Ulf Langheinrich (1960, Wolfen, Germany) is a visual artist and composer. His work is mainly concerned with non-narrative environments and performances focusing on a specific approach to time, space and body. Since 2016 he is the Artistic Director of the International Festival for computer based art CynetArt in Dresden, Germany. After studying industrial design he conducted audio-experiments using pipe organs, harmoniums and multiple tape machine environments as well as engaging mainly in drawing. He left East Germany in 1984 for West Germany, where he started to develop the basics of his language in painting, photography and electronic music. In 1988 he moved to Vienna pursuing his activities in his studio in the WUK (Werkstätten und Kulturhaus) which resulted to an exhibition and the publication of a catalogue of his artworks. In 1991 in Vienna, he co-founded with Austrian artist Kurt Hentschläger the duo GRANULAR-SYNTHESIS. Their name refers to the technique of „granular synthesis“, they apply to both sound and image, creating a new audiovisual language. In more than a decade they created monumental multimedia installations and performances such as AREAL (1997–2004), FELD (2000), MODELL 5 (1994–2007), NOISEGATE (1998) or the latest POL (1998–2008). Figurative or abstract, immersive and monumental, sometimes interactive, their works were conceived in a theatrical approach and marked a new step in the aesthetic of perception. They toured worldwide in the most prestigious spaces and festivals.
Several compilations of GRANULAR-SYNTHESIS works have been released on DVDs and they received the first prize of the International Biennial in Nagoya in 1995 as well as stipendiums in Austria and the USA. Ulf Langheinrich has been producing a new series of large scale solo projects, among others PERM -an interactive abstract film created for the EVE Interactive Cinema system designed by Pr Jeffrey Shaw (2005), HEMISPHERE (2006), designed for a hemispheric screen (2006) or LAND, a stereoscopic installation commissioned by Liverpool Biennial 2008. His works were shown at various festivals and museums in Europe, Asia, North America and Australia.
Featured artist of the Ars Electronica Festival in 2005, he received a stipendium from Siemens for the creation of his installation WAVEFORM B. The same year, he directed his first full-length film DRIFT in full HD, commissioned by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. His longstanding interest in combining classical music with electronic music and HD images, led him to compose the score of SINKEN in 1998 -with GRANULAR-SYNTHESIS- for symphonic orchestra and electronic in Dangerous Visions, commissioned and performed by Orchestre National de Lille and New Music French group Art Zoyd. Since this first live experiment, other similar creations followed including MINUS (still with GRANULAR-SYNTHESIS, 2002), and later under his own name, SYNTONY for the Festival d’Art Lyrique of Aix-en-Provence (2005), DRIFT LIVE (2006) again for Wien Modern and KU for TONLAGEN Festival for contemporary music in Dresden in 2010. Many of his works were also created in collaboration with various artists, mostly as models, using a part of their body, as American singer/performer Diamanda Galas was for GRANULAR-SYNTHESIS‘ work POL (1998), performer Michael Ashcroft for the duo’s pieces WE WANT GOD NOW (1995), AREAL (1997) and FORM (2000). Japanese dancer Akemi Takeya -her face- was also the model of GRANULAR-SYNTHESIS masterpiece MODELL 5 (1995) and short piece SWEETHEARTS (1996). Ulf Langheinrich collaborated again with her later, when she asked him to design the audiovisual environment on her two body performances CE_1 and Weathering in 2005–2006. Other collaborations include the series of performances and installations MOVEMENT A (2008), MOVEMENT B (for the opening of the Hong Kong City University School of Creative Media in 2011), MOVEMENT X and MOVEMENT Y (2010) with Japanese dancer Toshiko Oiwa and MOVEMENT C (2012) and MOVEMENT Z (2014) with Chinese dancer Luo Yuebing. He also worked on the music and sound design of the performance „N“ for French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj in 2004 and co-directed the short film SPINTEX with British artist Gina Czarnecki in Ghana in 2008. In 2015 he created the images and collaborated to the lighting design of the opera SOLARIS by Dai Fujikura and Saburo Teshigawara, after Stanislas Lem’s novel, premiered at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and toured at Lille Opera and Lausanne Opera. As composer, he released the CD DEGREES OF AMNESIA (Asphodel Records). In 2013 was published the DVD Visionaries 21: The Aesthetic Of Sensory, featuring his solo works from 2002–2010.
Over the last years, besides his artistic activities, Ulf Langheinrich has been appointed to teach in the most prestigious high schools in Europe (HGB University for Graphics and Book Design, Leipzig, FH Salzburg and Le Fresnoy, Studio national des arts contemporains in Tourcoing), as well as in Australia (RMIT in Melbourne) and China (Hong Kong City University School of Creative Media and China University of Art in Hangzhou). Between 2016 and 2020 he was appointed Artistic Director of the festival CynetArt, based in Dresden.
The Video work XXX from 2010 is shown at the exhibition MIND OVER MATTER for the very first time.