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Krakau / Murau

21. June to 21.July 2012


The interdisciplinary exhibition “Cooling Station” is a publically accessible laboratory that investigates the interplay between the local microclimate, regional weather, and the phe- nomenon of global climate change – and their potential manipulation. The scope of the works ranges from concrete investigations of weather and climate phenomena in various parts of the world to poetic, standalone approaches to nature, its design, and its mutability.
With: Laura Bruce, Nin Brudermann, Peter Fend, Florian Hüttner & Ralf Weißleder, Christoph Keller, Eva Meyer-Keller & Sybille Müller, Ralo Mayer, Josh Müller, Nils Norman, Weather Permitting, Andrea Polli, Klaus Schafler.


The collaboration between Maren Richter and Klaus Schafler started in 2012. As the artistic director of the Styrian festival Regionale, Maren invited Klaus to contribute to one of the 3 leitmotifs of the festival - Nature.Sustainability - on climate change, rural strategies and local knowledge.

With its peripheral geographic situation, the Styrian region Murau is one of those areas in Austria that is perceived as a so-called »dying region« because of its demographic downward spiral. The district is both a symbolic and an actual example of negative population development in one of Europe’s vulnerable regions. Nevertheless, the wood-rich area possesses a resource that today counts among the most important goods: intact nature with a high productive value. These two poles – a region on the brink of extinction on the one hand, and the potential production processes of (natural) resources on the other – were the framework of developing the REGIONALE 12. This complex web of issues spans from models of decentralized thinking to investigations into whether the city is really the only strong- hold of culture, and whether the rural in the age of urbanization can be a model for discussing the needed changes in society – to name just a few. (....)


Preservation or economic exploitation? Regional energy self- sufficiency or global energy industry lobbies? These are the crucial questions that natural habitats are confronted with today. At 1000 meters above sea level, the high plains of Krakauebene rank among the most beautiful landscapes in Styria. An area that invites one to reflect upon how the thin line between economic exploitation and the preservation of the natural habitat can be bridged in times of global warming and sustainability debates. The Krakau is exemplary of the need for a new way of thinking – this involves conserving resources on an everyday basis, advancing environmentally-friendly means of production, but also drawing new economic benefit from an overall societal and ecological rethinking and to promote it as an added value of the region. Current debates on climate change, the result- ing modified weather conditions, and also on tourism over the course of time provide a glimpse into utopias and yesterdays at the same time.

The project collaboration with Klaus Schafler and his co-curator Christine Nägele consisted of an exhibition, Cooling Station, shown in the mobile pavilion ‘White Noise’ designed by the architects Soma (in cooperation with the Province of Salzburg), a organism-like modular structure; a conference in cooperation with the Ministry of Sustainability/Styria in the community centre Krakauhintermühlen; and a series of talks at White Noise.    

The exhibition Cooling Station addresses in an art-science context the topic of large-scale interventions in the global climate system to counter climate change and investigates strat- egies for the manipulation of local and regional weather conditions. Strategic interventions in local weather situations attempt to minimize agricultural losses with anti-hail rockets, create artificial rain through cloud seeding, and guarantee sunshine and good weather for political appearances at military parades or the opening ceremony of major sporting events – not to mention the belligerent use of weather manipulation. Like they said in the Cold War: »Who controls the weather, controls the world.« Geoengineering technologies more oriented toward the global climate system – and which often border on artistic projects or science fic- tion – aim to combat climate change through cooling the planet via the reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere. Such strategies include covering extensive areas with synthetic, seem- ingly utopian trees that can absorb infinitely more CO2 than their natural counterparts or the reduction of solar radiation on the earth by creating whiter, more reflective clouds and painting streets and roofs white (albedo effect). The repercussions and side effects of these ex- periments and field tests on natural and cultural habitats are unpredictable and pose ethical and geopolitical questions.



Worldwide Geoengineering and Local Weather-Making
White Noise, Krakau
21.June to 21.July 2012


Laura Bruce, Nin Brudermann, Peter Fend, Florian Hüttner & Ralf Weißleder, Christoph Keller, Ralo Mayer, Eva Meyer-Keller & Sybille Müller, Josh Müller, Nils Norman, Andrea Polli, Klaus Schafler, Weather Permitting

A project by Klaus Schafler, in collaboration with Christina Nägele.
Invited by Maren Richter, Artistic Director Regionale 12.

Funded by Austrian Federal Ministry for Arts and Culture. 


