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Information sheet for the

Press conference concerning the exhibition

HAUS-RUCKER-CO LIVE again


16 November 2007 16 March 2008

Wednesday, 14 November 2007, 10 am

Dialougue partners:
Stella Rollig, Director Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz
Mag. Andrea Bina, Curator of the exhibition
Gnter Zamp Kelp und Klaus Pinter, Founding members HAUS-RUCKER-CO

Press Contact:

www.lentos.at

Mag. Nina Kirsch


presse@lentos.at, 0732/7070/3603

HAUS-RUCKER-CO
LIVE again
16 November 2007 16 March 2008
Press date: Wednesday 14 November 2007, 10 am
Opening: Thursday 15 November 2007, 7 pm

List of exhibited works

Riesenbillard / Giant Billard, 2007


PVC, Nylon, Metall / PVC, nylon,
metal
1,50 x 15 x 15 m
courtesy: Laurids Ortner, Gnter
Zamp Kelp, Klaus Pinter
Oxer, 1970/2007
Holzkonstruktion, Stoff / Timbers,
drapery
4x6x5m
courtesy: Laurids Ortner, Gnter
Zamp Kelp, Klaus Pinter
Foto: Norbert Artner

The Planet of Vienna and his Constellations, 1971


(PINTER)
Collage, Mischtechnik auf Papier/ Collage, mixed
materials on paper
courtesy: Galerie Curtze, Wien

Mind-Expander Schalensitz / Mind-Expander Shell Chair, 1969


Polyesterschalensitz fr 2 Personen / Body-contoured seat fort wo
people
80 x120 x 120 cm
courtesy: Lentos Kunstmuseum
Foto: maschekS

HRC Studio 491 Broadway, 1971


(ZAMP, PINTER)
Siebdruck / Silkscreen on paper (5/300)
74 x 57,5 cm (65 x 46 cm)
courtesy: Lentos Kunstmuseum

Four Seasons Hotel, Time Square, 1971


(ZAMP)
Siebdruck / Silkscreen on paper (5/300)
74 x 57,5 cm (61 x 50 cm)
courtesy: Lentos Kunstmuseum

Fresh Air Reservation, Broadwaybridge, 1971


(ZAMP)
Siebdruck auf Papier / Silkscreen on paper
57,5 x 74 cm (48 x 63 cm)
courtesy: Lentos Kunstmuseum

Downtown Broadway View Joes Bar, 1971


(PINTER)
Siebdruck auf Papier / Silkscreen on paper (5/300)
74 x 57,5 cm (60 x 50 cm)
courtesy: Lentos Kunstmuseum

72nd Street and Broadway , The Cocoon 1971


(PINTER)
Siebdruck auf Papier / Silkscreen on paper
57,5 x 74 cm (52 x 64 cm)
Signatur rechts unten: Pinter 1971
courtesy: Lentos Kunstmuseum

a-e
Environment-Transformer, 1968
s/w Fotografie, Farbfotografie
courtesy: Archiv Gnter Zamp Kelp
f+g
Environment-Transformer, 1968
Farbfotografie
courtesy: Archiv Klaus Pinter

Gelbes Herz / Yellow Heart (Modell / Model), 1968


Plexiglas, Metall, Schaumgummi / Acrylic glass,
metal, foam plastic
38 x 42 x 32 cm
courtesy: Museum Moderner Kunst Sammlung
Ludwig, Wien / Leihgabe der Artothek-BKA, Sektion
Kunst

Mind Expander 2, 1968/69


Plexiglas, Aluminium, Polyester / Acrylic glass, aluminium,
polyester
Sitzschale: 75 x 110 x 110 cm
Helm: Durchmesser 100 cm, H: 40 cm
Gesamt: H: ca. 150 cm, 25 kg
courtesy: Archiv Gnter Zamp Kelp

Room-Scraper, 1969
PVC, Siebdruck / PVC, screenprint
47 x 71,5 cm
Durchmesser, H: 240 cm
Foto: maschekS

Pneumacosm, 1967/2007
(ZAMP)
Collage / Collage
80 x 130 cm
courtesy: Archiv Gnter Zamp Kelp
Foto: maschekS.

Pneumacosm (Modell / Model), 1967


(ZAMP)
Plexiglas, PVC, Papier / Acrylic glass, PVC, paper
80 x 130 x 20 cm
courtesy: Archiv Gnter Zamp Kelp
Foto: maschekS

Instant Situation, 1970


Collage / Collage
47 x 71,5 cm
courtesy: Archiv Gnter Zamp Kelp
Foto: maschekS

Riesenbillard / Giant Billard (Modell / Model), 1970


Spanplatte, Kunststoff, Metallfedern, Schnur, inkl.
angeschraubte Haube / Plastics, chipboard, metal,
string acrylic glass
20,5 x 28,5 x 40,5 cm
courtesy: Deutsches Architekturmuseum Frankfurt a.
M.
Foto: maschekS

Oxer 25 (Modell/ Model), 1970


Karton, Papier, Plexiglas / Paper, cardboard, acrylic glass
30 x 22,5 x 13,6 cm
courtesy: Archiv Gnter Zamp Kelp
Foto: maschekS

LIVE Collage M20, 1970


Collage / Collage
50 x 70 cm
courtesy: Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig,
Wien

Oxer / Instant Situation 25, 1970


(LAURIDS)
Graphit, Farbstift auf Transparentpapier / Graphite,
coloured crayon on transparent paper
50 x 65 cm
courtesy: Archiv Gnter Zamp Kelp

LIVE, 1970
Plakat / Poster
Siebdruck / Silkscreen
59 x 84 cm
courtesy: Archiv Gnter Zamp Kelp

