29.04.2016 – 09.10.2016
Man is constantly creating and accessing new spaces. He does this because he can. He has the technical understanding, is curious and always on the lookout. He wants to develop his full potential, driven by a desire for power, a will to improve and a thirst for taking risks.
The first section of this exhibition at the Zeppelin Museum focuses on the seemingly infinite space above us. In the 19th century, humans mastered the balloon invented in 1783, enabling them to fly higher and higher. But soon the balloonists reached their physical limits and suffered from altitude sickness with each record they broke. What does this do to the human body? What machines do we need to survive the impact on the body and mind? From open balloon baskets to airship nacelles, people forced their bodies into ever smaller orbs and capsules.
Different branches of science, incentives, insights and interests culminated in man’s desire to reach for the skies. With a focus on the history of technology, the exhibition examines the relationship between man, technological change and the media.
Some of the exhibits
Balloon basket of Eduard Spelterini, ca 1900; Maybach Mb IVa high-altitude engine; Fur-lined leatheroveral, ca 1916l; Breathing apparatus Dräger, 1926; Capsule of Auguste Piccard, used by his first flight into stratosphere 1931;
Suit and capsule of Felix Baumgartner, red bull stratos 2012; Russian space-suit: Sokol- K
In the second part of the exhibition, contemporary artists take a look at the images and content we divulge on blogging platforms, video portals and social networks in the digital space. The artistic focus is on everyday confrontations with media images, our daily use of digital media and its influence on human behaviour and language. A fascinating aspect in this respect is what is happening to our body now and in future. If we change and optimise our body using technical means, will it dissolve into digital space? Visitors to the exhibition can enjoy an interactive bodily and perceptual experience in a reconstructed altitude cabin or in the artists’ video boxes showing comic and bizarre images against a serious background presenting people as biotic, psychic, social, communicative and moral beings in addition to their ambitious technical endeavours. Are scientific achievements in the area of genetic engineering morally and ethically viable? How can scientific research be used responsibly vis-à-vis society?
The exhibition tests individuality as a valuable human asset. To what extent is man restricted by his socialization and education and how much is his body being economised? A casting show for Jesus challenges the role of human faith. A performers’ artificial leg acts as an eye-catcher in a pop video, reflecting our human ability to believe in ourselves.
These artists take part in the exhibition: AES+F Group, Christian Jankowski, Jon Rafman, Eva Kot‘átková, Ryan Trecartin, Marnix De Nijs, Sašo Sedlaček, Tim Berresheim, Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen, Art Orienté Objet, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Eduardo Kac, Viktoria Modesta, Hiroshi Ishiguro und Mariechen Danz.
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