John Sanborn. Between Order and Entropy


09.07.2022 to 30.10.2022

The exhibition »Between Order and Entropy« presents the work of the American artist John Sanborn, who became one of the most prominent protagonists of the American video art scene in the 1970s and 1980s.

Sanborn's work ranges from the beginnings of experimental video art to MTV music videos, interactive art, and digital media art. Consulting with Apple and Adobe, he contributed to shaping the possibilities of new image tools and was instrumental to the dawning of the digital image revolution in California. Sanborn's recent work consists of complex media installations that address issues of cultural identity, memory, mythologies, and the human compulsion to tell stories.

This exhibition, which is the largest in Europe devoted to the work of the artist, who worked closely with the founder of video art Nam June Paik and the composer Robert Ashley, brings together a collection of works that spans over four decades of sound, music, interactive media and video exploration. After working in Hollywood and Silicon Valley for several years, Sanborn has produced a variety of new media installations since 2015, elevating issues of identity and inclusivity. For the exhibition, which will take place inside the museum galleries and on the museum balcony at the ZKM, several works were commissioned, including »a dog dreams (of god)«, and a Virtual Reality iteration of a recent work, »The Friend«, featuring the actor and director John Cameron Mitchell.

A comprehensive publication on John Sanborn’s work will accompany the exhibition.


    Stephen Sarrazin (Curator)
    Philipp Ziegler (Curator)

Organization / Institution

ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe