And suddenly, the festival activities in Amtshaus Theresienbadgasse were interrupted by a well-known but somewhat out-of-place sound … from time to time, a siren could be heard wailing through the exhibition spaces of VIENNA DESIGN WEEK 2020. It came from the installation POLITICAL ATMOSPHERE by the artist and designer Felix Lenz. An ADS-B antenna erected in the festival courtyard recorded the nearby air traffic and enabled the flight data to be visualized in real time on a digital map in the exhibition. When the accumulation of flights over the city reached a certain level, the siren was triggered.
POLITICAL ATMOSPHERE addresses the latent connection between flight turbulence, climate change, and war. To this end, Lenz spent months researching atmospheric and political turbulence in the context of the Anthropocene – the epoch in which humanity has become the most powerful influencing factor on the earth. The installation exhibited at VIENNA DESIGN WEEK enabled him to find the perfectly penetrating artistic expression of this problem, which literally shook visitors to the core.
Initiated as part of and with the friendly support of the Studio Design Investigations (ID2) course at the University of Applied Arts.
Technical support: Christijan Narat (Alpex Technologies)
Coding: Leo Mühlfeld
With thanks to: Ben Schneider, Ali Bakarov, Stephanie Kneissl, Sarah Franzl, Ula Reutina, Max Scheidl, Julia Habarda, Kerem Atalay, Ganael Dumreicher, Lorenz Zweier, Xavier Madden, and Ina Mangold.