ZKM logo



The immaculate lobby

EIKK is located a long block away from the ZKM (Center for Multimedia Arts in Karlsruhe -- your guess as to how the German acronym works is as good as mine), an awesome multimedia museum. Although I'm a big fan of the Interactive venue at SIGGRAPH, that sort of experience is not well-covered in the permanent, traditional museum world. ZKM was the first major effort (that I know of) to do so -- I heard about it when my friend Michael Naimark was invited over there to work on an interactive piece (which has ended up installed at ZKM and is still one of the most popular installations!). ZKM also has their own Web site; it's here. If you go there, be prepared for lots of new windows in your browser.

Like EIKK, ZKM is funded by the lander government, and it seems to be well-funded. It's huge -- located in a converted WWII munitions factory -- and is absolutely the nicest permanent collection of interactive art I've ever seen. I got a chance to see the ZKM's counterpart in Japan, the ICC, just before going to Karlsruhe, and it does not compare to the ZKM. I don't have space to describe all the fun exhibits at ZKM, but they have Naimark's virtual Karlsruhe trolley systems, and Perry Hoberman's "Bar Code Motel", which is the single best interactive art installation I've ever seen, so I'm pretty psyched about the place!

All of the programs for TransFest occurred in one of two beautifully-equipped rooms at the ZKM; the theater there is a masterpiece in every way (except comfort level of the chairs).

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  © 1998 Leo Hourvitz