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Digitalization as a new cultural technology with “Open Codes. Living in Digital Worlds” at ZKM in Karlsruhe

Ubermorgen - "Chinese Coin (Red Blood)" - 2015

Helen Knowles - View of "The Trial of Superdebthunterbot", 2016

Until 05.08.2018 the ZKM exhibition “Open Codes” examines the power and effect mechanisms of codes in our Living in Digital Worlds in Karlsruhe. Around 120 artworks and scientific pieces show digitalization as a new cultural technology in an extraordinary exhibition format.

With Open Codes. Living in Digital Worlds, the ZKM has gathered around 120 artistic and scientific works presenting the fantastic possibilities for an individual experiencing and shaping of the world through the knowledge and use of codes. They also show the far-reaching socio-political consequences that codes have. The works are allocated to eight themes which help us to better understand the digital environments that surround us: “Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning”, “Labor & Production”, “Algorithmic Economics”, “Algorithmic Governance”, “Genetic Code”, “Virtual Reality”, “Neuroscience” and “Human-Robot Interaction”.

“The Trial of Superdebthunterbot” by Helen Knowles seeks to explore questions of ethics and accountability in relation to the increasing and often unseen computer automation of our lives. The work imagines a speculative scenario in which a debt collecting company, Debt BB, codes an algorithm, the “Superdebthunterbot” to ensure fewer loan defaulters by targeting individuals through the use of big data, placing job adverts on web pages they frequent. Shot in a Chinese Bitcoin generating factory, “Chinese Coin (Red Blood)” by artist duo UBERMORGEN (lizvlx and Hans Bernhard) enters a space usually unseen and about which very little is known, and explores both the unpredictability and the subversive power of cryptocurrencies.
The exhibition was designed by Peter Weibel and curated by Peter Weibel, Blanca Giménez, Yasemin Keskintepe und Lívia Nolasco-Rózsás and Natalia Fuchs and Franz Pichler as external consultant.

More information here