Unter dem Pflaster liegt der Strand

„Unter dem Pflaster liegt der Strand“ is the title of the collaborative installation by Frieder Bohaumilitzky and Ursula Klein on the occasion of the Vienna Design Week. The title is an adaptation of the well-known saying of the 68 movement and in this context refers to the political relevance of design projects in public space.
The contribution was part of the dialogic format of Passionswege, in which international design creators are brought together with Viennese craft businesses. Ursula Klein is the third generation of her family to run the plastic processing company schulteswien, which produces inflatable one-offs for artists and museums.
In their collaboration, Bohaumilitzky and Klein combined their passion for inflatable objects with their interest in political content. They used an space-filling inflatable ensemble to occupy a vacant lot between buildings in Vienna's 6th district. 
During the day, the installation invited visitors to gather and hang out; in the evening, it became a space for discourse. In a series of open talks on the installation and in the adjacent workshop of schulteswien, the two discussed the potential of design in the face of current political challenges. The individual narrative elements of the installation served as starting points for the discussions with architects, filmmakers, historians, artists, politicians and political scientists. 

Passionswege, Vienna Design Week 

Concept: Frieder Bohaumilitzky · Ursula Klein / schulteswien 
Curated by: Nadja Zerunian · Gabriel Roland 
Setdesign: Frieder Bohaumilitzky · Ursula Klein / schulteswien
Production: Ursula Klein / schulteswien 

→ Detailed program

Designing Unrest

“It can be argued that every political system forms an interwoven relationship with design systems. Democracy is no exception. Unlike some other political systems, however, a democratic society is hardly conceivable without a public sphere that encompasses multiple, constantly negotiated everydays—dissent is essential in keeping it alive. Design plays an important role in this social fabric by influencing, motivating, or even preventing social forms of behavior through its artifacts and settings. Design influences the form(s) in which a society arranges its coexistence. That is to say, it affects whether negotiations take place and are carried out in purely symbolic spaces or whether design itself is understood as an actor in spaces of societal friction. Perhaps it is a central task for designers to focus on such concrete conflicts and controversies. This would also mean making a significant contribution to ensuring that democracy not only functions as a structure and a symbol but also remains a process that provokes and requires practical conflicts and positional disputes, as well as providing an epistemic representation (e.g., visual, material, informative) of both.”

IX Interactions. 2022 Volume XXIX.2 

Text: Tom Bieling · Frieder Bohaumilitzky · Anke Haarmann  · Torben Körschkes
Images: Frieder Bohaumilitzky · Torben Körschkes 

Read more: → interactions.acm.org

Mohamed Amjahid (Vortrag & Diskussion) 
Wie aus der Parallelgesellschaft herausspringen? 
Über homogen weisse Räume in der Stadt 

Aram Bartholl (Performance & Gespräch) 
Greetings from Hamburg! 
Wie umgehen mit geschichtsrevisionistischer Architektur? 

Eduard Freudmann (Vortrag) 
Kontextualisierung, Umgestaltung, Weggestaltung 
Künstlerische und aktivistische Auseinandersetzungen mit geschichtspolitischen Manifestationen im öffentlichen Raum 

Cornelia Siebeck (Thesen & gemeinsames Nachdenken) 
Was wir „vergessen“ haben, oder: 
Für eine Erinnerungsarbeit ohne Selbstvergewisserung 

Nora Sternfeld (Vortrag) 
Errungene Erinnerungen 
Kontaktzonen umkämpfter und geteilter Geschichte 

Gegenwärtig sind wir mit einer rechten Metapolitik konfrontiert, die mit kulturellen Setzungen versucht zivilgesellschaftliche Überzeugungen und kulturelle Diskurse jenseits von Parlamenten nach eigenen Vorstellungen zu verändern. Während das Konzept der Metapolitik eigentlich für den Aufbau einer demokratischen Zivilgesellschaft gedacht war, zielt die Neue Rechte darauf ab, gesellschaftliche Komplexität auf essentialistische Vorstellungen von Kultur, Nation und Volk zu reduzieren. Mit Rekonstruktionen historischer Architektur, ideologischer Inanspruchnahme von Orten, aber auch Angriffen auf Parlamente versucht sie abgeschlossene Identitäten zu konstruieren. Im Ringen um die kulturelle Hegemonie entwendet die Neue Rechte auch den Künsten ihre Strategien, mit denen zuvor noch für eine offene und vielfältige Gesellschaft eingetreten wurde. Sie richtet die performativen Methoden nun gegen die vielfältige Kultur selbst. Dafür dreht sie das kritische Potential der Künste in eine affirmative Symbolhaftigkeit um und verwendet das progressive Moment der Künste für ihre regressiven Ideen.

