Croupiers and Croutons – The Climate Casino

Catalin Betz and Sophie Bösker, supported by Oliver Hangl (k48) and Brigitte Felderer, Marlena Hübner together with Frank Daubenfeld and Alberta Sinani (Equipment), Ralf Buergermann (Croupier), Neslihan Kiran (Banker), Leah Dorner (Wheel of Fortune Fair

A special project as part of the Vienna Art Week 2019

Global Players, Global Warmers and Climate Sinners gathered around one table on November 20, 2019 gambling for nothing less than the climate crisis. As part of the Vienna Art Week 2019, students of the Social Design Studio turned Oliver Hangl’s project space k48 into a fiery gambling den.

On November 20, visitors of the project space k48 were invited to the glamorous lobby of the Climate Casino. At the door they were served with fancy “Signature drinks” and exquisite croutons. A mysterious door was promised to lead into a secret room full of adrenaline, glitter and glamour. But to enter, the guests had to face a challenge: they had to question the wheel of fortune first. The wheel decided in which role they could get in. Those who were the luckiest could enter the mysterious gambling hall as a global player – someone who has a say in the climate crisis no matter whether they create a positive or negative effect, such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Fridays for Future movement (FFF) or even Leonardo DiCaprio. The unlucky ones, who had to take the role of climate losers (e.g. native American peasants or people of Somalia), could only redeem themselves by confessing a climate sin into the book of sins. It was the only way they could get another chance to question the wheel. Once a guest finally had entered the Casino, the game was easy: betting on gemstones, the gamblers let fortune decide who was the biggest climate sinner. Inspired by reality, the biggest sinners won precious CO2.

A professional croupier from Casino Wien on Kärntner Straße was hired to fulfil his duty of escorting the furious mass through the night. A simple exclamation like “You killed a cow by accident” could mean one person’s ruin, meanwhile another gambler won a fortune just because he “flew to New York to go shopping over the long weekend”. Soon, the atmosphere was heated up, sweat ran through the air – this evening everyone was infected by the gambling fever. The few strong-nerved gamblers who remained in the end could finally exchange their hard-won CO2 against exotic prices: Quinoa from Peru, coconut water from the Philippines and red wine from Australia was waiting for them to be consumed. And in the end, it was once again proved: the sinner takes it all.

© Lorenz Zenleser

© Lorenz Zenleser

© Lorenz Zenleser


November 2019
Catalin Betz and Sophie Bösker
supported by Oliver Hangl (k48) and Brigitte Felderer
Marlena Hübner together with Frank Daubenfeld and Alberta Sinani (Equipment)
Ralf Buergermann (Croupier)
Neslihan Kiran (Banker)
Leah Dorner (Wheel of Fortune Fairy)
Lorenz Zenleser (Documentation)