Kraftwerk’s Robot-Pop Takeover of Sprüth Magers, Berlin
Image rights: Photo Timo Ohler Copyright KRAFTWERK, 2013 Courtesy Sprüth Magers Berlin London
Founded by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider in the climate of experimental 1960s and ’70s Dusseldorf, the enormously influential multimedia project Kraftwerk have been creating groundbreaking electronic music and performing audio-visual events in museums and galleries for decades, encompassing a unique form of artistic practice. Kraftwerk created the legendary Kling Klang studio in Dusseldorf, where the group conceived and composed their albums, experimenting with tapes, synthesizers, robotic rhythms, computer-speech technology, and other cutting-edge technologies. Concerned with the interaction between humans and machines, and the escalating computerization of human culture, Kraftwerk often replace themselves with signature robots during live performances, positioned in front of a backdrop of digital visuals that are characterized by striking abstract and graphic imagery. Kraftwerk recently performed 12345678 (2012–3), a landmark series of events that acted as a live retrospective of their work at the Tate in London, MoMA in New York, and Kunstsammlung NRW in Dusseldorf.