In a new installation in the temporary bauhaus-archiv, the world’s largest Bauhaus collection can be explored immersively using artificial intelligence.
Image above: Ansicht Bauhaus Infinity Archive © Konrad Langer
With around one million objects, the Berlin Bauhaus Archive / Museum of Design has a multifaceted collection that is known far beyond the country’s borders and which could previously only be shown in fractions. Thanks to the steadily progressing digitisation of our holdings, more and more of the works created at the Bauhaus are now available virtually. Thus, we can not only show our collection objects in almost endless and unusual combinations, but also explore the question of which stories can be told with the help of artificial intelligence (AI).
The Bauhaus Infinity Archive was created in collaboration with the Berlin design studio ART+COM Studios and the Qurator research project funded by the Ministry of Education and Research. For this, ART+COM Studios developed the so-called Image Garden, which visualises objects from the database and makes it possible to navigate through the collection of the Bauhaus Archive and use visual criteria as the output of the search query.
This immersive installation can be seen in the temporary bauhaus-archiv from 20 January 2022. In a walk-in mirrored box equipped with two oversized screens inside, visitors can use a touchpad to control shapes and colours and trigger algorithms that are linked to the respective objects from the database of over 15,000 entries. Previously unknown connections between the different objects are thus analysed and revealed.
In the long term, Image Garden will explore how AI can support both the analysis of content and the handling of large, complex data sets in a curatorial context. The possibilities of automated processing of text and images will be tested.
“Artificial intelligence is a buzzword that is mentioned again and again in the cultural sector. However, visitors can hardly try out the concrete possibilities and limitations of such automated processes for themselves. In the Infinity Archive it’s different: the algorithm is directly controlled and shows its interpretations live. Navigating through the archive via colours and shapes and not via text allows a completely different and sensual access to these works,” says Jana Sgibnev, project manager at ART+COM Studios.
In addition to playing with AI, the Bauhaus Infinity Archive also offers curated stories. Here, for example, the history of the Bauhaus is traced using central objects from the 14 years of its existence or the diversity and colourfulness of the objects created there are illustrated.
The installation is being developed within the framework of “dive in. Programme for Digital Interactions” of the Federal Cultural Foundation, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) in the NEUSTART KULTUR programme. “We are happy to support the Bauhaus Infinity Archive,” explains Friederike Zobel, head of the funding programme
“During the construction-related closure of our museum, it is important for us to be present in public. With the Bauhaus Infinity Archive, we show on the one hand how we are developing digitally as an institution. On the other hand, we are playfully creating new access to our collection and presenting objects that have never been on public display before,” says Annemarie Jaeggi, director of the Bauhaus Archive / Museum of Design.
Exhibition dates: ab Donnerstag, 20 Januar 2022
Opening hours: Mo–Sa, 10–18 Uhr
the temporary bauhaus-archiv