Question by Daniel Libeskind:

“With all the challenges faced by cities, how do we take into account the role of human desire?”

Answer by Leon Keer:

Memories of the street

Internet is the new city. We use the net to share many of our feelings and seek out what we desire. We can digitally organise our messages, relationships and debates. Obviously, this is a wonderful development in terms of convenience. Communication plays an important role in our lives, and that also goes for communication through the various (social) media channels. As we navigate the online city, however, we are not creating lasting memories. The emotions linked to our original experience are lost forever.

For me, memories are key: the memories that teach us to value our emotions, and help us analyse our world. If we want to factor in human desire, we must go out into the street and drink it all in. The street nourishes all our senses. If we use them well, we can capture valuable memories and create a living, breathing city. I create interactive street paintings to make people aware of their environment and help them share what they are feeling. The lifelike representation invites the viewer to become part of the painting. The illusion – the memory – has now been created.

The images I use often evoke memories of the past. I try to stir up emotions that evoke pleasant feelings from the past. However, I put the memory in a new context to underline that it is something worth cherishing – despite the need for change.

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