Home Architect Peter Weibel (1944–2023) – Artforum International

Peter Weibel (1944–2023) – Artforum International

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Artist, educator and curator Peter Weibel, who ran the ZKM German Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe for more than two decades, died on March 1 in Karlsruhe at the age of seventy-eight following a brief illness. The news was confirmed by the ZKM. Weibel was a passionate early proponent of media art and worked tirelessly to advance and maintain its now widely recognized lofty position in the art world. “Normally, media art is seen in art history as a medium of images, as a medium of representation to portray the world,” he told the Korea Timetables last month. “But I have a different position: I say that the media are extensions of all sensory organs, artificial sensory organs. And with these organs, we not only receive the world, we also produce the world.

Weibel was born in Odessa, in what was then the Soviet Union and present-day Ukraine, on March 5, 1944. Together with his mother, he fled as a child first to Poland and then to Austria, where they lived in an American camp for displaced persons. people before setting foot. Weibel left for Paris to study cinematography before moving to Vienna at the age of twenty. There he first studied medicine and then logic before turning to a conceptual artistic practice enlightened by the study of language and semiotics. By the mid-1960s he had linked up with the Viennese Actionists, who staged transgressive and often shocking actions that rejected traditional object-based business practices and presaged contemporary performance art. He took part in a number of actions at this time, perhaps the most famous being led on a leash on all fours through Vienna by his partner at the time, the artist VALIE EXPORT, in a performance examining the gender roles. At the same time, Weibel was working on what he and his compatriots called “expanded cinema”, creating videos and installations. His inquiry into television as a mass medium was embodied in his 1972 action tv and vt works, broadcast that year on Austrian national public television. Works from the 1980s and 1990s encompassed computer-assisted video processing and interactive computer installations, both of which were revolutionary in their time.

Weibel’s careers as an educator and curator developed alongside his practice and parallel to each other. From the mid-1970s he taught at institutions such as the University of Applied Arts in Vienna; Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax; and the University of Kassel. In 1984, he took up the position of associate professor for video and digital arts at the Center for Media Study at the State University of New York, Buffalo; and professor of visual media at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. In 1989 he was asked to establish the Institute for New Media at the Städelschule in Frankfurt, which he directed until 1994. Weibel frequently held overlapping curatorial positions. Among these were that of curatorial adviser for Ars Electronica, in Linz, Austria; having agreed to take on the role in 1989, he was appointed artistic director in 1992 and remained in the post until 1995. Between 1993 and 1999 he was chief curator of Graz, the Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum in Austria ; during this same period, he was curator of the Austrian pavilion at the Venice Biennale. In 1999, he assumed the role of President and CEO of ZKM; under his leadership, the institution has become one of the most important media museums in the world. For the past few months, Weibel had been planning his exit from the ZKM, after which he intended to return to Vienna. The Briton Alistair Hudson, former director of the Whitworth Art Gallery at the University of Manchester, will succeed him at the museum from April 1. great exhibition of Weibel’s work, “Respectively, Peter Weibel: Art as an Act of Cognition” is on display at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Korea, Seoul, through May 23.


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