Benjamin Heidersberger

Benjamin Heidersberger (born in 1957 in Braunschweig, Germany) is a German media artist, journalist, entrepreneur and culture manager. He lives and works in Berlin and Wolfsburg.

Early life

Heidersberger studied physics, biology, and computer science at the Technical University of Braunschweig in 1978. From 1978 to 1984, he was part of the interdisciplinary artist group Head Resonance Company in Wolfsburg. Along with the artist Peter Elsner, they conducted research on how ideas become reality in architecture, music, performance and installation.


In 1984, he moved to Hamburg to work for a PC-dealer, Polisoft and later ABC Trading. From 1988 onward, he was an editor of the Computer-Magazine, MACup, about hardware and software, and later about art, technology, and society.

In 1989, he co-founded the Ponton-Lab as an artist group and realised interactive media and TV-projects on Documenta- 8 and Documenta- IX, in Japan 1993 as well as on Ars Electronica 1986, 89, 90 and 96 under the brand Van Gogh TV.

In 1992, the international project Piazza virtuale was realised, transmitting during the 100 days of Documenta daily 90 minutes of live-TV from 12 studios across Europe.[1][2] The same year he curated the exhibition "Creative Software - On Men and Milestones" at Ars Electronica.[3]

In 1993 and 1994, Heidersberger taught Design of Electronic Media at Merz-Academy in Stuttgart. Ponton-Lab was formed into a full-service internet agency with up to 20 employees and realised the websites for the Lower Saxony State Government and for the Federal Press Office and later the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 1998 he launched Kulturserver, an online community for art and culture consisting of online-services for 20.000 artists similar to social media. The project was invited to present at the international conference “Cultura y Desarrollo” in Havana.[4]

In 2002, he founded the Heidersberger Institute in Wolfsburg Castle to archive and publish the work of his father, photographer Heinrich Heidersberger. The Institute collaborates with contemporary artists to contextualise that work. In the same year he was curator for netart on the 4th Werkleitz Binnale.

Beginning in 2011 Heidersberger gave lectures at the Department of Media Studies and Musicology in Humboldt-University. In 2012, he curated and produced the concert of the Japanese composer Shinji Kanki, for the Alvar Aalto Festival in Wolfsburg. He realized the algorithmic piano composition Pentatonic Permutations[5] in a series of concerts and sound installations, among others at Ars Electronica 2016.[6]

In 2017, he began curating the production-arts festival Drehmoment for the KulturRegion Stuttgart.[7]

Awards and nominations

1991 Smithsonian Award, Washington - Nominee

1993 Siemens International Media Art award, by ZKM Karlsruhe

1993 Prix Ars Electronica

1994 Interactive Media Festival, Los Angeles - Nominee

2000 Best of Business-to-Business Award, as CEO, category Multimedia

2002 eMIL- Award, category User Interface

2003 eMIL- Award, category Internet

2004 WebFish award of the Lutheran Church in Germany (EKD), category Innovation

2008 WebFish of the EKD, category Internet


Heinrich Heidersberger: Wolfsburg - Bilder einer jungen Stadt. Herausgeber, with Bernd Rodrian, ISBN 3-89479-826-2.

Johannes Ehrhardt (Hg.): Netzwerk-Dimensionen. Kulturelle Konfigurationen und Managementperspektiven, Die virtuelle Piazza. 1992, ISBN 3-89238-045-7.

Manfred Waffender (Hg.): Cyberspace : Ausflüge in virtuelle Wirklichkeiten, Die digitale Droge. 1993, ISBN 3-49918-185-1

Christoph Ernst, Jens Schröter (Editors): (Re-)Imagining New Media. Techno-Imaginaries around 2000 and the case of "Piazza virtuale" (1992), ISBN 978-3-658--32898-6

References Die imaginäre Pizza, 21. Mai 1992, retrieved July 10, 2018 The Medium is the Mission, 5. Januar 1993, retrieved July 10, 2018

Ars Electronica Archiv: Endo Nano - Die Welt von Innen, 1992, retrieved July 10, 2018

The Guardian: Cuba faces the web revolution, July 22, 1995, retrieved August 8, 2018

Pentatonic Permutations 20121216, retrieved 2018-09-28

Ars Electronica Festival 2016 - Radical Atoms, retrieved July 10, 2018 Benjamin Heidersberger wird künstlerischer Leiter für das Projekt 2018, 3. February 2017, retrieved July 16, 2018

Links (A-Z) on the Internet

Chaos Studio Hamburg: Van Gogh TV - Piazza virtuale - Hallo hallo ist da jemand?, 29.12.2021

Drehmoment, Kulturregion Stuttgart, 2018 Benjamin Heidersberger: The Transition from Analog to Digital, Interview by Anika Meier - 24.07.2023


Head Resonance on Bandcamp

Heise-Interview zur Ars Electronica, 2019


Institut Heidersberger gGmbH


Martin Conrads: Interaktiv mit Tastentelefon, TAZ, 29.11.2021


Netzpiloten: We had a dream. Interview with Benjamin Heidersberger, 25.10.2013

Pentatonic Permutations

Ponton Euroean Media Art Lab, saved by Scarabaeus, thanks!

Slobodanka Stupar, Zoom with Van Gogh TV


Tilman Baumgärtel: Bilder wie in einer Zoom-Konferenz, TAZ, 20.4.2020

Tilman Baumgärtel: Heute heisst das Chat, TAZ, 12.9.2014

TV-Projects with Ponton/Van Gogh TV (Karel Dudesek, Benjamin Heidersberger, Mike Hentz, Salvatore Vanasco and a team of designers, hackers, programmers)


Van Gogh TV

Van Gogh TV Press, Piazza virtuale, documenta 1992, (download 100 MB)

Warten. - Das Magazin. Heft 1. Bordan, Dana und Rudi Stört (Hrsg.)

Werkleitz 2000

Wikipedia deutsch

Wikipedia english

Youtube Channel

Zulab Stuttgart

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