The continuing integration of human and machine | Arts | DW | 17.12.2019
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Arts

The continuing integration of human and machine

As part of the Saxon Year for Industrial Culture, a new exhibition in Leipzig explores artworks that reflect the shifting effects of technological progress on humans since the beginning of the industrial revolution.

The Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts (Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig) has combined around 50 selected works of art from its own holdings, in addition to loans from contemporary artists — especially the Saxony region — to investigate how industrial upheavals have transformed the relationship between people and technology. 

From glorifications of industrialization to complex criticism of capitalism, "The Optimized Human" exhibition gives insight into how the visual arts also act as a catalyst for these transformations.

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Human-machine transformations

To reveal multiple facets of industrial and technological revolutions, the Leipzig show combines works from past eras, but also by contemporary regional artists that have been rarely seen by the public and reflect transformations that have taken place since a collapsed GDR has become part of a reunified, and increasingly digitalized, Germany.

The show's ultimate aim is to offer a differentiated level of reflection on the human-machine relationship and its consequences. At the same time, it asks how people and technology will continue to evolve into the future.

"The Optimized Human" also includes an extensive supporting program with tours and lectures, as well as a blog with further background information on the works and the artists.

The picture gallery above offers a preview of some of the works. 

"The Optimized Human: Moments of industrial culture in the visual arts" runs through March 1, 2020.

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