From July 14 to February 10, 2019, the Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe (ZKM) presents « Art in Motion. 100 Masterpieces with and through Media », an exhibition that explores media arts as the foremost innovation in the arts of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; as the moving history of the art of motion utilizing technical devices: from cinema to kinetics, from light to sound.
The subtitle of the exhibition’s title references a popular German TV series, 100 Masterpieces, of the 1980s, which in media historical terms indicates a blind spot: although the series was broadcast by the electronic medium of television, the majority of masterpieces it featured were executed in traditional image media such as painting.
In addition to well-known positions in media art such as Nam June Paik, Maya Deren, John Cage, Lynn Hershman, Sergei Eisenstein, Ulrike Rosenbach, Zhang Peili, Bill Viola and Michael Snow, the exhibition presents important pioneering achievements in the field of media art that have so far received little or no attention in art discourse, such as Mary Ellen Bute, Zdeněk Pešánek, Ivan Ladislav Galeta und Waldemar Cordeiro.
The works have not been selected on the basis of the classic notion of an image, which is oriented on painting and seeks to press the new media into the tradition of the visual arts. Media art cannot be separated from devices and machines; therefore, the exhibition defines media art for the first time as dependent upon three conditions: production, distribution, and reception with technical devices.
This exhibition offers an innovative parkour through the fascinating cosmos of technical media-based art involving 100 masterpieces produced during the last 100 years. The exhibition will move you — physically, cognitively, and emotionally.
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Cover: Giselle Schneider, Wipe Cycle, 1969, ZKM 2017.
1/ Zhang Peili, Assignment No. 1, 1992.
2/ Luigi Russolo, «Intonarumori», 1914.