Interaction, Participation, Networking — Kunsthochschule Köln

By Karl Heinz Jeron • 24 Apr 2013
SS 2013, Guest Lecture
24th april 2013, 16:00-18:00

One of the first German communication projects involving the (pre-WWW) Internet was the group Handshake founded by Barbara Aselmeier, Joachim Blank, Armin Haase and Karl Heinz Jeron in 1993. Later Handshake spin-offs would include the International City Federation. Implemented as an interactive installation, Handshake acted as an interface between the electronic network and living world. Prepared communication and perception experiments (such as the Rorschach Test) on the basis of text, visuals and sound pointed to cultural peculiarities and common ground of the participants. The networking and participatory potential offered by the Internet were of particular importance, also in the «Net art» that came into being as graphical web interfaces were enhanced from the mid-1990s onward.


In late 1994, the International City Federation was founded in Berlin. Probably the most prominent Net project in Germany in the period 1995­/1996, its aim as an independent Internet provider was to make it easier for cultural projects to build up an Internet presence. The IS offered low-priced Internet access and server capacity for experimentation–a service not to be underestimated at a time when private Internet access was beyond most people’s means.