Fetishizing the Future.
Utopias of the third dimension

16.12.2022 – 16.04.2023

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 for overcoming gravity in a variety of ways and for optimizing the necessary technologies. Airships and air taxis, civil Hypersonic Aircraft, flying cities and space settlements: Historical and current technical and socio-political utopias are juxtaposed with artistic positions that question them, envision alternative scenarios and reveal their dystopian potential. The exhibition focuses on the question whether technical innovations can fulfil the human desires for speed, freedom, peace, immortality and sustainability, or whether their significance is exaggerated by marketing and fetishized promises of salvation.

Wishes to navigate the skies or travel through space are not new. But especially in our cosmos of fragile ecosystems, overpopulation, lack of space, scarcity of resources and war, innovative technologies seem to promise a better future, a more livable world. Behind airships, drone taxis, civil Hypersonic Aircraft, flying cities or space tourism, we often find simple human longings. Shaped by a strong belief in technology, marketing and the desire for progress, utopias develop, but so do their counterparts, dystopias. The exhibition Fetishizing the Future. Utopias of the third dimension 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 and looks into possible futures with works by contemporary artists.

Speed, freedom, peace, immortality and sustainability: these five main chapters structure the exhibition visit and enable a critical examination of past and present visions of a more livable future. Embedded in the exhibition architecture are participatory areas, so called Social Scenography Spaces, in which visitors can actively enter into dialogue with works, with each other or with the experts on site. These encounters, exchanges and relationships continue online via the debatorial®, the Zeppelin Museum's digital debate and knowledge platform.

A total of 15 artworks by Aerocene Foundation und Tomás Saraceno, Nuotama Frances Bodomo, Andreas Feininger, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Alexander Kluge, Marie Lienhard, Jacolby Satterwhite, Timur Si-Qin, Anton Vidokle and Aby Warburg are completed by more than 80 objects centered around aviation history, for example a large model of the Concorde, parts of the airship Dolphin, power generator and motor of solar airship Lotte, models of the Wagner Roto Car, the International Space Station ISS, the CargoLifter as well as a mars diorama, (design) models, magazines, posters and various post- and joke cards of airship travel.

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