On the death of artist Joachim Sauter

On the death of artist Joachim Sauter
On the death of artist Joachim Sauter

Joachim Sauter was one of the most renowned media artists and a visionary with his experience-oriented walk-in spatial installations. He exposed us to augmented reality and virtual reality long before they were commercially discovered. You can experience his oeuvre when you land at the airport in Singapore, for example, and come across his gigantic, seven-meter-high and 75-square-meter installation “Kinetic Rain”, whose slowly moving metal droplets create contemplation and longing in travelers. Museum visitors to the BMW Museum in Munich have been amazed since 2008 by a changing car silhouette made of 700 spheres, which turns the play on the outer skin of vehicles into a 3D morphing world.

Joachim Sauter, born in Schwäbisch Gmünd in 1959, studied at the University of the Arts and the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin. His creative output has been in Rome, Mexico City, Barcelona, ​​Paris, Gwangju, Shanghai, Seoul, Moscow and Tokyo, and he has been recognized by major museums such as the Paris Center Pompidou and the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum, the Venice Biennale and the Getty Center in Los Angeles with exhibitions. At the same time, as a researcher and art and media professor, he has shaped generations of students since 1992 with his legendary “digital class” at the Berlin University of the Arts, to which media artists from all over the world made pilgrimages.

A quantum leap in media art

His work “Zerseher”, exhibited for the first time at Ars Electronica 1992, pushed him into the consciousness of the art world overnight: “Zerseher” shook the analog understanding of art of the early nineties – the digital image of a child portrait by Giovanni Francesco Caroto disintegrates, exactly where the viewer is looking. Technically and aesthetically, that was a quantum leap in media art.

Joachim Sauter’s great merit is the ability to think ahead, anticipate technological change and bring the upheavals that the digital world brings with it for all of us into artistic form and thereby accompany civilizational change with a wink and artistically demonstrate it. He described his mission as: “Look, the best way to predict the future is to invent it”. My good friend Joachim Sauter died much too early on July 10th after a serious illness.

The author is a designer and lives in Berlin.

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death artist Joachim Sauter

 
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