The transdisciplinary exhibition Fetishizing the Future. Utopias of the third dimension at the Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen discusses visions and ideas from the last 120 years. Technical and socio-political utopias are juxtaposed with artistic positions that question them, envision alternative scenarios and reveal their dystopian potential. Can technical innovations fulfill human longings for speed, freedom, peace, immortality, and sustainability or is their significance exaggerated by fetishized promises of salvation?
The interdisciplinary exhibition is curated by Felix Banzhaf, Jürgen Bleibler, Ina Neddermeyer and Caroline Wind from the Zeppelin Museum's Technology and Art Departments. It examines for the first time the intertwining of technological and societal utopias and raises the question: Can technology save the world – or is it rather an instrument of power and a marketing promise? For this, the exhibition starts in the past with the history of airships, explores visions of air taxis, civil Hypersonic Aircraft, flying cities and space settlements and looks into possible futures with works by contemporary artists.
In five thematic complexes, speed, freedom, peace, immortality and sustainability, a critical investigation is made of past and present visions of the future of a world worth living in. The artworks are completed by more than 80 objects centered around aviation history, for example a large model of the Concorde, parts of the airship Dolphin and the solar airship Lotte, models of the Wagner Roto Car, the International Space Station ISS, as well as a mars diorama and various postand joke cards of airship travel. Shaped by a strong belief in technology, marketing and the desire for progress, utopias develop, but so do their counterparts, dystopias.
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