Wiener Festwochen, the annual six-week-long cultural festival of Vienna, commissioned the sculpture outside the festival center in the Stadtkino im Kunstlerhaus. As with many of Vienna's public spaces, this is a contested site: for years it has been defined by building-scale advertisements in front of the Kunstlerhaus, an independent art society. In order to raise money for the renovation of their historic building, the Kunstlerhaus constructed a scaffold to extend the facade into this unique space, remembered as a lively urban moment in Vienna before its transformation. This is also the only outdoor space for the students of the high school next door. Our sculpture addresses the leftover space next to this scaffolding and tries to reframe this public place as a non-consumerist space.
It actively encourages the students of the school, festival guests, or any passersby to hang out in the streetscape without the need to look for a sidewalk cafe. Because of its irregularly differentiated form (in the usual and unusual relationships between table, bench, and pergola) the installation tests different uses in its various spatial subconfigurations. The 121-meter-long structure is built from identical plates of raw spruce, connected by specific timber joints and screws without any glue. In this sense it is a test for using raw spruce in public space. And as an art piece, it in turn tests the potential of the site. As expected, many people including the pupils used it, but none of the anticipated graffiti, engraving, and use by skaters or traceurs happened in a measure worth mentioning-which may be due to the prominent location of the site. I also learned from passersby and my own behavior that we are not used to spending time so conspicuously without consumption, on unusual public furniture within the center of a city like Vienna." (from Learning from Schools, Gabu Heindl, ARPA #1, Test Subjects)