Allah's Automata Artifacts of the Arab-Islamic Renaissance (800-1200)

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Edited by: Siegfried Zielinski, ZKM/Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe, Peter Weibel Texts by: Mohammed Abattouy, Ulrich Alertz, Nadia Ambrosetti, Ayhan Aytes, Mona Sanjakdar Chaarani, Claus-Peter Haase, Salim T.S. Al-Hassani, Susanne Rühling, George Saliba, Imad Samir, Peter Weibel, Siegfried Zielinski u.a., Eilhard Wiedemann Graphic Design: Clemens Jahn English 2015, 152 Pages, 80 Ills. Softcover 275mm x 228mm
ISBN: 978-3-7757-4106-4

Centuries before the first automata caused a sensation in Europe, their technology had been developed in Arabic-Islamic cultures: as early as between the ninth and thirteenth centuries, Arabic scholars noted down their knowledge about machines, which they had acquired through the translation and further development of antique texts, in praise of God Almighty. The opulent publication introduces four master manuscripts on the construction of automata: two works by the Banu Musa Ibn-Šhakir from the mid-ninth century, one by the engineer Ibn al-Razzaz al-Jazari written in around 1200, as well as a manuscript by the Andalusian engineer Ahmad ibn Khalaf al-Muradi from the eleventh century.Accompanying essays reconstruct the development of the Muslim automata from the traditions of Alexandria, Rome, or Byzantium from a media-archeological perspective and throw light on their advancement in Europe. Exhibition: ZKM Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe 31.10.2015–28.2.2016PETER WEIBEL (* 1944, Odessa) is an internationally known media and conceptual artist, curator, and art and media theoretician. Since the 1960s his work has firmly regarded artistic creativity as an open-ended field of activity. He was head of the ZKM, Karlsruhe until 2020. Since 2017 he has been director of the Peter Weibel Research Institute for Digital Culture at the Universität für angewandte Kunst in Vienna.