Fleischmann & Strauss
© jpg ; Fleischmann & Strauss

(collective) Monika Fleischmann | Wolfgang Strauss ,
Co-workers & Funding
MARS - Media Art ReSearch / team

Concept & Management: Monika Fleischmann, Wolfgang Strauss
Technical Team: Achraf Bakkali, Sonja Bouwers, Adam Butler, Jens Falk, Ralf Gierse, Henning Hagmann, Martin Hammel, Ansgar Himmel, Kai-Uwe Kunze, Andreas Muxel, Nico Nemitz, Jasminko Novak, Daniel Pfuhl, Matthias Schmidt, Kerstin Schmidt, Christiane Seger, Predrag Peranovic, Roland Steiger, Benjamin Stephan, Thomas Unger, Stefan Paal, Stefan Winarzki.
Editorial Team: Ante Beneta, Gabriele Blome, Carsten Dilba, Katja Heckes, Andrea Helbach, Anja Kempe, Tabea Lurk, Diane Müller, Marion Scharmann, Oswin Schmidt, Felix Schmitz-Justen, Claudia Valle, Cordula Walter, Stefanie Zobel, Nina Zschocke.
Design Team: Jochen Denzinger, Lina Lubig, Christoph Seibert.
Funding by German Ministry for Research and Education BMBF
  • / initial sketch and applications
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  • (1999) by Monika Fleischmann and Wolfgang Strauss.Initial sketch 1999, homepage of the platform 2001. Maps: origin of users 2002, Hyper Media Tele-Lecture (2003). Dieter Daniels accesses two networked databases in his lecture.
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NETZSPANNUNG.ORG : MEDIA ART ARCHIVE PLATFORM 1997- 2001 / 2012 is an online archive platform for the collection and promotion of media art. Beyond the archive, programs such as streaming tele-lectures by media scholars, media art learning examples for children, and the digital sparks student competitions capture the evolving media art landscape over the years.

Through an email survey to the international media art community and a subsequent round table on the topic of "Preservation, Promotion, Development, and Dissemination of Media Art" at Schloss Birlinghoven in Sankt Augustin near Bonn, Germany, Monika Fleischmann and Wolfgang Strauss initiated the establishment of the media art platform in 1987. 120 international media artists participated in the survey, and their suggestions were incorporated into the concept. Research and development for the creation of the platform and archive for media art began with the approval of an initial 5-year project, extended by 2 years in August 1998. This project, titled CAT – Communication, Art, Technology, was supported by the Federal Ministry of Research and Education. The authors used the collaboratively developed feasibility study as a guide for implementation.
The platform was designed as an online resource that produces and provides telelectures, educational content, scientific articles, and media art documentation based on shared distributed server systems. The technology for the platform was developed within two years by the editorial and technical team of the newly established MARS – Media Art ReSearch Lab at the Fraunhofer Institutes for Media Communication and AI. For the first time, was presented at the CAST01 conference at GMD (German Research Center for Information Technology) as an instrument for researching, reflecting upon, and conveying electronic culture to the public. encompasses active channels such as the student competition Digital Sparks (2001-2008) and the Telelectures, which were streamed and archived through the Mobile Unit (2001). The portable webcast studio with user-friendly streaming software allowed the MARS team to record, archive, and transmit lectures by notable speakers to German universities and live on the internet. An example of this is the "Iconic Turn" series by the Burda Academy at the University of Munich. These recordings were made and stored long before the emergence of platforms like YouTube. In collaboration with 25 German universities, the "Media Art Learning" channel showcases examples of teaching and learning media art in practice.
The number of visits saw a significant increase, with the platform registering 150,000 monthly visitors in 2006. During that period, the platform hosted more than 3,500 artworks created by over 750 artists. Through, the artists are venturing into novel methods of presenting the digital archive. This pertains to producing output formats that render the digital archive accessible to a wider audience, including the mass media. A notable instance is the Hypermedia Tele-Lecture on "Sound and Vision" (2004), developed in collaboration with art historian Dieter Daniels. A prototypical educational format involves linking two online archives – and Media Art Net – to illustrate the concept of interconnected archives. Another endeavor, the i2tv – Interactive Internet Television (2002), combines's platform technology with a virtual TV studio. This convergence results in a distributed audio-visual language play, featuring Ernst Jandl's sound poem "Otto's Mops," which becomes an interactive internet television collage crafted by the viewers. Both experimental formats aim to integrate the archive with television.
More significantly, the data acquisition level is elevated through artificial neural networks and self-organizing Kohonen maps. Our design blueprint for archive and platform technology development takes inspiration from the words of AI pioneer Marvin Minsky: "Imagine the books in the libraries could talk to each other." Our knowledge discovery interfaces – semantic maps, matrices, and media flows – engender fresh facets of the digital archive by semantically connecting and analyzing all data. This generates a novel interface paradigm. Instead of the traditional "What you see is what you get," it evolves into "What you get is what you did not see before."
In this way has revolutionized the use of the digital archive with innovative knowledge discovery interfaces. These interfaces serve as both browsers and spatial installations, aiding visitors in discovery, not just search. In 2012, Peter Weibel inaugurated the exhibition "Inter-Facing the Archive" by Fleischmann and Strauss at the ZKM Center for Art and Media Technology in Karlsruhe with the words: " and its groundbreaking interfaces create cognitive and data-related structures. What has emerged here is a model for an international educational infrastructure that deserves emulation." Fleischmann and Strauss consider the online archive "" as an artistic endeavor that leverages AI methods for knowledge discovery.
Upon the authors' request, transitioned from Fraunhofer to ZKM as its new host in 2010. Technically, the platform was under development from 1999 to 2001, followed by updates in 2004 and 2010, before its transfer to ZKM in the same year. While remains accessible, efforts are underway to restore outdated components. It's worth noting that since 2012, ZKM has been hosting and maintaining the platform as a virtual server. This approach means that the archive itself is preserved as a virtual machine. It's akin to a frozen time capsule—still accessible but no longer active.
  • aesthetics
    • acoustic
    • collaborative
    • contextual
    • documenting
    • experimental
    • generative
    • hypermediacy
    • immaterial
    • immersive
    • installation-based
    • interactive
    • mobile
    • modular
    • multi-user
    • narrative
    • navigable
    • networked
    • performative
    • processual
    • projected
    • real-time
    • virtual
    • visual
  • genres
    • conceptual art
    • database art
    • digital activism
    • digital communities (social network)
    • installations
    • net art
    • performance art
  • subjects
    • Art and Science
      • dynamical systems
    • Arts and Visual Culture
    • History and Memory
    • Media and Communication
    • Society and Culture
    • Technology and Innovation
  • technology
    • displays
    • hardware
    • interfaces
    • software
Technology & Material
System architecture's application system is implemented in Java and based on an open system architecture which can be dynamically expanded with specific modules and components. During ongoing operation, new services and applications can be loaded into the system on request and then run. A special database interface (distributed storage system) ensures that heterogeneous data sources can be addressed in a uniform object-oriented manner, thus enabling applications to be developed independently.

Please note: Since 2012, has been converted into a virtual machine running on a ZKM server system. The platform has not been active since then. It is a time capsule from 2000 - 2012. Flash and Shockwave applications no longer work.