A short introduction into the ZKM | Media Museum


The ZKM | Media Museum is the world's first and only museum for interactive art. Its thematic spectrum covers such areas as interactive film, simulation techniques for Cyberspace and the use of latest software applications on the Internet. In the Media Museum we see the juxtaposition of media art with popular games or research projects with didactic work spaces – and the critical debate surrounding the products of commercial and global culture is met head on. The ZKM | Media Museum is devoted to the history of the new media, which have changed our lives during the past 50 years in a manner comparable to that was last witnessed during the Industrial Revolution. Computers, telephones, and the Internet have had a tremendous impact on the lives of both individuals and society at large. The human body as a reference system for perception is losing steadily in significance. Instead, technical components are coming increasingly to the fore. Most of the works on display invite the visitors to interact, the intention being to make media-conveyed perceptions immediately recognisable. When the ZKM | Media Museum was designed, care was taken to ensure that the visitors are not treated as passive consumers but as active participants. It is conceived as a completely interactive museum geared to the new media. Where do they come from? How do they change the way we think and act? Where are they taking us? Informative and entertaining comments on these questions are provided by artists and scientists in a large number of interactive installations that involve visitor participation; they pose critical questions about the development of media technology and map out visions of the future.