Voices @ ZKM

In our »Polyphony!« campaign we will let many different voices have their say, which already make the ZKM an open and polyphonic place. We invite you to meet international artists, ZKM staff and visitors in and from Karlsruhe over the coming months – and to leave your own traces!

Most of the visuals were created by our ZKM AI based on the statements of our guests.

A flower in dark purple in front of a bone-like white construct. The background is black.

Voices @ art Karlsruhe

Your voices at the »art Karlsruhe«! How do you imagine the ZKM of tomorrow? What do you need from a cultural institution and when is it relevant for you? What would you do with 15,000 square meters of exhibition space? The visitors of the fair have made plenty of inspiring statements, which can be listened to here.

Red and blue structures with a mushroom in the middle

Saša Spačal

My name is Saša Spačal, I am from Slovenia. I call myself a postmedia artist. That means that I work with media that I think are necessary for a certain project, for a certain topic. And that's why I think we need to do media projects, because actually most things nowadays are media, media art. You deal critically with different media and in this way you give society certain indications of how you can work with these media in the future.

AI generated red vein pattern

Dan Wilcox

Hi, my name is Dan Wilcox. I'm an artist, engineer, musician, performer. I work in software development and research for the ZKM Hertz Lab. Why am I a media artist? I think, mainly because software, electronics, big data, AI, those are the tools of our time. Those are the things that are shaping the way we are moving forward, building communities and expressing ourselves. And I think as artists it's imperative that we learn to use these tools and utilize them also for our own expression. But also so that other people within our community can better understand how these things are shaping our times.


I work a lot in open source. This is creative tools where people are providing existing tools to other people. They don't have to be low-level software developers, but they can take something that works and then use it to express themselves online or with computers to make it easier and more accessible for people.

And I think that it's super important that we all get a chance to put our hands on it. So, for instance, if you're working with AI, you're probably using a pre-trained model, and that pre-trained model might be used to detect a person. But if that model is only created by people who look like me, a white guy with glasses, then it's probably not going to do a good job of finding someone that looks different than me.

And I think it's really important that we make these tools accessible so that other people in other communities can make their own models to find people that don't look like me, for instance. And as artists, we should question that.

A colorful graffiti from abstract forms

Alistair Hudson | Art and Society

I see art and society as being intrinsically linked. They're part of the same thing. Art, by its definition, I think is not a set of objects in the world that we call »art«. It's a way of doing things. And that applies to politics, to horticulture, to cooking, to all aspects of life. This is a very holistic idea of art and therefore it's part of society. And what makes society? Society is glued together by culture, the culture we make together. / Alistair Hudson

AI-generated purple-green network pattern

Christof Hierholzer

My name is Christof Hierholzer. I'm an employee at the ZKM, since 1999. I'm in the museum technology team and I came to the ZKM already in 1997. The ZKM collection is my hobbyhorse. I work a lot with the objects, as I also take care of them in our warehouse. They have to be stored, they have to be transported.


I'm always struck by the fact that there are works of art that should actually also be discovered in the near future, that would like to be discovered in order to be placed into a context today. With modern, with contemporary problems, perhaps also with contemporary social issues. Because many works of art from the 80s and 90s address problems or questions that are relevant again today.

AI-generated image of a green network with yellow flowers. The whole thing resembles a bouquet of flowers against a gray background.

Ivan Henriques

Hello, I'm Ivan Henriques, I'm from Brazil. I work with new media because technology is part of our everyday life. We can't deny technology, but in order for us to produce technology we also have to destroy nature. So how can we rethink the way we do things and find new ways of production to achieve a sustainable future?

Lots of blue, red and yellow speech bubbles

Alistair Hudson | Art and Debate

Institutions like ZKM are now really some of the last public spaces where you can meet ideas and meet people who have different viewpoints. And so for me, it's vitally important that that space is maintained and is a healthy one that is generally thought of in as an ecology about making things connect, building relationships between people, between ideas, but also allowing for difference in the world we live in at the moment.


