Discarded Newspapers

Mu Bo

Vienna is a clean and regulated city. But I was a little bit confused, when I saw the people ignoring and walking over many pieces of newspapers on the floor. When i lift the newspapers to the bench, suddenly people came to pick them up and read in them. But the newspaper remained as dirty as they were before. 

Newspaper on floor of metro

The chinese word for garbage is mainly related to "uselessness", not necessarily to "dropping", like the german term "Abfall". If a newspaper falls down on the ground, it is still something useful for me, but for the people here, it's not a newspaper anymore but garbage. Because Austria has a very strong culture of not picking up things from the ground. Then I started a study of ignorance of left off newspaper. I tried to find out what was the border between garbage and a still useful thing. How do people in Austria befine dirtyness? Will their ignorance of newspaper expand to other aspects of life? 

Newspaper stand in metro station

The image shows and exhibition at OHO (Offenes Oberwart) where the results of my artistic research were presented. The obejcts are showing how people here define dirtyness: not based on bacteria, but on the activity level (reachable distance). It's normal to pick up the newspapers from the furniture, which is made of left off newspapers collected from the ground. Nobody picks up newspapers from the ground. But when the cushion lowers the activity level to the ground, at the same time, the newspapers on the ground are transformed into something useful again. 

Furniture made out of old newspaper
Summer 2015
Mu Bo