The fire department, rescue service and disaster control have already rehearsed all conceivable emergencies. You have to be prepared for everything. Large parts of the population of Western democracies are increasingly demanding this of themselves, while people's lives are becoming more and more comfortable and secure. In Edward Snowden's words: "Because we live such comfortable lives and our standard of living is so high that there are no more risks in our everyday lives, it's very easy to scare us."
You live more and more safely and feel more and more in danger. This paradoxical situation forms the background for a sculpture that is still waiting to be realized:
In a performative analysis, the components of the design are to be stripped of their supporting context and exposed to gravity as sculptural objects.
A well-designed emergency vehicle is immediately identifiable as such, and its design is as effective as possible in attracting the necessary attention in road traffic. This photo shows the presentation of the Berlin Fire Department's design in 2009. This design was deliberately limited to the colors white and fluorescent orange. The design language signals dynamics and urgency. The arch flying to the rear on the side of the vehicle is reminiscent of the logo of a sporting goods manufacturer and gives the vehicle the appearance of movement even when standing.
This "urgency design" is an attempt to counteract the habituation effect that comes from the fact that emergency service and fire department vehicles are a natural part of our street scene. Despite their bright colors, they seem to be virtually invisible to many of us.
My artistic proposal in view of this double paradox is to speculatively throw it all away. To submit, to give in, to go down on our knees, to capitulate. Let's submit to the fact that you can't be prepared for everything (or shouldn't even try to be). There comes a point when language is not enough, when our efforts to explain and make sense fail, in short: when models fail. This will be performed here by way of example.
The analysis takes place as follows. The most glaring parts are detached from the rest of the vehicle.
The design's default shapes are extruded. In software-supported 3D models, this is how surfaces can be drawn in depth in a simple way.
I do not want to have these detached shapes produced virtually though, but in real space, and in the original scale. Altogether this results in a size of approx. 6.3m (length) * 2.2m (depth) * 3m (height).
The individual parts are to be held suspended in their original context by a supporting structure:
During the ceremonial 'launching' of the sculpture, all the supports are pulled out to the sides at the same time. Completely detached from the context, the pieces crash down, following the laws of gravity and mechanics alone.
The following pictures show the results of repeated test runs using a 1:8 scale model.