Franz John, 2019
born 1960 in Marktleugast; lives and works in Berlin
Franz John (*1960) has been involved with new and old media at the interface between human and machine perception and visualization in association with natural phenomena. His work combines intensive research and scientific analysis with vivid and often tangible and usable installations in public art. In his site-specific art projects the Berlin artist deals with the historical, geological and climatic peculiarities of a region.
He has realized various projects in public art, and has been represented at numerous international individual and group exhibitions, including: in the Exploratorium San Francisco (US), in the Goethe Institute Warsaw (PL), twice at the São Paulo Biennale (BR), at the Skulptur-Biennale Münsterland, at the Ecomedia in the Edith-Russ-Haus in Oldenburg and at Über Lebenskunst in the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (DE). In 2011 he received project funding from the German Federal Cultural Foundation for his artistic scientific work with dye-sensitized solar cells.
The artist, who has been living and working in Berlin since 1980, was guest lecturer at the University of Michigan, the Ohio State University, and the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg. In addition, he has been awarded various scholarships: In 1996 he was Artist in Residence in the Headlands Center for the Arts in San Francisco; in 2007 and 2014 he was a scholar of the Künstlerdorf Schöppingen Foundation, and in 2019 he received the residential scholarship of the ZF Art Foundation in Friedrichshafen.
During his time as artist in residence in Friedrichshafen Franz John has continued his work on his project Ressource Farbe (Color As Resource). For this project, which resides at the interface of art, science and sustainability, the artist is producing site-specific dye-sensitized solar cells from plants typical of the region. He uses these so-called Grätzel cells as energy sources for his sound and light installations. In Friedrichshafen he has made the dye-sensitized solar cells from hops, an ancient cultivated plant of the Lake Constance region.