There is the seductive fiction of a reality, in which all actions and events can be integrated into a digital system that enables maximum efficiency, sustainability, security, and satisfaction of needs and desires of every (selected) individual. It is a fiction of unity and frictionlessness built on the assumption of a set of perfectly working and seamlessly integrated machines. But the truth is, machines don´t always work that well.

Juxtaposing sober patent drawings of urban digital technologies with photographs depicting their problematic implementation, Christian Frieß and Benjamin Gerdes’ project “User Environments in the Interface City” makes visible the problematic relationship of technology-driven imaginations and their broken real world doppelgangers.

“User Environments in the Interface City” is the outcome of a Fulbright Specialist project hosted by TUW’s Visual Culture Unit. It has been published on the occasion of the project halfway – Curating the Urban and in cooperation with the Centre for Global Architecture, Vienna, 2019.

Christian Frieß will present the mapping at halfway´s micro-conference “Architectures for the Quantified Self“.


21 September 2019, 11:00
Halbgasse 3–5
1070 Wien
Organised by “halfway – on spatializing urban conditions”
Admission free