HAUS-RUCKER-CO
LIVE again
16 November 2007 16 March 2008
Press Date: Wednesday 14 November 2007, 10 am
Opening: Thursday 15 November 2007, 19 pm

Stella Rollig
Put to the Test of R e-Iteration
From 2007 to 1970, there and back again
(abstract out of the foreword fort he catalouge)
LIVE again is not a retrospective of HAUS-RUCKER-CO. It is a partial reenactment
of the exhibition LIVE that was shown in 1970 at the Vienna Museum of the 20th
Century. It centers around the giant billiard ball, a 225 square meter, inflated mattress
with three plastic balls that entices museum visitors to become physically
athletically, playfully active. The way that the white mega-object also works as an
immaculate sculpture can naturally also be tested in the large hall of the Lentos Art
Museum. What is unavoidable is the physical challenge of walking through the Oxer,
a channel into the exhibition space.

The exhibition LIVE from 1970 was a radical formulation that is certainly worth
recalling today. At the time it was a signpost along the manifold tracks that the
creatives and doers driving in the fast lane were laying out; it was a time of
upheaval and new departures, of theories and daring practices, of pop and fun, of
political agitation and of the great hope in art as a motor of change. Now, nearly
forty years later, Lentos restages this exhibition under fundamentally different
conditions. Perhaps the most crucial change relates to the almost complete
obliteration of what once existed as a euphoria for visions. In 2007: no euphoria, no
visions to be found.

It would be nave to present LIVE again in the museum at the beginning of the 21st
century as a setting or perhaps even a model of new and alternative forms of action.

Art and life have moved terribly far apart art is art and everything else is
everything else, as the American painter Ad Reinhardt postulated decades ago,
believing that art must or could be protected from being appropriated by the
consumer industry. Appropriation proved to be inevitable. Yet it is more complicated
than that: art and its institutions exist today in the confusing, unresolvable paradox of
having to comply with the rules of a market of entertainment, luxury and fashions, but
simultaneously having to constantly elude its logic of utilization. LIVE again in Lentos
show a historical work, recalls the period of its creation with numerous documents,
films and supplementary artefacts and raises topical questions. These questions
pertain more urgently to the status of the museum than to the broad field of a
diagnosis of our times and society. The distance to the feeling of life in 1970 is
glaringly evident in light of the original documents. Yet LIVE was also a confrontation
with the museum, and this reflection is shared, in the here and now, with the
audience in LIVE again.

Contact for additional information and picture material:


Mag. Nina Kirsch, presse@lentos.at oder +43(0)732/7070/3603

HAUS-RUCKER-CO
LIVE again
16 November 2007 16 March 2008
Press Date: Wednesday 14 November 2007, 10 am
Opening: Thursday 15 November 2007, 19 pm

Andrea Bina
Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth?
Now there is one outstandingly important fact regarding Spaceship Earth, and that is
that no instruction book came with it. I think it's very significant that there is no
instruction book for successfully operating our ship. In view of the infinite attention to
all other details displayed by our ship, it must be taken as deliberate and purposeful
that an instruction book was omitted.1

In every respect the year 1945 can be regarded as a cultural, social and intellectual
zero hour in Austrias life. The achievements of Modernism and its avant-garde were
criticized with old prejudices and pushed into subculture by conservative cultural
policies. Every protest against conventional forms was a scandal in the 1950s,
because the concept of a gray climate marked not only the image of the city, but
also characteristically described the mental situation of the post-war and
reconstruction period: gray was equated with oppressive, standardized, repressed.
A transformation occurred in the 1960s: young architects and artists left their studios
aspiring to change society. The previously more or less separate circles of friends
and working groups of painters, architects, writers, filmmakers, sculptors, actionists,
etc. mixed and became interwoven into the Viennese Underground Society, whose
art, as in New York, formed a parallel of multiple currents.2 With the first moon
landing, technical progress seemed boundless. The development brought about a

Buckminster Fuller, Richard: Bedienungsanleitung fr das Raumschiff Erde und andere Schriften. Ed. Krausse, Joachim.
Verlag der Kunst, Amsterdam/Dresden, 1988. p. 48. Available in English online: http://reactor-core.org/operating-manual-forspaceship-earth.html
2
Fleck, Robert: Avantgarde in Wien. Die Geschichte der Galerie nchst St. Stephan. Wien 1954-1982. Kunst und Kulturbetrieb
in sterreich. Lcker Verlag. Vienna, 1982. p. 230.

mood of change, loudly attracting attention, evincing pleasure in experimentation and


