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Glaciers, Deserts and Craters Seen from Above

Exhibition duration: Sept. 20 – Oct. 12, 2003
Exhibition opening: Sept. 19, 8 pm


The Karlsruhe Research Centre, the Karlsruhe Cultural Office and Stadtmarketing Karlsruhe GmbH have joined forces to stage one of the most spectacular art and science exhibitions the city has ever seen. The open-air installation, Artwork Earth, staged by the Helmholtz As-sociation of National Research Centres will be on show on the ZKM forecourt from 19 Sep-tember to 12 October 2003.

Satellite photos show the stunning beauty as well as the tremendous fragility of planet earth. The 20 pictures, which are mounted in black wooden frames up to 12 square metres in size, fascinated some 200,000 visitors in Bremen, Bonn, Munich and Berlin.

Taken hundreds of kilometres above the earth’s surface, the photos show water and ice, de-serts and rocks, mountains, volcanoes and the traces human beings have left on the planet from an unusual perspective and in astonishingly vivid colours. The exhibits are lit up at night. One of the photos, the Earth by Night, is also illuminated by 3,000 glass fibres that are worked in. While the pictures from space produce an impressive aesthetic effect, they are also of immense value for research. They provide information on the ozone layer, for instance, and make the spread of the deserts visible. It is possible to spot pollutants in the oceans and to derive information for agriculture and telecommunications.

The exhibition is open all day free of charge. An exhibition brochure and information material in English are also available free of charge at the exhibition.

For more details on the exhibition go to

The photos used in the exhibition come from the illustrated book of the same name that was compiled by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and published in co-operation with Fred-erking & Thaler-Verlag, Munich, and the magazine, GEO. The book, Artwork Earth, has in the meantime been honoured by bild der wissenschaft as the Science Book of the Year 2002 in the Aesthetics category. The idea of presenting photos from the book in a large-scale format outdoors was put into practice by the Helmholtz Association as its contribution to the Science Summer 2002. The Helmholtz Association with its 15 Research Centres, including the one in Karlsruhe, and an annual budget of around €2.1 billion is Germany’s largest scientific organisation.

The exhibition is supplemented by popular scientific presentations on the subject of Satellites, Atmosphere and the Earth, a supporting programme organised by the nearby museums – the Municipal Gallery and the ZKM Karlsruhe – and a series of films screened in the ZKM Cinema.


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