freie internationale tankselle
Run by Dida Zende
The misson of FIT – freie internationale tankselle – is to reclaim abandoned filling stations and to rebrand their original function as sources of fossil fuel. It is the mission of FIT to be all inclusive in its commitment to exploring the full spectrum of human and social creativity including those expressions not commonly valued by society.
FIT is organized as a non profit organisation, but it is my artwork. People come and go. each time we FIT a station there are people from the area who join. It is funded mostly by itself, which means we sell drinks and food in berlin at the FIT. This is what pays most costs. And the funding changes from location to location. In the Copenhagen FIT we are sponsored by the owners with the building, electricity and paint. The main idea is to get artists/non artists from the area to do things, but since our network has been growing, we try to work also on exchange basis.
Skype Interview November 21, 2009
Elysa Lozano: hello
Elysa Lozano: how did your construction go? Are you all done now?
FIT: well the works outside the building are mostly done. but the place is quit big so there is lots of work to be done for the opening on 5th december
Elysa Lozano: will you be working with other artists there?
FIT: i am working with artist and non artist. the idea is make people aware of there own creativity. just by helping painting the abandoned station there explore after a while their own ideas of what can be done after the station is set up.
Elysa Lozano: How do you find your collaborators?
FIT: yes thats how u can call it. normaly i have to know at least one person from the area from this point on things happen....in copenhagen i was lucky cause i had a newspaper article written saying that i am looking for volunters.
Elysa Lozano: so do the people who work on the stations then have some ideas about what to do in them? and do they work with you for ideas about concessions?or funding the project?
FIT: the funding in copenhagen comes for the building and the paint + the electricity bill from the owner, a real estate investor who wants to build sometime in the future a shopping mall there.
Elysa Lozano: I was wondering about that - if these are guerilla actions or if you bought or rented them
FIT: well always a bit different but never without the permission of the owners. thats why i call it "friendly takeover"
Elysa Lozano: So are they always temporary or do some stay permanently?
FIT: i did one station without permission. we labeled it at night with a big logo
FIT: berlin is permanent. the others are temporary. copenhagen will be working for hopefully one year from now. but there is also “mobile” versions of the FIT berlin. these are 1:1 size built from wood, or from tetra pack. i am trying to put one on a glacier in switzerland. the thing with volunteers is that they become part of the artwork ( social sculpture) and they see that u can move things
Elysa Lozano: so do the volunteers run the Berlin ones while you are away? are there some people you have worked with for a long time or does it shift constantly?
FIT: this one is so small that most activity is outside..since it is cold now it is now a normal sculpture, but in spring yes people help. some friends help me in berlin but i always meet new people. u see the idea of changing the station in to FILLING STATIONS FOR THE CREATIVE is pretty easy to get so a wide range of people understand that. i come and meet people from that point on the FIT happens. the work i bring with me as a artist is the idea. and then it needs a abondend station and people who understand
Elysa Lozano: oops...so are the activites and artworks generated for each FIT constantly changing - are there any recurring ones?
FIT: for five years i have organized a filmfestival for dilletants and prof called CANNES DE PETROL
Elysa Lozano: for generating revenue do you or your collaborators ever sell works?
FIT: yes......i do prints around the theme......and i sold works of other artists.......in february i go to the art supermarket in stockholm....i am a mixture of an artist, gallerist and therapist i guess.
FIT: the filmfest is about finding a movie scene playing on a gas station and do a remake of it. but the worst ones wins...so everyone has a chance. normaly the one wins which is most loved by the audience!
Elysa Lozano: does the audience vote?
FIT: yes, by clapping.....so the one who has the less applause is the winner.....always hard to make the audience aware of that
FIT: with an artist from netherland i organize the so-called "slowbiking". the one who can drive the most slow on 11meters wins without touching ground and stopping
Elysa Lozano: I wondered if you have an audience that stumbles across the filling station who might not otherwise...
FIT: for me the FIT works as a social sculpture and as a classical sculpture as well. so i could also just do one out in nowwhere........like a gas station: i want to reach the big car and the small