an interest in new materials, and calling forth a broad and transregional media echo.
Three manifestos on architecture were written and published in 1958: Friedrich
Hundertwassers Mould Manifesto Against Rationalism in Architecture, Gnther
Feuersteins Theses on Incidental Architecture, and the manifesto jointly written by
Arnulf Rainer and Markus Prachensky, Architecture by Hand.
Vienna, mid-60s. In the academic hothouse at Karlsplatz, the Technical University,
something is emerging that will later be a tribute to its origins under the name
Experimental Architecture from Vienna. Outside, Pichler and Hollein had already
started separating from the unimaginative and somewhat lazy gridded thinking of
school architecture. In Schwanzers department Gnther Feuerstein was firing up the
students with multimedia shows. The Beatles were rehearsing Sergeant Pepper, the
mayor was named Marek, and the Rolling Stones had to move out of the Hotel
Imperial. Kennedy was dead, Johnson was navigating dauntlessly through the
Vietnam War, Hollywood lost its audience to Andy Warhol. HAUS-RUCKER-CO hung
their Balloon for Two out the window in the Apollogasse, Coop Himmelblau filled the
auditorium of the Technical University with indiskin, bazookas and insiders. Znd up
extended an invitation to play car pin-ball in the underground garage and rocked
Professor Schwanzer on a Norton Commander. Designers, architects, artists,
creatives, doers were driving in the fast lane. The times were young. You accelerated
on straight roads and cut in front of the one ahead in the curves. Actions,
provocations, coffeehouse feuds were the order of the day. Everyone threw away
their old records because there was new music: the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob
Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. People wore their hair long, colorful rags from Carnaby
Street and blue levi pants. And no one was over 30. Young architects and designers
appeared in groups. They called themselves the Superstudio and Archigram in Milan
and London. HAUS-RUCKER-CO and Himmelblau in Vienna.3
The group HAUS-RUCKER-CO was founded in 1967 in Vienna by the two architects
Laurids Ortner and Gnter Zamp Kelp and the artist Klaus Pinter. The name was
intended to refer to the home region of all three (Hausruck is a region in Upper
Austria) and to describe their activity metaphorically as shifting old houses out of the
way to make room for new creative possibilities.4 Officially the names of the members
of the team were LAURIDS, ZAMP and PINTER. The names were chosen to be
3

Coop Himmelblau: Flashback. Sie leben in Wien. Ed.: Peter Weiermair, Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck 1975, no page.
Working report of HAUS-RUCKER-CO, 1968.

striking, and a humorous way of dealing with the material is also evident in this
approach. The following years were characterized by a multitude of activities that
received enormous media and international attention and were an elementary
contribution to redefining architecture and art. The group was active in the space of
the museum and in public space: their theme was the Mind-Expanding-Program
(drug-free mind expansion) and visionary urban design. Prototypes for new ideas of
living and proposals for redesigning the human habitat were developed under the
influence of new building materials.

Their first success resulted from taking part in the competition Interdesign Furniture
for Living and Working in the Year 2000 of the company Christian Holzpfel KG in
Germany (1967), in which new ideas for living and working were called for. HAUSRUCKER-CO entered the Mind-Expander 1, chair for two people, and
Pneumakosm5, a pneumatic dwelling unit in the shape of a lightbulb. This dwelling
unit was delivered as a finished installation and inserted into the provided holder for a
vertical urban structure. The moment the Pneumakosm is plugged in, the light
works, you can turn on the taps or use the telephone.6 In November 1967 the team
presented their first collaborative work: before an audience, the PVC Balloon for Two,
painted in bright pop colors, glided freely floating on a steel construction out the
window of the building in Apollogasse3 in Viennas 7th district. The interior of the
balloon offered space for two people, and Stoff Superhuber, bass player for Jacks
Angels, and Maria Ebner became engaged inside it. In January 1968, ConnexionSkin was created, a pneumatic living space as a swimming pool accessory or a
prototype for an intimate, inflatable spherical house.
In 1968 the model of the Yellow Heart (first called Intim-Room) was purchased for
the collection of the Vienna Museum of the 20th Century by the director at that time,
Werner Hofmann. In early summer the realized object Yellow Heart (easily
transportable home for nomads or for the weekend) began to beat in the building pit
of the police headquarters on the Vienna Ring a sociopolitical social critique: a
pulsating space for two people or a cell for lovers situated exactly where one
presumes there are cells for those deprived of their freedom. What is also interesting
is the close proximity in time and space to the action Art and Revolution that took
5

The work was carried out by two teams: Helmut Grasberger, Manfred Ortner and Zamp Kelp produced the Pneumacosm.
Angela Hareiter, Edith Ortner and Herbert Schweiger produced the Mind-Expander with Laurids Ortner. Laurids Ortner invited
Klaus Pinter to design the helmet of this object.
6
Text by the artists.

place in Auditorium 1 of the new institute building of the University of Vienna, which
Otto Mhl had organized together with the writer Oswald Wiener and the Socialist
Student Association (June 1968). This action entered into Austrian art history as the
Uni Pigs action. Viennese Actionism celebrated such notoriety that the boulevard
press was able to bathe in the theme for weeks. For us, though, stench didnt fit in
the yellow-colored vanilla future that we believed in with unbroken optimism. We
distanced ourselves at the time from the feces-enriched action hectographically in
DIN A4 format in several places in the city center.7
The series Environment Transformer was created: Flyhead, Viewatomizer and
Drizzler. Facet-like round helmets and visors equipped with stereo headphones and
colored glasses resulted in intensifying optical-acoustic sensory impressions (cf.
accordion-folded brochure). In addition to these projects, the Electric Skins were also
developed: transparent clothing made of soft sheets of PVC with luminous elements
attached.
In 1968 the team took part in exhibitions in New York (Plastics as Plastics8 at the
Museum of Contemporary Crafts) and Vienna (New Objects at the Museum of the
20th Century). In May 1969 they presented Vanilla Future (also Playroom for Erika
Pluhar and Andr Miriflor alias Andr Heller) in the strength training hall, the gym of
a school in the Schleifmhlegasse 4 of Viennas 4th district. These were objects for
the newly emerging leisure society. It was a conscious choice not to use a
conventional space for the presentation, but rather to create a neutral situation: the
sports equipment was moved to the side mental training took its place for a brief
period of time.9 Irritation was to effect relaxation: Our objects are developed for a
leisure society that has forgotten how to see and hear, which only reacts weakly to
stimuli, because it is flooded by stimuli, simple mental and physical experiences
become conscious and intensified again, physical capabilities are activated. Toys for
adults simulating contact, contact between two people, a man and a woman, who
experience their environment and themselves in a completely new way.10 People
operate like the material that is used for the objects, because the lightness of the
7

