Divine Golden Ingenious. The Golden Ratio as a Theory of Everything?
9 September 2016 – 26 February 2017
Seek and you shall find – from the pineapple’s skin to da Vinci’s works, Marilyn Monroe’s facial features or the façade of Leipzig’s Old Town Hall. The golden ratio appears to be omnipresent – and can also be found in the internet analysing images of cats or a brawl in the Ukrainian parliament.
The proportion, elevated to a universal absolute of harmony in the nineteenth century, has retained an irresistible fascination ever since antiquity. Is there really a mathematical principle underlying our perception of beauty? Or is this would-be ‘Theory of Everything’ just a charming myth?
For the first time, an exhibition is now casting light on this phenomenon from a range of perspectives. “Divine Golden Ingenious. The Golden Ratio as a Theory of Everything?”
takes a multimedia and interactive approach to exploring fascinating worlds of form, critically assessing the golden ratio’s history and application. From geometric principles and the Fibonacci series, said to be found in growth patterns in plants, to Le Corbusier’s Modulor with its graduated scales of proportion – the exhibition brings together around 250 objects and artefacts from architecture, art, design, nature and music to reveal the role of the ‘divine proportion’ across the spectrum of creative processes.
In search of the golden ratio, visitors can use a golden template to analyse exhibits, holographically compare their own facial features with the golden proportions, complete golden puzzles and play golden music on the gorschel, an instrument especially constructed for this exhibition. And for the grand finale, they can immerse themselves in a virtual world systematically constructed on the rules of the golden ratio – but will it really fulfil the promise of aesthetic perfection?
no pain no game
16 March 2016 – 26 June 2016
A computer game punishing mistakes with real pain; a box creating the world’s smallest social network; balls moving as if by magic, steered by the human voice. Volker Morawe and Tilman Reiff’s multi-sensory installations take a playful and humorous approach to offer a very different perspective on the mechanisms of media interaction.
In no pain no game, their first worldwide solo exhibition, the art duo known as //////////fur//// is presenting ten selected works. The exhibition was commissioned by the Goethe-Institut as part of the Europe-wide project SPIELTRIEB!. //////////fur//// makes art interactive – creating an experience beyond the comfort zone. Their PainStation, winner of the International Media Art Award, is regarded as both a milestone and a taboo breaker. Based on the iconic video game Pong (1972), PainStation is the first computer game which does not merely visually represent pain, but is actually painful.
On around 500 square metres of space, the exhibition comprises nine other interactive installations, less dramatic perhaps, but no less impressive. Snake Pit, for instance, gives the classic computer game Hyper-Wurm (1979) a run for its money. The action originally seen on a mini-screen is transformed into a competitive and sweat-inducing dash for two players. In contrast, Amazing, a voice-controlled maze game, is all about hitting the right note together at the right time. And last but not least, facebox puts real-world proximity in place of digital disembodiment in social networks. This eye-to-eye encounter creates an unusual sense of intimacy – and could even end in a genuine friendship.
“What belongs together is now growing together!” German Reunification and the Communications and Logistics Networks
25 September 2015 – 21 February 2016
In 1989, over a million people in East Germany who had applied for a phone were still waiting to be connected. In the postal system, long waiting times and failure to deliver were common. It was an open secret that the Ministry for State Security (Stasi) listened into phone calls and systematically monitored letters and parcels. The East German media was also controlled by the state and subject to censorship. After the Peaceful Revolution in 1989 and German reunification the following year, the newly united country faced the massive challenge of overcoming decades of division in all spheres of life, including modern communications.
To mark the 25th anniversary of German reunification, this exhibition showcases the development of the postal and communication network in the former East Germany after 1990 – one of the core tasks in the Aufbau Ost reconstruction programme. From telephones for everyone to unified postal codes – over 200 exhibits as well as installations and media stations show how cutting-edge telecommunication and logistics infrastructures, new digital technologies and an independent media landscape have helped East and West to grow together. The exhibition also recounts the stories of the individuals and institutions whose profound personal and professional commitment have made the successful reunification of this once divided nation possible.
