Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga

Structural Patterns

Reflections on Art, Technology and Society

What is the Miracle of Chile?

without comments

Circuit mounted to Santiago sidewalk tile
Last November I received an invitation from Ignacio Nieto to participate in an exhibition titled “portables” at the Museum of Fine Arts of Santiago. Last Friday I returned from Santiago, following two weeks of production.

Early this year, I contacted my old friend Kurt Olmstead to work with me on a project that I knew would be beyond the scope of anything that I could do alone within a period of several months. Kurt was on board and we started discussing the premise of the project – Chile as the laboratory for neoliberal economic philosophy of the Milton Friedman flavor. Kurt and I grew up in the midst of Reaganomics. In the 80s, Reagan and Thatcher embraced Friedman’s neoliberalism and Chile was framed as the example of what privatization, deregulation of the markets and cuts to social spending will do to control inflation and allow a nation’s economy to prosper. In 1981, Friedman declared the phrase “Miracle of Chile” to reflect the transformation of Chile’s economy through his neoliberal philosophy as implemented by the Chicago Boys, Chilean economists who studied under Friedman.

It is now 2010, we live in the midst of a global economic crisis and are now questioning the neoliberal economic formula. The art project consists of a workshop, public discussion, bus intervention and a virtual labyrinth. Each element asks participants in Chile to identify the Miracle of Chile in the scope of their city and personal lives. A documentation site is available at www.miracleofchile.com

Workshop to document Miracle of Chile in public space
Two workshops were held as part of the project, one with middle school kids and a second at Matucana100 Cultural Center asked participants to document the Miracle of Chile in their public space.

What is the Miracle of Chile?
Street situations, an interactive sidewalk tile invites pedestrians to ask one another “What is the Miracle of Chile?”

Santiago Bus Intervention
As an example of privatization of public space, a small bus intervention was executed on bus rider handles sold for advertisement.

Written by ricardo

August 13th, 2010 at 5:40 am