Centerbeam – Interview with the media art conservator Morgane Stricot

A Performative Sculpture by CAVS

A Performative Sculpture by CAVS
24.05.2017 to 01.10.2017

Over recent years the ZKM has endeavored to produce and overhaul the scientific documentation on »Centerbeam« and its kinetic, performative, and participatory modes of functioning. The core idea was to create together with the artists a Centerbeam 3, an updated version of the historic installation. With the aid of archive material and surviving remnants of the original Centerbeam the current exhibition explores possible methods of such a reconstruction with regard to contemporary issues of media conservation as a case study reflecting on and relevant to the restoration of the media art collection of the ZKM.

With its exhibition »Centerbeam. A Performative Sculpture by CAVS«, the ZKM | Karlsruhe marks the 40th anniversary and, parallel to this year’s documenta, recalls the legendary contribution of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to the documenta 6 in Kassel in 1977. The spectacular outdoor installation, which was almost 44 meters long, was a joint project by CAVS Fellows based on an idea by the artist Lowry Burgess, and designed at MIT. It was presented at the documenta 6 in front of the Orangerie. One year later, in 1978, a second version was exhibited at the National Mall in Washington, DC. The installation utilized the at that time newest artistic technologies, such as lasers, holography, steam, neon, video, and inflatables to create a multimedia »art machine« (Manfred Schneckenburger), an «aqueduct into the 21st century« that propagated the fruitful collaboration of artists, scientists, and engineers.

Video Documentary:

ZKM | Institute for Visual Media

Camera: Sophia Kessel, Martina Rotzal
Editing: Sophia Kessel
Interview: Regina Hock