Ingo Gunther

Globe Sculptor

43 minutes, 20.1mb, recorded 2005-10-22
Ingo Gunther

In this talk from the Habitats session at Pop!Tech, artist Ingo Günther shows us patterns in the world, chronicling humanity in his portrayal of globes. Starting in 1988--or about 1000 globes ago--Günther was driven by reinventing the globe. He has been capturing the essence of globalization and urban technologies, illustrating the world around us that bring it to life in ways we could not have imagined.

Günther's images track impact by reducing data to the essence. Admitting that data collection and distribution can be problematic because of the lag from assemblage to depiction, he grants that his renderings may be affected. He also acknowledges that he has encountered many criticisms along the way, among them, people's complaints that their individual cities weren't portrayed.

He reminds us that things are represented in principle. We think of the universe as being quantifiable but there are many statistical challenges. As Ingo Günther leads us through a gallery walk of his globes you can view his globe images.

A question and answer session follow this presentation. The other speaker in this session is Robert Neuwirth.

Ingo Günther, born in 1957, grew up in the city of Dortmund, Germany. In the '70s, travels took him to Northern Africa, North and Central America, and Asia. He studied Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at Frankfurt University (1977) before he switched to the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1978, where he studied with Schwegler, Uecker, and Paik (M.A. 1983). In the same year, he received a stipend from the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf for a residency at P.S.1 in New York. He received a DAAD grant the following year and a Kunstfonds grant in 1987.

Günther's early sculptural works with video led him towards more journalistic oriented projects which he pursued in TV, print, and the art field. Based in New York, he played a crucial role in the evaluation and interpretation of satellite data gathered from political and military crisis zones; the results were distributed internationally through print media and TV news. The goal was to make military and ecological information, that was up to this point inaccessible, known to the public in order to have a direct impact on political processes. On an artistic level, the work with satellite data led to Ingo's contribution to documenta 8 (1987), the installation K4 (C31) (Command Control Communication and Intelligence). In the same year, Günther received accreditation as a correspondent at the United Nations in NY.

In his capacity as artist, correspondent, and author, he worked extensively with Japanese TV (NHK), covering topics that ranged from media studies to military technology. Since 1989, Günther has used globes as a medium for his artistic and journalistic interests. In 1989, nine months before the reunification of Germany, he founded the first independent TV station in Eastern Europe, Channel X, Leipzig in order to contribute to the establishment of a free media landscape.


This free podcast is from our Pop!Tech series.

For The Conversations Network:

  • Post-production audio engineer: Bruce Sharpe
  • Website editor: Leah Silverman