Critical Zones

Observatories for Earthly Politics. Fieldbook

Cover of the Critical Zones Fieldbook
Type of publication
Exhibition brochure
Author / Editor
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe (ed.)

Download Fieldbook

This Fieldbook for visitors is an aid to orientation when following the multifarious stories told by the exhibition »Critical Zones: Observatories for Earthly Politics«. It proposes one of many possible tours through the six sections of the exhibition: “Starting to Observe: A Critical Zone Observatory”; “We Don’t Live Where We Are: Ghost Acreages”; “We Live inside Gaia”; “Earth Tidings”; “Redrawing Territories”; and “Becoming Terrestrial.” The numbers that connect these “Field Notes” to the exhibition space can be used as a guide.

Interposed between the artworks and texts of the exhibition sections are small “interventions.” These are exercises in “Becoming Terrestrial” – invitations to perceive the ground beneath our feet in a different way, to comprehend our enmeshment with the organisms in and around us in a new way, and to understand ourselves as “Earthbounds.”

We, the exhibition organizers, artists, and local Karlsruhe action groups, would like to embark on this journey of discovery with you. To this end, there is also a diverse activation program which takes place inside the physical exhibition as well as online. The exhibition can also be experienced digitally at

We cordially invite you to find your own path. You might come across undiscovered kinships and unexpected dialog partners – and find for yourself a new position inside the structure as a whole.

108 S., 60 Ill., 23 x 11 cm, adhesive binding, flap cover
Production / Corporation / Exhibition
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe

Staatliche Hochschule Karlsruhe, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, Naturkundemuseum Karlsruhe, Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, OHGE – Observatoire hydrogeochimique de l’environnement


Kulturstiftung des Bundes
Baden-Württemberg Stiftung
Institut français


Project Management: Patrick Trappendreher
Design: (Stefanie Rau, Robert Preusse)