out where the participants make decisions, in pairs, facing various social dilemmas. Through electronic tablets, data are collected on the behavioural traits of the visitors of FiraTàrrega that provide evidence on the strength of the social fabric of Tàrrega, its region and the visitors of the festival.
The results of the public experiment, which led to a scientific publication, were presented in Tàrrega on May 8, 2018. They show that, in hypersocial contexts, men and women behave differently, depending on whom they are interacting with. More specifically, men show lower expectation and cooperation rates when interacting with other men. Women, on the other hand, show a higher ability to infer the partner’s behavior, especially when interacting with men. Overall, mixed gender couples show the highest expectation and cooperation rates.
In collaboration with:
Ada Vilaró and Paloma Orts
Santi Seguí and Guillem Pascual
Chris Salter and Alexandre Saunier
Tàrrega social fabric