This contribution to Angewandte’s annual show created an unpredictable space which triggered a lot of attention since it did not easily uncover if the mechanism behind the enigmatic surface was machine or human based thus questioning the agency behind social processes – “questionism” should replace “solutionism”.
The Social Design Studio built a human driven, analogue interface in the form of an interactive wall, that simulated a machine interface (input/output) in the size of the two exhibition spaces at Vordere Zollamtsstraße 3. The qualities of Social Design artistic labour – driven by soft methods and flexible ways of response to site-specific questions – was performed in a lively and playful way with the visitors.
The interactive wall was placed parallel to the window wall, shortly after the lateral connection doors. Behind the wall, the Social Design Studio created a workshop space separated from the visitors’ space and not visible/accessible. In the resulting corridor in front of the interface, the visitors could post requests or questions that were answered in different modalities by the “Soft Machine” (the Social Design team).
The “Soft Machine” consisted of up to ten people working in the workshop space. The requests of the visitors were answered with replies and instructions that were transmitted to the visitors through different media (like sound, 3D objects, written tasks, telephone etc. ...) It should stay unpredictable how the interaction and the outcome of the processing would look like. Simple questions could receive complex answers, counter-questions, objects, instructions or provoke interactions between participants.
The audience reacted with attention, confusion, curiosity and visitors were practically touched by their own questions asked to the enigmatic sphinx – maybe even more than by the wise answers.
- November 2018
- Vordere Zollamtstraße
- Social Design Studio