Key Topics

Installation view "Web of Life"

One of the ZKM’s fundamental missions is to recognize and follow contemporary movements in art and society.

By way of thematic exhibitions, publications, and research projects, the ZKM formulates questions and discusses solutions.

The following overview outlines the ZKM’s main areas of thematic focus to date.

The history of electronic arts has been researched only in part until now. The ZKM is committed to exploring this history, and presenting the results of its research in exhibitions, symposia, and publications, and opening it for discussion…

The countless research projects, artistic productions, exhibitions, performances and publications have been possible only by way of such ongoing exchange, and have thus led to the ZKM becoming a forum for international dialog whose reach extends far beyond national boundaries…

The ZKM | Karlsruhe has been internationally esteemed as a competence center in the field of media art conservation for several years. This results alone from the maintenance of its comprehensive collection of video art works, of Sound Art and Interactive Art.

Today, the use of sound is not solely the preserve of musically educated composers. Many artists from other branches make use of acoustic means; the present-day museum is full of sounds and is waiting for new visitor input.

It has its own language, its own currency, its own norms and values, and originates its own phenomena. The Web culture – the culture of the Internet – is our present. It established itself with the development of the World Wide Web at the beginning of the 1990s, and has since spread across the globe.

The year 1989 bore witness to a worldwide upheaval which, in turn, spawned a new age for art (Alexander Alberro). »Globalization« superseded the western flag-flying »International«, thus, for many artists, providing an opportunity to participate for the first time.

Culture institutions, such as the ZKM, seek to meet the challenge of defending the positive, democratic-cultural approach of participation and its social significance as part of artistic participation.

The fine arts hence transformed spatial art into an art of time. With the further development of art towards the movement of the body in space, such as body art, a renewed interest in dance began to emerge.