Colors of consumption

From the cradle to the grave to the cradle. The life cycle of manufactured goods is depicted in a highly colorful - literally! - way in this display, which was created by Bär + Knell, the famous three-person team, along with Germany Society for the Recycling of Plastics.

The society operates the Germany-wide packaging system of recycling all packagings - mostly plastics - bearing the ‘green point’ logo. These wastes are thrown into the yellow containers found everywhere in the country.

To create this display, Bär & Knell fished an assorted of packagings out of the container, and sorted them according to color (red, green, blue, yellow, white and transparent). The next steps were to shred, melt and cast the wastes into panels each a square meter in size. The predominance of the colors reflects that of their relative percentages in Germany’s output of packaging wastes.

The panels were installed into frames lining the »Glass Cube« gracing Oberbaum City’s tower. The panels of light were then illuminated.

The »Colors of Consumption« installation came to an end in April 2004.

The technological feats making possible the staging of »Colors of Consumption« are an homage to Oberbaum City’s history. It was here that the manufacturing of light bulbs, under first Osram and then, subsequently, Narva, took giant steps forward.

These steps earned what is now Oberbaum City the nickname »the city of light«. It was this tradition and this name that Colors of Consumption set forth.