Clemens Schöll is a media artist / theorist and software engineer that speaks, writes, curates and browses the internet.

He is chair of Förderverein Palast der Republik e.V., member of THIS IS FAKE and created the Wohnungsbot (36C3 talk, fully automated puppet theatre play). His last show was 0 Virtuelle Realität, 100 Reale Virtualität at Verband Deutscher Bürgschaftsbanken (Berlin, DE). Find him on Instagram (fully automated), Twitter (rarely), GitHub or send an e-mail. Subscribe to his newsletter!

Enjoy the portfolio (or see all works):


Net art, 2022

Installation view, captured from webcam
Installation view at night, captured from webcam
Exhibited at Kunsthalle Zürich
DYOR curated by Nina Roehrs
as part of A Slice of the Pie by Sebastian Schmieg & Silvio Lorusso
along with pizza time! by Ashiq Jahan Khondker from Jonas Lund's Paint Your Pizza

Lecture performance, 30 minutes, 2022

The meaning crisis, the movie "Battleship Potemkin", information theory, Schmidhuber's mathematical theory of aesthetics, post-conceptual art – everything compressed to the question: What is the feeling of "understanding"? And how does this feeling relate to producing and consuming art?

Contemporary (post-conceptual) art often speaks about itself in highly political terms. Claims about its significance towards social change – if not saving society and the world altogether – are made not only in grant applications, but also in opening speeches and documentary texts. Yet, it is hard to observe tangible impact or attributable outcomes.

The lecture performance departs from the example of the Soviet-era movie "Battleship Potemkin" (1925, directed by Sergei Eisenstein) to critically inspect both the interdependence and independence of arts' aesthetical and political ambitions. Through an information-theory driven theory of aesthetics and reception the audience is ultimately thrown back to the very experience of the lecture performance: Did they come to have a systemic insight about their lives and act upon it – or were they just pursuing a momentary feeling of understanding in an artsy environment as a leisure time experience before returning to an unchanged everyday life?


Manche Betrachter:innen der Arbeit mögen enttäuscht sein, da sie in der VR-Brille als Objekt bereits ein technologisches Versprechen sehen, das nicht erfüllt wird. Virtuelle Realität bietet die Arbeit allerdings reichlich: Geldscheine, fiktive Architektur auf Geldscheinen, historisierende Fassadenelemente auf einem Betonneubau, sowie historisierende Fassadenelemente auf Geldscheinen. Gemäß Guy Debords Verständnis in La société du spectacle (Die Gesellschaft des Spektakels) sind viele Elemente, die in früheren Gesellschaften direkt erlebt worden wären, unter modernen Produktionsbedingungen in eine Vorstellung beziehungsweise Repräsentation „entwichen“.3 Die auf den Geldscheinen abgebildeten Architekturen sind wahre Simulakra im Sinne Jean Baudrillards, denn sie gehen der Realität voraus.4

Simulation der Sicht durch die VR-Brille von "0 Virtuelle Realität"
Simulation der Sicht durch die VR-Brille von "100 Virtuelle Realität"
How is today? (Extremely good customer satisfaction)
Laser color print on paper, 30×21cm

Mixed media (series), 2021

This three-part mixed media series departs from a YouTube screenshot from 2019 to reflect on our survey driven 'customer satisfaction' society.

The starting point and first part of the work, subtitled "Extremely good customer satisfaction", is presented as a simple printout from YouTube. Against the background of the video made legendary by the Rickrolling meme floats a pop-up: How is YouTube today? The over-affirmative over-positive answer options make the inconspicuous box emblematic of the evaluation culture. Everything is constantly evaluated (as positive) and in the background, mostly invisible, the evaluations are automatically used for disciplinary (negative) purposes in the same course.

The subsequent parts in the series shifts this priming towards the viewers: the supposedly empathic question "How are you [today]?" becomes both a pressure to feel good and an outsourcing of actual empathic and emotional labor.

How is today? (Extremely good life satisfaction)
Engraved mirror, 60×47cm

The final part is a (real) feedback terminal, positioned seperate from the other parts at the exit of the exhibition without any labeling as an artwork. It closes the circle by subjecting the viewers and the exhibition to the same quantified evaluation principles.

Are you satisfied with today's visit? And what are the implications of your (dis)satisfaction?

How is today? (Extremely good exhibition satisfaction)
Feedback terminal (ready-made) with custom print

The Princess realizes that she must move to Berlin when she visits the exhibition "Vulnerable Subjects" in Leipzig. Fortunately, while looking for an apartment, she meets Kasperle, who introduces her to the Wohnungsbot. But even though the Wohnungsbot has already relieved countless people of the symptoms of rent mania, this mission plunges the Wohnungsbot into a crisis of existence, which not only makes him doubt prevailing narratives of automation.

