Vacuum Cleaner Series


Incinerator Weinfelden
“When I Built the World in the Sky”
november 3 2001

In a lofty, open room designed for induced draught ventilation, where there is a steady draught for the flues, air wanders through various rooms—in the form of transparent plastic bags—with the aid of vacuum cleaners; wandering volumes.

The installation is situated in a lofty, open room designed for induced draught ventilation. Amidst the flues, filters and fans are two large transparent plastic bags lying adjacent to one another. Placed in half of each plastic bag is a vacuum cleaner, whose emission of air serves to fill the plastic bag. When the first vacuum cleaner is switched on, the plastic bag in front rises slowly from the floor and inflates until it is ultimately standing as a cube. The next vacuum cleaner, which is in the second plastic bag, draws the air from the first in order to fill its own bag, while the third vacuum cleaner in turn returns the air to the ventilation room.

This work deals with space and volume, albeit with the fleeting and unstable attributes thereof. It is rooted in the wealth of experience accumulated over the years by able housewives whose vacuum cleaners draw in and emit large volumes of air. Within a quarter of an hour, the vacuum cleaner will have circulated all the air in an average-sized living room. By imagining that the air emitted from the vacuum cleaner is green, or at least smells different, one can further experience the space characteristic of a household: transient and recurrent.

By using the transparent plastic bags, the air can be rendered visible to a certain degree.
By using several bags, this particular volume of air is allowed to wander, thereby rendering the erratic, the flexible, even more apparent.