The ZKM has practically ALL the medium and high end hardware and
software for sound and image creation, presentation and performance
(a complete list can be supplied on request). Also some unusual devices
such as a simulation platform, a motion controlled camera rig, and
various virtual reality and spatialised audio systems. Interactive
interfacing is also another area that is strongly supported. Our network
technology is ATM (155 MB/sec), fast Ethernet (100 MB/sec) and normal
Ethernet (10 MB/sec). There is a 2 MB/sec Internet connection, 50
MB/sec connection to the University of Karlsruhe.
The main limitation regarding the technical facilities is the technical
complexity of this sophisticated infrastructure which needs highly
skilled management and maintenance, as well as a governmental salary
structure that does not adequately compensate the qualifications of
ZKM | Museum for Contemporary Art
With its opening on 18 October 1997 the ZKM | Museum for Contemporary
Art for the first time presents a broad selection of its collection
on exhibition space of some 4.000 square meters. The collection has
been systematically assembled since 1989. While individual works of
art were exhibited at earlier 'Multimediale' festivals or at shows
in Germany and abroad, the move into permanent premises means it is
now possible to display the full range of the collection.
The technical images of photography, video and holography have
taken their place alongside the classical genres of painting, graphics
and sculpture, and have drastically changed the world of art in the
process. The Museum for Contemporary Art meets the challenges posed
by these developments: it is a museum of all the arts, and combines
painting, graphics, sculpture, photography and media art. Its collection
of media art, one of the most extensive to be found in any museum,
is especially impressive in juxtaposition with the other genres: the
unmoving images geared towards contemplation are confronted with the
moving pictures on the monitors and projection surfaces. This dialogue
between different art forms opens up new perspectives for the future.
Included in the exhibits displayed by the Museum for Contemporary
Art are 'classical' works of the still-young genre of media art such
as Bill Viola's 'The City of Man' and Nam June Paik's 'Passage'. Well-known
video artists such as Gary Hill, Marie-Jo Lafontaine, Bruce Nauman
and Fabrizio Plessi are represented with important works. After the
neo-figuration of post-modernist painting, abstract and representationally
abstracting images have returned to the foreground. This aspect is
accentuated by the Museum for Contemporary Art, with a special focus
being placed on contemporary German painting. The range of photography
includes images by Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff and Andreas Gursky;
among the sculptures are works by Christian Boltanski, Ulrich Rueckriem
and Imi Knoebel. In this interplay of different genres the Museum
for Contemporary Art thus offers a comprehensive panorama of current
Private collections enrich the ZKM | Museum for Contemporary Art
The 'Collectors' Museum' represents significant addition to the
ZKM | Museum for Contemporary Art. A decision by the Ministerial Council
of the State of Baden-Württemberg foresees the conversion, at
a cost of DM 24.5 million, of the currently unused light wells 1 and
2 to house the private collections. The City of Karlsruhe has agreed
to carry out the basic reconstruction of both light wells, and hand
them over free of charge to ZKM for completion. The running costs
for the Museum for Contemporary Art will amount to DM 6.3 million,
of which sum DM 2.3 million will come from the general State subsidy
allocated to ZKM, while the remaining DM 4 million will be furnished
by an additional State grant.
From fall 1999 onward, ZKM will be able to show first-class works
from the collections of Frieder Burda, Josef Froehlich, Anni Graesslin,
Friedrich Rentschler and Siegfried Weishaupt. They will be complemented
by the collection of Count Panza di Biumo of Milan/Varese, which is
devoted mainly to contemporary American art. The private collections
include works by major contemporary artists such as Baselitz, Polke,
Penck, Luepertz, Kiefer, Beuys, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Stella, Haring,
Fontana, Oehlen, Mucha, Wols and many others besides. One of the largest
groups of modern art collections will then be gathered together in
the Museum for Contemporary Art.
ZKM | Media Museum
The ZKM breaks new ground with its Media Museum. Based on a wholly
interactive concept, the museum focuses on the new media. Where do
the new technologies come from, how do they affect our way of thinking
and our lives, where are they leading us? In a range of interactive
installations that involve the spectator, artists and academics deliver
informative and entertaining comments on these questions, take a critical
look at developments in media technology, and present their own visions.
