“Emotion Seats” – the latest work by artist duo Break ’n Border – was presented at an opening reception held in the RECARO Aircraft Seating Customer Center in Schwäbisch Hall on October 11, 2018. The installation was conceived within the scope of the Stuttgart region’s “Drehmoment” (Turning Point) production art festival and created by the artists in collaboration with RECARO employees.
Ergonomic and attractive: Aircraft seats are designed to optimally adapt to the human body and its needs. The concept inspired Break ’n Border artists Maren Geers and Thomas Drescher to create their “Emotion Seats.” The walk-in installation explores the relationship between technology and humanity, and poses the questions: How are people connected to their environment in the current era of digital transformation? Does the constant optimization of the objects around us push us to want to continuously perfect ourselves, as well? How do we deal with close physical proximity to strangers in airplanes? Working with RECARO Aircraft Seating employees over several weeks on the experiential work, Geers and Drescher sought to take a critical look at being human, our emotions and our imperfections – and at whether people, their bodies and feelings can be standardized at all. The resulting installation consists of four rows of seats, each with three seats, in which one can sit down next to “Seat People” made of papier-mâché who have partially melded with their seats, thereby taking the seat’s form rather than the other way around. The artists initially took part in two preliminary brainstorming workshops with RECARO Aircraft Seating staff before executing the project with their assistance. To lend the “Emotion Seats” with the quality of living organisms, RECARO Aircraft Seating employees fitted them with inner workings that simulate a beating heart or breathing.
In addition to having the honor of being the first to experience the installation, the guests of the opening reception also learned more about the project’s development and the collaboration between Break ’n Border and RECARO Aircraft Seating. Dr. Mark Hiller, Chief Executive Officer and Shareholder of RECARO Aircraft Seating, explained that the artwork fits with the corporate strategy in that curiosity and the drive to innovate are at the core of corporate culture at RECARO Aircraft Seating. He noted that initiatives such as “Drehmoment,” in particular, provide a venue for its expression. Artists, he stressed, were able to pry apart procedural paradigms, introduce new perspectives, and scrutinize familiar approaches.
The installation allows one to intimately experience closeness and distance within an airplane, as well as one’s relationship to oneself and to other passengers – topics that philosopher Leon Vatter also touched on in a thought-provoking lecture at the opening reception. A moderated discussion session with the artists provided the guests with a chance to exchange ideas and ask questions.
From October 15 to 26, 2018, the installation will be on exhibit to the public in the foyer of the RECARO Aircraft Seating Customer Center from Monday to Friday between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
For more information about the “Drehmoment” (Turning Point) production art festival being staged by KulturRegion Stuttgart, visit: www.kulturregion-stuttgart.de/was/drehmoment/
For further details about the installation project and the artists, visit: www.kulturregion-stuttgart.de/was/drehmoment/schwaebisch-hall-break-n-border.html