ralf baecker - about


Ralf Baecker (*1977 Düsseldorf, Germany) is an artist working at the interface of art, science, and technology. Through installations, autonomous machines, and performances, he explores the underlying mechanisms of new media and technology. His objects perform physical realizations of thought experiments that act as subjective epistemological objects to pose fundamental questions about the digital, technology and complex systems and their entanglements with the socio-political sphere. His projects seek to provoke new imaginaries of the machinic, the artificial and the real. A radical form of engineering that bridges traditionally discreet machine thinking with alternative technological perspectives and a new material understanding that makes use of self-organizing principles.

Baecker has been awarded multiple prizes and grants for his artistic work, including the grand prize of the Japan Media Art Festival in 2017, an honorary mention at the Prix Ars Electronica in 2012 and 2014, the second prize at the VIDA 14.0 Art & Artificial Life Award in Madrid, a working grant of the Stiftung Kunstfonds Bonn, the Stiftung Niedersachsen work stipend for Media Art 2010 and the stipend of the Graduate School for the Arts from the University of the Arts in Berlin and the Einstein Foundation.

His work has been presented in international festivals and exhibitions, such as the International Triennial of New Media Art 2014 in Beijing, Künstlerhaus Wien, ZKM | Center for Art and New Media in Karlsruhe, Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, WINZAVOD Center for Contemporary Art in Moscow, Laboral Centro de Arte in Gijón, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB), NTT InterCommunication Center in Tokyo, Kasseler Kunstverein and Malmö Konsthall.

Since 2016 he has been teaching at the University of the Arts Bremen as Professor for Experimental Design of New Technologies in the Digital Media program.

Contact: studio@rlfbckr.io - newsletter - twitter - instagram


  • 2019  NTAA 19 Award in collaboration with the STARTS-program of the European Commission
    New Technological Art Award / Foundation Liedts-Meesen, Ghent BE
  • 2017  Grand Prize "Japan Media Arts Festival 2017"
    Japan Media Arts Festival / Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan, Tokio JP
  • 2015  Honorary Mention "Prix Ars Electronica 2015"
    Ars Electronica, Linz AT
  • 2014  Stipend of the Graduate School for the Arts
    University of the Arts + Einstein Foundaton, Berlin DE
  • 2014  Jury Selection "Japan Media Arts Festival 2014"
    Japan Media Arts Festival / Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan, Tokio JP
  • 2013  Second Prize "VIDA 14.0 Art & Artificial Life Award"
    Vida / Fundaction Telefonica, Madrid ES
  • 2012  Fellowship / Residency "art in progress"
    Hanse Wissenschafts Kolleg, Delmenhorst DE
  • 2012  Honorary Mention "Prix Ars Electronica 2012"
    Ars Electronica, Linz AT
  • 2011  Production Stipend Schering Stiftung/DOCK e.V.
    Schering Stiftung, Berlin DE
  • 2010  Stiftung Niedersachsen work stipend for Media Art 2010
    Edith-Russ-Site for Media Art, Oldenburg DE
  • 2009  Second Prize "Share Prize 2009"
    Share Festival, Turin IT
  • 2008  Honorary mention "CYNETart 2008"
    CYNETart, Dresden DE
  • 2008  Honorary mention "digital sparks award 08"
    digital sparks, Bonn DE
  • 2008  Work stipend
    Stiftung Kunstfonds, Bonn DE
  • 2007  Award for Media Art of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)
    North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf DE

  • since 2016  Professor for Experimental Design of New Technologies
    University of the Arts, Bremen DE
  • 2014 - 2015  Visiting Professor
    ArtEZ Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, Arnhem NL
  • 2007 - 2008  Lecturer
    University of the Arts, Bremen DE
  • 2007 - 2008  Artistic Associate (Künsterlischer Mitarbeiter)
    Bauhaus-Universität, Weimar DE

  • 2014 - 2016  Fellowship
    University of the Arts, Berlin DE
  • 2002 - 2007  Media Art (Diploma)
    Academy of Media Arts, Cologne DE
  • 1999 - 2001  Computer Science
    University of Cologne, Cologne DE

