Intervention in public space and its documentation objects, 2009
There was a label hanging around Paddington Bear’s neck bearing the words:”Please Look After This Bear. Thank You.” Mr and Mrs Brown found the bear at the Paddington railway station and took him home. This scene speaks of an encounter with the unknown as well as empathy. Is this sort of kindness nowadays only encountered in stories or can it be found in everyday metropolitan life? The Empathy Barometer exposes passers-by to art and to an opportunity to empathy.
Empathy Barometer is an intervention produced in urban surroundings by Kalle Hamm and Dzamil Kamanger, who made 50 statuettes for it and placed these statuettes in different locations around Helsinki during summer 2009. Each statuette had a stamped postcard hanging around their neck, which encouraged the founder of the statuette to take it home with them and send the card to the artists.
Kalle Hamm and Dzamil Kamanger made follow-up visits to the statuettes during one week. If the statuette was not picked up during that time, they took the statuette and placed it as a part of the documentation of the intervention. This documentation consists of photos taken from the follow-up visits, observation forms, unfound statuettes and other material they came across during their visits to the statuettes. 39 of the 50 statuettes placed around the city were found by someone. 27 of these statuette-founders send the card to the artists. Six of them also send an email and five out of the six attached a picture of the statuette in its new location.