Artwork Earth
View from above at Glaciers, Deserts and Craters
20.09.2003 – 12.10.2003

The Karlsruhe Research Centre, the Karlsruhe Cultural Office and Stadtmarketing Karlsruhe GmbH have joined forces to stage one of the most spectacular art and science exhibitions the city has ever seen. The open-air installation, »Artwork Earth«, staged by the Helmholtz As-sociation of National Research Centres will be on show on the ZKM forecourt from 19 September to 12 October 2003. 

Satellite photos show the stunning beauty as well as the tremendous fragility of planet earth. The 20 pictures, which are mounted in black wooden frames up to 12 square metres in size, fascinated some 200,000 visitors in Bremen, Bonn, Munich and Berlin. 

Taken hundreds of kilometres above the earth’s surface, the photos show water and ice, deserts and rocks, mountains, volcanoes and the traces human beings have left on the planet from an unusual perspective and in astonishingly vivid colours. The exhibits are lit up at night. One of the photos, the Earth by Night, is also illuminated by 3,000 glass fibres that are worked in. While the pictures from space produce an impressive aesthetic effect, they are also of immense value for research. They provide information on the ozone layer, for instance, and make the spread of the deserts visible. It is possible to spot pollutants in the oceans and to derive information for agriculture and telecommunications.

The photos used in the exhibition come from the illustrated book of the same name that was compiled by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and published in cooperation with Frederking & Thaler-Verlag, Munich, and the magazine, »GEO«. The book, »Artwork Earth«, has in the meantime been honoured by »bild der wissenschaft« as the »Science Book of the Year 2002« in the Aesthetics category. The idea of presenting photos from the book in a large-scale format outdoors was put into practice by the Helmholtz Association as its contribution to the Science Summer 2002. The Helmholtz Association with its 15 Research Centres, including the one in Karlsruhe, and an annual budget of around €2.1 billion is Germany’s largest scientific organisation.

Organization / Institution
ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie

Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe ; Kulturamt der Stadt Karlsruhe ; Stadtmarketing Karlsruhe GmbH