Inflatable Cobblestone



Berlin Barcelona 2012 – 2013

Inflatable Sizes: 300 x 300 x 300 cm and 150 x 150 x 150 cm
Material: silver insulationfoil, double sided tape, valves as drinking bottle.

Action of Eclectic Electric Collective, now operating under the name Tools for Action.*1

Video, 02:49 min, 16:9 (excerpt) Edit by Art√∫r van Balen 2014

The Berlin May Day demonstrations have a long history of conflict between protesters and authorities. In Berlin Kreuzberg (former West-Berlin), the annual conflict has a ritualistic status with the cobblestone serving as its artefact.

On the 25th anniversary of the ´Revolutionary 1st of May Demonstration´, the artist group released huge inflatable cobblestones into the march, made of silver-reflective foil and tape. The intervention aimed to create situations of play to disrupt the scripted course of events. The sculptures generated their own dynamic, whereby protesters played a frivolous, uncontrollable ball game or bounced the cobblestones against police men, who unvoluntarily bounced it back. At one point a group of riot cops pierced the biggest inflatable with a knife, making the violence of the police force visible in a subversive way.

I am fascinated by the way objects have a will and an agency on their own and how the giant balloons reconnected the participants with their early childhood, when they were still playing with balloons.

*1 The group Eclectic Electric Collective (2009-2012) and the platform Tools for Action (2012-..) are both founded by me.