This Autumn, E-WERK Luckenwalde will launch two new permanent commissions: a sculpture for the city providing free electricity for citizen’s bicycles and TRAFO, a low carbon public kitchen bar. This will operate as a social space, food school, with workshops by guests including Studio Olafur Eliasson (SOE) Kitchen, and a think tank for ecological modes of eating.
Both outdoor projects, in the 10,000m2 grounds of the recently transformed arts institution will launch on Saturday 12 September 2020 from 4pm until late, coinciding with Berlin Art Week. Guests will be able to charge their bicycles and mobile phones for free with Kunststrom, be the first to sample low carbon food from the TRAFO Kitchen, learn from artists including Isabel Lewis, Paul Maheke and Peles Empire in a The Artist as Consultant film reel and experience live music from Der Blum – all powered by renewable
Kunststrom electricity. A workshop programme, Essen Für Alle, will coincide with the opening of the public kitchen and include foraging, fermentation and closed-circuit cooking workshops with SOE Kitchen, Edible Alchemy, Eliza Mozer and artist Luiza Prado de O. Martins. The programme will emphasise the eco-political implications of food, how it can be used as a vehicle for social justice and inspire participants to explore alternative methods, including zero-waste and low carbon cooking. TRAFO proposes creative solutions to the global problem of societal waste.
Kraftwerk: Super Kunststrom in collaboration with the City of Luckenwalde by Performance Electrics
Performance Electrics (Pablo Wendel, artist and Co-Director of E-WERK Luckenwalde) will unveil E-WERK’s first sculpture commission set in Luckenwalde, which will offer the public the opportunity to charge their bicycles and mobile phones with free Kunststrom electricity 24 hours a day. Disused, brightly coloured, historical fuel pumps will be repurposed and transformed into usable electricity points for the community, art directed by artist and designer Lorenz Klingebiel. The electricity is free for everyone to access 24 hours a day and the sculpture will remain in situ permanently. Performance Electrics first reanimated the former GDR factory as a renewable Kunststrom power station in 2019, feeding art electricity onto the national grid and operating as a large-scale contemporary art centre.
Pablo Wendel (artist and Co-Director of E-WERK Luckenwalde) explains
“Over the last few decades the world has been ringing alarm bells about our global energy problem – but we don’t have an energy problem! Energy is abundantly everywhere – we have a creativity, access and eco support problem. This year we will be giving away unlimited Kunststrom electricity for e-bikes in Luckenwalde with the intention to mobilise the whole city with Kunststrom!”
TRAFO: a low carbon public kitchen bar for Luckenwalde by Samuel Treindl
TRAFO is the latest edition of E-WERK Luckenwalde’s E-PAVILION series, an annual commissioning programme inviting contemporary artists to realise utopian, functioning sculptures in E-WERK’s grounds. This year, Samuel Treindl has been invited to reimagine the power station’s former transformation centre (the site where the electricity was formerly sent to the National Grid) as a public kitchen and bar. With the intention to maintain a low carbon impact in art-making, Treindl will repurpose the building’s interior intersecting walls as large concrete outdoor tables for food preparation, dining, workshop demonstrations and will produce furniture interventions solely out of waste scrap metal for the space. Aspiring towards a zero-waste policy, TRAFO will be powered by Kunststrom Biogas, a closed-circuit fuel system designed by carpenter Jann Spille and architect Edie Parfitt in consultation with Performance Electrics. The TRAFO kitchen will be powered by leftover food and organic waste to produce a liquid fertilizer for sustainable gardening/ farming, and biogas – a 100% biological alternative to fossil resources.
Essen Für Alle
During exhibition opening hours, seasonal, low carbon menus will be on offer, responding to the need for more transparency in the food system and demonstrating E-WERK’s mission to stimulate creative solutions to climate change, excess production and waste. TRAFO will operate with a no bin policy, meaning no single waste plastic or materials will be allowed in the kitchen. The food will be available for visitors on a donation basis.
From September 2020, E-WERK will also host a series of workshops in TRAFO with tickets available via the E-WERK website from August. A full set of listings is included in the notes to editors and collaborators are listed above. The programme will emphasise the eco-political implications of food and inspire guests to consider
their personal carbon footprint through culinary choices.
Helen Turner, Artistic Director, E-WERK Luckenwalde, said,
“The programme will draw on the political potential of food to plateau differences and stimulate discussion. Every year there is a total of 11 million tons of food waste in Germany. As a new cultural institution we strongly believe it is important to be held accountable for our ecological, societal and equitable cultural policy in an attempt to act as a lighthouse for social and ecological change. TRAFO is ultimately an endeavour to take direct action against climate change, experiment with what is possible to do with less, spark discussion and rebuild societal confidence in natural instincts towards food. There will be failures along the way, but if we don’t play the impossible – we won’t change.”
About E-WERK Luckenwalde
E-WERK Luckenwalde is located in a former coal power station built in 1913, ceasing production in 1989 after the fall of the Berlin wall. Located 30 minutes south of Berlin, E-WERK Luckenwalde is jointly directed by Pablo Wendel and Helen Turner. In 2017, the art collective Performance Electrics gGmbH led by Pablo Wendel acquired the former
brown-coal power station with the vision to reanimate it as a sustainable Kunststrom (art power) power station and to both feed power back to the national grid as well as function as a large scale contemporary art centre. As part of POWER NIGHT in 2019, Performance Electrics gGmbH formally switched the power of the former factory back on.