My catacombs, let me show you them

At nearly midnight, a rental car of my cohorts showed up in Leipzig and we left for Vienna, an 8.5 hour trip. The Opel Vectra drove fine (for those that know how to drive a stick) the seats were a little stiff though. The autobahn has a severe lack of road side reflectors which in addition to the lack of sleep made for a very slow (74mph) and uncomfortable trip. Even when the sun was up it was slow going (111mph) because we were so exhausted. Arriving in Vienna at 11am we discovered why we couldn’t look up a street in the navigation system: it didn’t know anything about the city besides the main artery. Luckily we had picked up a map and arrived at Metalab without much trouble (except that whole driving across the courthouse sidewalks thing).

The next day Johannes from monochrom was our guide to Vienna. We went through the catacombs which are filled floor to ceiling with human remains. Most of them were plague victims that were delivered by dropping them through a hole in the middle of the square. Prisoners were eventually used to organize the bones to be more space efficient. Our next stop was the natural history museum which Johannes joked “is older than your country”. If you can only do one thing in Vienna, the locals insist that you drink the tap water. The emperor had an aqueduct built so that even today the tap water is 85% spring water. The joke is that that you can get better water in Vienna than you can in towns within miles of the source.

Both the monochrom and Metalab spaces were inspiring. They were collaborative workspaces for art and computer enthusiasts. monochrom is located in the Museumsquartier (home of the Borg’s breadloaf) in what looks like gallery space and has worked on projects like laser graffiti and cocktail robots. Metalab is in a basement near the parliament building and is responsible for the free phonebooth at camp.


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