The stage adaptation of the software "Wohnungsbot" negotiates the possibilities and consequences of the attempt to solve social problems with technical means.

Exhibition view at ZAK Spandau


spoken by
Monika Freinberger (Kasperle, Prinzessin, Krokodil)
Marlene [AWS Polly] (Wohnungsbot)

Daniel Hengst

Copy editing
Christopher Heyder

Art manufacturing
Ortrun Bargholz

"Mietenkrokodil" (rent crocodile) scene

Stage detail: Kasperle and Princess
Stage detail: Princess at HGB Leipzig
Interior structure
Exhibition view (back) at ZAK Spandau
Screenshot of the Wohnungsbot running

Source code available on GitHub

Can you imagine a world, in which your computer finds a flat for you?
Can you imagine a world, in which automation keeps the rent madness away from you?
Can you imagine a world, in which you have a Wohnungsbot?

The Wohnungsbot (appartment-bot) is a fully automated, personalized app to aleviate you from the pain of searching a flat in Berlin.

Download and more information at

Screenshot of the Wohnungsbot writing an application
Installation view, 48 Stunden Neukölln 2019
Installation detail
Kunststopper (art-catcher) in front of the exhibition

This the first work in the cycle Von einem der auszog eine Wohnung in Berlin zu finden. Ein Automatisier­ungs­drama in drei Akten (Of someone who went out to find a flat in Berlin. An automation-drama in three acts) was created for the exhibition Verletzbare Subjekte (Vulnerable subjects) at HGB Leipzig.

Installation view at HGB Galerie / Lichthof, Leipzig
Installation view, close-up

The banner heavily draws on Mladen Stilinović's "An artist who cannot speak English is no artist"1 (1992); translated to the current housing tensionsin Germany, especially Leipzig and Berlin. The slogan on one hand plays the myth on that artists are causing gentrification and are therefore to blame2, while using an odd combination of corporate3 and pseudo-subversive (which really is the new corporate) design language to actually reach the people in the art school.

1 1992, see it among other works in WORDS-SLOGANS [on his website](
2 For an excellent discussion of this issue (and many other housing/gentrification topics, partially specific to Berlin) listen to Andrej Holm in [Alternativlos, Folge 40]( [de].
3 campaign by [dan pearlman Group](, implemented following the [official guidelines](

The second part — less visible at the first glance — is a box hiding a computer, speaker, and a printer. Visible to the outside is only a small slid in the front from which, at irregular intervals apartment listings printed on postcards appear and glide down into the schools patio.

It is driven by a script scouring "a popular apartment listing website", generating the postcards in realtime within seconds of the listing going online. A sound notification is played, urging you to take action.
Now! Time to become a succesful artist!
A printer in a box printing an apartment listing
Apartment listing postcards on the floor in front of the gallery
Languages (audio): English, German (individual choice)
Credits →
<emphasis><lang xml:lang="de-DE">

Was du willst</lang></emphasis> asks the number <emphasis><say-as interpret-as="digits">%s</say-as></emphasis> to approach part 1, station <say-as interpret-as="character">%s</say-as>.<break /> Number <emphasis><say-as interpret-as="digits">%s</say-as></emphasis> please.

This is the last call by <emphasis><lang xml:lang="de-DE">Was du willst</lang></emphasis> for number <emphasis><say-as interpret-as="digits">%s</say-as></emphasis> <break />Please immediately proceed to part 1, station <say-as interpret-as="character">%s</say-as>.<break />Last call for <emphasis><say-as interpret-as="digits">%s</say-as></emphasis>
Please take the virtual reality headset and the headphones from the position marked with the letter <break time="0.1s" /> <say-as interpret-as="character">%s</say-as>.<break/>It's easier if you put on the headset first and then the headphones. Please make yourself comfortable on one of the bean-bags.
Welcome to part 1 of <emphasis><lang xml:lang="de-DE">Was du willst</lang></emphasis><break time="1s" />I am happy to have you here.<break />Please lay down on one of the bean-bags and make yourself comfortable. In the next 5 to 10 minutes I want to expose you to a stimuli reduction.
I would kindly ask you not to take off the headset or the headphones until I ask you to do so.<break time="2s" />I am sure many things have already happened to you on this day. Therefore I would like to invite you to calm down for a moment and ask yourself:
<emphasis>What do you really want?</emphasis>
Hello %s,<break />Part 2 is waiting for you. There will be everything you want.<break />Please take off the headphones and the headset now and put them back to the position marked with the letter <break time="0.1s" /> <say-as interpret-as="character">%s</say-as>.<break/>Don't forget to scan your barcode at the next computer before putting on the other headset.
We're about to start. Take your time to adjust the headset so that it sits comfortably and make sure the earpieces sit tight.

Hello {username}
Welcome to your 3 <phoneme alphabet="ipa" ph="diːː">D</phoneme> world.
Here everything just evolves around you, {username}.

