Soziale Sollbruchstelle: reimagining technology from the former German Democratic Republic in the age of planned obsolescence

Soziale Sollbruchstelle is an interdisciplinary artistic research project carried out during a fellowship at Berlin Centre for Advanced Studies in Arts and Sciences (BAS) / Graduiertenschule at the Art University of Berlin from 2016-2018.

The project centered on these questions:
What kind of patterns and juxtapositions emerge when the aesthetics and cultural practices surrounding technology from a historical communist state intermingle with capitalist consumer culture? In particular, what happens when household electronics from the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) get a makeover using the sleek aesthetics of present day digital consumer technology? Can this somehow offer alternative readings of western society’s gross entanglement with technology?

The resulting works in this project include:
The Watch, video installation
Armour, sculptural installation with found objects
Tower, photograph
Lookout, photographic tryptic
Operation Manual, photographic collage
Government Issue, photograph
Sirens, sound installation
Soziale Sollbruchstelle, publication

Artistic Collaborators:
Sophia Gräfe
AGF (Antye Greie-Ripatti)

Further artistic support and expertise from:
Jemma Woolmoore
Lena Maria Loose
Carolin Meyer
Artist Carpenter Berlin
Daniel Stigler

Soziale Sollbruchstelle was funded by the Einstein Foundation Berlin and realized with the support of the Berlin Centre for Advanced Studies in Arts and Sciences at the Berlin University of the Arts. The artist further gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and Halle14 Zentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst.