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Dieter Jung swings between optics and kinetics in this hi-tech driven show

German artist Dieter Jung's solo show 'Between and Beyond' at the ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe saw contemporary art in both analog and digital techniques.

by Sukanya Garg May 23, 2019

Light, space and movement are at the center of the artistic work of the German artist Dieter Jung, born in 1941, who has addressed the visual effects of color and light, surface and space since the mid-1960s. In order to make the fleeting moment of optical phenomena visible, Dieter Jung uses both analog and digital techniques. Painting, drawing, installations, and holography are in constant dialogue in his work. With the exhibition Dieter Jung. Between and Beyond, the ZKM honors the extensive work of this Berlin-based artist, who has been closely associated with the ZKM since its foundation. In addition to holograms, holokinetic and transoptical mobiles as well as light installations, the exhibition focuses particularly on the artist’s paintings and drawings since the 1960s.

Dieter Jung, Icarus Eyes (Detail), 2002 Image Credit: Spock Chen

Even long before he came into contact with holography, Dieter Jung had researched the processes involved in visual perception and the structural principles of generating images. The dense web of intersecting horizontal and vertical oscillating lines that overlay his paintings and drawings he originally derived from the principle of warp and woof, the basis of Renaissance tapestries. At around the same time these structures triggered his interest in the interference patterns of holography, which store the optical information of a three-dimensional object. In 1977 his passion for immaterial colors and 'pure' light, which exhibits both the properties of waves and particles, led him to the New York School of Holography where he studied the techniques and creation of spatial imaging, discovered by physicist Dennis Gabor by chance in 1948. During the years from 1985 to 1988 Dieter Jung was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), directed by Otto Piene. There, in collaboration with leading scientists and technicians, he developed large format computer-generated and animated holograms. Expanding the limits of creative holography, he became internationally one of the leading protagonists of holographic art.

  • Dieter Jung, Strings (Light Flight), 2019 Image Credit: Dieter Jung
  • Dieter Jung, Strings (Light Flight), 2004 Image Credit: Dieter Jung

In view of current developments in technology and increasing interest in holographic techniques, by means of which our ways of working, learning, and communicating will change fundamentally in the future, the exhibition Dieter Jung: Between and Beyond makes visible the structural connections between the various strands of the artist’s work and reevaluates the significance of his practice for the development of media art.

Dieter Jung (b. Bad Wildungen, Germany, 1941), considered one of the pioneers of, and today a master of, creative holography, studied theology, painting, graphic arts, and cinema in Berlin and Paris. Since 1965, his visual installations have been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions at major institutions in Germany as well as elsewhere in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and the Middle East.

Dieter Jung, Red in Green in Blue 3, 2011 Image Credit: Dieter Jung

At ZKM his works were previously on show in the exhibitions Holography from the ZKM Collection (2013/2014) and Art in Motion. 100 Masterpieces with and through Media (2018/2019). In addition, in 2019 he participates in the exhibitions Writing the History of the Future. The ZKM Collection (starting February 23, 2019) and Negative Space (April 6–August 11, 2019).

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About Author

Sukanya Garg

Sukanya Garg

Garg is an artist and writer with a Masters degree in Public Policy from Duke University, USA. She has been involved in research, planning and execution of gallery exhibitions and external projects in collaboration with curators. Her writing has been published in several art magazines, journals and as part of curatorial notes and catalogues, and her work has been showcased in multiple exhibitions.

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