“Der Gefangene Floh” by Yves Netzhammer

In the ewz power substation in the industrial quarter of Oerlikon, a huge perceptual labyrinth provides insights into a subterranean world.

The Work

“Der Gefangene Floh” (The Imprisoned Flea) by Yves Netzhammer is an installation of the genre, “Art on Buildings”. In the substation of the Elektrizitätswerk der Stadt Zürich (ewz), the artist has created a gigantic perceptual labyrinth using mirrors, drawings, light, and language, in which reality merges with illusion. A glass façade allows passers-by to look into a hall where the switchgear machinery is installed, which is submerged 12 meters (40ft) below ground level. This “peep box” gives rise to philosophical, aesthetic, and scientific discussions.

Special Remarks

A total of eight loudspeakers are positioned on the façade and in the interior, through which metaphorical texts sound out. These “speech images” control the lights inside the room, thus creating different perceptions of space and time.


This example of “Art on Buildings” can be found at Binzmühlestrasse 156, in the north of the city.

The Creator

Yves Netzhammer (born in 1970) is a Swiss video and computer artist. His works include room installations, objects, and black & white line drawings. The stories that arise as a result are often surreal.

Opening Hours

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Open to the public all day


Distance Travel time
Zürich Main Station 4 km 14 min
Zürich Airport 4.8 km 12 min
Der Gefangene Floh
Binzmühlestrasse 156
8050  Zürich