In the 1950s and 60s, architects, designers and artists such as Horst Bauer, Josef Kaiser, Fritz Kühn, Regina Junge and Klaus Wittkugel gave the utopias of GDR modernity an aesthetic form along Karl-Marx-Allee. The architecture of free flowing space stood for social equality and reflected the ideas of the modern socialist system. Drawing from avant-garde concepts formulated by Le Corbusier and the Bauhaus in the 1920s, they created an environment inspired by futuristic themes such as outer space.
For their digital intervention Simultaneity, Joachim Blank, Karl Heinz Jeron and Sakrowski have created an obstacle course made up of 19 carefully selected geographical points. A map provides a QR code for each of these points. The codes can be scanned on smart phones or tablets to show site-specific augmented reality objects. The walking tour guides visitors to representative areas of the boulevard via symbolic narrations. Visitors will also be led to the second row of Karl-Marx-Allee’s residential buildings. Located farther back from the street itself, this area offers more idyllic spaces in nature that are often surreal in character and invite pedestrians to linger and play.
The expanded reality of Simultaneity connects the aesthetics of Socialist Realism to the last thirty years of computer game design. Relics of the past such as Sputnik or the Lenin memorial torn down in 1991 encounter contemporary figures like Lara Croft or the Hulk in the present. Objects that have long been removed from public view become visible once more with the help of augmented reality technology. Baldur Schönfelder’s game device Moon Station, for example, returns as a virtual sculpture. An interactive element enables users to project hashtags into urban space and publish these on social media.