Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.

Themesicon: navigation pathOverview of Media Articon: navigation pathSociety
2146 Steine – Mahnmal gegen Rassismus (Gerz, Jochen), 1990Ocean Earth Construction and Development Corporation (Fend, Peter), 1980Refugee Republic (Günther, Ingo), 1995

icon: previous page

make homelessness more publicly visible: «When the carts move through New York City, it is an act of resistance. It resists the ongoing collapse of a municipal community that excludes thousands of people.»[51]

In collaboration with students from the Saarbrücken College of Art, between 1990 and 1993 Jochen Gerz realized his «2146 Steine—Mahnmal gegen Rassismus» project in the square in front of the castle in Saarbrücken. This work—completely ‹non-media› and invisible—is distinctive because it acquires a presence only through the mass media. Gerz and the students started to replace the flagstones in the Schlossplatz in Saarbrücken secretly with ones they had prepared themselves: the names of the 2146 Jewish cemeteries in Germany were engraved on 2146 stones, which were then let into the square with the writing facing downwards. After replacing some of the stones, Gerz appealed to the Saarland parliament, which found itself unable to reject the half-finished monument despite heated arguments: the project was accepted with a


narrow majority. Finally, in 1993, the square was renamed «Platz des unsichtbaren Mahnmals» («Invisible Monument Square»).[52]

In contrast with Wodiczko's and Gerz's local projects, Ingo Günther and Peter Fend («Ocean Earth Construction and Development Corporation,» since 1980) adopted a markedly global perspective. In Ingo Günther's «Refugee Republic» (from 1995), he suggests setting up a supra-territorial and supra-national state that could accommodate all the refugees in the world (in 1990 the US Committee for Refugees estimated that there were forty-seven million, i.e. one percent of the world's population). Günther's idea was that this de-territorial and immaterial refugee republic—he even aspired to a UN seat—should link all the refugee camps in the world via Internet.

This project to an extent reflects the (often completely) exaggerated hopes that were invested in the Internet in the mid-1990s. It was rather like the early 1970s, when cable networks and video were seen as ways of democratizing the mass media, and the

icon: next page