Republic of Kugelmugel

If you walk a couple of hundred meters from the Praterstern subway station in Vienna, you end up at the border of the Republic of Kugelmugel[a], a surface-minimizing micro-nation founded by Edwin Lipburger.

The story behind this globular nation is as follows: Edwin Lipburger wanted to build a spherical house, believing that it was the shape most in harmony with nature. He called the building "Kugelmugel", which roughly means "Ball Hill". When authorities complained that he lacked building permit and had to tear the structure down, Edwin responded by declaring the ball a nation of its own and started issuing money and stamps.

After a bit of to-and-fro, the house ended up being moved to the Vienna Prater, and Edwin ended up being moved to jail for refusing to pay Austrian taxes. (The Austrian president saw the comedy in it all and pardoned him.) Edwin continued his battle with the bureaucracy, which, to anyone even vaguely familiar with the Austrian "Amt"-culture, must be seen as a David versus Goliath battle. Former Mayor of Vienna Dr. Helmut Zilk ended up on Edwin's shit list when he forged a demolition permit for Kugelmugel.

Somewhere in all this Edwin, while not losing all his marbles, certainly seems to have lost the big one. What started out as an architectural experiment is now just a quaint ball of bitterness and Rechthaberei[b] - which makes it a lot less interesting and a lot more sad to me.

Right above the top left window is a faded quote from Dipl.-Ing W. Zach: "Was sind Zweiecke[c]?" / "What are diangles[d]?"

2007-12-04 13:13


Street sign placing the spherical republic in the 2nd distict of Vienna, 1 Anti-Fascist Place. The explanatory sign below reads: "Dieser Platz ist dem grossen demokratischen Revolutionsführer EDWIN LIPBURGER der hier begonnen hat, die ganze alte moral abzuschaffen und alle Korruptions - Formen unter jeder Maske zu bekämpfen und auszumerzen, gewidmet." Or, in English: "This place is dedicated to the great democratic revolutionary leader EDWIN LIPBURGER, who here began to abolish the entire old moral and to fight and eliminate all forms of corruption whatever masks they may be behind."

2007-12-04 13:17


Despite his struggle against in his mind oppressive authorities, and despite placing the republic at "1 Anti Fascist Place", in a sublimely ironic way, the flag of the Republic Kugelmugel looks like nothing as much as the old Nazi flag, with the swastika replaced with a picture of the round Republic's sole inhabitant.

2007-12-04 13:13


Attachment of the house to the ground. The house is built around the cylinder that here can be seen anchoring it.

2007-12-04 13:15


Edwin's shit list. The left is a proclamation that Dr. Helmut Zilk's honorary citizenship in Kugelmugel is revoked due to treason etc. The text is too rambling to warrant translation, and should be experienced in its native German anyway for maximum effect. The right lists more of Zilk's sins against the Republic of Kugelmugel.

2007-12-04 13:19