• Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, Material Want (detail), 2016. Rendering. From “Open Codes: Living in Digital Worlds.”


    ZKM | Center for Art and Media
    Lorenzstraße 19
    October 20, 2017–August 5, 2018

    Curated by Peter Weibel

    Organized by ZKM in collaboration with multiple German research institutes, this historical survey traces the developments in math and physics that led to the invention of digital code, ushering in the many technologies that shape our culture and society today. Spanning three hundred years, the show places scientific and technological documents and artifacts in conversation with artworks, suggesting an affinity—if not a direct connection—between the ways in which these objects frame the world. The stakes of this interdisciplinarity are high: Over the past several years, many have argued for new media art’s inclusion in mainstream contemporary art discourse (for example, by pointing to new media’s fundamental interactivity as proof of its kinship with relational aesthetics). Provocatively, “Open Codes” promises to swing the pendulum back, grounding its objects as much in the history of technology as in the history of art.