Walter Giers. Electronic Art
Black and white photo of hands
Sat, October 15, 2022 – Sun, April 16, 2023

The exhibition »Walter Giers. Electronic Art« presents for the first time a comprehensive overview of all the phases in the oeuvre of this versatile artist which features more than 120 works from Walter Giers’ estate, the collection of the ZKM, and private lenders and institutions.

Walter Giers (1937–2016) is regarded internationally as a pioneer of electronic art. Giers was an artist in the tradition of kinetic art and Op Art, who was also a jazz musician and designer. He lived and worked in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, where he developed light and sound objects from the late 1960s onwards, which he initially referred to as »Schalt-Elemente-Objekte« [switch element objects,] »electronikals,« and »elektronische Spielobjekte« [electronic playthings.] From 1974, he used the term »electronic art« to describe his works.

On the threshold of a new age in which computerized systems largely control all areas of life, Giers’ analogue works encourage us to look behind the opaque surfaces of today’s electronic and digital information and communication technologies. This retrospective is part of a series of exhibitions at the ZKM that pays tribute to a pioneering generation of media artists who are still little known to the public.

In preparation for this exhibition, over the last few years there has been extensive conservation work on the estate of Walter Giers at the ZKM, which has been supported by the Innovation Fund for Art of the Ministry of Science, Research, and Art Baden-Württemberg and the Stiftung Kunstfonds. Since 2020, the archive of the artist’s writings is held at the ZKM, and will gradually be made accessible for art historical research. In 2023, a publication on the work of the artist, who was closely associated with the ZKM during his lifetime, will be published in conjunction with the exhibition.


Hanna Jurisch (curatorial assistance)
Marlies PellerChristian NainggolanMartin Häberle (conservation)
Matthias Gommel (scenography and technical project management)
Felix Pausch (technical project manager)
Jule Klenert (project assistance)

Special thanks to
Petra und Victor Giers

Organization / Institution
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe

Supported by