Most of the installations and works of media art were created directly
for the ZKM|Media Museum, and are associated with specific themes
it addresses. The Media Bodies section, for instance, shows how our
image of the human body is being altered by the new technologies and
in particular by simulation techniques. Notions sometimes playing
an exaggerated role in discussions about the new media - 'Cyber Space'
and 'Virtual Reality' are just two examples - are illuminated playfully
and critically by turns. The Media Visions section features a series
of imaginative installations offering visitors to the museum a glimpse
into the future of media such as books, films and theater. The ZKM|Media
Museum also houses an 'interactive art gallery' presenting a selection
of interactive works important to the genre's development history,
and shows the breadth meanwhile encompassed by the field. Masaki Fujihata`s
"Beyond Pages" is one work exhibited, Jeffrey Shaw's 'The
Legible City' another.
'The World of Games' provides visitors with an opportunity to experience
at first hand the fascination exuded by computer games, as well as
the dangers they harbor. The museum's 'laboratories' are concerned
less with artistic content than with equipment, systems and techniques.
Visitors are invited to experiment at workstations and acquire their
own knowledge of media technology basics.
The 'Salon Digital' is the museum's virtual wing and ZKM's window
to the outside world. Visitors to the salon have full access to the
Internet, and surfers on the Net are reciprocally invited to visit
the ZKM|Media Museum via the same gateway. A regular program of events
organized by visiting curators is foreseen; again, participation by
Internet users will be welcomed.
ZKM | Media Library
The collection of contemporary music, videotapes, and literature on
20th-century art offered by the ZKM | Media Library is among the widest
of its kind. A gold mine for researchers, the library is equally a
place where the general public is welcome to spend time browsing and
learning. Information about artists and their works can be called
up directly from the library's database, and fast viewing and jukebox
playback facilities are available for videotapes and CD-ROMs. The
Media Library and its collections can also be accessed over the Internet.
However, all videotapes, CDs and books can be used on the premises
only. The Media Library is divided up into three collections: Audio,
Video and Print.
The Audio Collection is devoted to contemporary music, and places
a particular emphasis on electroacoustic music. At present, the collection
includes some 12,000 titles supplemented by scores, specialist literature,
historical photographs and posters. A major role is played by the
International Digital Electroacoustic Music Archives IDEAMA, which
encompass all important compositions from the beginnings of electroacoustic
music up to the present day. Another department presents the most
important works of New Music.
The designated purpose of the Video Collection is to raise awareness
of video as an art form in its own right. It is the first collection
of its kind in Germany concerned with presenting the history of video
art. The current stock of more than 500 artists' videos accounts for
120 hours of running time. Another central aspect of the collection
is the video magazine 'Infermental', which is a unique document of
1980s video art. An important task in the future will be the conservation
of early videotapes already threatened by deterioration - thus, all
tapes will be digitized.
The shared print library of the ZKM and Academy of Design encompasses
some 20.000 books and CD-ROMs. 120 periodicals are on hand. The library
focuses on art in the 20th century - media art, above all, followed
by architecture, design, media theory, film, photography, and electroacoustic
music. The two research and development departments are the Institute
for Visual Media and the Institute for Music and Acoustics .
ZKM | Institute for Visual Media
The ZKM | Institute for Visual Media sees itself as a forum for the
creative and critical analysis of a constantly changing media culture.
It offers artists-in-residence from all over the world an opportunity
to investigate the most recent media technologies and create art-works
of different kinds. Artists working at the Institute have access to
the full potential of the Institute: sophisticated graphics computers
and digital video equipment, as well as a virtual studio and multimedia
laboratory. Other focal activities include in-house research, as well
as hard- and software development tailored to artistic requirements.
The work of the ZKM|Institute for Visual Media centers on those media
technologies considered important to contemporary artistic practice:
digital video, interactivity, virtual reality, simulation, telecommunications,
computer graphics, multimedia and CD-ROM.
