MACHINEVISION. Field Research in the Spaces of Imaging Technologies

HfGMarch 2–May 19, 2013

An exhibition at the ZKM | Media Museum, project room

Today, the “Spaceship Earth” (Buckminster Fuller) is equipped with myriad sensors – whether in the form of satellites in space or in the sonar measurement devices in the oceans. Only a few of these are classic “camera eyes”, as one knows them in analog photography. They do, however, produce images: the measurement data gained through these sensors are visualized so as to be rendered amenable to interpretation by the human being.
Such measurements and visualizations take up a momentous role in the processes of control and decision in science, politics and the military, in medicine and in the police. The new practices of the two and three-dimensional cartography produce maps in the form of pixels and voxels that can be freely transformed and called up worldwide. They thus change not only the scope of knowledge and surveillance of the world, but open up a new, worldwide sphere of action.

Through video essays and photography, the exhibition MASCHINENSEHEN [MACHINEVISION] documents the practice of picture production: its devices and technologies, the laboratories, as well as the sites where the new processes are applied. In addition, it shows a selection of current objects of research: from self-experiments in a brain scanner, the reconstruction of crime scenes through 3D photography, the remeasurement of the continental shelf and the fight for raw material resources, the automation of dairy farming, measurement flight in the atmosphere, up to the evaluation of satellite imagery.

The project MACHINEVISION is based on the field research of an interdisciplinary seminar at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (HfG), directed by Prof. Armin Linke and curated by Anselm Franke.

With contributions by Henning Arnecke, Lisa Bergmann, Felix Mittelberger, Daniel Neumann und Susan Funk, Christoph Oeschger and Elke Reinhuber.

Curator of the exhibition: Anselm Franke

Project management ZKM: Margit Rosen

Project management HfG Karlsruhe: Armin Linke

Project supervision: Armin Linke, Wilfried Kühn, Margit Rosen, Frank Halbig, Urs Lehni

Artists: Henning Arnecke (Art Studies), Lisa Bergmann (Media Art), Susan Funk (Art Studies), Felix Mittelberger (Art Studies), Daniel Neumann (Art Studies), Christoph Oeschger (Media Art), Elke Reinhuber (Media Art)

A video of the exhibition: YouTube channel of the ZKM

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with contributions by Anselm Franke, Inge Hinterwaldner, Bruno Latour, Margarete Pratschke, Margit Rosen, Henning Schmidgen as well as Henning Arnecke, Lisa Bergmann, Felix Mittelberger, Christoph Oeschger and Elke Reinhuber.

Maschinensehen. Feldforschung in den Räumen bildgebender Technologien, ed. by Felix Mittelberger, Sebastian Pelz, Margit Rosen und Anselm Franke, Leipzig: Spector Books, 2013

More information at