Schöneberg is one of my favorite districts to walk around aimlessly because there is always a surprise around the corner. On one of my most recent walks there, I managed to discover something that I remember reading about in the past but never managed to see in real life. But I’m not talking about Bigfoot or anything like that. I’m talking about the Kunstautomat on Crellerstrasse.
If you speak German, the name Kunstautomat is quite simple to understand. But, if you don’t, Kunstautomat is an art vending machine, and there are quite a few around Berlin.
Still, I had never seen one until that day, walking around Schöneberg.
Once I saw it, I knew I needed to buy a small piece of art from this small vending machine. Four euros later there I was, holding a small paper box. Inside, I found a piece of paper explaining the artwork from Ruben Langer and the article itself. This abstract artwork is already hanging on my wall. My experience with the Kunstautomat was such a positive one that I needed to share it with people.
The Kunstautomat are small art vending machines, like the ones you see around Berlin selling cigarettes. But these ones are way better! They have been around Berlin since 2011, and there are quite a few around Berlin, as you can see on this map here.
The art vending machines are produced in Oschersleben. They go to Potsdam, where they are painted, equipped, and operated by Lars Kaiser from the Büro Kunstautomaten. They run a lot of Kunstautomat, more than 400, and can be found around Germany. There are also some in the Netherlands, Spain, and Austria; my goal now is to find as many as possible!
One curious aspect of the artwork inside the Kunstautomat is that it needs to fit in the box from the art vending machine. Because of that, the art pieces cannot be larger than five by two centimeters. Besides that, there are no limits to what the artists want to do, and that is another reason I loved this so much.
Each art packet can be bought for 4€ across all locations. The money is split between the artist, packaging, and maintenance of the machines, and the rest goes for insurance and taxes. So, whenever you see one, help support art and get one small piece for the price of a döner.
If you are interested in different vending machines, we wrote something about the one we saw in Vienna at the Micro Museum for the Design of and with Typography.
Kunstautomat: An Art Vending Machine in Schöneberg
Crellestraße 8-9, 10827 Berlin