Many works of art produced at the institute have won acknowledgment
at international exhibitions, for instance at the Lyons Biennial,
the 'Mediascape' show in the Guggenheim Museum, New York, or the Ars
Electronica, Linz. Naturally, the works were also shown at the previous
Multimediale festivals staged by the ZKM. Many works are the product
of cooperation with internationally renowned research institutions
and media centers such as the Intercommunication Center (ICC) in Tokyo
(JAPAN) or Le Fresnoy in Tourcoing, France.
The multimedia laboratory established by the institute in collaboration
with the ZKM | Media Museum places a special focus on producing CD-ROMs
with art content. The annual editions of the interactive CD-ROM magazine
'artintact', for example, have been produced in the laboratory since
ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics
The ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics unites artistic production
with research and development in conjunction with an ambitious schedule
of regular events. Over the past few years, artists and engineers
have collaborated in the creation of numerous commissioned works and
in-house productions that were subsequently presented to the public.
The spectrum of works ranges from live electronic compositions for
the concert stage to music theater, from loudspeaker installations
to film music and radio plays. The institute was also involved in
a series of intermedia productions, of which the most recent example
is the music-theater project 'To the Unborn Gods'. For this production,
which was devised for the ZKM inauguration in collaboration with the
ZKM|Institute for Visual Media, composer Kiyoshi Furukawa (JAPAN)
and artist Robert Darroll jointly created an audio-visual interactive
environment for the theater stage.
Software engineering is a further aspect of the institute's work.
The composition software Common Music/Stella developed there by composer
and programmer Heinrich Taube has meanwhile achieved international
success - in particular at universities and electronic studios devoted
to research and the training of composers.
In the blue cube-shaped building that fronts the ZKM, the institute
has at its disposal a superbly equipped recording studio. It allows
the advanced technologies now becoming standard in the media industry
to be incorporated in the creative production process from the first
The ZKM is also very closely associated (and shares the same building)
with the Staatliche Hochschule
für Gestaltung (State School of Design), The ZKM is connected
to all the institutions belonging to the so-called Technology Region
Karlsruhe and to all the local, national and international institutions
(e.g. contemporary art museums, science museums, media art centers,
media technology research centers) that have overlapping interests
with the ZKM.
The ZKM has structural relations with for instance the University of Karlsruhe (e.g. computer
science department, computer graphics department, robotics department),
and the Research Center Karlsruhe (e.g. robotics department). There
is also a strong relationship with the GMD-German National Research Center for Information
In an increasingly interconnected world cultural institutions have
to operate globally .The ZKM has an intensive exchange program with
institutions all over the world. We are working together with American,
European, Pacific and Asian universities, research centers and museums.
The ZKM has close relations with other media cultural institutions
such as the Guggenheim Museum (New York), the
Museum of Contemporary Art in Strasbourg, France and the Le Fresnoy
National Studio of Contemporary Arts (Tourcoing) France. The NTT
InterCommunication Center (Tokyo) is one of the major partner
Institutions of the ZKM and the closest one regarding the program,
the infrastructure and the facilities.
The ZKM has also cooperated with many other cultural and media art
related institutions and events worldwide, as well as with many of
the Goethe Institutes. There are also strong contacts with universities
such as MIT Media Lab Mass. USA, Chulalongkorn University
Bangkok and Baptist University Hong Kong ( the latter with a one-way
student exchange program).
The ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics works closely with comparable
research institutions around the world; these include the IRCAM at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the
Computer Music Center at Stanford University in the USA.
In some cases this co-operation is formalized, in most cases it is
done on project-by-project basis.
ZKM Strategy for the net
The ZKM has developed a multiple strategy on the net to match a whole variety
of different activities from the artistic events to services for the
public and visitors. In general our net visitors are coming from all
over the world especially from the USA, Japan, France to name the
most active countries. Foreign visitors outnumber German visitors.
The ZKM provides the home page in German, English and French in full
version and an additional short version in Chinese characters. A new
design for the fourth version on the net will be developed and installed
in spring 1998.
