Open Codes

Living in Digital Worlds

– 05.08.2019

– 06.01.2019

Atrium 8+9
Free entry



The exhibition »Open Codes. Living in Digital Worlds« will be closed for reconstruction purposes from August 6 to 31, 2018. On September 1, it will reopen with a new name »Open Codes. The World as a Field of Data« and new works for you!

Today we live in a globalized world that is controlled and created by digital codes. From communication to transportation (of people, goods, and messages), everything is guided by codes. Mathematics and mechanics have created a new tool-based world, erected by engineers, physicists, and programmers.

From the binary code (Leibniz) to Morse code, from cosmic code to the genetic code, we live in a world of codes. This exhibition, a collection of artworks and scientific works gives you the opportunity to understand this world. It will be a code-curated exhibition and demand new behavior from the visitors. The exhibition will be a mix of a laboratory and a lounge, a learning environment and a »Club Mediterranée«. Together with our visitors, we would like to try out new and perhaps unusual formats of education and learning, creating new approaches to knowledge in a relaxed and learning-stimulating atmosphere.

Programming, learning with bots and other new technologies should no longer pose a limit to education, but should give everyone the opportunity to understand the background to our digital world of today. Whether with free entry to the exhibition, snacks and drinks at the museum or natural work in the museum field – the exhibition will change the approach to museum installations as an educational policy experiment in the area of »Audience Development«. The museum will be worthwhile for its visitors in the truest sense of the word.

Artworks and scientific works based on digital as well as on analog codes are presented in the exhibition. The works visualize and explain the complex dynamics of codes, and the way in which they are increasingly shaping the way we live and perceive the world. The exhibition analyzes the ingress of codes into our lives, and the structures of knowledge they generate.

Program The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive supporting program including lectures, film screenings and symposia. In addition, the ZKM, in collaboration with the Council of Europe, is organizing the »4th Council of Europe Platform Exchange on Culture and Digitization« on Friday, October 20, 2017, on the subject of »Empowering Democracy through Culture: Digital Tools for Culturally Competent Citizens«. On Thursday, November 2, 2017, the ZKM will hold the panel discussion »Digital Sovereignty«. Prominent representatives of science, economy and politics will discuss the sensitivity of digital traces in today's society.

Peter Weibel (Curator), Lívia Nolasco-Rózsás (Co-Curator)
Yasemin Keskintepe (Co-Curator), Blanca Giménez (Co-Curator)

Exhibitions team
Nathalia Fuchs, external advisor
Christian Lölkes, scientific advisor
Franz Pichler, external advisor

Organization / Institution
ZKM | Karlsruhe

Works in the Exhibition

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Supporting Program

128 Contributing artists

  • ::vtol::
  • Jean-Michel Alberola
  • Morehshin Allahyari
  • AppSphereAG
  • Torsten Belschner
  • Lisa Bergmann
  • Michael Bielicky
  • Patrick Borgeat
  • James Bridle
  • Ludger Brümmer
  • Butternutten AG
  • Can Büyükberber
  • Emma Charles
  • Matthieu Cherubini
  • Sami Chibane
  • Tyler Coburn
  • Signal Codes and Machine Codes
  • Max Cooper
  • Shane Cooper
  • Larry Cuba
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