August 26, 2015 - ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe - Infosphere
August 26, 2015


Emma Charles, Fragments on Machines (still), 2013. Single-channel HD video, color, sound, 17 minutes. © Emma Charles.

September 4, 2015–January 31, 2016

Opening: September 4, 7pm

ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe
Lorenzstraße 19
76135 Karlsruhe

As part of GLOBALE, the new art event in the digital age, the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe presents the exhibition Infosphere. The exhibition gives an overview of art in the era of the digital revolution and its social consequences. In addition, it provides insights into the new data world, whose existence has been finally brought home to the general public through the NSA affair. 

The biosphere, from the atmosphere to the oceans, forms the habitable zone in which humans and other life forms live. But since the discovery of wireless radio technology based on electromagnetic waves roughly 150 years ago, we also live in an infosphere.

The infosphere spans the Earth with technical media such as radio, TV, mobile communications, and the Internet, which use electro-magnetic waves and therefore guarantee a global flow of information in real time. Without the global, digitally controlled transfer of information and transport of goods and passengers, the existential demands of more than seven billion people could not be met.

Since alphabetical code was supplemented with numerical code during the information revolution, algorithms have become a fundamental element of our social order. It often appears as if there is no instruction manual available. This becomes very apparent with topics such as surveillance, big data, or copyright on the Internet. The artworks on show in this exhibition present answers that artists, designers, architects, and scientists have found today to the acute challenges of the infosphere.

More than 70 artists will exhibit in Infosphere, including The Office for Creative Research, The Critical Engineering Working Group, Bitnik, Julius Popp, Stéphane Degoutin and Gwenola Wagon, Tyler Coburn, Emma Charles, Zach Blas, Sterling Crispin, Aram Bartholl, and Jia. For Jia’s work, The Chinese Version, an exhibition catalog will be published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König.

Also part of the Infosphere exhibition is Armin Linke’s project The Appearance of That Which Cannot be Seen. It makes the invisible aspects of the infosphere visible: cables and hardware, data centers, spy, surveying and weather satellites, the server rooms of financial corporations and banks, as well as the infrastructure of the infosphere. Scientists and theorists (Ariella Azoulay, Bruno Latour, Peter Weibel, Mark Wigley, and Jan Zalasiewicz) were invited to engage with Armin Linke’s photographic archive. In close cooperation with the artist, different images have been selected to be presented in the exhibition in various combinations.


Infosphere at ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe
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