Walchensee Hydroelectric Power Station

Gärtner, Dennis | from Multimedia Library Collection:
Art & Graphics

The Walchensee Hydroelectric Power Station was built between 1918 and 1924 under the supervision of Oskar von Miller, a Bavarian engineer and founder of the Deutsches Museum. At the time, the hydroelectric station was one of the largest in the world, providing power to households throughout Bavaria. Von Miller had discovered how to transport power over great distances using overheard power lines. However, these power lines were not aesthetically pleasing, and if people had demonstrated against their installation in a way similar to today’s protests against the widespread “interference” of wind turbines on the landscape, Bavaria would have remained an agrarian state.

Walchensee Hydroelectric Power Station

Text and images by ​Dennis Gärtner
University of the Arts (UdK), Berlin

Pumps at Walchensee
Coming soon!


“They really want to build such a thing there, don’t they…”


“On our beautiful Jochberg.”


“A defacement of nature—that’s what that is!”


“We’ve been fine without it this whole time!”


“I, for one, am definitely going to the demonstration against this hydroelectric power station!”


“No way will this thing be built on our mountain!”


“What a racket! I don’t even want to know how much energy those tools of yours are guzzling!”


Artist’s comment:

I had only heard the term “Anthropocene” briefly prior to working on this comic and had no idea what it could mean. And yet the term describes the era in which we are currently living, an era heavily influenced and being influenced by humankind. Now, more than ever, we all have the ability and the responsibility to shape the future.

 How to cite

Gärtner, Dennis. “Walchensee Hydroelectric Power Station.” Environment & Society Portal, Multimedia Library, 2014. http://www.environmentandsociety.org/node/6637/.

The comic also appears in Alexandra Hamann, Reinhold Leinfelder, Helmuth Trischler, and Henning Wagenbreth, eds., Anthropozän – 30 Meilensteine auf dem Weg in ein neues Erdzeitalter. Eine Comic-Anthologie (Munich: Deutsches Museum, 2014).

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