Trinity Twins, Kinemathek Karlsruhe 2022 © Paul Needham – paulneedhamfoto.de


“…a merciless revealer using the means of Art.”
Berliner Zeitung, Germany

I am an artist, coder, filmmaker, instrumentalist, cartographer and former professor. I started off with video and film, pioneering the field when using software as an artistic media. I have repeatedly shown in museums, festivals and theaters around the globe, won much recognition and produced collaborative artworks with key figures of diverse contemporary art disciplines. After having retreated many years to the desert and the forest, I am currently based in Berlin.

I have acted as founding professor of Digital Media Art at HfG/ZKM University in Karlsruhe, Germany and as the founding director of the Oasis Archive of the European Union. I am the co-founder of the Open Home Project, a humanitarian initiative to help people affected by the Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan. My work focuses on the underlying forces of nature and society; an ongoing research into what I call “Infossil, the forgotten Archaeology of Future”.

During the 1990s Michael Saup developed a reputation as an innovative protagonist of digital art. His work, often in cooperation with other artists, has been widely shown in exhibitions, festivals and on stages around the world. He currently lives and works in Berlin.

Vor Sonnen-Aufgang, 2017 mit Laibach

In 1980, while enrolled at the Dominican University, San Rafael, California, Michael Saup studied music and computer science and started to combine both fields with an algorithmic approach. In 1987, he created “Flicker”, his first computer-generated light installation, which immersed a gallery space with permutations of pulsing light. From 1989 onwards, Saup began to experiment with real time transformations of sound and image, helping pioneer the development of software as an artform.

2000 – Michael Saup, Steina Vasulka and Louis Philippe Demers

Michael Saup’s early work introduced direct control of digital film through music and sound-driven interactive computer animations. With these innovative strategies he created installations like “Pulse8” (1992), concerts like “Hyena Days” (1992) and choreography generators like “Binary Ballistic Ballet” (1995).

Light as Skin, 1997, Frankfurt Airport

In 1992 he founded the group ”supreme particles”, helping launch the field of audiovisual processing and interactive environments. This group specialised in the creation of experimental software in connection with art, architecture and music. A work of this group was “Light as Skin” (1997-2007), a connecting passenger transit tunnel bathed in light at Frankfurt International Airport being one of the first large scale and long term interactive works of media art in public space.


Their installation “R111” (1999-2001) exhibited the concept of virtual matter and its ramifications in the real world. While new media actual tendencies were virtualizing reality, R111 took the inverse approach of materializing virtuality: choreographing particles of matter as though they were pixels.

The turn of the century saw Michael Saup begin to focus on political and social issues, such as access to communications media, consumption and transformation of fossil and “infossil” resources, nuclear history and financial theory. As part of his ‘Weapons of Mass Education’ project, he initiated workshops with young filmmakers in India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Morocco and Afghanistan.

Research and Teaching

Michael Saup has held appointments at several universities, including the Academy of Fine Arts Munich and the Zürich University of the Arts. From 1991 to 1994 he was artistic and scientific assistant at the Institute for New Media in Frankfurt. In 1999 he was appointed as founding professor for Digital Art at ZKM / HfG Academy of Art and Design in Karlsruhe, where he remained in residence through 2005.

Dust, 2018, Rijeka

shift, Gasometer Oberhausen, 1995

Falling Forest – Root Log, Montréal, 2008

2004 – 360 filming in Kabul, Afghanistan, by Lida Abdul