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Lectures / 21/10/2009 7:30 pm

Art and Science?

Salon-Ozeane – Warum sich Menschen Wassertiere halten

Modern aquaria were first built in England in the mid-19th century and proved an instant success both as public deep-sea aquaria and private fresh water aquaria. Life under water, which had remained virtually unknown until then, attracted the interest of professional researchers, amateurs with a background in the sciences and inquisitive laymen. For all these groups it was now possible to study the aquatic milieu and its laws at close quarters. The focus of interest for the constructors and owners of aquaria was the creation of “natural environments” for all forms of aquatic life. While it was essential to establish how to maintain the delicate balance between different kinds of fish and between different forms of fauna and flora inside the aquarium in order to make life possible in what is basically a highly artificial environment, the discussions centring on the fish containers were not only interesting with regard to animal life: What do these living-room oceans and crystal cages tell us about the voyeuristic longings of their owners and observers?


  • Bernd Brunner, Wie das Meer nach Hause kam, Berlin 2003.
  • Butis Butis (Hg.), Stehende Gewässer: Medien der Stagnation, Zürich/Berlin 2007.


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21/10/2009 7:30 pm
Lecturer: Isabel Kranz
Host: Stefan Hametner


Aquarium Programmbild Kunst und Wissenschaft?