Zeche Zollern


The Zeche Zollern, or Zeche Colliery, in Dortmund is considered the icon of industrial culture. It was one of the first monuments of the industrial age. With its playful architecture and the fact that it was powered entirely electrically, the mine stood for advanced resource extraction and utilization. This was in stark contrast to the strenuous and dangerous working conditions underground. Today, the museum asks about the lives and work of the people who have long been at the center of the fossil fuel system.


Sacred Grounds

Futur II | 26.03.2022

The social, economic, and environmental consequences of the production of media technologies are mostly invisible in our everyday lives, yet immense.
Located in the Zeche Zollern – a historical site of raw material extraction and energy production – Refrakt’s augmented reality installation brings the analog effects of our digital actions into focus and encourages a critical examination of our behavior.

Whereas at the beginning of industrialization raw material extraction and production took place on our own doorstep, today the resources for digital technology are mined at the other end of the world in mostly precarious conditions. Those devices that connect us to the digital world increasingly resemble a black box whose manufacture and operation are obscured in order to maintain a magical techno-positivist aura. But will your own smartphone still feel the same after a look behind the scenes of the outwardly clean digital world?

Ryoichi Kurokawa


Futur I | 04.11.2021

FUTURE 21 opens at Zeche Zollern with a performance by artist Ryoichi Kurokawa that inhabits the interface between concert piece, audiovisual installation, and sculpture. Painting-like digital images of sprawling nature and decaying buildings are deconstructed and assembled into new subassemblies (groups of components). Poetic images of harmony and disharmony emerge, questioning the coexistence of man and nature.

In the site-specific treatment of his concert performance, Kurokawa also takes up images of the Zeche Zollern and the Henrichshütte Hattingen. The two monumental sites of industrial cultural heritage look to the past and at the same time to the future: where once industry displaced nature, today exists an intense negotiation about the new design and function of these spaces.


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