generator / generating discourse
Barbara Bacevedo: generator
Podium Discussion and Workshop with Cornelia Sollfrank, Winnie Soon, Morgane Stricot and Matthieu Vlaminck
Wed, December 13, 2017 – Thu, December 14, 2017

The collaborative program between ZKM and HfG Karlsruhe Archivists in Residence finds itself in its third round in October 2017. Matthieu Vlaminck deals with the still relatively young field of conservation and archiving of digital objects and artworks. In his residency, he focusses on the handling of proprietary software in media art works. What significance does this have for the work, if the software used becomes obsolete or no longer fully available to the public? Are they then rendered faulty or completely inoperative? And which economies of data policies play a role here, and which can be addressed critically?

At the beginning of Matthieu’s residency, he will direct these questions to the public space of ZKM and HfG Karlsruhe, by analysing a classic work of the net art domain: Cornelia Sollfrank’s » generator«, a piece from 1999 that generates image clusters from image and text information. The work, whose data access is based on the Google API, operates on system changes and search restrictions which Google has been practicing for years, only in a limited manner. The artist has repeatedly responded to the changes in Google’s algorithm, resulting in five different versions of the work over time. In « generator«, not only do the technical problems that are relevant to other digital works become apparent, moreover, it also shows the problems associated with data policies and their hegemonies. The podium discussion brings these technical as well as political-economical associations to the fore, and attempts to develop  strategies and tactics for the growth and effective conservation of digital works. During the workshop, initial ideas will be experimented with, perhaps social hacking or the development of a completely new API. Together with the artist, we want to discuss how the problems of propriety software could be solved, why and what it actually consists of, and which political, art-theoretical implications are concealed behind it. For this reason, not only programmers and tinkerers, but artists and art-theoreticians and of course, anyone with an interest in the subject are invited.

Taking part in the podium discussion and workshop are Cornelia Sollfrank und Matthieu Vlaminck as well as Winnie Soon, assistant professor at the Department of Digital Design and Information Studies at Aarhus University, and Morgane Stricot, conservator for media arts at ZKM.

Students of HfG and all universities, academics, artists and people with interest are cordially invited to participate.

Registration for workshop: please contact;

Requirements for workshop: Some programming skills are desirable (requirements are not too high); please bring your own laptop.


HfG | Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe