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Freedom Reloaded

Graf 201304

The city of Vienna commissioned Roland Graf’s artist collective Assocreation to remake their Freedom lettering (installed as a piece of guerrilla art in 2005) and turn it into a permanent 3D light graffiti. The lettering, which is made out of a 50m long yellow drainage pipe, became a landmark on a basketball cage between the traffic lanes of Vienna’s city ring road at Margaretengürtel. It marks an urban non-lieu used for sport and recreation by many of Vienna’s youths and immigrants. Mounted on a chain-link fence, it is a big word with two sides to it. The Freedom lettering at this location is reminiscent of a marketing slogan for teenagers that oscillates between fantasy and everyday reality — as such a slogan it was also used as the opening title in Katharina Weingartner’s movie Sneaker Stories, which featured this basketball cage and its players in the context of an international cycle of control and commodification”. The new LED retrofitted Freedom lettering was connected to the public power grid on March 122013.