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Urbane Experimentalklempnerei

'Urban Experimental Plumbing'
street drains, PVC piping, wood, warning tape, cans, jelly jar, hoses, etc.
Ballhaus Ost, Berlin 2007

Playing along the edges of legality, hand-made plumbing objects were inserted into street drains and similar orifices of the city grid. If not removed by the authorities, each object remained in place and was monitored for the duration of one week. Reactions to these foreign bodies ranged from their complete dismantling, such as in the case of one installation across from the heavily surveilled Bellevue Palace, to the voluntary repair of an object that had fallen over in a residential area. Others were left undisturbed. Mimicry of legitimate construction methods relegated the installation to the peripheral perception of the passer-by. According to these mimicries, a flexible position can be found within institutional systems from which to encourage the de-automatization of habitual patterns. At the same time, subtle insertions of nonsensical components rupture this mimetic approach to prevent it from becoming a complacent, fail-save methodology.

Photos: Afsheen Siddiqi, Steffen Roth, Adrian Lohmüller