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and Acoustics, and the Institute for Net Development. In addition, public forums such as
the Mediathek, the Media Museum, and the Media Theatre were also part of the original
The economic perspective played also a crucial role in this future-oriented project:The
planned media art centre was perceived as the cultural component of the Technology Region
Karlsruhe (<>).As such, it should become a place of artistic expression
that would inspire and support the commercial development in the technology region.
In May 1988, encouraged by the optimism and wealth that characterised Germany in the
years before the reunification and with ample funds available to finance an initiative of such
scale, the ZKM ­ Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (Centre for Art and Media)
was established the in City of Karlsruhe.The initial budget was DEM 120 Mio. In
November 1988, the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg joined the project by taking over 50%
of the running cost, and the ZKM was set up as a public foundation.
At that time, the newly founded centre did not inhibit an own building, but the ZKM's
institutes were spread throughout the city of Karlsruhe. It was planned, that the ZKM
institutes should move into a new building designed by the well-known Dutch architect
Rem Koolhaas in 1993.Yet, instead of building a new museum after the Koolhaas-plans, the
former industrial complex of the Industriewerke Karlsruhe-Augsburg (IWKA), a former
ammunition factory that has been declared an industrial monument, was favoured as new
location for the ZKM.Within 4 years, the building was completely revitalised and opened
its gate to the public in 1997.
Institutional model: Along the value chain of new media art production
One of the main reasons for the centre's innovative power lies with the unique institutional
model of the ZKM.This model differs considerably from traditional museums, as it leaves
broad of room for research and experimentation. Unlike other museums that focus on
collection building and presentation, the ZKM, under one roof, accommodates all the
essential stages in the value chain of new media art production: research, production,
presentation and collection, and finally, publication and archiving. Here, new media artists
find the space and the kind of high-level technological equipment to critically work with
the rapidly developing new technologies and explore new paths in art practice.The results
of this research and production process are unique works of new media art, and, as a kind
of "by-product", innovative hard- and software prototypes designed as generic tools to
particularly serve the artist's needs.
& Training
Research &
for Design
Institute for Visual Media
Institute for Music & Acoustics
Institute for Net Development
Institute for
Basic Research
Media Museum
Media Theatre
Virtual Museum
Institute for Net
Museum for Contemporary Art
Source: Salzburg Research, 2001
ZKM Institutional Model: Along the Value Chain of New Media Art Production