the question is: who cares? I site-specific text-space-intervention, wooden lettering, 12x9m. 2017

The formerly “unthinkable” has become reality. Through a flood of pictures and 140 character long “tweets”, all of us – and young people in particular – get to know a present that experiences terror as a connective element between cosmopolitan cities, accepts ignorance in the highest political offices as a popular strategy, or observes a European bazaar around migrant and refugee movements. In this new reality, public space has degenerated into one narrative space among many (far more effective) others, and has largely lost its importance as a necessary societal medium of communication and information. The absolute loss of narrative exclusivity for public space raises the question of what aspirations we should aim at in a phletora of illustrated information.

How can art in public space not only create places of lingering in the wake of rapid societal development, but also places of sensory perception and discourse? How can it be more than modern street furniture and deliver, to the involuntary view of the audience, events that stimulate perception and greater reflection? Does John Cage’s just denial of “I Have Nothing To Say And I Am Saying It …” suffice? Or do we in today’s media age have to rethink the role of autonomy and self-determination, not as subject-centered ends, but as a basis for more intense participation?


see trau’n I changeable site-specific sculpture, aluminium (welded), books, 7x7x2,40m. 2015

The ‘Resurfacing’ of the Arbeiterheim Ebensee’s library that sank in 1934.

In the night of 22 to 23 September 1934, the right-wing paramilitary Heimwehr dumped about 800 library books from the local workman’s centre in Ebensee in the nearby lake. This act of destroying disagreeable ideas demonstrated the power that the oppressors as well as the opressed ascribed to knowledge. After all, education promotes the understanding of one’s own social situation and social context. Information promotes freedom of opinion, and was considered dangerous and therefore fought by the undemocratic forces, since informed people are less prone to manipulation. The firm link between education, oppression and power forms the background against which the sunk library is brought to the lake’s surface again.

The installation is accompanied by an audio-guide (12min) about the inicident’s historical background.
In cooperation with Bartholomäus Kinner.


arab spring I 8-canal-sound-installation, discursive supporting programme, speakers, cables, sofa, table, player, box, 11x9m. 2011/2012

Based on daily reviews of Twitter posts over an investigation period of 4 months (01.03.–30.06.2011), this project illustrates the functionality of social media apart from mainstream media in a changing Arabic World. Tweets from different Arabic countries (Kuwait, Tunisia, Oman, V.A.E., Libya, Qatar, etc.) are visualized as text and – in specifically arranging recordings of the texts read in different languages – translated into a sound-space-installation. To promote exchange and connect people interested in the topic, the installation is supported by a variety of presentations and talks informing about the situation and role of social media in Arabic countries.

In cooperation with Lea Bäumler & students from the Institute of Orientalism at the University of Vienna.

Note: The text above was written by the Artist. No modification was made by C.O.C.A.

Hans-Jürgen Poëtz


*1977 lives and works in Vienna, Austria My work focuses on the engagement with interactions, frictions and spaces between different media types (sound, sculpture/object, light, text, architecture, LandArt and public space). Contextualizing the sensory perception of space, time and location as well as the examination of cognitive processes and technical errors are central themes that I realize in my site-specific space installations, sculptures, interventions and performances. Space thereby turns into a place that changes with the recipient’s position, allowing for a situational and continuously changing perception. The exploration of and experiments with architectural, virtual or even social and political spaces are fundamental.

Share this Artist