Jessica Müller, Tanneh Gattinger und Yasmine Sophie Adam

We realized two artistic projects in public space during a one-week workshop in the Lichtenbergstudios. In the period from 23.09. – 27.09. we got to know the district of Lichtenberg as well as various works by Uwe Jonas and Ella Ziegler.
At the Nöldnerplatz we noticed an old chewing gum machine, which had already left its best times behind and now served as a garbage can. Relatively quickly we decided to give the old chewing gum vending machine a “new coat of paint”. The tripartition of the windows as a triptych and the shop-window-like character of the box gave us the idea to use the interior as exhibition space. To do this, the vending machine had to be carefully emptied first.

The result is an interior covered with golden paper with a horizontally inserted plate on which three different objects are presented. The holes below are also covered with gold. In the window on the left, there is an Asian anlock cat, which, with the help of movement, draws the attention of passers-by to the automaton. Here the gold of the disguise is picked up again. A large lollipop – surrounded by some sweets – has been placed centrally. This refers to the original function of the chewing gum machine. To the right of it is a burning red grave light. Perhaps recipients think of an ironic mourning for an old former vending machine or it reminds them of an altar-like arrangement. We would have loved to know what was going on in the minds of the passers-by when they discovered our work by chance as they passed by. Some stopped for a moment, wondered or smiled.

The idea for the second of our projects was born while strolling together through the high-rise housing estate on Schulze-Boysen-Straße. Here we literally stumbled over a root. This not exactly small root had made its way over the concrete lawn edges. On the one hand, it caught our eye by breaking through the straight-line beds and on the other hand, it was a clear stumbling block for all passers-by. For this reason, we decided to change this given object as spontaneously as in the first project. We decided to emphasize the root with a kind of lighting. Since we did not want to use electronic illuminants for environmental reasons, we sprayed the object in fluorescent paint.

The result is a root that has a strange green and white shimmer in daylight. At nightfall it transforms into a neon green shining object that invites you to stop. Intentionally we wanted to make an intervention in public space by picking up the existing root, which creates a short moment of irritation and disturbs the daily visual routine of the people living there. The intention was to create a moment of attention which, in interaction with natural energy absorption by sunlight, smoothes a transition from the natural to the unnatural. The natural material root was manipulated in this sense to create an unspecific – contrary and therefore artificial light irritation. We were able to catch some astonished glances at this project as well.

February, 2020