Airport Tower, Filderstadt
Julius von Bismarck, Benjamin Maus, Richard Wilhelmer: »Public Face II«
From Stuttgart’s airport tower, a huge, illuminated smiley looks out over travellers and the residents of Filderstadt. “Public Face II” is an installation created as part of a community project by Berlin-based artists Benjamin Maus, Richard Wilhelmer and Julius von Bismarck. Its "public face" is constantly changing. Every 60 seconds, the animated neon smiley changes its expression to reflect the moods of the people passing through the airport. So its expression may in turn be happy, surprised, worried or sad. With this installation, Maus, Wilhelmer and von Bismarck are examining the expanding surveillance culture in which people's most intimate feelings can prove to be their downfall.
Benjamin Maus (born 1984), Richard Wilhelmer (born 1983) and Julius von Bismarck (born 1983) met while studying at Berlin University of the Arts. There began their joint project, "Fühlometer" in 2008, and since then it has been adapted for a number of cities, most recently the gasometer in Berlin-Schöneberg. In their individual works, the artists are interested in the interface between art and technology. Von Bismarck's particular focus is on urban space. Benjamin Maus is co-founder of the FELD studio, whose design projects combine craftsmanship with a digital approach. In his films, Richard Wilhelmer combines new digital methods with traditional narrative structures.
The majority of Stuttgart airport lies in Bernhausen, the largest district of Filderstadt. The airport tower is at the edge of Bernhausen. Since it opened in 1995, it has housed the air traffic controllers who watch over the airport and control the surrounding airspace. By radio, they coordinate the movements of planes as they taxi, take off and land, inform pilots about take-off procedures and give them the all-clear. The Baden-Württemberg section of the German Meteorological Office has also been housed in the tower since 1999.
Plieninger Straße 70
Exterior open to visitors at all times