Swatch Cities is a contemporary urban creation platform developed by Swatch to find support for and bring attention to young creators in different cities around the world. It is inspired by the roles that creativity and this new generation of creators play in the transformation of life in our cities. Swatch shines a light on the living portrait of a new generation of creators that shapes customs, attitudes, lifestyles… This platform is an unprecedented, ambitious project, which has its first edition in Madrid.
A new hyper-connected generation, born in the digital era, that has creativity in its DNA and is changing contemporary creation. Creative natives change the life and evolution of cities. This is a generation of young creators with a new vision, immersed in a digital ecosystem, constantly blending creative environments and in love with creative disruption in all its artistic disciplines and formats.
Madrid has been chosen as the first international city for the Swatch Cities project. A booming city both creatively and socially, Madrid provides a unique and vibrant urban framework in which some of the most powerful creators’ values – youth, vitality, creative energy, social transformation, connectivity – are displayed. Madrid is a reference city for creators all over the world and is a prime example of how new ideas transform social and urban life.
The Swatch Cities, Madrid project touches three creative environments that are highly relevant vehicles for the new generation of creators. These environments are: contemporary creation, music and urban art.
It all began in June with an Open Call for artists from the streets of Madrid. Through this Open Call, we were looking for 15 multidisciplinary creators to take part in a three-month participative co-creation program. During the program, they would learn directly from five prestigious local creative coaches: Carlos Maciá, Juan López, Leonor Serrano, Marlon de Azambuja and Miki Leal. Organized into five creative teams, the creative natives and coaches develop their art shows: experiences and interventions created together with an interdisciplinary perspective. These final projects will constitute the main content of the Swatch Cities Madrid Festival, which will take place on October 22-27, 2018 in Madrid. In addition to their learning experiences throughout the creative process, the 15 creative natives have also received a training scholarship, production support, a platform to present their work, a broadcasting strategy for their practice, and a connection with the creative community.
We received applications from 113 candidates and the final 15 were selected by a jury made up of renowned curators, including: Gregorio Cámara, curator and consultant of contemporary creation; Ariadna Cantis, architect, consultant and curator of architecture and design; Sergio Sancho, founder and director of Urvanity; Quico Vidal, founder and director of Nadie The creative think tank; and Gonzalo de Cevallos, vice-president and worldwide COO of Swatch Group Ltd.
Music, as a key creative scene in this city, will have special importance in the Swatch Cities, Madrid. Carlos Galán (creator and founder of Subterfuge Records), playing the music curator role, has selected five emerging local bands and artists to create an unpublished album to showcase Madrid’s rich creative sound. The five selected musicians and bands are Ambre, Cintia Lund, Maldiva, Mow and Solo Astra. Along with the creative coach David Kano (producer, composer and leader of musical group Cycle), they have produced an album with ten songs – two from each band – for a vinyl format in a limited edition. The album features never-before-heard material, which can only be enjoyed during the festival’s concerts between October 22-27. The musical highlight of the Swatch Cities Madrid Festival will be on Friday, October 26, when all five bands will play live at Ochoymedio club.
Urban life in Madrid’s streets is the main creative environment in this project. For this reason, the city will be the scene for a unique intervention signed by one of Spain’s most internationally renowned art collectives: Boa Mistura. The artistic group from Madrid will intervene, with open participation and a permanent message, in an emblematic spot in the city.
We will also feature a collaboration with another relevant urban artist from Madrid. Antonyo Marest will create an intervention with a specifically designed proposal in our most central Swatch Store at Preciados Street 26.
The Swatch Cities Madrid Festival will open its doors on October 22nd. One of the main goals of this festival is to build bridges between contemporary creation and young audiences. The idea of the festival is to cultivate a living, dynamic and participatory environment for creators – a meeting point between a gathering and a celebration. It will be a place where all kinds of artistic manifestations and conversations between creators and the city converge.
In this environment for creative exchange, the main content will be the Art Shows developed by the creative natives. Inspired by the creative roles and harnessing the transformative power of the city, the creative teams will display their work every day from Tuesday to Saturday.
The Impact Hub Madrid (Gobernador Street 26) will be the main stage for the festival. All the art shows, conferences, workshops, open showcases, talks and concerts will take place in this social, creative and vibrant space.
It will also be the place for architectural creation. Takk, the well-known architecture team from Madrid, will create an original space inside the Hub. It will be a surprising and unexpected set that will be manually produced according to Takk’s characteristic architectural style.
The festival officially starts with the Opening Conference on October 22nd. There, Spanish voices with international prestige and reputations in the global art world will frame the project in this city within the international creative context. Speakers include Sergio Pardo, Associate Director in the permanent Public Art Program of the New York City Hall and Chus Martínez, Head at the Institute of Art of the FHNW Academy of Arts and Design (Basel, Switzerland). In addition, Irene Gil and Miguel Moreno will also share their experiences as resident artists at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai.
For more than 30 years, Swatch has worked closely with outstanding artists. At the Swatch Art Peace Hotel, we offer them a space where they can exchange ideas and, above all, create! Emotion, joy of life, innovation and positive provocation define the Swatch brand, and art is the beating heart of the Swatch Art Peace Hotel.
The love story between Swatch and art is a long one. Connecting, highlighting and supporting the creative community is not new for us. We started creating links with artists such as Kiki Picasso in 1985 and Keith Haring in 1986. Collaborations, co-creations and mutual learning continue today, with innovative installations in global relevant art spaces such as The Venice Biennale.
And it is this shared culture, this attraction, this admiration for art and new creators that is behind the Swatch Art Peace Hotel and brings Swatch Cities to life. This project has been created for creators in cities all over the world, all of whom will be able to enjoy and share the excitement of the first-ever Swatch Cities Festival in Madrid.