Ingo Günther, born in 1957, grew up in the city of Dortmund, Germany. In the 70s, travels took him to Northern Africa, North and Central America and Asia. He studied Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at Frankfurt University (1977) before he switched to the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1987, where he studied with Schwegler, Uecker and Paik (M.A. 1983). In the same year, he received a stipend from the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf for a residency at P.S.1 in New York. He received a DAAD grant the following year and a Kunstfonds grant in 1987.
Günther's early sculptural works with video led him towards more journalistic oriented projects which he pursued in TV, print, and the art field. Based in New York, he played a crucial role in the evaluation and interpretation of satellite data gathered from political and military crisis zones; the results were distributed internationally through print media and TV news. The goal was to make military and ecological information, that was up to this point inaccessible, known to the public in order to have a direct impact on political processes. On an artistic level, the work with satellite data led to Günther's contribution to documenta 9 (1987), the installation K4 (C31) (Command Control Communication and Intelligence). In the same year, Günther received accreditation as a correspondent of the United Nations in NY.
In his capacity as artist, correspondent and author, he worked extensively with Japanese TV (NHK), covering topics that ranged from media studies to military technology. Since 1989, Günther uses globes as a medium for his artistic and journalistic interests. In 1989, 9 months before the reunification of Germany, he founded the first independent TV station in Eastern Europe Channel X, Leipzig in order to contribute to the establishment of a free media landscape.
The interviews and research the artist did during a several months long journey through the Cambodian refugee camps in Thailand became the basis of a series of articles, which were published in the German newspaper taz. This journey and further travels to refugee camps around the world became the foundation for Günther's concept of the Refugee Republic, on which he has been working ever since.
Ingo Günther has been teaching at the academy of art in Braunschweig (1985) and Münster (1986/87), and at the San Francisco Art Institute (1987). From 1990 to 1994 he has been a professor at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne.
Works by Ingo Günther were shown at: Nationalgalerie Berlin, 1983 and 1985; Venice Biennale, 1984; documenta, Kassel, 1987; P3 Art and Environment, Tokyo, 1990, 1992, 1996 and 1997; Ars Electronica, Linz, 1991; Centro Cultural de Belem, Lisbon, 1995; Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, 1995; and Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1996.
In 1988, he was awarded the Kunstpreis Glockengasse (Cologne) and the Preis des Kulturkreises des Bundes der Deutschen Industrie. In 1996, he received the Stankowski Award and in 1997, the ZKM/Siemens Medienkunstpreis.