Kelp, Gnter Zamp: Journal. In: Haus-Rucker-Co. 1967 bis 1983. Deutsches Architekturmuseum. Frankfurt am Main. Verlag
Friedrich Vieweg & Sohn. Braunschweig, Wiesbaden, 1984, page 42.
8
The first TU student excursion to the USA (1964, New York, New Haven, Philadelphia, Chicago and Detroit) already resulted in
new perspectives. The second trip to the USA in 1968 led to insights relating to new uses for the objects and contacts that were
not insignificant for the later founding of HAUS-RUCKER-CO.
9
Hollein, Hans: The complexity of human life and behavior should be found again in the designed and planned environment.
Architecture deals not only with physical, but also with mental aspects. Ambivalence is a characteristic of architecture.
Architecture is both a carrier of meaning and a device. In a sense, architecture is applied schizophrenia. EVERYTHING IS
ARCHITECTURE! Transcription from the single: Also wenn Sie mich fragen wir danken fr das Gesprch, Herr Architekt, Ed.:
Transparent, Manuskripte fr Architektur, Theorie, Kritik, Polemik, Umraum, Vienna, 1972. Peter Noever, 1972.
10
HAUS-RUCKER-CO: Text by the artists on Vanilla Future. Vienna, 1968.

pneu is religion: flexible, easily transportable, movable and spontaneous. Vanilla


Future was also shown in the same year at the artist association MAERZ at
Taubenmarkt in Linz.11 Objects were shown that were less intended to be artworks,
but rather utility objects with specific functions, such as the Battle-Ship (canopied
bed), Room-Scraper (pneumatic lights), Schalensitz (shell chair for two), Environment
Transformer (helmets and visors), Shakebelt (dance device for two people).
The invitation to a solo exhibition at the Galerie Zwirner (Cologne) in autumn 1969
was the occasion for the artists to take an important step: the moved their work
location from Vienna to Dsseldorf, because they thought they would find better
production and sales conditions in Germany. Their declared aim was to produce the
objects of the Mind-Expanding-Program in series and put them on the market. At
the Cologne Art Market Zwirner showed the objects Yellow Heart, Room-Scraper and
Battle-Ship; there the artists became acquainted with Alfred Schmeller, the newly
appointed director of the Vienna Museum of the 20th Century, and they were
commissioned to start the opening exhibition of his period as director with a solo
exhibition: LIVE Living in the Museum. Just this title by itself heralded the end of the
classical, largely passive museum visit.

a possible operating manual for the microcosm:


the HAUS-RUCKER-CO panorama
In the exhibition HAUS-RUCKER-CO LIVE again, the Lentos Art Museum shows
the main piece Giant Billiard and Oxer (cf. Pinter article), an obstacle in the form of a
slanted room. This work from the exhibition staging LIVE (1970)12 triggers irritations
as soon as visitors enter the exhibition space. The Giant Billiard, a hybrid of a giant
billiard ball and a boxing ring, is a white pneumatic mattress 15 x 15 meters large and
one meter high, on which there are three white, inflated balls made of PVC. The
mattress can function as a stage, on which the people virtually become actors in the
scene. The intention at the time was to break open the view immanent to the
museum and playfully question the status of the recipients with this intervention. The
11

HAUS-RUCKER-CO presents Vanilla Future. Artists Association Maerz. Taubenmarkt, 4020 Linz. 5-20 June 1969.
LIVE, Museum of the 20th Century, Vienna, 7 February 15 March 1970. The museum building (the 20er House, part of
Belvedere today) was designed by Prof. Karl Schwanzer for the World Expo in Brussels in 1958. After it was then transferred to
Vienna, for a long time it remained the only place where contemporary and modern art was presented. Schwanzer was a
professor at the Technical University at Karlsplatz, Laurids Ortner and Gnter Zamp Kelp were among his many students.
Contrary to Roland Rainer and Ernst Hiesmayr, who stood for moderate architecture, Schwanzer took a modern direction. His
first assistant was Gnther Feuerstein, who gave a green light for a visionary and unconventional approach in the gray area
between architecture and art with the founding of the Club Seminars (held in the Galerie nchst St. Stephen in Viennas first
district).

12

museum as playground? Nearly forty years later, the expectations of the museum
visitors have been raised: in addition to its basic tasks (collection, preservation and
research), a museum today offers high quality entertainment. With the presentation
then, the alteration of function in the museum, the group achieved their first major
breakthrough with a widespread impact: the show was seen by 18,200 people and
generated an enormous media echo. In 1970 the artists brought their built utopia,
their possible operating manual into the museum in the form of their objects in
existence to date. They set up their own world: Live Living in the Museum was an
exhibition that HAUS-RUCKER-CO staged in Vienna and New York. We moved into
the museum13 for the duration of the exhibition to reside in the exhibition spaces
publicly. Residing meant for us at the time living with the result from three years of
work. Translated to the reality of the exhibition, this resulted in a mixture of everyday
furniture and usable objects along with devices from our own production.14 Joseph
Beuys expanded art concept suggests itself, with which the seemingly
insurmountable division of art, life and society was to be canceled out.
The accordion-folded brochure that was published for this exhibition reflects the
HAUS-RUCKER-CO panorama: the size and appearance of a record cover was
chosen as the format, indicating an affinity to the music of the beat generation. The
cover photo shows the three artists standing self-confidently in the Oxer. When the
fold-out is opened up, it shows the real living and working situation of the three artists
in the Vienna period. If it is unfolded again, the utopia of the HAUS-RUCKER-CO
world is revealed: located in a desert-like world there are three astronauts (RocketBelt Men) frolicking in between ZAMPs Architekturtrainer (1965) and the 47th City by
LAURIDS15. The artists present themselves with Environment Transformers:
LAURIDS wears the Flyhead, ZAMP the Viewatomizer, and PINTER the Drizzler. To
the far right, inserted like a collage, there is a photograph of the studio building in
Dsseldorf, Inselstrae 32, where a Pneumakosm is docking onto the window. Filled
with helium and equipped with drive units, a Roomscraper and two pneumatically
driven moving signposts zero in on the city model starting from the studio.

