Ana Ofak Former Research Fellow

Ana Ofak
February 2011 - December 2012


Ana Ofak is a historian of culture and media specialized in visual cultures of the sciences and the arts. She finished her PhD at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar with a thesis on "World-Image-Media. Techniques of Scientific Visualization in the 20th Century". She worked as a research assistant within the project group "Bild-Schrift-Zahl" at the Hermann-von-Helmholtz Center for Cultural Technology at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. In the summer of 2007 and 2008 she was a research fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies at Stanford University and the Collegium Budapest, funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. From 2008 to 2010 she was a PhD fellow at the "History of Media – Media of History" graduate program at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. In the second half of 2010 she worked as a research scholar in the "Cultural Sources of Newness" unit at the Social Science Research Center in Berlin. Since February 2011 she has been a postdoctoral fellow in the "Tools of Drafting" program at the IKKM.

Dated from 2012

IKKM Research Project

»Agents of New Form. Image Practices and Experimental Drafting in the Context of EXAT51«

The work of EXAT51 group (Eksperimentalni atelje, Zagreb, 1951) was highly influential on contemporary art, architecture, graphic and industrial design in southeast Europe. Comparable to other European postwar art movements like Movimento arte concreta in Milan (1948) or the Espace group in Paris (1951) its eight members investigated possibilities for geometric abstraction and synthesis of the arts. Their reference to the historical avant-gardes like Bauhaus and Russian constructivism must not be misunderstood as belated reproduction. Instead it was a visual and epistemic re-examination, with an emphasis on experiments that were intended to induce difference.

The research project examines the interrelation of the group's image practices and experimental drafting. Image practices imply a spectrum of geometric, plastic, media-technological and semantic shaping methods regarding form and space. The image was not just an image, but, according to the rules of synthesis, an expanded assemblage within a project. Therefore, communication strategies connected to the representation of works in texts, exhibitions and the like are to be taken into account as well.

Ascertaining the outstanding status ascribed to experimentation by the group, the project considers drafting to be a non-restrictive, expansive exercise and trial technique concerning the whole field of image practices. As such it was directed toward obtaining new forms. Since the experiment is to be considered in the light of the term "active art," which was re-developed within the group (Vjenceslav Richter, 1952; Ivan Picelj, 1962), one should bear in mind that being experimental meant being industrious rather than aiming for innovation. "Active art" was dedicated to volatility, intervention and being non-conformist in every sense. It is thus not sufficient for the project merely to raise the question of material predispositions of works, as these might be found in the tools and media of drafting. It will hence address the aspects of a volatile mediality of drafting, a mediality in movement that is forced to undergo permanent transformation in order to be able to rearrange potentialities.

Publications (selection)

Edited Books

Rekursionen. Von Faltungen des Wissens (Hg. zus. mit Philipp von Hilgers), München: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2010.
Medien vor den Medien (Hg. zus. mit Friedrich Kittler), München: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2007.


Re. Ästhetik der wiederholten Wiederkehr, in: Lorenz Engell und Bernhard Siegert (Hg.), »Renaissancen«, Archiv für Mediengeschichte 10 (2010).
Störung. Eine Wiederentdeckungsreise. In: Markus Rautzenberg und Andreas Wolfsteiner (Hg.), Hide and Seek. Das Spiel von Transparenz und Opazität, München: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2010.
Weltbilder oder wie man wissen operativ historisiert, in: Ana Ofak und Philipp von Hilgers (Hg.), Rekursionen. Von Faltungen des Wissens, München: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2010.
Where voices and currents flow. Nikola Tesla und Telekommunikation, in: Wladimir Velminski (Hg.), Sendungen. Mediale Konturen zwischen Botschaft und Fernsicht, Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2009.
Where voices and currents flow. Nikola Tesla and telecommunication, in: William Christian, Gábor Klaniczay (Hg.), The Vision Thing. Studying Divine Intervention, Budapest: Preprints des Collegium, 2009.
Holographischer Schein, in: Stefan Rieger und Jens Schröter (Hg.), Holographisches Wissen. Zürich, Berlin: diaphanes, 2009.
Rechnen mit Licht, in: Axel Volmar (Hg.), Zeitkritische Medien, Berlin: Kadmos Verlag, 2009.