Alken, Franz

static-spacer-piece IV / 2008

He doesn't do anything, he just wants to look

secret chambers / 2008

Curatorial intervention / variable mass

secret chambers

(© Franz Alken 2008)

The concept of the secret chambers is taken from the world of computer games and adventure movies. A secret switch or a hidden door give the hero access to an exclusive place, where special treasures, weapons or pieces of armour may be found. The prerequisite for gaining access is a playful, exploratory approach to the given surroundings.

Transferred to the exhibition space, this concept alters the conventions of the gallery space. Visitors to the exhibition are forced – if they want to see all works – to leave the position of the passive consumer, to question the limits of the display and to playfully investigate the exhibition space.

As part of the 100% HEALTH exhibition visitors were given a clue of the existence of three secret chambers inside the exhibition space through a site map that indicated the position of the artworks and referred to the secret chambers.

superconsumers / 2005

This ‘auratisation’ is however only temporary: The objects are automatically sold as ordinary consumer goods on Ebay. They are only granted a ‘pause’ from their existence as products of industrial mass production and user supply.

At the same time, the installation gives a constantly updated view of the world of consumer goods. The programming of the process makes the prediction of what the bot will buy impossible, as it searches the products only with a general interest profile.

The search word ‘football’ for example, results in various products such as fan articles, computer games, books and sport clothing. / 2002-2004

Installation / interactive internet work “superbot/machines will eat itself” with wall image
“the superbot mural” / PC / internet connection / table / stool / black paint

Franz Alken follows in his interactive internet work the traces of media surveillance which every computer user leaves behind. A terminal, which is accessible for all users lures with the possibility of creating oneself a virtual identity through a differentiated consumer character profile which thereupon will be ‘existent’ in the internet. In this experiment, which leads the targets of data collection to absurdity, curious companies will be supplied with a virtual consumer community.

A mural is part of the installation, which captures the various developmental stages of transformation in one virtual utopian existence.

Fleischläb! (Meatlab!) / 2000-2001

Fleischläb was realised by Diane Müller and Franz Alken first for the hobby shop and later perfected for a solo exhibition in a project space in Cologne named Triloff. The work is based on instruments which combine meat and technical elements such as cables, switches and plugs into a synthetic resin body. The thus generated biotechnical product range is presented in a shop situation in which the fictional company “Fleischläb” sells its wares. The entire product display is complemented by posters, a merchandise video and order terminal.

Fleischläb illustrates that which can be understood as an everyday commodity, under the topic of biotechnology today. The transformation and expansion of the human body has become so simple and self-evident like the operation of a hi-fi-system.

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Museum Beetle / 2000

object / text

The larva of the museum beetle is the natural enemy of preparations in zoological collections. For this reason, the exhibits of zoological institutions are annually treated against infestation. Here, this species is exhibited for the first time.


*1974 in Frankfurt/Main

lives and works in Leipzig


19996– 2003 Studies in Media Arts, HGB Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig

2004-2005 postgraduate “Meisterschüler” programme at Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig, mentored by Prof. Alba D’Urbano and Prof. Joachim Blank

2007-2010 Assistant, HGB Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig


fowarde by a Rule, Galerie Kleindienst, Leipzig
Drawcula,Galerie Kleindienst, Leipzig

no walls / gegen die wand, Galerie B/2, Leipzig
UAMO Festival, München

interface and society, Hennie Onstad Kunstcenter, Oslo (NOR)

Im Bild sein, Academy of visual Arts Leipzig
cash and carry, Kunstliefde, Utrecht (NL)

Stuttgarter Filmwinter, Stuttgart
Transmediale04, Berlin
Whoami, Aschaffenburger Kunstverein
Optimize, Montevideo, Amsterdam (NL)
Systemstörungen, Edith-Russ Haus für Medienkunst, Oldenburg
artbotfestival, New York (USA)
Impakt Festival 04, Utrecht (NL)
CYNETart_04, Dresden

EMAF, Osnabrück
Monitoring, Kulturbahnhof Kassel

attention!, Messehaus, Leipzig
Diego Maradona, Galerie B/2, Leipzig

Fleischlab, Projektraum Triloff, Köln
Fleischversorgung, Galerie Alexa Janssen, Köln
natural_mente, Naturkundemuseum Leipzig

Hobbyshop, Leipzig-Dresden

Translationen, Villa Kobe, Halle

vinyl-video, Dogenhausgalerie, Leipzig