13

The artists plan of living in the museum for which they set up some of their furnishings in the exhibition was limited to the
opening hours of the museum for insurance reasons.
14
Kelp, Zamp Gnter: Journal. P. 58-59
15
The Architekturtrainer and the 47th City were presented at the following exhibition in the Galerie nchst St. Stephen: Urban
Fiction Leitbilder fr die Stadt der Zukunft. Action and exhibition. Organized by the Catholic Association of Academics of the
Archdiocese of Vienna. 30 and 31 January 1967. Designed by the Club Seminar of Architecture Students. In addition to Laurids
Ortner and Gnter Kelp, other participants included Hans Hollein, Walter Pichler, Wolf D. Prix and Carl Pruscha. Cf. Bau 1/1967,
p. 23.

Today nearly all the objects by the artist group HAUS-RUCKER-CO are in the
possession of museums: the Yellow Heart belongs to the collection of the Centre
Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Flyhead to the Museum of Modern Art in New York,
Battleship, a Mind-Expander 2 and the model of the Yellow Heart belong to the
Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation Vienna, and the Lentos has a Shell Chair
and a Room Scraper.
I have never known, or else I have forgotten again what architecture is. What I see
are conglomerations of blocks standing around. Blocks are buildings, and everything
together, all around, inside and outside, is called architecture. Well then, all I can the
highest principle of architecture in the future is clearing away. Architecture is only
evaluated now on the basis of how quickly and easily it can be cleared away. Instead
of surroundings, clearing institutes are created. Architects are obligated to shift their
buildings into a large garbage recycler. Just push it in. And all these architects that
shift buildings [Huser rcken] would be building-shifters [Hausrucker]. Yes,
Hausrucker!16

16

Ortner, Laurids: Transcription from the single: Also wenn Sie mich fragen wir danken fr das Gesprch, Herr Architekt; Ed.:
Transparent, Manuskripte fr Architektur, Theorie, Kritik, Polemik, Umraum, Vienna, 1972. Peter Noever, 1972.

HAUS-RUCKER-CO
LIVE again
16 November 2007 16 March 2008
Press Date: Wednesday 14 November 2007, 10 am
Opening: Thursday 15 November 2007, 19 pm

Laurids Ortner
On New Space
The sixties were focused on daily events. "Everyone should be famous for a day,"
demanded Warhol. And the day offered a colorful unit here, positively connected
forward to the next day. On the whole, the world seemed to be moving toward better
times, and we felt at one with our own times as never before. Suddenly everyday life
was something that did not have to be gray. The mass media had covered daily life to
a complete extent. The broadcasts from the moon landing became historical events
that took place for the first time in front of a majority of human beings. Historicity
converged here with the time of the event.
Technical development showed itself to be largely unlimited, in any case without
worrying side effects. Cheerful confidence, long developed through advertising,
formed a shiny bubble, in which there seemed to be enough room for the whole of
life. Changes gripped even one's own plain area. Something was moving that began
to take the place of twenty years of dour rebuilding and the necessity of hard work. It
was a time that obviously found itself, pushing aside coming problems like a child for
the sheer joy of today. What this phase has been reproached for as being uncritical
and unreflected was part of the sensuousness that was so fundamentally lost in the
years thereafter.
POP was the magic word. With new colors and new sounds it brought a joy in life that
had long been missing. What was stagnant finally started to flow, and youthfulness
turned out to be a crucial criterion that was not limited to any age group, despite the
sayings of "don't trust anyone over 30". Decorating yourself, surrounding yourself
with garish trivialities, proved to be a form of surplus in which everyone could

participate, which covered over all differences with a bright layer of color. Criticism of
insufficiencies was expressed playfully, if at all, because the world felt right and it
even offered dissenters a future as future was altogether a concept of intact
possibilities, no matter which way one turned. The image of a "better" world seemed
to be within reach: setting out together for new, unknown possibilities. The conquest
of the moon was just an external sign for this.
Our earlier projects were marked by technical innovations. We regarded the situation
of the astronauts, who were able to experience new space with the help of
technology, as a model case of "consciousness expanding" architecture. The dream
of being able to tangibly steer consciousness through architectonic devices seemed
to have been shifted into the realm of the feasible by the demonstrated experience of
space travel and hallucinogenic drugs. Architecture as a benevolent transformer
capable of directly influencing the consciousness of its users.
The principle considerations for the devices developed and the compressed spaces
always started at the same point: the re-fragmentation of perception into single
sensations with a simultaneous reinforcement and alienation was to lead to a lasting
intensification of visual experience. The goal we saw before us was to directly
squeeze the juice out of images from the environment for the rapid and total
expansion of our own consciousness, in a coldly mechanical way unlike the hot
chemistry of drugs. This consequently resulted in a series of projects that were to
implement these ideas, on a small scale as portable equipment, on a large scale as
furniture-like apparatuses and minimal spaces. We were especially interested in
attempts to find new spatial conditions that could not only effect stronger sensations,
but also reduced the building material needed for this. Spherical membranes,
supported in their form by air pumped in, seemed to offer the best preconditions for
this. A small power unit transformed air in a building material, which could be
enriched as needed with chemical additions, to influence the physical and mental
functions of the users. Architecture made of air: a technical return to the roots of
building. In this way, it could also be possible to meet the demands for mobility and
mutability with soft, flexible building forms. The right angle as a principle of all rigid
structures could be overcome without formal arbitrariness, simply through the
characteristics of the new materials. What possibilities! Changing a society just by the
fact that it now finds itself in a softly flowing environment: gliding into a different way
of thinking on gentle wings.

