Codex is an urban story zigzagging between balconies and windows. Citizens who join the initiative receive a kit, consisting of five coloured flags or five flags with punctuation marks (exclamation point, question mark, semicolon, colon, comma/point) which they will expose to a window or balcony of their home. For a week, during the day, everyone will display a flag at will, with the intention of communicating with their neighbour. Participants begin the “visual conversation” according to their mood of the day and in turn, they respond to what is proposed by the inhabitants of the opposite building. Punctuation marks and colours become forms of immediate communication, like flags to be used in the city-ocean, between apartments block-islands.
Colours, exclamation marks, question marks, points, commas, colons represent a system of elementary codes that allow the construction of a story. They are a sequence of symbols that connect the streets of the neighbourhood.
The inhabitants communicate with their neighbours, across the street and with passers-by by displaying the signs, changing them and giving life to a “story” built together.
The balcony (or window) is both a domestic appendage and a view of the world, a connecting point between outside and inside, a private and public place. Over the centuries, they have provided the point from which each family showed its presence on occasions of holidays, secular and religious ceremonies.
The route starts from Corso di Porta Ticinese in Milan, the historic entrance for royal hospitality, and it reaches the Porta Genova station. This last is a connection point with the hinterland and a precarious area close to renovation-demolition, thanks to an urban regeneration project.
The “communications” among the inhabitants may or may not change, at the participants’ discretion. In any case, Sonia and her collaborators check the streets every day, through photographs. At the end of the week dedicated to this project, the sequences made up of the different signs are graphically translated into “strips”. The result is a visual story to be collected in an accordion book distributed to the participants.
Flags with punctuation marks, colours, or mixed. Families choose day by day how to use their kit. But the wind doesn’t always help to make communications effective …
The days pass and the “communications” change…
We build a diary of inter-condominium communications through the balconies
From the results obtained here is a sequence of three “sample” days from Thursday to the following Wednesday: