Focus Related Research

Further information on INTRA projects can be found here:
Angewandte Programme for Inter- and Transdisciplinary Projects in Art and Research (INTRA)

Digital and social Transformation
This projects take place within the framework of “Digitale und soziale Transformation“ as a selected digitization project at public universities.

Projects are added on an ongoing basis.

Greenwashed Concrete

Greenwashed Concrete. Artistic Practice with, about and against Concrete Concerning Conflicting Concepts of its Sustainability

Contact: Christoph Weber, Nikolaus Eckhard

What can we learn about concrete and its position within the Anthropocene if we let artistic research direct clashes between conflicting definitions of its sustainability?
Concrete is often advertised as sustainable, natural and regional––hence green material. Environmental science however shows that especially its abundant production is leading to significant challenges for generations to come. While the building industry labels concrete as “sustainable” due to its long-life cycle, and the cement industry strives to reduce its carbon footprint, scientists identified it as a defining material of the Anthropocene––it will leave lasting marks in the geology of our planet. Additionally, the way we use concrete is causing grave environmental problems such as the sealing of soils, freshwater and sand consumption, high CO2 emissions (8% of the annual global amount), toxic dust, overheated cities, the creation of massive horizontal and vertical barriers and the reduction of biodiversity.

Greenwashed Concrete is an artistic research project with, about and against concrete. It strives to critically document concrete’s role in the climate- and biodiversity crisis. By developing interdisciplinary, collaborative research methods that connect art practice, environmental science, architecture, posthumanist- and new materialist philosophy, the project aims to radically rethink the use of concrete: how can we change its overwhelming importance within the technosphere and what could it mean to strive for a truly sustainable handling of it in the future, given the fact that it is not composed of renewable resources?

The main contributors are the artists Christoph Weber and Nikolaus Eckhard. They team up with experts from related fields such as sustainability (Fridolin Krausmann), anthropocene (Jan Zalasiewicz), art history, interdisciplinarity and politics of materiality (Susanne Witzgall).
First findings of the project will be displayed at the Vienna Biennale for Change in May 2021 in the CLIMATE CARE exhibition at MAK.

Limestone (Cumulative Weight), 2021
Quarry of Lafarge Cement Mannersdorf
Photo: Eckhard/Weber