interviews, texts, etc.


unedited interview: published in 24 ORE - a big italian newspaper

l'intervista sul numero di marzo di IL de Il Sole 24 Ore.


Sara Deganello:

Crede che il Bicycle Manifesto possa cambiare qualcosa nelle politiche per la bici?

Do you think that (your) BICYLCE MANIFESTO can change something for the politics of biking.


Rainer Ganahl :

I wrote the BICYCLE MANIFESTO as an attempt to address politicians, urbanists and the general public in order to show that things could be different and improved. I hope it has an impact and needless to say, once it is published in the media it could become viral. I hope it is getting on the table of decision makers who are thinking ahead of times and acknowledge important changes also in the industrial landscape. Electric vehicles  - electric bicycles or tricycles - are going to be part of our life and two wheel or three wheel options are cheaper and more efficient .  Politicians and urbanists need to think our streets to be shared also for bicycles and electric two-wheelers of limited speed in order  to guarantee vital personal transportation. 

Sara Deganello:

può la sua arte influire sui comportamenti delle persone?

Can your art influence the behavor of people ?

Rainer Ganahl:

it depends. Around the time of the Iraq war which I completely opposed , I got lots of interesting comments and even threats in regard to my work questioning that war. So in that sense it did have some kind of impact since people thanked me for my work and some who threatened to beat me here in New York.

I myself have been influenced by certain art works and artists but it would be hard to say "this or that work is having this or that impact." But I do believe in a chain of effects and the current political changes in the Middle East are a proof it it. It is not one book written in Boston on the development from dictatorship to democracy or Facebook or Twitter but all these things together in a climate of repression, large unemployed youth populations and a transparent electronic world image that shows people where they stand and that it could be different, better, more just. All these things together inundated into the events that are going on right now in North African and lets see what follows.

So back to your question. Does my art influence people ? I hope so but I am not a politician. I'm just an artist and hope somebody gets inspired by my work and starts or continues to do things differently.


Sara Deganello:

perché ha deciso di dedicare tutta questa attenzione all’ambiente? C’è un fatto da cui tutto è partito? Why bicycles ?

Why did you decide to dedicate all this attention to the envoronment ? Is there a point from where it all departed ? Why bicycles ?

Rainer Ganahl:

My obsession with bicycles are only one part of my work. (see more here: The bicycle is a crucial modern instrument that was utopian in the beginning (see DaVinci drawings of bicycles) and still hasn't lost its futuristic and revolutionary aspirations if we keep dreaming of a world where people use bicycles and electric bicycles instead of cars. When I started to use the bike in my work I was very conscious that the ongoing Iraq war was over oil. Apart from that, I love bicycles and have been always using bicycles. And don't forget this open secret: bicycles make you look sexy, keep you in shape, make you see the city in a different light.

But you must demand, protest and fight for good bikeways if you really wanna be safe and enjoy your city and your life on a bike. Let me ad the environement - the urban landscape - is important for cyclists because what are you going to do when you buy a new bicycle and can't really ride it in town without risking your life: hang it on the ceiling in the corridor or over your bed ?  There are so many people living in cities who have bicycles and use it only for recreation or the idea of recreation , meaning they barely use it. The main reason why they don't use it for transportation (mobilita) is because of a missing infrastructure that encourages and even privileges cycling. We need really an extended bike infrastructure first that not only comprises bikeways that are adequate and secure from car traffic but also free parking facilities and cheap or free bike rental stations that are automatic and spread all over the city (see: velo lib in Paris or meanwhile in many other cities). This all can be paid by making car driving and car parking more expensive in order to finally give incentives for car drivers – who mostly drive alone – to switch to bicycles or e-bicycles. I am suggesting an extra system of taxation for people who drive alone in cars in the city.


March 2011