I see you like {0}? No problem. I'm glad actually. I have a lot of that for you.

Glad you like it here. You can stay as long as you wish.
I'm also a big fan of {0}. We're a good match, {username}!
You don't like {0}? I'm sorry for that. But I'll find something else for you, don't worry. Out there I have hundreds of objects just waiting to amaze you.
Look, here comes {0}. It's also {1} - you do like that {username}, don't you?
This is something that would suit you: {0}
You can't get enough {username}. But don't worry, it will go on forever.
A world full of {0} just for {username}. That would be quite something, no?
Do you also ask yourself, why there are so many weapons here? Weird, isn't it? Somehow humans seem to like that.


!<amazon:breath duration="long" volume="x-loud"/>Please return to the center!

You don't need to move, everything you want will come to you.

The central question of "What do you really want?", as posed by the system itself, is examined at three levels:
First, if immersion is a desirable state, is it to be achieved by overwhelming every sense? VR supposedly does so and tries to leave no room for distraction. Or should one pursue immersion through the mental capacity of entering a 'flow' state or even meditation, thus reducing external stimuli?
Second, adaptive digital environments cater our psychological structures and needs ever better. These systems have reached a point - such as a game automatically adjusting its difficulty to the player - where they represent a more wantable life than our society can offer for many.
Third, digital recommendation systems claim to 'know' what you want through technological means of data-observation. VR is inherently based on tracking. This data in combination with statistical tools is used to create a questionable 'understanding' of us.
These approaches are contrasted in the three parts of the experience. In the end the question maybe isn’t what you want, but what 'wanting' means in the age of surveillance capitalism and adaptive virtual environments.

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Installation with five channel audio (German/English, 9:07, loop), 2018
Directional speakers allow local hearing of a single interview while inviting to wander through the tangle of sound
I've asked 35 very diverse people the following three questions:

Why do you write code?

How does it affect you, that you write code?

How does it affect others, that you write code?

The installation tries to find a way to make their answers accessible, as well as questioning itself and the meaning/relevance of the questions.
The floor is spacially labeled to allow navigating through the directional audio tangle.
It is also one of many measures to show that there was an opinionated curatorial process determing which fragments have been selected or how they were grouped.

Labels on the floor below the directional speakers

Front: A list of questions on infinite paper / Back: the research office as part of the installation

A very long (although not infinite) list of questions I've posed myself during the process of preparing, conducting, and editing the interviews, as well as the installation itself - printed on continous form paper.


Ist die Frage "Warum schreibst du Code?" zu oberflächlich?

Sind die Fragen zu generisch um Menschen in einen wirklichen Reflexionsprozess zu lenken? Also sind am Ende vielleicht die Art und Formulierung mehr für die (mangelnden) Antworten verantwortlich als die (mangelnde) Reflektion der Antwortenden?

Wie beinflusst es die Interviewees in ihren Antworten je nach dem ob sie mich eher als Informatik-Student oder als Kunst-Student wahrnehmen?

Wie stark beeinflusst der persönliche Vertrautheitsgrad die Antworten?

Wie viel geht durch die Verwendung des convenience samples an möglichen Antworten / Bandbreite / Aussagen verloren?


As far as available, transcripts of the interviews were available to be read and studied. They present an unfiltered, uncurated, alternative (original) naration - which is more "authentic" but also very protractedand and thus harder to digest.

Full interview transcripts were available for viewers to engage further and do their own research

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Performance, 2017

In this perfomance I put myself in the exhibition space for the opening wearing a custom-built eye tracker which showed in real-time where my gaze was directed, observable on screens attached to my augmented body.

During the opening speech by the president Thomas Locher, view from behind [credit: Micha Dykta]

Minujín's "MINUCODEs" (1968) Minujín's "MINUCODEs" (1968)

Installation view at HGB Galerie
Generative online photography, 2017

Nominated for HGB Studienpreis 2017

When viewing the website, the viewer is prompted to choose a moment. It is stored on the device and is retained indefinitely. All future actions start from this moment, it "belongs" to the viewer.

At this very moment, one of the servers performing this work retrieves images from 24 randomly selected webcams. The webcams are located in the 24 time zones of the earth, one per time zone. The database contains between 60 and 100 active webcams.

The results are presented as a triptych (responsively, so on small devices they are stacked vertically). For each image, 3 to 7 layers are superimposed. The actual composition changes with every call of the page and can be forced with the "reload" button.

