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“DIA-LOGOS”, advanced technologies and media archaeology at the ZKM in Karlsruhe

Until 05.08.2018, the ZKM in Karlsruhe presents “DIA-LOGOS. Ramon Llull and the ars combinatoria”, an exhibition dedicated to the outstanding Catalan-Majorcan philosopher, logician, and mystic Ramon Llull (c. 1232–c. 1316), whose life and work continue to fascinate a host of thinkers, artists, and scholars today.

The influence of his universal concepts and ideas can be found in many fields — literature, visual arts, music, philosophy, religion, and politics — and their effects are felt in contemporary disciplines such as information theory, informatics, and media technology.

The exhibition presents surprising and unknown aspects of Llull’s thinking, in that historical documents enter into a broad and multi-layered dialog with artistic items from the 20th and 21st centuries, which are inspired by Llull’s ars combinatoria.

The exhibition is developed around two key areas, which are closely interwoven in a unique way: for one thing, Llull’s ideas exhibit elementary aspects of media archaeology and media philosophy, which render his work indispensable for contemporary discourses on media ecology and machine learning algorithms; for another, his universal, rational system of knowledge gives rise to an approach that is highly relevant today, which is implemented as a dialogue by productively engaging with the Other beyond the cultures and constraints of the three major monotheistic religions.

In the exhibition this broad scope of Llull’s impact is reflected in a many-layered network of references stretching from the thirteenth century into the present day. Besides the significance of Llullian combinatorics for generative and algorithmic principles to develop advanced media technologies, it is particularly highly topical questions concerning the transfer of knowledge and values that can be dealt with through unconditional readiness to enter into dialogue.

More information here

1/ Ralf Baecker, “Random Access Memory”, 2016

2/ Otto Piene, “Light Ballet”, Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, April 29 – June 17, 2017. Photography by Timo Ohler.