The exhibition Open Codes reflects on the world we live in today; a world that is created and controlled by digital codes. From communication to transportation (of people, goods, and messages), from design to production, from political economy and capital regimes, our contemporary societies are guided by codes written in programming languages that use electromagnetic waves and computers.
The all-encompassing digitization of the world, which has spawned disruptive technologies that have revolutionized traditional industries and ways of life, is due to two key lines of development: progress in mathematics and in physics. Specifically for the exhibition designed artworks and scientific works based on digital as well as on analog codes are presented in the exhibition. The works visualize and explain the complex dynamics and genealogy of digital codes, and the way in which they are increasingly shaping the way we live and how we perceive the world. Open Codes explores these advances together with their material and immaterial manifestations. The exhibition will help to understand the world we live in and inhabit. The exhibition traces the ingress of codes into our daily lives and the structures of knowledge they generate. By analyzing the latest developments in machine learning, emerging forms of governance, labor and production, economic shifts including cryptocurrencies and new business models, as well as the ways in which immersive visual and sound design influences our perception, Open Codes demonstrates the far-reaching and complex dynamics of our present-day, which is founded on codes and algorithms.
These dynamic shifts also profoundly impact what a museum represents. Global transformation of knowledge production and circulation because of advancing digitization are central to the debate on the functions and mission of a museum. This is why, with Open Codes, the ZKM has created a hybrid format of exhibition making, a mix of lounge and laboratory. Open Codes is designed as hub, a mixture of community and co-working spaces, an environment of coming together and sharing—for individual development and for reflection. It provides an infrastructure which facilitates creative working in different formats and a multitude of resources which offer essential information to facilitate understanding of the past, present, and future of digitization. This is an environment that encourages visitors to read, write, code, become participants, and engage in the imaginaries of art. The exhibition is a radical educational experiment. The entrance will be free and free drinks and snacks will be served to the public, because in future education should be rewarded and even paid.
With works by Jean-Michel Alberola, Morehshin Allahyari, Isaac Asimov, Lisa Bergmann, Michael Bielicky, Patrick Borgeat, James Bridle, Ludger Brümmer, Can Büyükberber, Emma Charles, Matthieu Cherubini, Arthur C. Clarke, Tyler Coburn, Max Cooper & Andy Lomas, Shane Cooper, Larry Cuba, Frederik De Wilde, Simon Denny, Götz Dipper, Constant Dullaart, Margret Eicher, Jonas Eltes, César Escudero Andaluz & Martín Nadal, Cerith Wyn Evans, Claire L. Evans, Harun Farocki, Thierry Fournier, Kristof Gavrielides, Jan Gerigk, Julia Gerlach, Julia Ghorayeb, Melanie Gilligan, Fabien Giraud & Raphaël Siboni, Manfred Hauffen, Daniel Heiss, Anton Himstedt, Yannick Hofmann, ICD/ITKE, Simon Ingram, Eduardo Kac, Helen Knowles, Beryl Korot, Anton Kossjanenko, Brigitte Kowanz, Marc Lee, Donna Legault, Jan Robert Leegte, Lawrence Lek, Armin Linke, Bernd Lintermann, Fei Liu, Christian Lölkes, Solimán López, Shawn Maximo, Tamara Mchedlidze, Rosa Menkman, Ben Miller, Chikashi Miyama, Andreas Müller Pohle, Jörn Müller-Quade, Greg Niemeyer, Helena Nikonole, Julian Palacz, Elizabeth Pich, Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, Julien Prévieux, Peter Reichard, Manfred Kraft & Michael Volkmer, Matthias Richter & Josef N. Patoprsty, Chandrasekhar Ramakrishnan, Betty Rieckmann, Robotlab, Curtis Roth, RYBN.ORG, saai | Südwestdeutsches Archiv für Architektur und Ingenieurbau, Chris Salter, Karin Sander, Karl Sims, Adam Słowik, Rasa Smite & Raitis Smits, Space Caviar, Barry Stone, Monica Studer & Christoph van den Berg, Jol Thomson, Suzanne Treister, UBERMORGEN.COM, Ruben van de Ven, Harm van den Dorpel, Koen Vanmechelen, Danja Vasiliev, Ivar Veermäe, Nikolaus Völzow, ::vtol::, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Peter Weibel, Alex Wenger & Max-Gerd Retzlaff, Where Dogs Run, Dan Wilcox, Stephen Willats, Manfred Wolff-Plottegg & Wolfgang Maass, World-Information Institute.
Open Codes is conceived by Peter Weibel and curated by Peter Weibel, Lívia Nolasco-Rózsás, Yasemin Keskintepe, and Blanca Giménez assisted by the external advisors Natalia Fuchs, Franz Pichler.