The fact that these attempts got stuck in an early phase and that the impact aspired
to can only be suggested, at best, does not change how right the approach was. It
will not be long now, and the power currents emanating from spaces, from building
masses, from the built environment, will all be legitimately defined. That will be the
point for setting out to a new architecture.
First published: catalogue "Haus-Rucker-Co 1967 bis 1983"
Braunschweig 1984, p. 70-71

HAUS-RUCKER-CO
LIVE again
16 November 2007 16 March 2008
Press Date: Wednesday 14 November 2007, 10 am
Opening: Thursday 15 November 2007, 19 pm

Zamp Kelp
WIND, FOAM, SENSE OF SPACE

WIND results from temperature differences in the air. Warm air rises, cold air pushes
up after it. Air starts moving, wind arises.
Wind as a source of propulsion with a horizontal impact, with which discoverers like
Magellan, Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus sailed the seas of the world to
discover unknown regions of the earth, has become a symbol of renewal and change
in our minds.
Seventy years ago Walter Benjamin wrote about the Angelus Novus, the angel of the
future, who blows away the backward-looking, persisting forces of society clinging to
what is secure with the wind from his lungs.
Wind as a synonym for adventure, change and the expansion of our spectrum of
experience was an essential component of the architectural prototypes from the
1960s that contributed, among other things, to the innovative potential of that time.
The manner of constructing these objects made it possible to curve spaces, to bend
them, and in this way to generate previously unknown perceptual phenomena from
air and plastic membranes.
The pneumatic, airborne spatial forms by HAUS-RUCKER-CO, a formation of
architects and artists founded in autumn 1967 by Laurids Ortner, Klaus Pinter and
myself, were created against this background during the period from 1967 to 1972.

FOAM

In his book about foam, Peter Sloterdijk describes the modern apartment as an
atomic or egospherical form consequently as a cellular world bubble, from which
individualistic foams arise due to mass repetition..17
He describes the current state of our western society as an accumulation of
egomaniac individuals with a limited capacity for bonding.
HAUS-RUCKER-COs dwelling experiments anticipated this development of our
society. We sensed the incipient beginnings of these tendencies toward individual
isolation and developed usable spaces in the mind expanding program in the form
of pneumatic bubbles, whose central task was to inject or foster communication
between people.
In its materialized form at the time, as a sphere the Balloon for 2 fulfilled its purpose
constructively and functionally as a place where people could linger. The emphasis
here is on the plural of the term person, in other words people, because this
pneumatic construction centered around shell chairs for two people. Because of the
exposed uniqueness of their situation in the balloon, both of these people necessarily
entered into a relationship with one another.
Sitting in the middle of the transparent, airborne round bubble, the pair observed their
external surroundings together, which could only be perceived as a blur through the
transparent PVC skin of the balloon tattooed with force lines. As was also the case
with Fly Head, Gaze Atomizer and Drizzler, in addition to the shared experience in
the balloon establishing a relationship, the concept was to enhance the senses and
perceptual capacity. The Balloon for 2 was also an Environment Transformer for 2. In
this sense it was part of the Mind Expanding Program completely related to the urban
environment. With respect to the theme of mind expansion the program focused on
relationship experiences, not on drugs.
This is contrasted by the Yellow Heart, which was presented in late 1967 to Werner
Hoffmann in the form of a model. Hoffmann was the director of the Museum of the
20th Century in Vienna at that time, and the model was presented to him to receive
his approval of state funding for its realization, which was subsequently granted.
The Yellow Heart as a pulsating space that contracts and expands in its dimensions
partly dispenses with an external relationship. It is suspended from a steel
construction, independent of urban structures, hanging apparently weightlessly
above the ground. In the center of the space there is a plane on which two people
17

Sloterdijk, Peter: Architektur des Schaums. In: Arch+ 169/70.

can lie, in order to concentrate fully on the rhythmically changing space and the other
person present. HAUS-RUCKER-CO wrote about this object at the time:
The Yellow Heart provides an opportunity to leave the real environment for certain
periods of time, to seek out a space that is in stark contrast to the natural
environment. The time one spends inside the Yellow Heart has its own rhythm that
one must adapt to. The optical and acoustic impressions help the users to achieve a
new type of relaxation. The soft, pulsating movement of the interior of the cell effects
a general loosening of how the users feel. One returns to everyday life feeling
relaxed and calm. (Haus-Rucker-Co, 1968)
In a certain way, HAUS-RUCKER-COs bubbles from the 1960s anticipate
Sloterdijks egospherical world view. This is expanded by the classical element of the
communicative that seeks to counter a predictable development. In Sloterdijks
individualistic foam of massively repeated 1-person apartments, these Bubbles
function as temporary living spaces, in which the need for regenerative intimacy is
trained. This is specifically done without the aid of technical or chemical means,
reduced to what is essential, surrounded by the aura of the exotic.
Pneumacosm, a residential unit for 10 to 13 individuals, represents a final point in the
series of prototypical living situations by the group HAUS-RUCKER-CO, even though
its development as a project was chronologically at the beginning. Conceived as a
serial product, it comprises megastructural formations that covered the urban
surfaces of the New York district of Manhattan in 1967 as architectural foan.
Analogous to Sloterdijks foaming, bubble-shaped 1-person apartments,
Pneumacosm is defined by a spherical expanse of space containing all the
necessary residential functions. Similar to an open-plan carriage of a train or an
airplane, the outer cover gives the inhabitants of the residential unit the feeling of
being left to themselves, but at the same time with the option of being able to
communicate with the others present in the open-plan space. Small cells installed in
the open-plan space provide an additional possibility to withdraw.
If we regard the environment transformer Fly Head as a usable space for the human
head as an exception, then the prototypes described here have one thing in common
in their essential construction. They seem to ignore the laws of gravity and float freely
in space borne by air. Nevertheless, they are indeed dependent on the constructive
and social framework of the existing space of society, in other words also and
especially on the structures of the immobile city that they extend and enhance. To