  • 2021  A Natural History of Networks / SoftMachine (performance)
    STATE Studio, Berlin DE
  • 2020  Floating Codes
    gnration, Braga PT
  • 2019  Computing Spaces [more]
    Stereolux, Nantes FR
  • 2018  Putting the Pieces Back Together Again
    Drehmoment / KulturRegion Stuttgart, Kircheim unter Teck / Stuttgart DE
  • 2017  Interface I - Ljubljana [more]
    Kresija Gallery, Ljubljana SLO
  • 2016  The Paradox of Knowing Universals
    Kasseler Kunstverein, Kassel DE
  • 2016  Order + Noise. Interface I
    NOME Gallery, Berlin DE
  • 2015  The Secret of the Machines
    Kapelica Gallery, Ljubljana SLO
  • 2013  In Search for Precise Pleasures
    LEAP, Berlin DE
  • 2011  Irrational Computing
    Schering Stiftung, Berlin DE
  • 2009  Rechnender Raum
    Kunstverein Bochum, Bochum DE
  • 2007  Rechnender Raum
    Moltkerei Werkstatt, Cologne DE
  • 2007  Nowhere Nr. 4
    Melkweg Media Space, Amsterdam NL


  • Future Media Art Festival
    Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (C-LAB), Taipei TW
  • Maintenant Festival
    Les Champs Libres, Rennes FR
  • May The Others Live in Me
    Laboratoria / Tretjakow Galerie, Moscow RU
  • Topologies of the Real: CAFAM Techne Triennial [canceled]
    CAFA Museum, Beijing CN
  • 2020

  • Near + Futures + Quasi + Worlds
    02.07.2020 - 26.07.2020
    S+T+ARTS at STATE Studio, Berlin DE
  • Trondheim international biennale for art and technology / Meta.Morf X – Digital Wild
    05.03.2020 - 03.05.2020
    Trondheim Kunstmuseum Gråmølna, Trondheim NOR
  • 2019

  • International Art Exhibiton for New Technology
    02.11.2019 - 25.11.2019
    Zebrastraat, Ghent BE
  • Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Computers So Uncanny, So Nonsensical?
    19.10.2019 - 05.01.2020
    Chronus Art Center, Shanghai CN
  • Todays Art 2019
    19.09.2019 - 22.09.2019
    TodaysArt, Den Hague NL
  • Ars Electronica 2019
    05.09.2019 - 09.09.2019
    Ars Electronica, Linz AT
  • Experientia!
    23.06.2019 - 21.10.2019
    Château de Lunéville, Luneville FR
  • Liquid Crystal World
    23.02.2019 - 16.06.2019
    Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA), Middlesbrough UK
  • 2018

  • Device_art 6.018: Machines Are Not Alone
    18.12.2018 - 03.02.2019
    The Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb / KONTEJNER | bureau of contemporary art, Zagreb HR
  • A new State of the Living
    28.11.2018 - 17.02.2019
    PERMM Museum of Contemporary Art, Perm RU
  • Thinking Machines. Ramon Llull and the ars combinatoria
    03.11.2018 - 10.03.2019
    EPFL ArtLab, Lausanne CH
  • Liquid Crystal World
    29.09.2018 - 27.01.2019
    Site Gallery, Sheffield UK
  • The International Digital Art Biennial (BIAN/ELEKTRA)
    29.06.2018 - 05.08.2018
    Arsenal Contemporary Art, Montreal CA
  • Singularity Now
    24.05.2018 - 27.05.2018
    Athens Digital Arts Festival, Athen GR
  • DIA-LOGOS. Ramon Llull und die Kunst des Kombinierens
    17.03.2018 - 05.08.2018
    Zentrum für Kunst und Medien (ZKM), Karlsruhe DE
  • 2017

  • unREAL. The Algorithmic Present
    Chronus Art Center, Shanghai CN
  • Japan Media Arts Festival 2017
    NTT Inter Communication Center [ICC], Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokio JP
  • Datumsoria
    Zentrum für Kunst und Medien (ZKM), Karlsruhe DE
  • kinetical patterns
    Galerie Gerken, Berlin DE
  • unREAL. The Algorithmic Present
    Haus der elektronischen Künste (HeK), Basel CHE
  • Prima Materia
    Fiber Festival 2017, Amsterdam NL
  • 2016

