Unlock Life

rental e-scooters, rental bikes

For his installation Unlock Life Aram Bartholl retrieved a number of rental e-scooters and bikes from different canals of Berlin. In fierce competition global operating startups have swamped all major European cities with rental bikes and e-scooters in large numbers in the last couple of years. The careless attitude of the startup companies result in disapproval by most of the public and careless handling by the users. The colorful pop aesthetics of these rides attracts the urban youth, who often cannot afford to ride them. Destruction and loss is a calculated part of the business which is economically and ecologically unsustainable. Typically these e-scooters and bikes get also thrown into the canals of the city.

After spending months or even years in the water, the scooters completely lost their attraction and are covered with mud and algae. Even new life can be found on these scooters in the form of small crabs and worms once pulled out of the water. Unlock Life is the signature advertising slogan of the e-scooter rental company Lime.


  • On entering a living being. From Social Sculpture to Platform Capitalism, Kunstraum Kreuzberg, Berlin, 2020
  • The Sea Is Glowing, Exportdrvo, Rijeka, 2020
  • Bike In Head, St├Ądtische Galerie, Bremen, 2022
  • Die Sirenen heulen (It`s on us), Mieze S├╝dlich, Chemnitz, 2023
  • Die Sirenen heulen (It`s on us), Galerie Sexauer, Berlin, 2023

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