The first MAK FUTURE LAB 2018 features the Austrian artist Martin Walde and his current project Le Baron Noir presented as a seat installation in the MAK Columned Main Hall. His interest in the possibility of a “universal substance”
and those materials that continuously configure our world physically and fictitiously into new formationsis the topic of a
fishbowl conversation between Walde, Harald Gruendl, designer and design theorist at IDRV – Institute of Design Research Vienna,
and MAK curator Marlies Wirth.
“What happens if substances randomly mix with one another? With the increase in the production and isolation of substances in various concentrations and states of matter, and since only a fraction of each substance is collected and processed so that it can be recycled, the number of uncontrollable mixtures increases too, leading to their global accumulation and, in turn, to further mixtures with uncontrollable consequences.” (Martin Walde)
Since the 1980s, Martin Walde has been researching the metamorphosis of material and physical states and combining these different elements using random and mysterious procedures. Under the title Hallucigenia Products (since 1992, ongoing) he has examined the transformation and reformation of things in different media, always with reference to their observers and users, and explores various forms of utopia.
The chair titled “Le Baron Noir” was conceived of and developed by Walde it in cooperation with Walter Trampusch. It is is based on a simple loop, the basic form of which can be varied. The material––Walde currently works with caoutchouc, which he has used frequently since the mid 1980s––is stable enough to be able to retain shape, thanks to its elasticity and in spite of its adaptive behavior. Le Baron Noir––both a functional piece of furniture and a sculpture––invites visitors to act, to occupy and to transform it. The communicative process transforms the way in which the object is observed and enables different thought experiments and formations: at the fishbowl discussion with the artist and his guests, participants can give their thoughts free rein during the course of a freely associative conversation.
Seat installation and keynote:
Fishbowl discussion with the public:
Harald Gruendl, Designer and Design Theorist, IDRV – Institute of Design Research Vienna
Martin Walde, Artist
Marlies Wirth, Curator, Digital Culture and MAK Design Collection
Admission: Tuesday 6–10 p.m. € 5
The MAK FUTURE LAB is a creative laboratory founded by the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art. Through workshops, lectures, panel discussions, and other formats the MAK FUTURE LAB generates interdisciplinary contributions to a humane shaping and utilization of Digital Modernity. It positions design, architecture, and fine art as driving forces of socially, ecologically, culturally, and economically sustainable market economy models. Through diverse cooperations, it networks these creative sectors with the fields of science, research, business, and politics. The MAK FUTURE LAB aspires to develop both holistic orientation models and strategies for the commons inspired by such models, as well as concrete, innovative business ideas for the future.