Bank Robbery as an Architecture-Art-Project

An der Uni Innsbruck hat Armin Blasbichler mit 21 seiner Architektur-Studenten – den Blasbichlers Twentyone – ein Experiment durchgeführt, in dem sie Banken in Innsbruck wie bei einem Banküberfall ausspionieren und auf Schwachstellen untersuchen sollten, offiziell wurden die geplanten Überfälle als „Notfallplan“ bezeichnet: „21 Studierende der Architektur der Universität Innsbruck haben im Rahmen eines von Armin Blasbichler geleiteten Forschungsseminars, 21 Bankstellen im Großraum Innsbruck in einem Feldversuch durchleuchtet. Nach dem Muster von Hackern haben sie aus den gefundenen „Schwachstellen“ Szenarien zur Beschaffung von Werten vielfältiger Natur entwickelt. Das Ergebnis sind Notfallpläne für die Banken und deren breit gefächerte Kundschaft.“

Geklaut wurde nichts, außer einem dieser Kulis, die an einer Kette befestigt sind. Trotzdem spannend! We make Money not Art hat ein Interview mit Armin Blasbichler:

The task:
Develop a bank robbery plan for a bank branch within the city limits of Innsbruck. Use only information you find out yourself. Your alter-ego is your team mate, listen to what he/she says. Do not tell bank staff who you are and what you intend to do. Identify weak points of the chosen bank branch. Develop a concept to detract assets from the bank according to the weaknesses identified. Include action-, time-, and escape plan in a paper document of 70x100cm of size. Use graphic design techniques and text in order to provide a viable instructions manual document. Calculate or estimate the potential loss of assets.

Die Studenten wurden während des Experiments durchnummeriert, die Arbeiten von 14 und 17 waren anscheinend besonders spannend:

These two students have been adopting business models and principles which are written into the genetic code of the banking sector, namely "make money" and "time is money".

Number 14 did not care about a typical bank robbery on a specific site. His approach relates to a quote by Bertolt Brecht: "What is robbing a bank compared to founding a bank?" In doing so he sets the heist on a higher level of sophistication, perspective and productivity. The plan gives detailed instructions how to found a hedge fund from scratch with all the credentials one needs to do so. The business field of the fund is allocated in the banking safety sector. In reality the fund is intended to take profit from real bank robberies on specific sites. As an investor you can "bet" either on a successful or a failed robbery. According to the business term of the fund one can earn or lose money through a criminal act without getting one's hands dirty. In other words, "robbing a bank" with its own resources. The student outlines the facility to found a hedge fund and pays reference to real business processes and implications in the investment sector, i.e. the Euro break down a couple of months ago, the intensive pressure the financial market is putting on Greece as we speak, just to name a few.

Number 17 was, according to the bank officials, the most alarming one as it is achievable with no particular effort. Basically the student steals time. She shows how one can jam a banks activity up to a halt and at the same time bring along consistent losses of money.

21 bank branches vs. 21 architecture students