Rundgang, Cologne

Mendy by Lucas Buschfeld

Mendy by Lucas Buschfeld

A trip to Germany and Cologne this summer, with my good friend and German artist Kerstin Ergenzinger as my guide and companion, gave me the great opportunity to visit Rundgang –  a yearly student exhibition presented by KHM (Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln/Academy of Media Arts Cologne)

Over the years, I have seen several very interesting electronic artworks by artists who have some connection to Cologne and KHM in particular. To mention a few; Yunchul Kim, Roman Kirschner, Kerstin Ergenzinger, Agnes Meyer-Brandis and Ralf Baecker have all been studying at KHM and become internationally renowned artists. As a former producer and curator at Electrohype, I have also had the great pleasure to meet and work with some of them.

To my surprise, and somewhat disappointment, this year’s exhibition didn’t show much electronic art at all. It actually felt more like a “normal” art school exhibition. What has happened? Schools change of course, and different students, teachers/professors influence what will come out of it.

However, two artists attracted my attention.

Lucas Buschfeld, Germany

In his work Mendy, Lucas Buschfeld is using a Van De Graaff generator to generate electrostatic friction. For this it’s using a moving belt through which it accumulates very high voltage. The powerful generator is connected with a series of strips of very fine and thin paper. The electrostatic friction then makes the strips repel each other. By changing the voltage regularly, it makes the paper strip formation act as it was breathing. The visitors are also able to interact with the piece and by touching the paper “steal” the power and become the charger.

 Lucas Buschfelds website


Mendy by Lucas Buschfeld (the Van De Graaff generator)

Mendy by Lucas Buschfeld (The Van De Graaff generator)


Jongwon Choi, Korea

The other student who I found interesting was Jongwon Choi from Korea. Unfortunately, I didn’t see his main piece in the show Portrait Machine. A machine that perforates a paper with binary data that it collects from a profile image picked from Facebook. However, I did see his work in progress Memory to Memory which was presented in the Open Lab3. To put it briefly, he is using EEG data from his brain activities to control the growing of crystals in ferrous sulphate, resulting in a self-organising sculpture/object. The piece reminds me somewhat of another artwork – Roots by Roman Kirschner and I’m very much looking forward to seeing the finished work.

Jongwon Choi’s website


Memory to Memory artwork by Jongwon Choi

Memory to Memory by Jongwon Choi

Lab3 is a laboratory at KHM for students who work with electronics. During the Rundgang exhibition, some ongoing projects were presented here.


    Picture rights belong to the artist unless otherwise stated