Displaced Emperors

Relational Architecture 2

Displaced Emperors was an installation that used an "architact" interface to transform the Habsburg Castle in Linz, Austria. Wireless 3D sensors calculated where participants pointed to on the façade and a large animated projection of a hand was shown at that location. As people on the street "caressed" the building, they could reveal the interiors of the Habsburg residence in Mexico City, Castillo de Chapultepec. In addition, for ten schillings, people could press the "Moctezuma button" and trigger a temporary post-colonial override consisting of a huge image of the Aztec head-dress that is kept at the Museum für Völkerkunde in Vienna, followed by a parade of images of jewels from the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, set to music by Toña la Negra.

Displaced Emperors departs from the supposition that cultural property is cultural poverty. As an architectural mise-en-abîme, the project supports the idea of perpetration of culture instead of calls for its vampiric preservation.

General info

Spanish name:
Emperadores Desplazados
Year of creation:
a 7 kW Xenon projector with robotic scrollers and Duraclear transparencies, wireless 3D tracking system, sound system
projection area is 800 m2



  • Will Bauer - programming, audio and hardware
  • Susie Ramsay, Daniel Rivera and Patricia Maier - production support