Lung: Slave Labour

Harwood, Graham. 2005. Lung: Slave Labour. In: "Lung: Slave Labour", ZKM, Karslruhe, Germany, 3/20/2005 - 10/3/2005. [Show/Exhibition]

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Item Type:

Creators: Harwood, Graham
Abstract or Description:

Acoustic installation made in response to the specific site of the ZKM, this is a software poem memorial to the 4,500 slave labourers that worked in Hall A of the former Deutschen Waffen und Munitionsfabriken A.G. during the Second World War (now the main exhibition hall of ZKM). By computing the vital lung capacity of these forced workers, the program emits their last breath of air. "Lungs" is an acoustic visualisation based on this Nazi database of the foreign labourers. The Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe provided anonymised data about former forced labourers. The data base containing records of over 57,000 foreign workers was set up in 2000 to help answer enquiries from affected persons and from the foundation "Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft" (Recollection, Responsibility and Future). Many of the entries have still not been historically reappraised, nor have the individual fates of labourers been appropriately acknowledged. By interrogating their age, sex and height, "Lung" is able to calculate their vital lung capacity and emit a ‚breath' of air for each worker through a speaker system. The general aim of the "Lungs" project is to take computer records of local events or communities that have been reduced or demeaned to the status of information and to allow the people to re-experience and recover their own value. This attempt to give a database a pair of lungs reconnects people with a political atrocity in a very visceral way, to create a software memorial.

Additional Information:


Departments, Centres and Research Units: Centre for Cultural Studies (1998-2017)
Date range: 3/20/2005 - 10/3/2005
Event Location: ZKM, Karslruhe, Germany
Item ID: 947
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2009 15:41
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2017 11:10


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