Seasons of Media Arts
A picture without a picture, only with text. On the left is written
Connected Future
Fri, September 17, 2021 – Sun, October 17, 2021

Light and sound installations, media projections on building facades and on streets, artistic interventions and experimental events – the media art festival »Seasons of Media Arts« presents art in public spaces and transforms Karlsruhe into a stage for innovative, cooperative and networked media art.

A special edition of the »Seasons of Media Arts« festival during the Karlsruher Kultursommer in 2021 gives local artists the opportunity to present their media artworks at various locations in the city’s public spaces.

Light installations, projections on the facades of buildings, in shop windows, sound installations, and augmented reality applications will turn Karlsruhe’s urban environment into a stage for digital, interactive, and virtual media art during the »Seasons of Media Arts«. For four weeks — from September 17 to  October 17, 2021 — a special focus will be on works by Karlsruhe artists who as a consequence of the pandemic have worked under very challenging conditions during the last months and suffered considerable financial losses because they were unable to exhibit their work.

More information on all the artworks of »Seasons of Media Arts«

For best experience, please bring a charged mobile device and power bank, as some artworks can only be experienced via app.

After the long months of lockdown and juggling between virtual and analogue spaces, the title »Connected Future« should be understood in a twofold sense: on the one hand, it refers to the utilization of digital technologies that enable communication and encounters as well as experiencing art at a distance — a phenomenon that since last year, we have been dealing with in unprecedented intensity and ubiquity. On the other hand, the title refers to the unchanging need for direct physical proximity and social interaction that can still be felt everywhere. Loneliness and isolation have been revealed as the downside of the universal digital communication channels, which goes hand in hand with the constant availability of smartphones, tablets, and laptops. In their frequently software-based artworks, artists who work at the interface of art and technology demonstrate a heightened awareness of the social dynamics that accompany digitization.

Speaking the universal language of art, today’s media art not only depicts the sweeping technological transformations that characterize our present-day, but also the societal and cultural seismic shifts that mark the transition from a proximate, physically based society to a distanced, telematic society.

This festival, which was designed by the ZKM | Karlsruhe and Karlsruhe’s Department of Cultural Affairs, features artworks supported by the UNESCO funding program of the City of Karlsruhe for promoting the media arts that engage with many issues of social relevance and explore how today, through networking and exchanges — whether digital, global, or local — strategies can be designed for shaping the future.

During »Seasons of Media Arts«, the urban environment can be explored creatively via sound, imaginary worlds generated interactively, and the complex relations between humans and nature rethought immersively. Whether it is our unrelenting consumption of resources or the careless way we treat our digital tracks on the Net, whether it is filter bubbles or echo chambers, surveillance technology or augmented reality: the media artworks on show at the festival — the majority of which were created especially for this event — thematize both critically and in a playful manner the manifold social, media, and ecological challenges that distinguish our times to a high degree, and thus provide us with surprising intimations of tomorrow’s world.

Relatively irrespective of the fluctuating number of COVID cases, the presentation of the artworks in the open air enables an art experience in compliance with the pandemic rules and regulations. Further to and following on from the »Light Art Festival« Karlsruhe and the »Schlosslichtspiele«, which took place this year spread out around the city, »Seasons of Media Arts« invites its guests to rediscover Karlsruhe through the prism of media and light art.

Map of the artworks

Map of the city of Karlsruhe as part of the »Seasons of Media Arts«

Susanne Asche and Peter Weibel

Project team at the ZKM:
Philipp Ziegler (director)
Jessica Menger (project coordinator)
Jan Gerigk (technical director of the project)
Tatjana Borodin (project assistant)

Project team at the Karlsruhe Department of Cultural Affairs:
Anastasia Ziegler (director)
Blanca Giménez (project coordinator)
Claudia Lahn
Angelika Hartmann-Eckstein

Jury of the UNESCO funding program for media art:
Susanne Asche, head of the Karlsruhe Department of Cultural Affairs (chair); Michael Bielicky, Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (HfG); Anja Casser, director, Baden Art Association; Martin Wacker, director, Karlsruhe Marketing and Event Ltd. (KME); Anastasia Ziegler, coordinator, UNESCO City of Media Arts, Karlsruhe Department of Cultural Affairs; Philipp Ziegler, director, Curatorial Department, ZKM | Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe.

Participating artists:
Martina Clavadetscher, Sarah Degenhardt, Paris Díaz, Sarai Rose Duke, Holger Förterer, Eva Judkins, Rainer Kehres, Jia Liu, Alexander Liebrich, Christian Lölkes, Maria Milisavljevic, Didi Müller, Gerardo Nolasco-Rózsás, João Carlos Pinto, PONG.Li Studios, Marie Sester, Andreas Siefert, Matin Soofipour Omam, Sonja Walter, Peter Weibel, Dan Wilcox, Marco Zampella

Organization / Institution
Kulturamt der Stadt Karlsruhe und das ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien

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