Announcement 2017

Archivists in Residence

Back of a computer screen.

The Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (HfG) and the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe are announcing a joint international research and development program. The program »Archivists in Residence« focuses on researchers, who deal academically and/or artistically with practices and theories of the archive in a broader sense.

It includes a four-month scholarship of €2000 per month. Two scholarships are being allocated per year. The application period for the first fellowship of 2017 ends on November 27, 2016.

The program is dedicated to two overlapping themes: the preservation of artwork which is based on electronic technology – particularly digital technology – and the requirements and possible horizons of the archive under the conditions of digitization.

Complex Digital Objects

1. For art which is created with and by technical media, the interconnection between origins and futures is particularly close. The less traditional they seem, the more in-depth the investigation into their connection to history is to be. Since the beginning of the 20th century, they have developed their own traditions and have become an essential component of contemporary art history.

But the technical artwork of the last 50 years is currently at risk of becoming irretrievably lost and only surviving in the form of rudimentary documentation. The original technical medium falls apart and can no longer be replaced; the data and programs saved on it can no longer be processed or executed. New modes of performance must be created for historical codes, which preserve in a productive tension the material and structural authenticity on the one hand and current technology and their conditions on the other hand.

Digital Archive

2. Digitization has changed the conditions of archiving and opened up new horizons for academic and artistic appropriation. However, the traditional actors who evaluate, structure, preserve and make accessible cultural events – for example archives, libraries and museums – remain mostly in a culture of list-like inventories. In addition, the real, physical location, at which most digital archives continue to be used due to legal reasons demanding localization within the institution, seems rigid in its given architecture and established technical interfaces. For this reason, the objective of the program is to analyze the current conditions of the archives and to develop new forms of digital and real architectures, alternative spaces for reflection and action.

To face these challenges, archivists of the present and the future must be hybrid qualified researchers, who work just as confidently with information technology as with the archaeology of the arts and media and critical archivology. To effectively support a prospective archaeology as a future field of work, young researchers are getting the chance – in communication with academics, restorers and curators of the HfG and ZKM – to further develop practices and concepts into an expanded archive notion using tech-based artwork from the ZKM collection and the archives of the ZKM and the HfG.

For researchers with academic or artistic backgrounds, new professional fields open up between archive practice, art history, technical competence and programming skills. The workshops at the university will involve the scholarship holders in teaching and incorporate the students in the research projects.

Application deadline

November 27, 2016


4 months, within the first half of 2017

Amount of scholarship

€ 2,000 per month

Application documents

- Curriculum vitae

- Degree certificate

- A brief letter of motivation (max. 2 pages) including the description of a previous project, which shows experience with the aforementioned artistic or academic issues.


The applications should be submitted in duplicate – digitally and in paper format – to the following address:

Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung
FAO Elvira Heise
Lorenzstr. 15
76135 KarlsruheGermany


Further information

If you have any questions, please contact Daniel Irrgang (HfG) and Margit Rosen (ZKM):