Wald, 2009

Gerwald Rockenschaub

Digital print on sound absorbing material
4.38 x 17.03 m

© 2014, Gerwald Rockenschaub

Image copyright Stefan Altenburger

The staff restaurant in one of our buildings is often busy with diners talking, laughing, eating and listening. In such an environment, noise levels can be distracting. Therefore, the Art at Swiss Re team asked the Austrian artist Gerwald Rockenschaub to come up with a visually appealing solution that would also solve the acoustic problem. His new art work has done just this: The framed digital print, depicting an abstracted image of a forest, measuring 4.3 x 17 metres, is backed with special sound absorption material that literally collects the noise of the diners – as if their voices were disappearing into thethick green forest.

Rockenschaubs’s work, like Wald, has often used bright, vibrant colours and shapes that are drawn from illustration and advertising, but also incorporate a deep knowledge of art history. And the visual dynamism of the piece also reflects his long held interest in music – both as a DJ and techno musician – but also previously as a member of the punk band Molto Brutto (Very Ugly).