Cult Object: With the invention of the automobile 125 years ago, one of the great hopes of the 19th century went into fulfillment—that of unfettered individual mobility.
From 18 June, 2011 to 8 January, 2012 the ZKM | Media Museum will present artistic reflections on both material and immaterial mobility: Each has its origins in Baden: the invention of physical mobility by Carl Benz in Mannheim, in 1886, as well Heinrich Hertz‘s discovery of electromagnetic waves as the foundation for worldwide radiocommunication in Karlsruhe in the same year.
From Automobile to Mobile Telephone: On the occasion of the Automobile Summer, Baden-Württemberg 2011, the ZKM | Karlsruhe presents an exhibition the thematic focus of which is mobility in a two-fold sense: on the one hand, the material and physical mobility of the body by means of the car, while on the other hand, the immaterial mobility of information, by means of telegraphy and telephone, radio and television and, above all, the Internet. With the car radio and navigation device, the modern car now combines both aspects of mobility.
On show will be the concurrent development of automobile and mobile technology (radio, television, mobile). The ground floor of the ZKM | Media Museum will be transformed into a huge parking lot for immobile car sculptures. On the first floor, visitors will learn of the history of radio technology—from Hertz’s discoveries to the invention of the mobile phone. From cars through to App-Art, the visitor will experience the full range media of mobility.
During the mechanical age, messengers would be sent out, themselves bearing their dispatches (carrier media). In the digital age, by contrast, messengers (signals) are sent out without physical dispatches. With the rise of automobility, or self-mobility one hundred years ago, there began the era of individual mobilization, which has today reached its culmination with the development of the mobile phone. Today, the human being is more mobile than ever before in history. From purchasing goods to checking into a hotel, all types of communication and every act, take places in a mobile form.
New Perspective: In Baden-Württemberg, which represents one of the largest automobile clusters in the world, the ZKM has seized the opportunity of the Automobile Summer to present a sensational show, the economic and social relevance of the worldwide “CAR CULTURE” and “Media of Mobility” from an entirely new perspective.
The emergence of the media of mobility began 125 years ago. Since then, everyone is in his own “immobile”, his own “house.” Everyone is a mobile transmitter. (Peter Weibel). A catalogue is to be published in conjunction with the exhibition.
Peter Weibel and Bernhard Serexhe
Franz Pichler (mobile telephony)
Manfred Hauffen (Apps), Katrin Heitlinger
Franz Ackermann, Ant Farm, Miquel Barceló, Gottfried Bechtold, Ecke Bonk, Frieder Butzmann, John Chamberlain, Plamen Dejanoff, Jean-Michel Dejasmin, Götz Dipper, Elmgreen & Dragset, Friedemann Flöther, Zaha Hadid Architects, Hochschule Karlsruhe, Technik und Wirtschaft, Hochschule Pforzheim, Transportation Design, Severin Hofmann / David Moises / Leo Schatzl, Hans Hollein, Li Hui, Christoph Keller, Folke Köbberling / Martin Kaltwasser, Ivan Kozaric, Hans Kupelwieser, Jean-Jacques Lebel, Bernd Lintermann, Alvin Lucier, Michaela Melián, Kay Michalak & Sven Voelker, Olaf Mooij, Hans Op de Beeck, Axel Philipp, Fabrizio Plessi, Tobias Rehberger, Stefan Rohrer, Valentin Ruhry, Peter Sauerer, Pavel Schmidt, HA Schult, Sergej Sehovcov, Georg Seibert, Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe, Gustav Troger, Lieven van Velthoven, Wolf Vostell, Peter Weibel, Pawel Wocial, Erwin Wurm, Yin Xiuzhen, a.o.