The Völklingen Ironworks flooded in red light
Copyright: Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte | Oliver Dietze
Defund the War Machine
Roadsworth Copyrigt Markus Trennheuser
Copyright: Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte / Markus Trennheuser
2022, in situ
35 x 95 m
Peter Gibson, as his pseudonym Roadsworth infers, is known for his work on the asphalt surfaces of roads. In addition to animal depictions and floral designs, he often works with preexisting urban semiotic systems such as street markings and typography. At Völklingen, the playing surface for Roadsworth's experimental typography, which he applied with a paint roller, is located on the roof of the Möllerhalle [burden shed]. There, using a self-designed font, the Montreal artist has affixed the intentionally difficult-to-read slogan Defund the War Machine.
Double-mirrored across the two flat edges of the ridged roof, the slogan is his reckoning with the military-industrial complex. An anachronistic "appeal for the redistribution of the bloated military budgets to more necessary areas, and to address the more-pressing challenges facing humanity." The message—cryptic, large-scale and, aside from the charging platform, only visible from a bird's-eye view—is perhaps addressed to higher powers or extraterrestrial observers, for Roadsworth has little hope for the insight of the powerful. But who knows—maybe the message will reach them via satellite reconnaissance.