Street Furniture - Part 1: Weighting Time
Public weighing machines are part of the urban fabric of Vienna since the 1920s. The first documented sites have been at the entrance of the rose garden at Vienna’s famous Volksgarten area in 1922 and at the Viktor-Adler Market in the Favoriten district in 1930. Unfortunately the type is not documented, but the owner ironically was the sweet and chocolate factory, Tivoli.
Over the years the owners and sites of the scales have changed several times. This is why it is difficult to obtain documentation. Today the ownership of these scales belongs to the company of Karin and Andreas Popp, who are based in Pinkafeld. Within Austria they are responsible for the maintenance of around 400 of these machines from the company Berkel. Approximately 200 of which are located in Vienna. It is almost impossible to find media coverage of such machines or further information from the government of Vienna.
The machines are hardly documented within the media -only der standard (jan 2009) and Wiener Zeitung (aug 2002) in which their appearance has been commented upon. The government of Vienna don’t make the sites publicly available.
Alistair Fullers documentary photographic project.
In his photographic oeuvre Alistair Fuller deals with surrealistic phenomenon in daily life and searches its inherent object trouves. In his new project, ‘Street furniture’ the Artist deals with evolvement streams of public utilities, their socio-cultural significance and contexts resonating modern urban society. Most of the time these objects exist -seldom used, though are in the public consciousness as part of the fabric of the urban environment.
As A.Traxler wrote in her article, “nobody is really aware of them although everyone knows they are there if they are reminded of them” 
A significant aspect of the visibility of these objects lies within the choice of colour. In order to attract attention they originally have been contrasting with their surrounding. Today the opposite is aimed. – They are made to disappear. By adapting them optically to their surrounding they are invisible to the public if they are not explicitly searched for. They became the neglected children of the urban social fabric.
These settings reflect a Zeitgeist, which doesn’t give space for individualism, even objects, in public life and which seems to aim a neutralising homogenisation.
Text: Katharina Popp