åyr

Founded in 2015 in London
Fabrizio Ballabio * 1986 in Naples, IT, lives and works in London
Alessandro Bava * 1988 in Naples, IT, lives and works in London
Luis Ortega Govela * 1988 in Tampico, MX, lives and works in London
Octave Perrault * 1988 in Paris, lives and works in London

In the so-called “age of access,” domains once circumscribed as personal are now gray zones of public/private profit-making. Homes are rented out on Airbnb, every car owner is a potential Uber driver, and our bodies are made fit (or unfit) for digital capital through real-time medical tracking and image economies. Founded under the name AIRBNB Pavilion, the collective åyr highlights these contemporary complications of ownership and property, privacy and control, structures and representations in their architecture-based practice. Incorporating nooks and niches, their wall construction turns images from Berlin’s creative community into theatrical illusions and aspirational backdrops while casting a skeptical light on ideas of “openness,” “connection,” “breaking boundaries,” and other mantras of the tech industry and the corporate architecture of recent decades. Referencing a study on the Berlin Wall as architecture from the 1970s by Rem Koolhaas and the contemporary transformations of Berlin’s housing practices and policies, the contribution reflects on the power of the dematerialized walls of the digital age by looking at their sustained ambiguity as devices of division and exclusion—which also condition habitation and communication.

List of works

Mixed media
Courtesy åyr; Project Native Informant, London
Commissioned and coproduced by Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art; Coproducer La Casa Encendida (Madrid)