unREAL. The Algorithmic Present
House of Electronic Arts, Basle
– 20 August 2017
Through the Internet, our perception and experience of reality has acquired different levels of complexity – and it is only getting more complex. The House of Electronic Arts in Basel, the Haus der elektronischen Künste, is dedicated to the new complexities of the digital age. With 24 works by international artists, the exhibition “unREAL. The Algorithmic Present” attempts to critically question our digital presence and looks for and explores alternative perspectives.
In the exhibition, the immateriality of the digital is made tangible and can be engaged through all the senses. The “Reflex” sound room by Carsten Nicolai offers visitors an acoustic illusion. The well-known work by the American artist Heather Dewey Hagborg, “Stranger Visions”, disturbingly shows what is possible by decoding found DNA. By decoding DNA traces found in things such as cigarette stubs or hair, picked up in public places, she reconstructs the faces of the owners of the DNA samples. The exhibition also shows works specifically designed for the context, such as the kinetic work “πTon / 2” by the Swiss artist duo Cod.Act or the lighting installation “Untitled – Plato's Cube” by the Chinese artist Wang Yuyang.
The installation projects are complemented by works such as the “TRANSFER Download” project from the Transfer Gallery in New York. A video installation presents a dozen art works dealing with virtual reality, algorithms in video art and the Internet as the basis of the artworks.