Kraftwerk Ermen & Engels


Friedrich Engels Senior, father of the famous socialist, founded the textile factory Ermen & Engels in Engelskirchen in 1837. With a workforce of up to over 600 workers, the factory was one of the most important pacemakers of industrialization in the Agger Valley. At the same time, the factory’s own power plant developed into a pioneer in local electricity production. In the museum, visitors go through the individual stages of energy generation from the water power of the Agger. It still plays an important role in the region’s energy supply today.

Kasia Molga

Positively Charged: Heartbeats

Futur III | 12.03.2022 - 19.03.2022

The interactive work Positively Charged by artist Kasia Molga deals with existing and future possibilities of energy generation. Visitors to the Ermen & Engels power plant are invited to use their bodies to generate energy and power the light and sound installation. The central question is whether the human body will be able to produce enough energy in the future to meet individual power consumption needs.

In direct exchange with local students in the form of a workshop, Positively Charged addresses in particular the individual questions of a young generation on the subject of energy and raises awareness of our increased energy consumption. Together with the young people, she speculates on new technologies for generating energy, inspired by scientific research on thermoelectric generators. At the heart of Positively Charged’s artistic and playful research is resource-efficient energy efficiency.

In a second work in the Turbine Cellar, the artist, taking her own approach to personal grief as a starting point, explores the question of whether the human body could be the beginning of an external ecosystem. For How to make an Ocean, Kasia Molga fills tiny glass vessels with tears and lets algae grow in these miniature oceans.

How to make an Ocean is presented in collaboration with NEW NOW.

Cristina Tarquini

Shapeshifting Energy

Futur II | 12.03.2022

For the Ermen & Engels power plant, Cristina Tarquini is developing Shapeshifting Energy, which explores the consequences of human-induced global warming, particularly on the water cycle, in a regional and European context. In addition to health and the environment, this also affects the generation of renewable energy from hydropower, a form of energy for which the region is known today primarily through the Aggertalsperre dam, but which can also be found historically in the power plant of the former cotton mill, which was once powered by water.

As an immersive video and sound installation, Shapeshifting Energy has an interactive interface and thus increasingly encourages participation. In the museum’s turbine basement, individual scenarios can be simulated and experienced in a playful way, such as how the rise in temperature affects the aggregate states of water. To illustrate the changes associated with active human intervention in the hydrologic cycle, she uses scientific data sets. As part of the immersive installation, this data is projected into the museum’s historic space using Point Cloud animation and graphics.


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