From Level Zero
The Poetry of Donau City 

Matthias Klos & Hans-Jürgen Poëtz

From Level Zero is a transdisciplinary art project which explores Vienna’s Donau City – both online and on site. Initiated by Matthias Klos and Hans-Jürgen Poëtz with contributions from art, architecture, art history, urban planning, sociology, art education, and residents of the district.
Vienna’s Donau City – built on a former garbage dump – unites a round of residential and commercial buildings, including the tallest buildings in the city. As a modern center, this part of the city was planned using a level concept that relocated the infrastructure for automobility (roads, parking garages, etc.) underground (Levels ­–1 to –3). The car-free “Level 0” connects the buildings and is a gusty and drafty open space which gives a feeling of distance between the building structures.
In The Decay of Lying, Oscar Wilde notes that people noticed the fog in London only after it had been painted by the impressionists. According to him, only aesthetically mediated perception enables people to become aware of their surroundings. In our examination of Donau City, we do not want to add to or oppose the place, but rather look at what already exists from other angles in order to develop a new sense for the surroundings: An inventory of the history and stories of the district, its peculiarities and character, its buildings and structures, in order to be able to develop a “poetic imagination” of the future.   
In the project’s transdisciplinary approach, an initial anamnesis of a social-media dimension of architecture (Heike Deliz) of Donau City is first made visible with contributions from art, art and cultural mediation, architecture, architectural theory, urban planning, sociology, and art history. For this purpose, residents are also invited to submit reports, statements, observations, and stories about the space, the site or life in Donau City on the project website – from 9 June to 16 October – where selected contributions will be published. This kind of amplification and reduction (André Corboz) is thus intended to lay a foundation for a future post-pandemic poetry of this particular urban space in Vienna. The results of these reflections, investigations, and debates will provide a kaleidoscopic view of Donau City, which will be summarized and made accessible in an online platform successively. 

The project sees itself as a process-oriented inventory, a ‘tool’ for an individual, and at the same time a transdisciplinary exploration of Vienna’s Danube City, which is available as an online mediation project until October 2024. 



28 June 2023 | 5 p.m.

Guided tours
28 June 2023 | 5 p.m.
29 July 2023 | 4 p.m.
23 August 2023 | 6 p.m.
23 September 2023 | 4 p.m.

Sound performance
23 September 2023 | 6 p.m.

Film presentation website
27 January 2024

A transdisciplinary art project by 

Matthias Klos & 
Hans-Jürgen Poëtz 

On-site until October 2023 
Online until May 2025

With contributions from 

Patricia Grzonka
Georgia Holz
Clemens Kirsch
Matthias Klos & Hans-Jürgen Poëtz 
Daniela Schadauer 
Reinhard Seiß
Rolf Wienkötter
and Donau City residents 

Donau City