“Berlin-based artist Hans Hemmert (famous for his work with balloons) threw a party where guests wore shoe-extenders to make them all the same height of 2 meters. Aside from bringing the partygoers all to a common eye level (and eliminating the awkward postures of party talk between the tall and the short), the gathering is lent an infographic nature by the shoes: all made from blue foam, the person’s real height is read in the visual uniformity of the sole instead of at the head—like a walking bar graph.
This (completely underpublished) project, entitled “Level,” is from 1997, produced for the Personal Absurdities show at the Galerie Gebauer Berlin. Finding it now, in 2010, I can’t help but read it as a design event, getting directly at the basic qualities that shape our interactions with others—what does it mean when we all share one height?
Hans Hemmert is part of the art collective Inges Idee. Check out their site for more amazing projects in public space.”