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From Spark to Pixel - Art + New Media
Gregory Barsamian, The Scream, 1998, 3-D Installation. © Gregory Barsamian.

BERLIN, GERMANY.- The Martin-Gropius-Bau presents From Spark to Pixel - Art + new media, on view October 28th, 2007 through January 14th, 2008. Organized by Berliner Festspiele and curated by Richard Castelli. The exhibit is made possible by the generous funding of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

In an international overview, the ‘From Spark to Pixel. Art + new media’ exhibition in the atrium and on the first floor of the Martin-Gropius-Bau presents 24 installations by artists from 12 countries involving the use of digital and interactive electronic media in a large-scale context. In all, 20 of the 24 installations will be on show for the first time in Germany . Some installations will be shown as world premieres: FLOW BERLIN 2007 by Erwin Redl, Time May Change Me, I Can´t Change Time by Brad Hwang and CaMg(CO3)2 by Jean Michel Bruyère, as well as the newly developed part of Joachim Sauters / Dirk Lüsebrink’s: The Invisible Shapes of Things Past.

Richard Castelli ( Paris ) developed the concept and curated the exhibit for the Berliner Festspiele. His international collaboration with artists and media representatives made it possible to present a range of facets and developments of the current media art in the Martin-Gropius-Bau.

The artistic prologue is provided by Candle TV, an object produced in 1976 by media art pioneer Nam June Paik. ‘From Spark to Pixel’ then goes on to present works by Jeffrey Shaw and Sarah Kenderdine (Australia), Dumb Type, Shiro Takatani and Saburo Teshigawara (Japan), Gregory Barsamian (USA), Marie Maquaire, Thomas McIntosh (Canada), Romy Achituv (Israel), Jean Michel Bruyère, Du Zhenjun, Pierrick Sorin (France), Christian Partos (Sweden), David Moises, Erwin Redl (Austria) and Ulf Langheinrich, KAI, Brad Hwang, Joachim Sauter and Dirk Lüsebrink, Art + Com (Germany).

These striking installations combine experiences in the perception of time and space with a reinterpretation of the role and participatory potential of the observer.

In Jean Michel Bruyère’s legendary cinematographic work Si Poteris Narrare, Licet for Jeffrey Shaw’s EVE Interactive Cinema, for instance, visitors to an interactive 360° projection booth can decide what image sequences they wish to see and from which perspective. In Voyages, a walk-around media installation by Dumb Type, a group of artists and performers from Japan , they can use the palms of their hands to become image carriers themselves.

Light and movement are the determining elements in the works of Christian Partos and in two of the major works by Gregory Barsamian, Scream and No Never Alone, which revives the zoetrope, an early precursor of the cinema. Since 1995, Sauter / Lüsebrink, Art + Com have used their concept of the Invisible Shapes of Things Past to model digital architectural sculptures; the Martin-Gropius-Bau is among the virtual objects generated. On display alongside Bruyère’s work in the atrium of the Martin-Gropius-Bau are exhibits by Erwin Redl and Ulf Langheinrich, which transform this impressive interior space and dematerialise it, so to speak. In FLOW Berlin Redl shows a hovering blue LED wave that provides the atrium with a virtual ceiling, while Langheinrich’s Hemisphere enables visitors to immerse themselves in an environment which, irrespective of the intriguing apparatus, comes close to the notion of a charged void. Thomas McIntosh’s installation Ondulation offers a different kind of borderline experience. It handles the simultaneity of sound and light waves in a way that makes you think you can see sounds and hear images.

With this exhibit the Martin-Gropius-Bau contributes essentially to the subject of art and media. Spectacular installations broaden the experience horizon and enables the visitor to explore changed forms of perception. The exhibit invites to interactive participation. The intersection of art and new media can be individually explored and attempted.

The exhibition catalogue with up to date and in-depth articles on the artists and the shown works written by internationally known media academics is published by the Nicolai Verlag (Berlin) (in German, edited by Richard Castelli and the Martin-Gropius-Bau).

On occasion of the exhibit the Radialsystem – New Space for The Arts in Berlin arranges a symposium with artists participating in the exhibit and other guests on October 28th, 2007.

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