Walter Giers. Electronic Art
Portrait of Walter Giers
Thu, March 22, 2018 – Fri, April 13, 2018

Walter Giers is one of the pioneers of electronic art. The artist, who died in 2016, worked in Baden-Württemberg since the late 1960s in the field, where music, technology and visual art intersect. With an exemplary selection of around 15 oeuvres, the »Walter Giers. Electronic Art« exhibition, created in in collaboration with the ZKM and displayed in the Baden-Württemberg state office in Berlin, gives an overview of the media artist’s creations during his life working in Schwäbisch Gmünd.

As a trained industry designer, Giers put together complex light and sound sculptures from electronic components where the observer can set unexpected dynamic processes into motion by touching switch elements. Random generators and challenging interactive systems give his works an eerie life of their own. Joking and being serious, the absurd and the subtle conflict with the electronic media as a political influencing instrument are woven inextricably together.

Walter Giers himself described his objects as »code carriers for sensual information«. In his works, light and sound generate particular moods which evoke different emotions in the observer depending on their individual disposition. Only this dialog between object and observer completed the work of this artist, who was born in 1937 in Mannweiler in the Palatinate region. His openly visible, yet not clear, electronics follow a strict logic which is constantly produced by its function. In the exhibition, early works are shown such as the sculptural object »Mr. Brabbel«(1968), which produces incomprehensible acoustic signals, humming and whistling noises via the loudspeaker of a radio device which has been removed from its casing. But also works such as the number picture which came from the artist’s estate (1975) where you can hear and see series of numbers in a nonsensical order, or the wall picture 53.5 million years (1990) which makes the time period, after which a randomly generated music would repeat itself, visually comprehensible. In the monumental sculpture made up of stacked suitcases, »Babel II« (1998), which is one of the main oeuvres of the artist, a babble of voices in diverse languages sounds from the individual cases. For Giers, the tireless inventor and »Master of ordered chaos« (Kurt Weidemann), it’s not a nightmare scenario of Babylonian language confusion, but an expression of cultural enrichment and diversity.


The exhibition is open from the day after the day of opening until 13 April, Monday to Friday from 9am until 4pm.Due to events, it may be the case that the exhibition is not open to the public for a short time in the state office. As a precaution, please inquire before your desired visiting time on tel. 030/25456.400.
Organization / Institution
ZKM | Karlsruhe

In cooperation with