There's this shift towards polarization which is dangerous and worrying. And so it's important that we create a middle space, a middle ground where we can have debate, where we can have healthy conversations and build a way of listening and working and making things together that is forward looking and productive and provides resolution, but also allows for difference as well. / Alistair Hudson

A petri dish with blue filling and white spots against a red background.

Helen Pynor

My name is Helen Pynor. I am a media artist but I work quite specifically with biological systems – often living cells, living tissues, living organs and in some cases my own body material. For example, I’ve worked with my own bone material and I worked with my own exhaled breath material. For me, working with media art is an extension of working in contemporary art.


It offers so many more possibilities than traditional contemporary art. And it also combines my background in biology. I originally trained as a scientist in cell and molecular biology. And so I was able to make this beautiful fusion between contemporary art and science. That is very satisfying.

AI generated yellow structure

Yasha Jain

Hi, I'm Yasha Jain. I work at the Hertz Lab at ZKM as a software developer. My main job is to provide technical assistance to artists who come here. And also we do our own in-house production at the Hertz Lab. I think we live in a very technology based society and media Art gives you space for creativity and experimentation and creating something or prototyping something really quickly, and that's something that only technology can provide and which is something we are living through right now.

AI generated turquoise object

Anna Zinßer

Hello, I'm Anna Zinßer, user experience designer from Karlsruhe. Before the pandemic, before the lockdown, there was a lot of interaction at ZKM, also with communities from the population and in the context of »Open Codes« or »Critical Zones«. And I would definitely like to see more of that, because I actually found it totally enriching to see what else Karlsruhe is made of. And I thought it was great that the ZKM also offered itself as a platform to bring together different communities from Karlsruhe.

A filigree network of white thread-like structures against a gray background.

Alistair Hudson | The Interlocal

I'm very much a believer in the idea of what might be called the »interlocal«, which in a way replaces this idea of the »international« with this idea that, where you have a homogenous operating system for the world that applied in every location. But actually the reality of the world is, that society exists as a network of interconnected specific places, local places, talking to other local places in the same country or on the other side of the world.


And this is how we have to imagine working in Karlsruhe that ZKM has to speak to the city of Karlsruhe and engage with it and join in with what that city is doing. But also act as a portal to the wider world that's multi-directional, that allows those local stories to connect with questions of a similar nature, but a different nature in South America or Asia or Africa or elsewhere. / Alistair Hudson

Photo of pink heart with wires and buttons

Constanza Piña Pardo

My name is Constanza Piña Pardo, I am an artist, Chilean, dancer, electronic and visual artist. For me, as a Latin American artist, it is very important to mix the traditional technologies, the craft techniques, especially those related to the female work, with the contemporary media technologies, to re-evaluate works that are part of other cultures and insert them in the contemporary technologies on the same level.

AI generated purple universe

Jens Lutz

Hello, my name is Jens Lutz. I am the head of the Publications Department at ZKM. In the future, we should continue to focus more on the critical discourses regarding media use. But it's also important that we recognize which social groups are being left behind by the opportunities offered by digital media and that we help these people.

Colorful brush strokes as lines and areas

Alistair Hudson | Art and Politics

I've heard a lot in my career so far from people who say art and politics don't mix. But for me, art is politics. Art is part of the way the world works. It's wrapped up in all its complexities, and a lot of politics is driven by culture. Culture is the foundation of how we think, how we act, and therefore you cannot separate the two.


Therefore, it's important that an artistic institution is also a political one, not necessarily with a capital »P«, but working in the day to day with people to shape things and help move towards a future where conflict is negated and where actually people can find solutions. And this is a kind of purposeful idea of art, art which is heading in a direction which is about engaging the world and not retreating from it. / Alistair Hudson

Rethinking the World Together

Evolution instead of reinvention. After more than 24 years, the scientific-artistic direction of the ZKM changes.

To the new start

You can see a large net of threads in a white room. Several people are standing in this space and touching these threads.

Project team

Project Management: Helga Huskamp
Concept & Design: Nicolas Flessa, Elsa WestreicherProject coordination: Anne Thomé
Website: Sabine Jäger, Anne Thomé
Video & Audio: Max Clausen, Andy Koch, Lisa Michel, Peter Müller
Technical realization: Simon Berger