Datumsoria: The Return of the Real
September 9, 2017–March 18, 2018

Opening: September 8, 7pm

ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe
Lorenzstr. 19
76135 Karlsruhe

T +49 721 81000
F +49 721 81001139


The neologism “Datumsoria” conjugates “datum” and “sensoria,” denoting a new perceptual space immanent to the information age. Datumsoria: The Return of the Real is a group exhibition at ZKM | Karlsruhe which brings together ten highly idiosyncratic works. From uncanny objects of electronic futurity to autopoietic artifacts, from the prismatic inflows of the cosmic spectrum to immaculate sounds and pictures derived from algorithms; from robotic consciousness to a hallucination of seismic pulses, a reality unfolds that bespeaks the logic of the real of the information age, a reality predicated on binary instructions of the generic, of the uniformity of the ones and the zeros, from whose generality comes forth a hardening of shapes and forms, precipitating sentient residues and invoking emotive potentials.

In the undulation of data fluxes, Datumsoria as well implicates that the politics of the real no longer only lies in the sphere of actual bodies and social sites recognized in the form of the traumatic and abject subject as the predominant contemporary experience and object of artistic inquiry but also alludes to how grasping this new reality of bits and bytes is as ethically imperative as it is epistemologically fundamental.

Datumsoria: The Return of the Real is an outcome of “Art&Tech@,” a program initiated at Chronus Art Center and conceived by ZHANG Ga, which aims, through resuscitating the valuable legacy of experiments in art and technology from the mid-20th century, to come to terms with the challenges of a technologically constructed timespace: a new reality that has altogether changed the rules of the game in work and play, in politics and economics, and in artistic imagination and cultural sensibility.

The exhibition is part of the focus on the digital revolution in this year’s programming at the ZKM | Karlsruhe and is being presented in cooperation with the Chronus Art Center in Shanghai, the Nam June Paik Art Center in Seoul and CAFA Art Museum in Beijing.

The exhibition is curated by ZHANG Ga.

Artists: Ralf Baecker, Laurent Grasso, George Legrady, LIU Xiaodong, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Carsten Nicolai, Nam June Paik, YAN Lei, WANG Yuyang, ZHANG Peili.

The exhibition is supported by: ZONHOM, Lisson Gallery, and the Chinese Embassy in Germany.

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