One aspect of the new version will be a "live" window into
the building by the use of non-security-relevant web cameras . Virtual
visitors would be enabled to have an actual view what is happening
in the building or e.g. in the Media theater.
The ZKM opened its virtual presence on the Net using a new virtual
reality technology standard in the web VRML in 1997. The whole building
with many artworks, media installations and paintings are available
for the public to visit the ZKM virtually. Now the ZKM is developing
a simplified version of this model, which will allow even broader
public to use their normal PC's to make a virtual tour.
The ZKM shop has been online for nearly two years, but I have to
admit that our shoppers still prefer to go offline for shopping.
Three more examples
The Morphogenesis Project by Bernd Lintermann .
The installation is about the evolutionary development of a three
dimensional organic form. It consists of two coupled systems. One
system exists in real space, visitors interact with a virtual organic
projected onto a screen via s special interface box constructed for
that purpose. The second system uses the world wide web as user interface.
In both systems users evolve a three dimensional organic object created
using genetic algorithms. The organic is defined by a genome, a set
of components, which is successively mutated by the users. Out of
six randomly generated mutations users select one, which in the next
step is the starting point for new mutations. This way users choose
a thread through a space out of approximately
In the real space users additionally change the shape and behavior of the
life like organic object via an interface box. Both systems are coupled
and operate on the same data set constituting the genom, actions in
the web space effect the real space and vice versa. If a change on
the web happens , the organic in the real space slowly morphs towards
the web selection, a change in real space directly affects the next
web action. Morphogenesis was exhibited at the Multimediale 5 , October
18 - November 9 1997 at the ZKM.
For the opening of ZKM at 18th
and 19th October 1997 one of our major projects was an internet based
video-conferencing-perfomance with the title "Global Bodies". This artistic online-conference
connected 16 Goethe Institutes on four continents with the ZKM opening
ceremony, transforming the Karlsruhe event to a real global party.
The Australian media-artist Jill Scott, Thomas Gerwin Head of ZKM
Audio-Collection and President of World Forum for Acoustic Ecology
(WFAE) and artist at the Goethe Institutes exchanged artistic messages
like pictures, sound files, web sites and texts. The contributions
were not meant as just intellectual discourses but also as representative
of the places where the Goethe Institutes are located. So, for example,
one the second day of the opening we succeeded in having a Feng Shui
examination of new ZKM building organized by the Goethe Institute
in Hong Kong which was not only fascinating in terms of being a slightly
strange tradition but was also fun.
Third is the Catal Höyük Archaeology and Multimedia
Project ( CHAMP) .
This project - both a CD-ROM and the net version -is an interdisciplinary
project between the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe,
the University of Cambridge (UK), the Universität Karlsruhe and
the ZKM.The ZKM begun 1992 with the production of the first three
dimensional interactive virtual computer animations about Catal Höyük.
Catal Höyük in the central anatolian highland in Turkey
is an archaeological site of immense international significance, providing
the first instance of complex settled life other than Jericho. Some
of the spectacular sculptures and paintings are 9000 years old and
provide a direct window into neolithic life.
One of the main tasks of CHAMP is to build a program that runs on
all platforms, CD-ROM, the Internet and realtime.
The objective of CHAMP is for the first time to link video and "virtual"
computer reconstructions and archaeological data in an integrated
database that will enhance scientific understanding of archaeological
sites and presentation of cultural heritage sites to a wider audience
and the development of new forms of long-term documentation in the
context of new media and the "virtualmuseum".
This project got the first prize from the MFG Agen cy (a state agency
for Multimedia) and was presented in Cannes, France in February 1998
during the MILIA fair.
Even more traditional museums, though changed by the way we will
use these technologies, will never become obsolete. As long there
is a need for museums, there will be the real, physical thing, with
real people inside, walking around looking at real artifacts and meeting
real people in real life. But the "digital" museum will
lead them to a better understanding and hopefully help them have more
Center for Art &Media Karlsruhe
Tel. +49 - 721 - 8100 1000
Fax +49- 721 - 8100 1139
This file can be found below http://www.archimuse.com/mw98/
Send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org