Matter, Non-Matter, Anti-Matter.
You can see the user interface of the installation »Immaterial Display«
Past Exhibitions as Digital Experiences
Sat, December 03, 2022 - Sun, April 23, 2023
Atrium 1+2, 2nd floor
Cost: Museum admission

Digitality skews the linearity of time when a computer-generated simulation brings a past environment back to life.

If past exhibitions, that are spatial manifestations of thought processes, are resurrected digitally, history turns into a virtual experience. Inherent in the dissolution of spatial and geographical order in the computer-generated networked space of the internet, the concept of time in the particular context of digital objects shall be reconsidered, history shall be considered suspended, and the notion of repetition shall be rethought. Chronologies could be reversed, reconstructed, and built anew in a computer-generated space. Meanwhile ephemera become withheld in time due to their digital conservation.

Two art institutions, ZKM | Karlsruhe and Centre Pompidou, Paris have committed themselves, within the framework of the project »Beyond Matter. Cultural Heritage on the Verge of Virtual Reality«, to examining the possibility of exhibition revival through experiential methods of digital and spatial modelling based on the case studies of »Les Immatériaux« (Centre Pompidou, 1985), and »Iconoclash« (ZKM | Karlsruhe, 2002). The chosen exhibitions are landmark shows of the past decades. »Les Immatériaux« and »Iconoclash« are both complex thought experiments deployed through space. With the aim of exploring the impact of computer-based information and the shaping of digital realities in all fields of knowledge, they experimented with innovative forms of juxtapositions between scientific, technological, and artistic practices. What’s more is that they propelled the possibility of the exhibition as a medium and an interface to a sharp level of reflection and creativity.

The digital model, being an interactive presentation of exhibition concepts, is a novel approach to the exploration of exhibition histories, as well as to the themes, curatorial methods, and engagement with representation and mediation these exhibitions brought about. It is not our aim to create »digital twins«, in other words virtual copies of past assemblages of artifacts and the surrounding architecture, but rather the digital transposition or 3D documentation of the exhibitions in an experiential manner, in line with their curatorial concept, was set as a goal.

The publication of the exhibition models may have a substantial effect on the future reception of the chosen shows, therefore their production is based on the collaboration of technological UI/UX design experts, with the involvement of the curators and the artists who participated in their realization in as much as it is possible.

»Matter, Non-Matter, Anti-Matter. Past Exhibitions as Digital Experiences« will feature the digital models of the mentioned past exhibitions, artworks and artifacts from these shows, as well as complementary contemporary commentaries incorporated via Augmented Reality. A conference on virtualization of exhibition histories will accompany the exhibition.

The exhibition is organized in the framework of the international practice-based co-operation project »Beyond Matter«.

Further locations and dates

Mar 14, 2022 – Mar 29, 2022Väre, Aalto University, Espoo
Apr 20, 2022 – Apr 25, 2022The Cube /
Helsinki Central Library Oodi
Apr 25, 2022 – May 5, 2022Väre, Aalto University, Espoo
May 16, 2022 – May 22, 2022Design Museum Helsinki
June 25, 2022 – August 28, 2022Tirana Art Lab, Albanien
Dec 3, 2022 – Apr 23, 2023ZKM
Summer 2023Centre Pompidou, Paris
Organization / Institution
Initiated by the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe and the Centre Pompidou, Paris, in collaboration with the Aalto University, Espoo, the Tallinn Art Hall, and the Tirana Art Lab.


cooperation partner

Supported by