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ZKM Aussenkennung

1997  Karlsruhe, Germany

Hardware: Novamatic

ZKM Aussenkenung are a group of five outdoor LED displays that together constitute the signage for the ZKM Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe. The contents of these displays are all freely programmable.

1 and 2. A tall column stands on the main road in front of the entrance of the ZKM. Mounted high on this column are a set of different-sized cylindrical red LED units where alphanumeric texts rotate. An identical column is also positioned at the rear entrance to the ZKM.

3. Along the pathway leading from the main road to the entrance of the ZKM, a series of columns each have a flag-like rectangular display panel at their tops. Every panel contains a single alphanumeric cluster of large LEDs. Most of these displays have red LEDs, except for the last group closest to the entrance, which are blue. Texts programmed to run in this installation travel in sequence from the roadside column to the last by the entrance. In this manner these texts accompany the movement of visitors as they walk to the ZKM, and visitors read them as a flow of information from the street to the entrance.

When leaving the ZKM visitors view this row of displays from behind. From this vantage they see a set of light boxes that illuminate photos of events taking place within the ZKM.

4. A major architectural feature of the ZKM other than its entrance is its large blue music auditorium. At its upper right corner a very large red alphanumeric LED display presents the ZKM logo, as well as other information.

5. The ZKM’s monumental industrial building (once a munitions factory) has a tower with a conical roof at its centre. At its apex a cylindrical blue rotating LED display projects the ZKM logo in all directions like a lighthouse.

Exhibition Record

1997:  ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany