'The White Bicycle Plan proposes to create bicycles for public use that cannot be locked. The white bicycle symbolizes simplicity and healthy living, as opposed to the gaudiness and filth of the authoritarian automobile.'
For Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art 2010, NVA staged a re-enactment of the infamous Witte Fietsenplan (White Bike Plan).
The original Witte Fietsenplan (White Bike plan) was an anarchic free transport programme and the most famous manifesto of the Provos, the Dutch counter culture movement of the 1960’s. They released 50 or so, free to use, specially painted white bikes which were scattered across the city of Amsterdam. This was done as a statement against the rise of consumerism, pollution and congestion caused by the privately owned vehicle. Although the action was shortlived due to theft and vandalism, Provo members used seats on the local council to propose further large-scale white bike plans. The initiative stands as the source inspiration for the (PUB) Public Use Bicycle systems which have been updated and ‘officially’ replicated in cities worldwide.
NVA’s White Bike Plan referenced and reinvigorated this key legacy from the Dutch Provo movement. NVA released 50 white bikes across the city for the Glasgow International audience to freely use for travelling around town and between venues for the duration of the festival.
Over half of the bikes that were made available have been returned, with additional bikes still being spotted and reclaimed. The returned bikes have been donated to five local charities who have given them a new life, and set them free once again.
photo © Cor Jaring, courtesy NVA website