Thus, every moment that is fixed in its temporal dimension encompasses an immeasurably large number of combinations of its visual archiving. Several forms of time are negotiated: local (time zones, refresh and transfer rates), technical (webcam aesthetics) and historical (the moment in general — but especially internet — development, where it is [still] possible to access a large number of single-frame based webcams worldwide).
The work is presented as a URL plot applied to the wall

View from outside into the exhibition hall

Participants experiment games within the installation

Same view, but as seen in VR

Short documentary video (1:37, no audio)

Participants experiment games within the installation

Same view, but as seen in VR

'24 Apr 27
(DE) Berlin
0 Virtuelle Realität, 100 Reale Virtualität @ Verband Deutscher Bürgschaftsbanken

Artist lecture

'23 Jul 21-23
(DE) Berlin
Rundgang 2023 @ UdK
'23 Jul 01 -     Aug 05
(DE) Berlin
The revolution will not be automated @ Art Claims Impulse
'23 Apr 29
(DE) Berlin

with w/ union

'23 Apr 03-19
(XX) Online
The cropped image @ mkv instagram
'22 Nov 01 -     Dec 31
(XX) ×
'22 Oct 20-30
& Of someone who went forth to find a flat in Berlin. An automation-drama in three acts — Speedrun edit
(DE) Dresden
'22 Jul 28-29
& Of someone who went forth to find a flat in Berlin. An automation-drama in three acts — Speedrun edit
(DE) Berlin
Save changes @ Ballhaus Ost
'22 Jul 11
How to disappear completely
(DE) Hamburg
Screenschots! @ Zeisekino
'22 Jun 23
Of someone who went forth to find a flat in Berlin. An automation-drama in three acts — Speedrun edit
(DE) Kassel
Lensbased Variety show and tell @ temporary home at documenta fifteen
'22 Feb 23 -     Apr 25
Of someone who went forth to find a flat in Berlin. An automation-drama in three acts — Speedrun edit
(FR) Paris

with The Wrong

'21 Nov 01 - '22 Mar 01
How to disappear completely
(XX) Online
New Bodies New Spaces @ The Wrong biennial pavilion
'21 Oct 31 -     Dec 05
(DE) Kressbronn
Vierstimmig: UND±ODER @ Galerie in der Lände
'21 Oct 08
Of someone who went forth to find a flat in Berlin. An automation-drama in three acts — Speedrun edit
(FR) Paris

IRL & online stream

'21 May 13-16
(DE) Düsseldorf

as curator, together with Daniel Hengst

'21 May 08 -     Jun 05
Of someone who went forth to find a flat in Berlin. An automation-drama in three acts — Speedrun edit
(XX) Online
'21 Apr 22-25
(DE) Zeitz

as curator, together with Daniel Hengst

'20 Dec 05-13
Of someone who went forth to find a flat in Berlin. An automation-drama in three acts — Speedrun edit
(CN) Shanghai
Never lock a running grid @ West Bund Art Center
'20 Jan 17 -     Aug 02
(DE) Berlin

group show curated by Peggy Buth, Ralf F. Hartmann, Friederike Kröbel, Jens-Ole Rey

'19 Dec 30
Von einem der auszog eine Wohnung in Berlin zu finden. Ein Automatisierungsdrama in drei Akten
(DE) Leipzig

lecture — day 4, hall Clarke, 13:30

'19 Jul 13
(DE) Gelsenkirchen

Creative _ Places end of residency group show, part of Szeniale festival

'19 Apr 25 -     May 12
(DE) Leipzig
Unstable Settings @ Halle 14 - Untergeschoss

THIS IS FAKE group show

'19 Apr 04
(UK) Cambridge
Ethics in Mathematics (EiM2) @ Cambridge University


'18 Dec 30
(DE) Leipzig

lecture, self-organized session

'18 Sep 01-30
(CH) Sarnen

show with Rüdiger Schöll

'18 Jul 03-21
(DE) Leipzig

solo show, pre-diploma

'18 Apr 20 -     May 09
(DE) Gera
Overton Window @ Haeselburg

class show (Peggy Buth / Christin Lahr)

'18 Feb 15-18
(DE) Leipzig
Filmprogramm Rundgang 2018 @ HGB

curated film program

'17 Dec 13 - '18 Jan 20
(DE) Leipzig
ID — Cultural Memory in the Present @ HGB Galerie

group show curated by Clemens von Wedemeyer / Alba d'Urbano / Peggy Buth

'17 Dec 02 - '18 Jan 18
(HU) Budapest

group show + award exhibition, as a non-competing guest

'17 Nov 11-12
(DE) Dresden

award exhibition - won annual theme BIG DADA

'17 Nov 10 -     Dec 01
(DE) Berlin

group show, participating as part of THIS IS FAKE + participation in film screening

'17 Nov 09 -     Dec 02
(DE) Leipzig
Studienpreis 2017 @ HGB Galerie

award exhibition - nominee

'17 Nov 04-05
(DE) Berlin

solo show as part of THIS IS FAKE

'17 Feb 09-12
(DE) Leipzig
Rundgang 2017 @ HGB

group project, as part of media art class of 2016

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