Additional programme in cooperation with the Province of Styria: 

White Noise, Sauschneider farmers house, Community Center Krakauebene, Krakau
12.-15.July 2012
Conference in collaboration with the Province of Styria.
Funded by the Province Ministry Department for Renewable Energy, Styria. 


_“Panel discussion”
Silvia Gaich (moderation), Maximilian Lercher (Member of Styrian Provincial Parliament), Felix Ekardt (University of Rostock), Thomas Wiedner(Energie Steiermark, business manager of VeloVital), Thomas Krautzer (business manager, IV-Steiermark), Alexander Egit (business manager, Greenpeace in Central and Eastern Europe), Barbara Muhr (board director, Transportation/Energy, Holding Graz), Harald Kraxner (business manager, Timber World Murau), Renate Christ (member of the IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)tbc, Christian Felber (Attac Austria founder)

_“Parliament of Things”
Andrea Gössinger-Wieser (moderation, climate protection coordinator of the Province of Styria), Michael Narodoslawsky (Institute of Process and Particle Engineering, Graz University of Technology), Reinhold Lazar (Department of Geography and Regional Science, University of Graz)


_“The TINA Principle in Ecology”
Wolfgang Jilek (moderation, Energy Commissioner, Province of Styria, Christian Felber (Attac Austria founder), Heide Zeiringer (entrepreneur), Felix Ekardt (University of Rostock)


_“We’re all Astronauts”
Reinhard Schafler (moderation, architect), Ulrike Pröbstl (University of Life Sciences Vienna, Tourism and Recreation), Richard Frankenberger (K.U.L.M.), Heidrun Kögler (Kulmland model region manager)


_Hiking tour guided by Reinhold Lazar (Department of Geography and Regional Science, University of Graz), Joachim Radkau (Professor of Modern History, University of Bielefeld)


_“Performance of Cooking Catastrophes”
by Eva Meyer-Keller and Sybille Müller


Kane Do, Jim Löfdahl, Kristoffer Nilsson, Andreas Lindberg, Mariana Silva Varela, Filip Zubaczek, Peter Whaley. Camera: Marika Heidebäck. Design (menu): Byggstudio 


_Symposium at White Noise - Cooling Station exhibition
Festivalzentrum Krakautal:
Klaus S. Lackner (Professor of Geophysics and chair of Earth and Environmental Engineering and director of the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy at the Earth Institute at Columbia University, New York), Ralo Mayer (Artist,Vienna), Lukas Meyer (Univ.-Prof. of Philosophy, University of Graz, Head of the Center for Cultural Studies), Raimar Stange (Literary scholar, philosopher, art journalist, curator, Berlin), Vera Tollmann (Cultural scientist, curator, art critic, Berlin), Klaus Schafler (Moderation, Artist, Vienna)

_KlimaHof (Climate farm) at Sauschneider farm
(private farmers house in Krakautal):
_“Weather stories and climate subjects”
Melanie Ohnemus (curator, Vienna), Irina Koerdt (architect, Vienna), Stitch weather folklore with local embroiders, Marc Ganzglass (artist, New York), Marco Kellhammer (designer, Vienna), Students from the Department of Meteorology and Geophysics, University of Vienna#

_“Story Room”
eSeL – Lorenz Seidler (moderation, artist, networker, Vienna), Mieze Medusa (author, musician, Vienna)

Christian Bachler (highest farmstead in Styria, operator of a meteorological station, Krakauhintermühlen), Renate Cervinka (psychologist, assistant professor at the Institute of Environmental Hygiene at the University of Vienna), Kurt Domittner (Styrian Hail Resistance Association,  Hausmannstätten), Hans-Jürgen Pross (chairman of Stormhunters Austria, Straß), Josef Fanninger (Lungau Regional Association), Alexandra Wieshaider (head of the Wienerwald biosphere park), Kurt Kalcher (head of Disaster Control and National Defence, Province of Styria), Bettina Reichl (designer, Verpackungszentrum Graz), Reinhold Steinacker (meteorologist, professor at the Department of Meteorology and Geophysics, University of Vienna), Ingeborg Strobl (artist and experienced dairymaid, Vienna), Christian Würger (snowmaker at Krakauebene Lift GmbH), Cross-border climate hike from Preber Lake in Salzburg to the Styrian Grazer Hütte with Herbert Weingartner.

_KlimaHof spatial design: Irina Koerdt and Sanja Utech
_KlimaHof concept & symposium: Christina Nägele and Klaus Schafler in cooperation with REGIONALE12

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