A surge between abandonment and preservation

Inspired by an impressive work by the artist Sabine Müller-Funk, the Science Ball invites its guests to capture the crucial concepts in the era of climate change. A message: joint action is the basis of change

An experimental setup by Oliver Lehmann

The questions that Sabine Müller-Funk asks herself and us in the context of climate change are strikingly simple – and that’s why they are so effective: What do we want to do without? And what do we want to preserve?

The resulting dialectical tension forms the origin of the work that the artist presented in June 2023 at the Vienna Künstlerhaus as part of the members’ exhibition HUMAN_NATURE, which was curated by Maria Christine Holter and Julia Hartmann. The visitors and viewers were asked to send their answers to the artist or to write them in a guest book. Müller-Funk transferred the answers caligraphically onto a large screen. The elements of renunciation in white, those of preservation in black, which “created a wave between white and black on the wall surfaces, between renunciation and desire” (Sabine Müller-Funk).

At the Science Ball, we enable visitors to understand these trains of thought for themselves. On the screen in the so-called Stone Hall 1 (accessible via the festival stairs 1 on the way to the Tango Salon), guests are invited to write on the canvas until midnight those elements that they would like to do without. After midnight, they are asked to stop by again and capture the elements they want to preserve. An experiment, undoubtedly because without the artist’s organizing and shaping hand, but expanded by the participatory character of the direct writing.


You can read the full text in the 2024 ball magazine, which will be published on the evening of the ball.