Bjorn Franke

Thread Alert

Threat Alert
Mixed Media, 1 Object 125/125/180, 3 C-Prints 600/450

Some of our fears are very hard to grasp, since they are so removed from everyday experience and rational thinking. Nevertheless, we try to quantify these diffused fears through technical warning and prediction systems which allow us to grasp and manage them. These systems include risk assessment scales, weather prediction systems and crime statistics. On the one hand, these systems allow us to address and manage our fears, but on the other hand, these systems might also trigger fears that would otherwise remain unnoticed.

Threat Alert is a device that turns the abstract fear of catastrophes and terror into a tangible experience. Linked to a governmental warning system, the device displays the current national threat-level on a colour-coded scale. Thereby, the individual citizen is kept in a hypochondriac condition of permanent readiness and alertness. In addition to the display, a wearable device can be used during the night, which wakes up the user by pinching the skin should the threat-level rise.

Threat Alert
Thread Alert

Concept and Design: Björn Franke
Photos: Jonas Unger
Models: Sarah Owens

Promise, Practice, Protocol – Performing Future Presences, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany, May 14 – July 4, 2009.