Dialogue with time. The interactive exhibition
1 April – 23 August 2015
How do I imagine my life when I’m old? What are the challenges of aging? What chances and opportunities does it bring
– now and in the future? “Dialogue with Time. The Interactive Exhibition”takes an unusual approach to addressing these questions. Accompanied by specially trained Senior Guides, groups of visitors explore the different facets of age and aging. The exhibition’s five themed sections comprise a range of topics inspiring visitors to engage in a dialogue with the Senior Guides on ideas about aging and the reality of growing old. The topics not only encourage guests to reflect on their own process of aging and that of others, but also to think about the demographic changes in society.
In addition to stimulating transgenerational dialogue, the exhibition offers a chance to experience life as a silver ager now – discovering, for example, how climbing stairs feels for older people or the problem of inserting a key into lock with a shaking hand. In an interactive situation, visitors can also test life after retirement and find out about the profound changes it can bring. But the autumn of life is not only about limitations and restrictions, it is also enriching and stimulating, as is evident in the positive accounts of aging in the exhibition. In total, the exhibition offers a differentiated image of aging and being old that dispels prejudices and, at the same time, fosters an empathic
understanding of the older generation.
Greetings from Oman. Culture – Nature – Society
6 – 29 March 2015
Fascinating landscapes, ancient history — and philatelic treasures: with the exhibition “Greetings from Oman” the Sultanate of Oman is guest at the Museum for Communication in Berlin. Oman, located in the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula, presents itself as a cultural and historic tourist destination, and through its stamps illuminates little-known and fascinating facets of its postal history.
In addition to numerous previously unseen pieces from the 150-year-old Omani philately, there are many typical exhibition pieces to be seen, such as the Omani curved dagger, valuable silver jewelry and other works of oriental art. Among the 300 pieces on display is a model of a dhow, a typical Omani sailing ship, which was presented by the Omani ambassador to the former German foreign minister, Joschka Fischer.
Oman – the home of Sindbad the Sailor – continues a millenniums-old maritime tradition and has evolved into a cosmopolitan hub of commerce and understanding between cultures. The southern province of the Sultanate, Dhofar, is the source of frankincense, which brought great trade wealth to the south of the Arabian Peninsula in ancient times. With natural pride in what has been built over the last 40 years under Sultan Qaboos, the inhabitants of the country welcome visitors to Oman. “Greetings from Oman” acquaints exhibition goers with a modern state in tune with ancient traditions, which is mirrored in its philately.
Eine Ausstellung der Deutsch-Omanischen Gesellschaft e.V. Unterstützt vom Tourismusministerium des Sultanats Oman und der Botschaft des Sultanats Oman, Berlin. In Kooperation mit Oman Post, Bund Deutscher Philatelisten e.V. (BDPh), Philatelisten-Verband Berlin-Brandenburg e.V. (PhVBB).
Around the World in 80 Things. The Jules Verne Code
26 September 2014 – 22 February 2015
In his bestseller Around the World in 80 Days, Jules Verne wrote: “The world has grown smaller, since a man can now go round it ten times more quickly than a hundred years ago”. In the late nineteenth century, this was a broadly accepted view of the world. At that time, the development of a communication network comprising railways, mail steamers and the telegraph was rapidly shrinking the world and creating the ‘Victorian internet’, the basis for today’s World Wide Web.
The exhibition “Around the World in 80 Things. The Jules Verne Code” offers a vibrant insight into the history and narratives of globalisation. Following the route in Jules Verne’s novel, visitors are taken on a voyage of discovery around the globe and across time. On their way, they come across such fascinating objects as a portable travel desk, a walking stick with an integrated compass, and a piece of the 3000-kilometre-long submarine cable once connecting Europe and North America. Aside from the 80 objects directly related to Jules Verne’s gripping story, a range of other exhibits highlight how the globe was mapped and networked, the acceleration of transport and global communications, and Europe’s encounters with the rest of the world.
In the final section, modern geo-information systems and computer applications, including a gesture-controlled globe installation and an ‘Urban Observatory’ with comparative images of various major cities, impressively illustrate how we can comfortably explore the world today in real time with just one click of the mouse.