  • Interferences
    KIKK Festival 2016, Namur BE
  • No New Kind of Duck - Graduale 16
    Kunstverein am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Berlin DE
  • Alchemists of our Time
    Ars Electronica 2016, Linz AT
  • The Thinking Machine - Ramon Llull and the Ars combinatoria
    Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB), Barcelona ES
  • 2015

  • Tektonics / ACT Festival
    ACT Center, Asia Culture Center (ACC), Gwangju KR
  • Artistic needs & Institutional desires
    Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin DE
  • Superconduction. Challenge of art & technology
    Pop-up exhibition by Laboratoria Moscow, Riga LV
  • CyberArts 2015, Prix Ars Electronica Exhibition
    OK Center, Linz AT
  • 2014

  • International Triennial of New Media Art 2014 / thingWorld
    National Art Musuem of China, Beijing CN
  • Obsessive Sensing
    LEAP, Berlin DE
  • Dernières Nouvelles de L’Éther
    La Panacée, Montpellier FR
  • ArtHackDay - Going Dark
    LEAP, Berlin DE
  • 2013

  • Conversations Électriques
    La Panacée, Montpellier FR
  • Rauchwolken und Luftschlösser
    Gesellschaft für aktuelle Kunst, Bremen DE
  • 2012

  • A Matter of Feeling - META.MORF 2012
    Trondheim Kunstmuseum, Trondheim NOR
  • synergy - Lexus Hybrid Art
    ARTPLAY, Moscow RU
  • The Power of Things
    Dutch Electronic Art Festival, Rotterdam NL
  • The Crystal World / CTM 12
    Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin DE
  • 2011

  • re-active platform
    MOCA Studio, Taipei TW
  • Produced @ 10 Jahre Stipendium für Medienkunst
    Edith Russ Site for Media Art, Oldenburg DE
  • Kunstfrühling 2011
    Gleishalle am Güterbahnhof, Bremen DE
  • Life - Science version
    Center for Contemporary Art WINZAVOD, Moscow RU
  • 2010

  • NODE10 - Forum for digital arts
    Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt am Main DE
  • New.Brave.World! - META.MORF 2010
    Trøndelag Centre for Contemporary Art, Trondheim NOR
  • WeltWissen. 300 Jahre Wissenschaften in Berlin
    Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin DE
  • Space Inventions. Der künstliche Raum
    Künstlerhaus, Wien AT
  • When Process becomes Paradigm
    LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, Gijon ES
  • The Poetics of Space - Sonic Acts XIII
    Netherlands Media Art Institute, Amsterdam NL
  • re-active platform
    glasmoog, Cologne DE
  • 2009

  • Share Festival - Experiences in digital art & culture
    Share Festival, Turin IT
  • genau. mathematische Strategien und künstlerische Prozesse
    Künstlerhaus Dortmund, Dortmund DE
  • 32. Bremer Förderpreis für Bildende Kunst 2008
    Städtische Galerie im Buntentor, Bremen DE
  • 2008

  • Electrohype 2008 – the fifth biennial for computer based and technological art
    Konsthall, Malmö SE
  • CYNETart 2008
    Festspielhaus Hellerau, Dresden DE
  • Artbots 2008
    Science Gallery, Dublin IE
  • Zur Zeit - Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln
    Künstlerhaus Palais Thurn und Taxis, Bregenz AT
  • 2007

  • LAB 30
    Abraxas, Augsburg DE
  • Wolfgang von Kempelen. Mensch-[in der]-Maschine
    ZKM Medienmuseum, Karlsruhe DE
  • From Reality and Back
    Mejan Labs / Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm SE
  • Zähler
    Künstlerverein Malkasten, Düsseldorf DE
  • 2006

  • autopsía - Sonderausstellung der KHM
    Art Cologne 2006, Cologne DE
  • Altitude 06
    Academy of Media Arts, Cologne DE
  • Intermezzo
    Academy of Media Arts, Cologne DE
  • 2005

