Siegfried Zielinski

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Siegfried Zielinski (1951) is a German media theorist. Studied philosophy, theatre, German philology, media studies, political sciences, and linguistics at Marburg University, Free and Technical University Berlin. His M.A. thesis was on the film director Veit Harlan, who was tried for crimes against humanity because of his film "Jud Süß" (1942). In the 1980s he was assistant lecturer and assistant professor at the Department for Media Studies, Technical University Berlin.


1990-1993 Professor for audiovisual studies at the University of Salzburg, Austria, founded the department of >Audiovisions<. As of 1993, Chair of Communication and Audiovisual Studies at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne; from 1994-2000 Founding Director and Rector of this Academy.

Siegfried Zielinski teaches and researches on the history, theory, and praxis of audiovision; his special field of interest is media archaeology. He gave seminars and lectures in around 25 different countries around the world.

Since 1979 he realized numerous Film, Video and exhibition projects, including "Responses to HOLOCAUST in Western Germany", "Channel Four — Fernsehen zwischen Kultur und Kommerz", "Einhundert — Kurzfilme zur Archäologie der Audiovision", "Museum Hermeticum", "Wie man sieht — ". He was director of the Cologne based festival "Digitale" (1995-2000). Together with the musician and composer Anthony Moore he developed a new accoustic format called "expanded lectures". CD-Rom productions amongst others with the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Amsterdam located deBalie ("Permanent Flux") and the Budapest Kunsthalle (Mucsarnok), "The Butterfly Effect".

Member of the European Film Academy (EFA), the Academy of Arts Berlin, the Faculty of the European Graduate School, Saas Fee, the Budapest Center for Culture and Communication (C3) and the Magic Lantern Society of Great Britain.

He also worked as co-editor of various series like Preprints zur Medienwissenschaft and Germanistische Medienwissenschaft; and consultant editor of Balkan Media (Sofia, 1991-1999) and Ctheory (Montreal, Canada).


(in German unless noted otherwise)


  • Veit Harlan. Analysen und Materialien zur Auseinandersetzung mit einem Filmregisseur des deutschen Faschismus, Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1981. [1]
  • with Friedrich Knilli, Holocaust zur Unterhaltung. Anatomie eines internationalen Bestsellers, Berlin: Espresso/Elef.Press, 1982, 515 pp. [2]
  • with Friedrich Knilli, T. Maurer and T. Radevagen, Jud Süß, 1983.
  • Tele-Visionen. Medien-Zeiten, 1983. [3]
  • Zur Geschichte des Videorecorders, Berlin: Wissenschaftsverlag Spiess, 1986, 408 pp; new ed., Potsdam: Polzer Media Group, 2010. [4]
  • Audiovisionen: Kino und Fernsehen als Zwischenspiele in der Geschichte, Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1989.
  • with E. Reiss, Grenzüberschreitungen, 1992.
  • Video. Apparat/Medium, Kunst, Kultur, 1992. [5]
  • Keith Griffiths: The Presence, 1993.
  • with Knowbotic Research, William Mitchell, Stephen Perrella and Stacey Spiegel, Interfacing Realities. Buchprojekt zur Schnittstelle, Rotterdam: V2_, 1997. (English)
  • with H. U. Reck, W. Ernst, T. Hensel and N. Röller, Lab. Jahrbuch für Künste und Apparate, 1995/96, 1996/97, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2002.
  • Entwerfen und Entbergen. Aspekte einer Genealogie der Projektion. 10 Jahre International Flusser Lectures, Cologne: König, 2010.

Edited books (selection)[edit]

  • with Peter Weibel (eds.), Allah's Automata: Artifacts of the Arabic-Islamic Renaissance (800-1200), Hatje Cantz, 2016. Catalogue. Exhibition. Publisher.
  • with Amador Vega and Peter Weibel (eds.), DIA-LOGOS: Ramon Llull's Method of Thought and Artistic Practice, University of Minnesota Press, 2018, 300 pp. [15]
  • with Charles Merewether (eds.), Art in the 21st Century: Reflections & Provocations, Hong Kong: Osage, 2020. [16] [17] (English)
  • with Hans Ulrich Reck (eds.), Künste und Apparate – Berichte aus einem Labor (1995-2005), Herbert von Halem (KHM #6), 2022, 360 pp. Publisher, [18]. (German)

Book chapters, papers, articles (selection)[edit]

Interviews (selection)[edit]


  • David Link, Nils Röller (eds.), Objects of Knowledge, of Art and of Friendship: A Small Technical Encyclopaedia, for Siegfried Zielinski, Leipzig: Institut für Buchkunst, 2011, 192 pp.[19]. Review: Rauth. (English)
  • Daniel Irrgang, Florian Hadler (eds.), Zur Genealogie des MedienDenkens, Berlin: Kulturverlag Kadmos, 2017.
  • Thresholds 2: "Traces", eds. Frances McDonald and Whitney Trettien, 2018. (English)