Out of Joint by Tom Schmelzer



Munich-based concept artist Tom Schmelzer has proposed inserting a moving segment into an overhead walkway at the Hamburger Bahnhof museum for contemporary art in Berlin, Germany.


With sound effects to simulate the sound of an avalanche, the project, called Out of Joint, is inspired by the turmoil on the financial markets.


The following is from Tom Schmelzer:


How do you transform the current temblor on the financial markets into art for a public space?

Tom Schmelzer’s project-sketch is an architectural intervention for the Hamburger Bahnhof – the Museum for Contemporary Art in Berlin, Germany. It is designed for the walkway from the main building to the Rieckhallen, an adjacent exhibitions hall.


The title of the work „Such movements are unprecedented in history“ reflects on a statement made earlier this year by a broker of the Chicago Board of Trade.

A hydraulically operated, moving and floating segment is integrated into the walkway. In addition sound effects resembling the intensive, low-pitched rumbling of an avalanche or landslide can be heard. A sound that is experienced physically. Together with the shaking it leaves the visitor with an impression of deep uneasiness.

Movement and sound are controlled by a motion detector set off by people passing through the walkway.

Munich-based Tom Schmelzer is a concept artist who uses unique aesthetics in his illusionary sculptures and moving objects to comment on critical developments in everyday life.

Schmelzer's seductive sculptures immediately capture our attention, a task that is becoming increasingly difficult in the twenty-first century. He does this by moving past the aesthetic neutrality of previous conceptual art and reinforcing his appealing objects with sound conceptual statements.

Posted on Thursday October 16th 2008 at 8:51 am by Matylda Krzykowski. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Mad Scientist

    a lot of effort for lille effect

  • zuy

    great cinetic concept but nothing to do with financial crisis …if you pay the ticket to the museum and you enter overhead walkway to a dirty narrow steet with homeless people , it’s more clearly link to surprime crisis

  • matt

    when you have an interesting project, why would you like to explain it by the “turmoil on financial market”?

  • Marcus Des

    Making existing architecture into a performance art thingy makes this a bit “Disney goes deconstructivism”, maneuvering dangerously close to the edge of a themepark ride (as in; made for thrills). The way this is executed will tell if the purpose will be fulfilled or missed. I would like to experience this in person.

  • charles

    hate to say this, but, guys, he’s a conceptual Artist.
    not a designer, not an architect. Artist.

    Let him be.

  • ja!

    this is across from eliassons office, the new main trainstation and behind the main exhibition hall. no homeless people, no dirt. berlin is not cheap and dirty everywhere. nevertheless the wrong place for it since the concept is weak.
    much ado about nothing

  • bence

    i think it’s an exciting proposition. concept art is not like architecture, it doesn’t have to be useful, and yes, it can sometimes be close to a “themepark ride”.
    it reminds of Shakespeare’s Hamlet: ” The time is out of joint: O cursed spite,
    That ever I was born to set it right!”

  • White Phosphorus

    In a somewhat circular argument, the strongest metaphor for current financial instability expressed in this work of art is its tenuous link with the financial market itself.

    It looks great in its deformed shape, please can we just freeze it right there?

  • ja

    would love to see interior pictures!

  • Well, was in Berlin a few weeks ago, and saw that this project is JUST NOT THERE, this is only a proposal – sad that one cannot guess it from the infos above.