Prof. Dr. Brett Stalbaum

Database Logic and Landscape Art

Lecture given at the symposium "Mapping"

Brett Stalbaum

Brett Stalbaum

Media Files


The aesthetic consequences of database can be viewed at different layers as implemented in IT systems such as geographic information systems. The most general of these layers are implementation (data and processing tiers) and representation (interfacial tier). It is at the implementation level(s) that GIS data may be allowed to express itself and operate as a co-participant with artists. Because such data is typically 'big data', (data sets that test contemporary processing capabilities), artists need to take an explorative approach to practice with such data; a practice that may not find its primary nexus of expression or activity at the user interface. The methodologies for such explorations are not entirely clear at this time, but C5 suspects that systems emphasizing the paradigmatic axis foregrounded by database as cultural form should become the primary concern for any consideration of expression in art performance. This is the key for contemporary exploration of the actual territories that stubbornly remain even after their supposed disappearance behind their model or their map, and may provide a platform for developing general insights into emerging datascapes.

Artists / Authors



Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe (ZKM)


Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Lorenzstrasse 19, 76135 Karlsruhe, Germany

Partners / Sponsors

Goethe-Institute and the German Ministry of Research and Education BMBF.




, Apr 21, 2004