The Comfort Dispenser

A project by Axel Halling

Host organization: Lenau House

December 2004, Pécs (Hungary)

In the spring of 2004, Berlin artist Jennifer Baumeister asked about 100 people to act comforting in front of a digital camera. The person who would receive the comfort and the reason it was needed were not revealed to the volunteers. Despite the strangeness of the request, the men, women, and children interviewed rose to the occasion, offering comfort in a great variety of surprising ways. The comforting videos are now available in the comfort dispenser with different buttons on the screen for consoling men, women, and children. The comfort dispenser is placed in public spaces for anyone to use for free and the reactions of people using it are documented.

In September 2004, the comfort dispenser was set up in several public places in Berlin, and in December 2004 the project was continued in Pécs. For this new location, Jennifer Baumeister shot Hungarian comfort videos in collaboration with local Hungarian artists. The videos were saved in the comfort dispenser and shown to the public the Pécs.

The Comfort Dispenser