SOCIAL AIRBAGS – August 2011

A research and production residency by Roman Kirschner (AT).

“Social airbags” are a series of blow-up sculptures with a narrative character. They are wrapped up in small bags when worn on the body and can be used in diverse social situations. Unlike airbags in cars they are not triggered automatically, but can be activated as the need arises. “Social Airbags” are deployed by pulling a handle and get fully blown up within seconds. Depending on the situation, they serve as instantaneous body transformations, as extensions to specific conversations, as signals for interests and abilities, as subversive interventions into everyday events, as spontaneous outburst, etc.. As “instant sculptures” with a narrative direction, they unfold their full potential when used with a dreamlike or traumatic twist.
“Social Airbags” combine the tendency to light, ephemeral and almost spontaneous sculptures in contemporary art with the ambivalent and constantly developing desires for biological transformations in science and society. They allude to precarious labor situations, to the liquefaction of social security and the continental political whereabouts without putting the finger on it.

Roman Kirschner:

Roman Kirschner (* 1975 Vienna) works as an artist in the fields of visual and media art. He has studied philosophy, art history and audiovisual art in Vienna and Cologne. For his basic research Roman is currently working on a Phd on „Processes of material transformation. Metamorphosis in art practice?“ at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. His work has been exhibited internationally in eg. Tokyo Museum of Photography (JP), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts San Francisco (USA), Woodstreet Galleries Pittsburgh (USA), Itaú Cultural Sao Paulo (BR), V2 (NL), Cornerhouse Manchester (UK), Lunds Konsthall (SWE), Akademie der Künste Berlin (DE), Kunsthalle und Künstlerhaus Wien (AT), Arko Art Center Seoul (ROK).

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