CAR CULTURE. Media of Mobility
June 18th, 2011–January 29th, 2012
With the invention of the automobile 125 years ago, one of the most coveted desires of the 19th century was fulfilled – unlimited individual mobility.
From the 18 June 2011 to 29 January 2012, the ZKM | Media Museum will be exhibiting artistic reflections on physical, but also on immaterial mobility. The show’s thematic content covers the automobile as cult object and symbol of individual freedom as well as the technological advance that first made possible the mobility of information. Both types of mobility originated in Baden-Württemberg: the invention of physical mobility by Carl Benz, and the discovery of electro-magnetic waves as the foundation for radio communication by Heinrich Hertz – both in Karlsruhe and both in the year 1886.
To mark the occasion of the Automobile Summer Baden-Württemberg 2011, the ZKM | Karlsruhe presents an exhibition on the theme of 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, the immaterial mobility of signs by telegraphy and telephone, through radio and television and, above all, through the Internet. The modern car combines both aspects of mobility with the aid of the navigation device. Today, not only is the human being more mobile than ever before: this mobility has been decisively extended by means of immaterial mobility or information. From automobile to mobile telephone – the modern car not only facilitates the mobility of the body. By way of a built-in television, car telephone and navigation device, access to the mobility of information has also become possible. The present exhibition not only shows the present but also the future of the car. The navigation device in the car has come to represent both the symbol of global mobility, and the interface of informational and bodily mobility. It is with the mobility of the car – the mobility of the self – that the era of individual mobilization begins. “Since then everyone has been en route in his own “immobile” – his own “house”. (Peter Weibel)
In Baden-Württemberg, one of the world’s largest automobile clusters of the automotive industry, the ZKM has taken the opportunity presented by the Automobile Summer to demonstrate in a sensational show and from an entirely new perspective, the economic and social relevance of the worldwide “CAR CULTURE”.
Curators: Peter Weibel, Bernhard Serexhe