collaboration with Anastasia Eggers
The intervention “Waschsalon” is part of a speculative scenario in which water is recycled and re-used within a warm water Blockchain system depending on its quality and temperature. The “Waschsalon” intervention hacks into the public infrastructure and invites you to wash your bodies and clothes together while exploring a possible future in which water and waste heat would not to be wasted anymore but rather fed into a Blockchain system. The system functions on a scale of one neighbourhood and works with waste heat from industry and local businesses that is worthless for the industry itself, but can still be used to heat water up to the temperature of 38-40 degrees, which is a bathing water temperature. Through a system of heat exchangers, the temperature of grey water can heat up clean water and will stay in the blockchain system. It can be continuously re-used within the neighbourhood or traded whenever not needed. When the temperature of the water will drop after it has been used, it can either be discarded (and used for toilet flushing or irrigation) or repeatedly heated with the waste heat from the industry.
“Waschsalon” illustrates this Warm Water Blockchain and makes the physical experience of collective washing in public space possible. It is inspired by the Japanese Sentho, in which one first washes oneself with a bucket of water and soap before going collectively into the hot bath. After the bath, the warm water is used for the surrounding washing machines before fed following the roads of the Warm Water Blockchain system.
The intervention is using existing fountains in urban space as structures to meet and wash bodies and clothes, seeing how water spots in cities could be activated and could again become places of gatherings – not as a decorative element but as a place where the bathing experience is shared and neighbours are brought together.
“Waschsalon” reinterprets various cultural concepts of collective bathing and aims to reinvent the intimacy of a public space, bringing bathing from an isolated environment back into public space and contributing to transition from individual routines in hygiene to public rituals. Waschsalon and other interventions explore the sociocultural aspects of public bathing, seeing how engaging in this collective activity requires for our bodies being in an unprotected state of nakedness, allowing to be seen without all aspects that shape our social body. The phenomenon of the collective intimacy would erase the role of a person in the society, presenting them as their true selves, allowing the participants to engage in a different kind of communication, triggering conversations that are touching upon the social, cultural and historical aspects of cleanliness and collective nakedness and environmental advantages of sharing water as a resource.
the project was developed during the reSITE Residency at ZK/U – Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik in Berlin, as part of Shared Cities: Creative Momentum Project, funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union
Photos: Tomas Princ, reSITE