Shadow of a Social Experiment

Shadow of a Social Experiment

Vienna, 2002

spray-paint, stencil


In May 2002 the city of Vienna launched the remarkable non-profit project “Gratisrad“ (“free-bike“). About 1500 bicycles in pink and baby-blue were made available for the free public use in a inner-city network of docking stations. But contrary to similar successful initiatives in the Netherlands and Belgium, this project was sadly doomed to failure in Austria. Within the shortest amount of time all the free-bikes have disappeared from the streets. They have been vandalized, locked with private locks or used as spare part inventories. In the search for the individual advantage the society has apparently lost any sense for fair-mindedness or collective benefits. The stencilled free-bikes all around the inner-city are the silent remnants of a dream and the shadows of a social experiment – that has failed.

Featured in: „The Art Of Rebellion: The World Of Street Art“, ISBN-10: 3980990915