Timo Kahlen

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Timo Kahlen (born 1966 in Berlin) is a German sound sculptor and media artist who currently lives and works in Berlin.


Life and work

Timo Kahlen is known for his sound sculptures and site-specific sound art works, installations with steam, wind and light, as well as experimental net art, video and photography. His interdisciplinary and intermedia body of work, often employing ephemeral, elemental materials such as wind and steam, [1] [2] light and shade, sound and vibration, [3] noise and beauty, [4] has been nominated for the German national Sound Art Prize 2006, [5] [6] the Kahnweiler Prize for Sculpture 2001 and the Prize for Young European Photographers 1989, as well as various scholarships in Washington D.C., Berlin, Paris and Guernsey. Kahlen's work is involved with the sculptural and conceptual aspects of immaterial phenomena and processes, and curators as Joanna Littlejohns have emphasized the ephemeral, "temporary and changeable nature" of his concentrated oeuvre. [7] Kahlen's work has been presented in more than 140 exhibitions and retrospectives of contemporary media art since the mid-1980s, including Sound Art: Sound as a Medium of the Arts (ZKM Center for Arts and Media Technologies, Karlsruhe 2012–2013), the Mediations Biennale (Poland 2012 [8] ), Tonspur_expanded: The Loudspeaker (Vienna, 2010–11), Noise & Beauty (Berlin 2010), 60 × 60 (New York 2010), Manifesta 7: Scenarios (Italy 2008), [3] [9] [10] Sound Art: German Sound Art Prize 2006 (Marl and Cologne 2006), Wireless Experience (Helsinki 2004), Zeitskulptur: Volumen als Ereignis (Linz 1997) and the solo exhibition Timo Kahlen: Works with Wind (1991), inaugurating the Kunst-Werke in Berlin.

His installation at the Aviation Museum in Amberg in 2010 was disrupted when a cleaner mistakenly vacuumed up the two dead hornets he had placed on a loudspeaker: the installation was titled Tanz für Insekten (dance for insects) and the intention was for the dead insects to "dance" as a result of the vibrations. Rather than kill more hornets, he replaced them with dead houseflies. [11]

Kahlen received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the Berlin University of the Arts, where he studied under Professor Dieter Appelt and held a lectureship in Visual Media and Video Art from 1993 to 1998.

Exhibitions (selection)

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  1. Flusser, Vilém (1991). "Timo Kahlen: Works with Wind". In Ennokeit, Werner & Zwart, Leon (eds.). Timo Kahlen: Noise & Beauty. 25 Years of Media Art. Edition Ruine der Kuenste Berlin, 2010. p. 43. ISBN   978-3-927786-02-8.
  2. Moll, Frank-Thorsten & Zeller, Ursula (2011). Luftkunst. Zeppelin Museum, Friedrichshafen. p. 32. ISBN   978-3-86136-146-6.
  3. 1 2 Budak, Adam; Franke, Anselm & Collective, Raqs Media (2008). MANIFESTA 7: Index. Silvana Editoriale, Milano. p. 44. ISBN   978-88-366-1128-7.
  4. Ennokeit, Werner & Zwart, Leon (2010). Timo Kahlen: Noise & Beauty. 25 Years of Media Art. Edition Ruine der Kuenste Berlin. p. 5. ISBN   978-3-927786-02-8.
  5. "Deutscher Klangkunst-Preis 2006" (in German). Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  6. Schmidt, Julia (4 August 2011). "Timo Kahlen: Staubrauschen" (in German). art-in-berlin. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  7. Littlejohns, Joanna & Snell, Eric (2001). Timo Kahlen: International Artist-in-Residence Programme, Guernsey 2001. Guernsey College of Further Education, St Peter Port. p. 10.
  8. Wendland, Tomasz & Nanjo, Fumio (2012). The Unknown: Mediations Biennale 2012. Fundacja Mediations Biennale, Poznan. p. 82. ISBN   978-83-935963-0-0.
  9. "Artists: Timo Kahlen: 1966, Berlin, DE: Lives in Berlin, DE: Swarm, 2008: Sound installation". Manifesta 7: The European Biennale of Contemporary Art. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  10. Schreiber, Anne (4 August 2008). "Der Wunsch, zu Sehen". Artnet (in German). Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  11. Hägler, Max (10 November 2010). "Tanz ohne Insekten, Interview". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 24 June 2013.