In cooperation with
Best Communication Design. Red Dot Winners Selection 2014
26 October 2014 – 18 January 2015
Highest design quality in the creative metropolis: For the second time, the best winners’ works of the Red Dot Award: Communication Design are presented in the Museum für Kommunikation Berlin. From 26 October 2014, the studio exhibition “Best Communication Design – Red Dot Winners Selection 2014” shows all recent laureates of the awards “Red Dot: Best of the Best” and „Red Dot: Grand Prix“. Visitors of the museum can look forward to seeing 101 top designs of fields as advertising, typography, poster and corporate design. Proving creative know-how in comparison to international standards – that is what the Red Dot Award: Communication Design is all about. In 2014, established designers, up-and-coming talents, agencies and companies from 49 nations handed in a total of 7,096 works. But only the best were able to convince the 24 internationally renowned experts of the Red Dot jury in a several days lasting evaluation process.
Network of war – Communication 14/18
9 May – 12 October 2014
The First World War was fought on an unprecedented scale. With modern weapons and means of communication, mass armies unleashed a destructive force previously unknown. No war before crossed so many boundaries, and was so dependent on communication technologies.
The military made massive use of communication networks. The main pillars were telegraph, telephone and radio, used by staff and unit headquarters to lead the troops. But with the tendency of these technologies to break down, traditional communication methods were revived in the war. Light signals, messenger dogs and carrier pigeons were used again.
Out of control? Life in a world of mass surveillance
21 March – 31 August 2014
Are we really safer when CCTV cameras track public squares, streets, and buildings, or intelligence agencies mass scan our emails? Is it really helpful for our software to suggest things supposed to interest us? In such a world, can security ever be compatible with individual liberty? These and other hot-button issues inspired our exhibition “Out of Control? Life in a world of mass surveillance.”
Our selection of 200 exhibits from past and present illustrates how surveillance and control are more than just dark powers subjugating defenceless underlings. Instead, they range from systematically scanning personal data to just watching the neighbours from behind the curtains.
A searching look in the mirror, a touch to the hair, a little more rouge on the cheeks: the desire to please is as old as time, and keeps us busy all our life. But what or who is beautiful? Does beautiful also mean good? And how far does the dictate of beauty drive us?
Am I Beautiful? is dedicated to the many diverse aspects of beauty’s power and display. From mating criteria in the human and animal world to mathematical formulae for aesthetics and universal ideals of beauty, the exhibition explores the biological and cultural basis of attractiveness. It identifies and questions role models constructed by the media and takes a critical look at the downsides of today’s beauty cult. The exhibition focuses in particular on the seemingly limitless potential of modern digital technologies.
Am I Beautiful? offers visitors a chance to interactively explore their own ideas of beauty, and the beauty of others. You can morph your face, modulate your voice or investigate your own sense of aesthetics as you look for the Golden Mean. Ultimately – and fortunately – beauty always remains in the eye of the beholder.
Speed is NOW! Pacing the race against time
12 April – 1 September 2013
“Got no time for that!” How often today have you either thought or heard someone say that? We complain, to use a present-day term, about being increasingly “time-poor,” while the math suggests that we should actually be enjoying ever more leisure time. In reality, however, the pace of everyday life continues to accelerate, with stress and frenzied activity gripping us all. Surprising is the fact that this phenomenon, the sense of having less time, is not a product of today’s cell phone age. Since the early modern period, people have been battling against the clock – at first just a few and then ever more.
GLÜCKSFÄLLE – STÖRFÄLLE. Facets of Intercultural Communication
12 Oktober 2012 – 24 February 2013
Different countries, different customs! Usually said with a shrug of the shoulders, such comments reduce cultural encounters to a very simple common denominator. Yet knowledge of different customs and conventions is increasingly important in an age of worldwide communication, globalisation and migration. As the world grows together, international cooperation intensifies – and the more common it is for different cultures to come into contact.
Museum for Communication Berlin
Leipziger Straße 16
Tel +49 (0)30 202 94 0
Fax +49 (0)30 202 94 111
Tuesday 9–20 Wednesday - Friday 9–17 Saturday, sunday and on holidays10–18
Adults: 4 Euro Concessions: 2 Euro
(participants on guided tours, pupils, students, trainees, and members of groups of 15 persons and over not on a guided tour) Free admission:
for children under 18 years old