How has art brought about social change?

Cultural education




REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT (RG) has been operating as a project group at the interface between art and society since 1996. The actors of the RG see the contradictions of a society in structural change as the starting point of their work. In the projects, interventions and cooperation in the fields of art, science, politics and business are tested as models.

Demonstrating cows, fitness studios as energy suppliers, renamed street signs - this is what artistic practice that claims to have an impact on society can look like. The REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT project group acts at the interface between art and society, science and politics.

Electricity activists (& copy REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT)

Regenerative art and the development of social values

How can the idea of ​​a society be developed from an artistic perspective that claims to have an overarching, engaging and connecting effect in the social world? Growth and prosperity need to be reinterpreted and new growth indicators defined, which are necessary for sustainable development. One of the greatest current societal challenges is that growth is reaching its limits.

With the pilot project "Power the City! - Die Stromaktivisten" [1], the REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT project group gets involved in the debate about renewable energies by developing a new form of energy and feeding it into the grid without being asked. In a fitness studio, exercise equipment is used to generate energy. The force used during exercise is converted into electrical current.

For this purpose, four spinning bikes are being equipped with generators in a Berlin fitness studio, which feed the generated electricity into the grid. By feeding in cleanly generated energy, the ecological balance of the energy mix in the network can be positively changed. The energy trampled on from the gym helps to reduce the need for coal or nuclear power. The fitness studio as a micro power plant also supports the future-oriented approach to decentralizing the energy supply. By reducing the dependency on a centralized power supply, small-scale, self-organized structures are strengthened.

The electricity activists are customers and guests of a fitness studio in Kreuzberg, a Berlin district with a high proportion of migrants. It enables the participation of young fitness studio visitors who are seldom involved in ecological and economic discourses. The activation of their energy poses the question of their role as a source of social stimulus, for example.

The (re) socialization of art

What can art contribute to social change? The rehabilitation of contemporary art means, above all, dealing with and acting within society as part of artistic activity. Rehabilitation can therefore also be understood as repoliticization. It demands that art regain a relationship to social reality as the prerequisite for political agency and social liberation. It requires responsible action and a critical awareness of the actors. REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT (RG) considers the creation of social practice from the perspective of its applicability. Practice here means conscious action. When considering this concept of action, not only the effects on society are important, but also the repercussions.

REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT acts as a forum that unites social spaces for thought and action in an interdisciplinary manner. With the projects of the RG, emancipatory processes are made aware of all those involved and thus the prerequisites for social renewal are created. The RG expresses this objective in its name and understands purification as the process of renewal. The artist becomes an actor in the social process and his activities affect different areas of life. This definition states that art has the task of being part of a public debate on values ​​and contributing to social developments. Artistic practice becomes a social process and adds an additional dimension to political, economic and scientific discourses. Concepts of action are developed that deal structurally with economic and social conditions.

Fields of action (& copy REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT)
REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT dissolves the concept of personal authorship through an integrating approach. Partners in the various projects become emancipated protagonists. All participants have the opportunity to contribute their experiences and ideas. The possibility of direct participation integrates people and enables them to act as independent political individuals.