The project is based on the Neapolitan “caffè sospeso” principle. A guest can pay for an additional espresso in a café, which is noted down and served for free on request. This system of neighbourly solidarity is based on personal interaction between the participants.
The Automat Sospeso project asks whether the principle could also work without direct human contact. What about solidarity in the cool anonymity of a technologized, distanced society? A key social question, and not just since the time of coronavirus.
A coffee machine is equipped with a sospeso function and set up in a public place in Innsbruck. Users can pay for an additional coffee; the money is stored in the machine. Or – if money is stored – they can “withdraw” a coffee without paying. In contrast to most types of charity, where the physical distance between donor and recipient is maintained, here the social fabric is changed at a concrete location.
Leopold Kessler (*1976, lives and works in Vienna) studied sculpture in Munich and Vienna, where he graduated in 2004. His works have been shown in national and international solo exhibitions, including at Malmo Konsthall, the Bunkier Sztuki in Krakow, and the Vienna Secession, as well as in group exhibitions, e.g. at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris and de Appel, Amsterdam. He also participated in the Singapore Biennale 2011, the 10th Lyon Biennale, and Manifesta 5 in San Sebastian.