YNGVE HOLEN / Economy Class Legs

032c Workshop / Joerg Koch is pleased to present Yngve Holen: Economy Class Legs.

I was on the BA Dreamliner 787 Newark–London flight 186. Had window seat 36K, in the standard World Traveller Economy class. It looked more like an afterthought to the 3-3-3 configuration—a hangnail from the hangar—than state-of-the-art design. Really plopped there, like a jump seat. Right between the middle and back emergency exits, I felt like I was already about to be in the middle of an emergency. Brace for take off. Knees to chest? Assume the butterfly position? Twisted spine. There was definitely more headroom than legroom—what is “improved seat pitch” anyway? Unclear. Very uncomfortable. Flight time: 7 hours,10 minutes.

The Dreamliner has a trillion movies and TV shows and radio shows. They call this “Me Time.” But my TV didn’t work, and the computer housing all that entertainment was stored below the seat in front of me. It might as well have been my tray table. No one was seated in 36J though, so, twisted, I could look at the navigation system as we’d go up the Canadian coast and over. But it kept glitching. I know teething problems are common, but the Dreamliner’s “revolutionary” lithium-ion battery made me start to think I was about to be trapped inside the most redundantly mortal part of a smartphone, 30,000 feet above sea level, with no charger.

I prefer a window seat. I’m claustrophobic, and the windows on the Dreamliner are 30% bigger than on other planes. “Horizon Views.” The cabin is kitted out with LED lighting that can mimic things like dawn and dusk. Some with claustrophobia go for the aisle seat—more near space. Some even the bulkhead aisle seat, where they can’t peer down the long aluminum, or in this case carbon composite, tube—compressed air, partial vacuums, etc. I need to look out. Spotting the pulsing light on the wing, a star, or even the engine burning controls my paranoia. There aren’t shades either on the Dreamliner, but electronically controlled dimmers, and the first time I took the flight they automatically locked to black during the “sleep” period. I began to lose my mind—something was wrong, like a stuck home button, or an enabled child-safety lock in the back of a hot car. This time I asked the stewardess to leave my controls unlocked, which they eventually did on the first flight. She said it wasn’t possible. But aren’t we incredibly flying in the air, impossibly soaring in the clouds? She suggested a bulkhead seat, asked me how I felt about ruining the mood lighting of the whole flight. None of this was very clever, and after arguing and troubleshooting—a sort of fight-or-flight response—the dang dimmer was unlocked.

Organized in collaboration with Per Törnberg and Matthew Evans, the exhibition includes a video, a sculpture, and text.


Click here to see the opening scenes.

032c Workshop / Joerg Koch is an exhibition space in Berlin. Featuring an eight-meter-long vitrine designed by Konstantin Grcic, its programming includes several exhibition series, exploring the idea of the archive, the auteur, or the unseen.