this extent, they are the opposite of the utopian superstructures of the New
Babylonians and Constant Nievwenhuys. Not a new beginning, but further
development, not utopia, but feasibility is the theme here.
Admittedly, the prototypes realized at the time had to be augmented with
conceptional imagination. With the current state of technology, however, they are to
be further developed to be capable of functional serial production. This also and
especially applies to the residential unit Pneumacosm. Regardless of whether the
layout is designed for one person or for thirteen people, its possible modified
implementation as an attractive scenario for the first world is more a question of when
the traditionally minded mood of society will recall the present again.
A modified further development of this dwelling concept in relation to Sloterdijks
understanding of the world as an individual residential bubble, furnished with the
achievements of current communication technology, thus also appears to be a
question of demand.

SENSE OF SPACE
Living Live in the Museum was an exhibition that HAUS-RUCKER-CO put on in 1970
in Vienna and New York. We moved into the museum for the duration of the
exhibition to reside in the exhibition spaces publicly. Residing meant for us at the
time living with the result from three years of work. Translated to the reality of the
exhibition, this resulted in a mixture of everyday furniture and usable objects along
with devices from our own production.
The museum, which is conventionally a cemetery of art, was changed by the inserted
atmosphere of the work and privacy of the three individuals who together formed
HAUS-RUCKER-CO. The giant billiard as a playroom for the museum dwellers and
visitors drew such crowds of people that it made the museum guards nervous. The
scene of living and working conveyed to the visitors a feeling of matter-of-factness
that overlaid the created HAUS-RUCKER-CO privacy, contributing to the
secularization of the museum. One visitors overly ambitious leap from a balcony of
the New York Museum of Contemporary Crafts onto the Giant Billiard resulted in a
broken leg and finally a warning sign saying Dont jump from the balcony. Thus it was
that none other than a warning sign called attention to numerous occurrences during
the exhibition that were unorthodox for museums.

At that time, the Giant Billiard was an object that, in addition to its elementary,
weighty appearance in a state of rest, confronted its actors with new, unfamiliar forms
of movement. This was a new experience in the relationship between space and
corporeality and the questioning of normality.
In his writings, Buckminster Fuller refers to a phenomenon of consciousness and
perception, according to which people, even though they know better, still see the
sun going down on the horizon and not the respective location of observation on the
surface of the earth turning away from the sun, as astronomers recognized long ago.
This is a sign of how our consciousness is delayed by habit and may also have
something to do with the way we are overwhelmed in the rapidly progressing
developments in the communicative field, which triggers tendencies toward isolation
in the currently vital generations of people.
In 1967 the Mind Expanding Program of HAUS-RUCKER-CO was a concept for
expanding the spectrum of our experience and for fostering communication in the
human micro-climate. A plan for ending bourgeois boredom. This sensation of
boredom at that time has turned into its opposite today. The experience vacuum has
become a plethora of perceptual offers that places demands on our biological
preconditions up to the limits of our capacities.
This state creates a desire for stable circumstances from the past, as expressed for
instance in the urban planning positions of New Urbanism, which should really be
called Traditional Urbanism.
At a period in time when space technology has set out to conquer the skies with
space capsules, satellites and telescopes, and astronauts assume the role of Marco
Polo, Magellan and Columbus, it is also time to think about a further development of
our sense of living space. In our consciousness, the ground, rooted in gravity, is still
the most important area of the spaces where we live and spend our time.
It is possible that the functional and emotional conquest of the upper limits of spaces,
the ceilings, in analogy to the conquest of the firmament by the astronauts, is a first
step towards the transformation of consciousness in the direction of a contemporary
sense of space, thus leading to a new view and a new way of dealing with the
phenomena of our day.
First published in Housing is back LWW Ebner/Springer 2006
Second extended version Zamp Kelp 2004/2005/2007

HAUS-RUCKER-CO
LIVE again
16 November 2007 16 March 2008
Press Date: Wednesday 14 November 2007, 10 am
Opening: Thursday 15 November 2007, 19 pm

Klaus Pinter
Out of Balance
Klaus Pinter in Conversation with Marion Geier, St. Trojan, 2007

HAUS-RUCKER-CO LIVE again is the title of the show now taking place in
Linz, which refers to the exhibitions shown in Vienna and New York in 1970.
The central element is the Giant Billiard. Where did the idea of realizing the
object in this form actually come from?
The idea of realizing a larger sized project for the reopening of the Museum of the
20th Century in Vienna came about through the commitment of the director at the
time, Alfred Schmeller, who had taken over from Werner Hoffmann who had also
supported us. Starting from the given proportions of the architecture by Karl
Schwanzer, which had a quadratic space in the lower part, similar to an atrium, we
thought about what could be realized there. Together with Schmeller, we thought
about it a lot, discussed it and drank, until the Giant Billiard assumed its form.
From a purely technical point of view and in terms of our history, designing a
pneumatic construction suggested itself. Zamp had a good grasp of the interior setup of this object, which was created then for the first time and has meanwhile been
copied thousands of times, so that large groups of people could play on it, jump
around, do somersaults, and thus become the artwork themselves, so to speak.
Similar pneumatic objects in various forms have become part of our everyday
life today. Can the ideas from that time, which were connected with the
innovativeness of this kind of mental-physical experience, even still be
transported?

