Herbert W. Franke


The portrait of Albert Einstein is gradually resolved into simple color surfaces.

The archive »Herbert W. Franke« was given to the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe in autumn 2017. It comprises around 30 linear meters, including more than 2200 manuscripts and Franke's publications and books.

Herbert W. Franke's archives consist of documents, sketches, correspondence, typographical scripts, manuscripts, photographs, as well as sound and image recordings of his sixty years of activity in the field of art and science. It reflects on the three major spheres of Frank's work: computer art, science fiction and speleology, from the 1950s to the present day.

Herbert W. Franke was one of the most important protagonists of the beginnings of the artistic use of computer technology: as theoretician, curator and artist. Notes, correspondence, theoretical articles and ephemera such as exhibition brochures and invitations provide precise insights into all phases of his career.
The archive of Herbert W. Franke thus enriches the ZKM | Archives' focus on »Computer Art«, which has been established by the archive holdings »Hiroshi Kawano«,»Otto Beckmann« and the »Library Max Bense and Elisabeth Walther«.

The second part of the archive was created through Herbert W. Franke's activity as novelist: Since the early 1960s, he has been one of the most important and influential German-language science fiction authors. The archive contains documents, project sketches and drafts of all his short stories, books and radio plays.

The third thematic focus is on speleology, which Franke actively pursued together with the artistic practice of cave photography from the 1960s until recently. The archive holds scientific articles, plans and documents.

December 2022: The ZKM receives generous donation for the digitization of Herbert W. Franke's manuscripts.

Award of an honorary doctorate to Herbert W. Franke

Presentation of the Herbert W. Franke Archive

Herbert W. Franke Archive: Database of digitized manuscripts

Project: ZKM | Wissen – Collection, Archive & Research in cooperation with art meets science – Herbert W. Franke Foundation

Herbert W. Franke: Wanderer between the worlds

Exhibition: ZKM | Media Museum, Project Space

More information about Herbert W. Franke


Work groups and series


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