Beautiful Blackout

Solo exhibition
Austrian Cultural Forum Warsaw, POL, 2022

Funded by
The Austrian Federal Chancellery

Exhibition views
Austrian Cultural Forum Warsaw, POL, 2022

Images Stanislav Welbel
The exhibition Beautiful Blackout deals with the themes of electricity, artificial intelligence, criticism of technological progress based on fossil fuels, and the phenomenon of "blackouts" in electricity supply.

This theme has been present in Rainer Prohaska's work for over two decades, including the creation of prototypes of completely absurd power plants that generate negligible amounts of energy in the gallery space. The artist's most iconic work, the Unplugger is an anarchistic device that causes a short circuit in the power grid. A handcrafted plug with two poles connected is a total negation of its function. Although 20 years have passed since the guerrilla premiere of the Unplugger at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz in 2002, the object has become increasingly important in the wake of the digital revolution.

In the exhibition, it was therefore possible to make one's own Unplugger, to help create an index of urban light pollution, and to come into contact with the system of 'artificial stupidity', which occupies a strong position in Rainer Prohaska's artistic world as a counterweight to artificial intelligence.