Every repetition definitely has its own problems, no question about it. I well remember
the opening in the 20er Haus. In front of me, there was Karl Schwanzer with Otto
Mauer, both of them with wide eyes observing the people in an ecstatic mood and
the wild movement. It was written in their faces that something radically new had
started in the museum and art landscape with this intervention.
Live commentaries appropriately documenting the spirit of those times are needed.
That was attempted in the Kunsthalle in Dsseldorf in 2007 with the presentation of a
conglomerate of various art products from the same period.
Wouldnt it be more consistent then to achieve a conscious confrontation of
the exhibition visitor today with the original reception to exhibit the work as
something that cannot be entered into, cannot be used?
I think the idea of a puritanical exhibition solution is not a bad one, but it is also
understandable that no one wants to pass up the treat of movement, activity and
participation. That is primarily the platform that still has an external impact today
even if it has already been repeated a thousand times. In 1970 it was something
completely new and for this reason it set off unusual reactions on the part of the
museum visitors.
The project has sometimes been called into question, for instance in the
newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung by the critic Georg Jappe. In
reference to between 5 (1970) in the Dsseldorf Kunsthalle, he said it is the
most successful exhibition ever for kids. With this addendum he cast doubt
on the art character in general.
Naturally we were not surprised that an article like this was published in the FAZ. It
was exactly this rigid understanding of art that we wanted to break open. The
conservative side was opposed to these kinds of developments, whereas the left
could not understand a concept aimed at a playful, joyful, pleasurable experience. In
their eyes, you would have to set fire to the whole shack [the museum] to change
anything. Several people from the circle of Actionists in Vienna thought similarly; at
the time they were trying to implement ultimate possibilities in their actions.
Paradoxically, it is specifically people from this side, among others, who feel quite
comfortable in museum halls today and use them for their dealings.
Which type of information exchange and discussions were there in the late
1960s between HAUS-RUCKER-CO and experimenting Austrian artists?
Especially the young architects at the Vienna Technical University particularly

distinguished themselves from their international counterparts in their manner


of operating and producing.
For a brief period, the scene in Vienna then was, in fact, marked by a very lively
exchange among writers, painters, architects, sculptors and theater people, which is
relatively rare for Vienna. They met again and again mostly in various bars and
coffee houses. What linked us together was the resistance against everything that
had to do with the establishment state and the benumbed culture society. Thanks to
Oswald Wiener, various programs and actions were discussed and realized, which
were to have an impact over a longer period of time.
The political ideas of the different groups after 1968 naturally impelled by the
revolts in Paris and Berlin were very similar, but the ideas about implementation
were quite different. For example, the Actionists Uni-Event was planned on short
notice for the night before the presentation of our Yellow Heart in the building pit of
the police headquarters on the Ring. Suddenly the atmosphere was marked by
nervousness and competitiveness, and that could be felt in the actions. As the
Actionists pressed ahead, the successive increase of long planned resistance came
to an abrupt end. For this reason, the occupation of the Burgtheater, among other
things, was no longer possible, or no longer made sense.
LAURIDS, ZAMP and I implemented our ideas three-dimensionally and at a scale of
1:1 with limited means that are unimaginable today and through great personal effort.
We were less interested in actions. The echo of baroque theater, as Gnther
Feuerstein described this period, was played through at multiple levels.
You separated from the Haus-Ruckers in 1977. What was left of the ideas from
that time?
The principle of oppositionality has become very important in my work. In LIVE it first
became clear through the exhibiting of the relatively tasteless, tacky furniture from
our living quarters then vis vis the newly invented plastic world that represented our
notions of the future.
The second largest and also walk-in object next to the Giant Billiard was the so-called
Oxer. It was given this name, by the way, by LAURIDS I really still dont know why.
In America we called it Slanted Room. This slanted room was and still is very
important to me personally, not because the suggestion came from me following
intensive visits to the Prater fairgrounds, but because in retrospect it formed a far
ranging basis for my work. This tipped, slanted space is a pragmatic, relatively

intellectual object. Unlike the soft giant billiard, it was made of hard material and
represented an extension of our Mind Expanding Program.
By irritating balance in this way with the Oxer, conceptionally we also pointed out that
not everything has to be and should be and is at a right angle, that you can
experience the world differently as well. In terms of form, that was an important
principle, questioning the conventional manner of building in this way with a space
that is not in balance. Then in New York in 1977, I took up the idea of conceiving out
of balance for the project of the opening exhibition at the Centre Georges Pompidou
and pursued it in cooperation with Helmut Richter. In the same year, in 1977, Frank
Gehry built his tipped house in California, and the group Coop Himmelblau further
developed the idea independently in Vienna. Today this style is called
deconstructivism, slanted became modern.
Starting from the break in the foundation of the Centre Pompidou project, I then built
the twisted and tipped body of N4853'46''E0223'18'' in La Villette and continued to
pursue this approach all the way to Groer Zer in the Minorite Church in Krems.
One could say that my ephemeral installations up to the present, especially in relation
to the surrounding space, go back to insights that started with the Live exhibition in
1970 in Vienna at the Museum of the 20th Century.