Obwohl die permanente Gefahr besteht, die entwickelten künstlerischen Praxen in den Händen von Personen mit autoritären und völkischen Vorstellungen wiederzufinden, besteht nach wie vor die Notwendigkeit mit Kunst Ideen davon zu entwickeln, wie wir als Gesellschaft gerne zusammenleben wollen. Metapolitisches Hüpfen bietet den Anlass, rechte Metapolitik zu diskutieren und schafft zugleich den Raum, um Gegenstrategien zu entwickeln. Um die Frage nach dem Umgang mit symbolischen Räumen so zuzuspitzen, dass sie sichtbar und diskutierbar wird, wird das Hambacher Schloss als Symbol für Demokratie aber auch nationalistische Vereinnahmung in eine antifaschistische Hüpfburg transformiert. Die Architektur wird zur Infrastruktur für ein eintägiges Symposium im öffentlichen Raum, das Widersprüchlichkeit zulässt und auf dem nicht nur theoretisch, sondern auch praktisch und performativ Strategien gegen rechte Metapolitik entwickelt, erprobt und debattiert werden.

Symposium und antifaschistische Hüpfburg 
Große Bergstraße/ Goetheplatz, Hamburg 

Mit: Mohamed Amjahid, Aram Bartholl, Eduard Freudmann, Cornelia Siebeck und Nora Sternfeld 

Konzeption: Frieder Bohaumilitzky
Setdesign: Frieder Bohaumilitzky
Grafikdesign Flyer & Plakat: Torben Körschkes
Produktion Setting: Ursula Klein, schulteswien 
Photos: Edward Greiner


Gefördert durch die Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg; Behörde für Kultur und Medien 

The mobilization attempts of the New Right are characterized by numerous discourse sovereignty appropriation tactics. This also applies to the re/interpretation and staging of symbolic spaces. How can the authoritarian appropriation of the right be countered by design strategies?

The starting point for the thematic discussion with and in this lecture-performance is a bouncy castle. As a materialized metaphor, the bouncy castle brings together our different research perspectives in productive friction. The bouncy castle itself symbolizes the observation that the self-image of a society is increasingly negotiated on the basis of and performed in symbolic spaces. «Bouncing» in this sense can be understood as a breaking out of rigid knowledge productions, as paralogy – displaced logos. The childish bouncing undermines the adult (academic) epistemological seriousness. Insight takes off, gets out of balance and when it arrives again it easily finds itself somewhere else, offset. 

The bouncy castle can also point to aspects of a chaotic space, that is, to interdependencies, the recognition of complexity and unpredictability, and in this respect also poses the question of how we move in and through such spaces. For a movement of reduction and authoritarian appropriation does not fit this diverse and complex world. The bouncy castle is an attempt to develop an understanding of places as places of knowledge, of spaces as spaces of negotiation, of things as things of meaning. What (epistemological, design, theoretical) tools do we have at our disposal? What tools can we – as designers, artists, philosophers, social scientists– make available without these, in turn, being rigidly fixed, predetermined? 

A specially made version of Hambach Castle (which is at the same time a symbol of «German democracy» and right-wing appropriation) as a bouncy castle – for this performative lecture – presents itself as a deliberately wobbly materialized demand to bring unrest into knowledge and entrenched thought practices. 

Attending [to] Futures Conference, KISD - Köln International School of Design 

Conception, Text, Performance: Tom Bieling · Frieder Bohaumilitzky · Anke Haarmann · Torben Körschkes 
Edition / Sound / Conception: Stephan Kraus 
Camera / Conception: Tamara Hildebrand 
Support / Subtitles: Alice Lagaay 

German original version with english subtitles 
40 min. 

The exhibition Practice Space for Criticism is an experiment which actively tests out the concept of criticism. It addresses the following questions: how can we master the practice of criticism, which tools do we need to do so and how can we also prepare ourselves for situations in which we wish to express and receive criticism, whether positive or negative?
The ability to accept criticism is a key social skill when it comes to coexisting democratically with others, given the importance of entering into exchanges with others and negotiating different viewpoints. In order to strengthen this social skill, you need to have the courage to listen and understand your own viewpoint. The art to practising criticism is to tell another person how you see them or where you stand on a topic without offending them in the process – and, conversely, to be able to accept the opinions and insights of others without taking offense. 
In the form of a circuit training exercise, the practice space encourages participants to hone their critical abilities. Each station focuses on an area of critical practice, allowing participants to develop specific skills which can be applied to everyday situations. 

The Practice Room for Criticism DIY is a cooperation of the HFBK Hamburg with the Kursbuch Kulturstiftung and the Goethe Institut. Fot the cooperation a DIY kit of the Exercise Room for Criticism was developed, interested parties are provided with a construction manual, the necessary texts as well as a mediation program. 
Curator: Friedrich von Borries 
Exhibition design: Frieder Bohaumilitzky 
Mediation program: Anne Wilhelm 
Exhibition graphic design: Anne Stiefel 

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