Critical Zones, Observatories for Earthly Politics at ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany, Virtual Opening May 22, 2020

“The planned exhibition Critical Zones about the critical state of the Earth coincides with a crisis period for humankind because of the coronavirus pandemic. A new Earthly politics also demands new policies for exhibitions.

Thus the physical Critical Zones exhibition currently taking shape on site at the ZKM will be connected to a digital exhibition and to a nonlocal event field in real and virtual space. Starting on May 22, 2020, the exhibition opens with a Streaming Festival lasting several days — the program will consist of streamed tours of the real exhibition and the virtual space, as well as interviews and talks. The ZKM will be a platform for a decentralized, nonlocal event field: it will come to the homes of the audience and as a ‘home museum’ will offer a virtual accompanying program with a wide variety of features. All existing channels — offline and online, real and virtual, analog and digital — will be connected in a novel way to transform an exhibition into a broadcasting program. In this multidimensional, multichannel communication between transmitter and receiver, the aim is to turn receivers into active transmitters. The exhibition will become an echo chamber, a resonating space of symbiotic forms of communication — a response to the symbiotic planet. The recognition that life on planet Earth arises and endures through the symbiosis of all lifeforms also demands new modes of communication between human beings.” — ZKM | Center for Art and Media

Julian Charrière - Future Fossil Spaces, 2017 - Installation View 013, La Biennale di Venezia 2017, Venice, Italy, 2017 (copyright the artist; VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany)

Julian Charrière. Future Fossil Spaces, 2017. Salt from the Salar de Uyuni, acrylic containers filled with lithium-brine. Variable dimensions. Installation view: La Biennale di Venezia, Arsenale, 57th International Art Exhibition Viva Arte Viva. Photo: Jens Ziehe © Julian Charrière; VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany. Courtesy: BUGADA & CARGNEL, Paris, France; DITTRICH & SCHLECHTRIEM, Berlin, Germany; Galerie Tschudi, Zuoz, Switzerland; Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, NY, USA; Sies + Höke Galerie, Düsseldorf, Germany


Frédérique Aït-Touati, Alexandra Arènes, Axelle Grégoire. The Soil Map, detail, Terra Forma, manuel de cartographies potentielles, 2019 © the artists

A composite of Royal Air Force aerial photography from 1945 and ‘community satellite’ point clouds taken in 2017

A composite of Royal Air Force aerial photography from 1945 and ‘community satellite’ point clouds taken in 2017. Image: Ariel Caine / Forensic Architecture / Aziz al-Turi / Nuri al-Uqbi / Debby Ferber (Zochrot) / Hagit Keysar (PublicLab), 2017

Friedrich_Felsenriff am Meeresstrand

Caspar David Friedrich. Felsenriff am Meeresstrand [Rocky reef on the seashore], 1824. Oil on canvas. 22 x 31 cm. Collection Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe. Photo: bpk / Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe / Wolfgang Pankoke

Wild_Relatives_(Cross pollination)

Jumana Manna. Wild Relatives, 2018. Film still. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Marte Vold © Jumana Manna

Wild_Relatives_1(ICARDA genebank)

Jumana Manna. Wild Relatives, 2018. Film still. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Marte Vold © Jumana Manna

Uriel Orlow Soil Affinities-01

Uriel Orlow. Soil Affinities, 2018. Mixed media installation. Variable dimensions. Courtesy of the artist © Uriel Orlow

Sze_Sarah_Flash Point

Sarah Sze. Flash Point (Timekeeper), 2018. Mixed media installation. Wood, stainless steel, video projectors, acrylic, archival pigment prints, ceramic and tape. Variable dimensions © Sarah Sze

Claudia Gonzales Hidroscopia Loa 2018

Claudia Gonzales. Hidroscopia / Loa, 2018. Mixed media installation. Variable dimensions. Installation view: Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende Santiago, Chile Photo: Lorna Remmle © Claudia Gonzales

“We must face up to what is literally a problem of dimension, scale, and lodging: the planet is much too narrow and limited for the globe of globalization; at the same time, it is too big, infinitely too large, too active, too complex, to remain within narrow and limited borders of locality whatsoever.” — Bruno Latour

Critical Zones curatorial committee: Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel with Martin Guinard-Terrin and Bettina Korintenberg.

Images courtesy ZKM | Center for Art and Media.