Architecture Exhibitions International

UdK – Universität der Künste Berlin

Otto Beckmann
Imaginary Architectures

Nov 11–Nov 17, 2017
Aus der Serie „Metropolis“, 1980-1982 Privatbesitz Foto: Universalmuseum Joanneum

A curatorial collaboration between the Otto Beckmann Archive, Vienna and the Chair for Digital and Experimental Design at the Institute of Architecture and Urban Design, UdK Berlin.

Films and photo montages of imaginary architecture by Austrian artist Otto Beckman (1908-1997) will be shown in a spatial multimedia installation in the foyer of the UdK. Created between the late 1960s and 1980, the visual information of these visionary works remains open to interpretation while still referencing their technical production process, which subsists without a gestural artistic plot or action.

In more recent years, this remarkable group of works has garnered considerable attention within the field of media art, yet for the most part remains unknown in architectural circles and is therefore being presented to the public in this exhibition. The works being shown were created with the use of a so-called atelier computer, which was designed and built after 1970 by Oskar Beckmann, the son of the artist. Otto Beckmann and his visionary experimental working group “ars intermedia” founded in 1966 can therefore be counted among the pioneers of Computer Art.

Beckmann’s comprehensive work shows influences from a variety of art movements from the early and mid-20th century such as surrealism, symbolism and the informal, and consists of sculptures, graphics, photographs and Kunst am Bau projects. Also not to be overlooked are singular creative references to symbols of the occult in both his early and late images and sculptures. In Beckmann’s computer-aided work, the mathematics at the core of the calculation process take on a pivotal role between the material and metaphysical world – and with substantial creative autonomy at that. The computer serves not as a tool or instrument of a creative process based on rationality, but rather as a generative medium within the artistic dialogue between man and machine.