Leoben Municipality – PlauderbankIn conjunction with an EU Leader Project, an initiative to foster innovation in public spaces that is set to run until 2020, Ars Electronica Solutions worked together with the Austrian city of Leoben’s urban development agency to produce a vision paper from which the project staff selected four installations that are now being implemented in step-by-step fashion.
The first two installations were unveiled by Mayor Kurt Wallner and the project staff in late September and have gotten an enthusiastic reception by city dwellers. Two more will follow in late October.
In order to focus attention on the locations of these enhancements to the urban sphere and city life, phosphorescent paint is used to spray footprints of an ostrich, the bird featured on Leoben’s coat-of-arms, on inner city streets to show curious visitors the way from the Kunsthalle artistic & cultural center to the respective installations.
The first footprints lead to Stadtkai and a Plauderbank, a spacious, comfortable piece of furniture conducive to relaxing, chatting, and an interesting encounter with some of the many facets of Leoben. When visitors place a stone on the installation’s user interface, its specific weight launches the playback of an audio story for Plauderbank guests to enjoy. These offerings are a mix of historical accounts, folksongs sung by children, and personal narratives. Anyone who’d like to contribute content is cordially invited to visit the recording station set up in Kunsthalle; shortly thereafter, his/her content is made available to all Plauderbank visitors.
There’s already a loyal fan base; in fact, two Leoben ladies get together on the bench every day …
Project-Credits: Ina Badics, Klaus Dieterstorfer, Stefan Dorn, Stefan Fuchs, Barbara Hinterleitner, Petros Kataras, Harald Moser, Andreas Pramböck, Gerald Priewasser-Höller, Markus Wipplinger & Garamantis