  • Expanded Arts No. 2
    Kunstverein Gütersloh, Gütersloh DE
  • European Media Art Festival - Helden der Künste
    EMAF, Osnabrück DE
  • Expanded Arts (curated by VALIE EXPORT)
    Art Cologne 2004, Cologne DE
  • 2004

  • Altitude 2004
    Academy of Media Arts, Cologne DE
  • Transcodex (Boston CyberArts Festival)
    (online), Boston US


  • Artist Talk (remote)
    MAT Series, Media Arts and Technology - University of California, Santa Barbara US
  • 2020

  • Machine Archaeology (Online Discussion with Theo Jansen, Richard Guzmán, Emma Záhradníková & Tomáš Danielis)
    Sensorium Festival+ Goethe Institute Bratislava + Slovak Design Centre, Bratislava SK
  • Artist Talk (remote)
    Universidade Catolica Portuguesa, Porto / Braga PT
  • Panel discussion Art beyond Digital /Empathic AI – Art shapes Industry (Symposium)
    STATES Studio / S+T+ARS, Berlin DE
  • 2019

  • Jourfixe / Artist Talk
    Akademie der Bildenen Künste München, Munich DE
  • Time of Non-Reality (Artist Talk)
    Chronus Art Center (in cooperation with Tongji University), Shanghai CN
  • Time of Non-Reality (Artist Talk)
    Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing CN
  • 2018

  • Panel / Autonomous relations: actions, reactions and tangled sovereign systems
    Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, Zagreb HR
  • Artist Talk
    PERMM Museum of Contemporary Art, Perm RU
  • Artist Talk
    ArtTech Forum 2018, Geneva CH
  • Artist Talk / Matter Matters
    Retune Festival, Berlin DE
  • 2017

  • KISDtalk / Matter Matters
    Köln International School of Design, Köln DE
  • Artist Talk at Goethe Institute Shanghai
    Goethe Institute Shanghai, Shanghai CN
  • Artist Talk at Japan Media Art Festival
    NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC], Tokyo DE
  • Artist Talk / Datumsoria. The Return of the Real
    ZKM, Karsruhe DE
  • Seperation - Purification - Combination
    Fiber Festival 2017, Amsterdam NL
  • Noise - Space - Matter
    IMD _Institute of Media and Design, TU Braunschweig, Braunschweig DE
  • Noise - Space - Matter
    Resonate, Belgrade SRB
  • 2016

  • How I Stopped Worring and Started to Love the Turing Machine
    Performing Encounters @ Haus am Luetzowplatz, Berlin DE
  • 2015

  • From Transparency to Obscurity
    ACT Center 2016, Gwuangju KR
  • Datum I: Über die Autonomie der Technosphäre | Peter K. Haff, Jennifer Gabrys, Mark B. N. Hansen
    (Projection of Mirage used in Mark Hansens Lecture)
    Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin DE
  • Zeichen - Körper - Instrument / Über das Entstehen technologischer Artefakte /mit Julian Stubbe
    Salon für Ästhetische Experimente / Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin DE
  • Lines, Robes and Computational Spaces
    Fiber Festival 2015, Amsterdam NL
  • Lines, Robes and Computational Spaces @ Variable World - A Symposium on Simulation
    AVANT/LEAP Berlin DE, Berlin DE
  • Presentation and Lectue, Media Archeology as Artistic Practice
    CTM/Transmediale @ Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin DE
  • 2013

  • Cybernetic Bubblegum (Lecture + Workshop)
    Kunsthochschule Kassel, Kassel DE
  • 2012

  • Rauchwolken und Luftschlösser - Temporäre Räume
    Hochschule für Künste Bremen, Bremen DE
  • Machine Poetics (Lecture)
    Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg, Delmenhorst DE
  • Lecture
    Center for Contemporary Art WINZAVOD, Moscow RU
  • Lecture
    Share Festival, Turin IT
  • 2008

  • Artist Talk
    Kunstverein Bochum, Bochu DE
  • 2006

  • Artist Talk
    3. SuMa-eV Forum, Berlin DE
  • Artist Talk @ The Graduates / Upgrade Amsterdam
    The Graduates / Upgrade Amsterdam, Amsterdam NL