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© picture: cornelia sollfrank
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Cornelia Sollfrank, Märkisches Museum Witten

I grasp the opportunity working in cooperation with a museum to prompt the facets of my art research project called „common property” with regard to examine its relevance for the applied work in a museum.

The „Märkische Museum” in Witten possesses a large collection with emphasis on German painting and graphic art of the 20th century and various special collections as well. Most of the art works aren’t photographically or digitally documented. The museum hasn’t got a data file, not even a website. The digitalisation of the stock, which would be necessary to make it open to the public, isn’t only expensive in financial terms, but also bears the risk of abuse and a loss of control in terms of its utilisation. In a tough financial situation, the Märkische Museum – like the majority of all museums, – is dependend on the utilisation of its resources and has to tap on new means of support. Also, in a medium-termed future, the Märkische Museum can’t avoid to exploit its immaterial rights and positions of ownership. That results in manifold contradictions between private and public interest, which will carry the project „MuseumShop” to extremes by artistic means.

Die Künstlerin begeht zusammen mit dem Direktor des Märkischen Museums, Dr. Wolfgang Zemter, die Sammlung. © C. Sollfrank 2007

Cornelia Sollfrank

Cornelia Sollfrank studied painting at the Academy for Fine Arts in Munich (Prof. Helmut Sturm/SPUR) and Fine Arts at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg (Prof. Berhard Johannes Blume).

Since the mid 90s, the hacker, cyberfeminist, conceptual and net.artist, Cornelia Sollfrank has been investigating world-wide communication networks and transfering subversive artistic strategies of the classical Avantgardes into the digital medium. Her special interest lies in experimenting with new models of authorship, in continuing all sorts of artistic appropriation, and in deconstructing myths around geniality and originality. Since two years Sollfrank makes artistic contributions to the discourse on copyright and intellectual property. Another focus of her work deals with collaboration, networking, and communication as artistic practices. Within this context Sollfrank is co-editor of the online magazine for art and critique, THE THING Hamburg Furthermore many of her works — implicitly or explicitly — include a gender-specific approach. Mostly recently she started the series revisiting feminist art where she repeats early positions of feminist art.

Sollfrank is webmaster of artwarez.org and obn.org. She runs and moderates a numer of mailinglists, amongst them [echo] Kunst, Kritik und Kulturpolitik in Hamburg, surveillance studies, and oldboys. A blog and her own server are part of her communication infrastructure.

Sollfrank was founding member of the collectives frauen-und-technik and -Innen, and initiated the world-wide cyberfeminist network Old Boys Network. She has co-organized the three international conferences on Cyberfeminism (1997–2001).

In her project female extension (1997) – the hack of the first competition on net.art run by a museum – Sollfrank flooded a museum with 300 virtual, female net.artists. Sollfrank is the inventor of the net.art generators, computer programs which re-combine and collage material from the Net. With her piece Improved Tele-vision (Sound-Installation/ Website) she immodestly inscribed herself in the genealogy of such famous artists as Arnold Schönberg, Nam June Paik and Dieter Roth.

Sollfrank published the readers first Cyberfeminist International (1988) and next Cyberfeminist International (1999). In 1999/2000 Sollfrank produced a series of works on the topic of Women Hackers.

2004 the artist monograph Cornelia Sollfrank — net.art generator has been published at Verlag für Moderne Kunst Nürnberg.

Currently Sollfrank is working on a PhD on the topic of Open Cultures at Duncan of Jordanstone University in Dundee, Scotland.

Werkproduktion; Cornelia Sollfrank lässt in dem Fotostudio der Hamburger Kunsthalle Werke aus dem Märkischen Museum Witten unter museologischen Richtlinien für ihre Arbeit MuseumShop fotografieren. © C. Sollfrank