Basel - Exhibition

unREAL: The algorithmic present

HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel)

08 Jun 201720 Aug 2017

The exhibition examines the complexity of todays life in which the separation between the digital and real has become obsolete.

Art has always been a medium to test and play with the notion of the real, often tied to a debate related to the body that reflected and commented on reality in haptic works. However, in a world were everything can be easily predicted by means of technology and algorithms, realty has become more complex and increasingly resistant to categorization and assignment of meaning.

The exhibition presents works which share a common discourse of hidden materiality. On show are twenty-four works by international artists, assimilated into a poetic installation and immersive projection, which engages the viewer to new sensory perceptions which make the algorithmic processes of our analog presence visible. By revealing the mechanisms and means of digital processes that constitute our present experiences of reality, the works unified in the exhibition show us a new logic to the real.

Artists such as the Swiss duo Cod.Act with their new kinetic work “?Ton/2”, or Chinese artist Wang Yuyang with “Untitled – Plato’s Cube” have specifically realized their works for this show. The Swiss artist Pe Lang will expand his work series “Modular” three dimensionally into the space and Swiss artist Zahra Poonawala presents her interactive sound installation “The Fool’s Ballad” for the first time. Further, the exhibition displays several significant works by renowned artists, such as Carsten Nicolai’s sound room “REFLEX”, Kerstin Ergenzinger’s “Wanderer”, the “1+N chairs” by Colombian artist Fito Segrera, a small data series by Daniel Canogar. Ralf Baecker presents his installation “Mirage”, a synthetic landscape which is created based on the earth’s changing magnetic field. The computer-generated landscapes and objects by Chinese artist aaajiao are shown, as well as Heather Dewey Hagborg’s work “Stranger Visions”, a piece that investigates DNA traces from public places.

TRANSFER Gallery from New York designed the program of the installation works of the exhibition, from VR, algorithmic generated videos to web-based works.

The group show is a co-production between the HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel) and Chronus Art Center Shanghai. After the presentation at HeK, it will be shown in Shanghai from November 12, 2017 to January 25, 2018.

Admission: CHF 9; concessions CHF 6
Special Opening Hours during Art Basel: Jun 12 – 18, 2017 from 10am to 8pm

Related Artists


Sabine Himmelsbach

Zhang Ga

Special Events

Destination: Basel
Where: HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel)
Type: Opening
Admission: Free

Opening reception

Destination: Basel
Where: HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel)
Type: Talk
Admission: Free

The some of the artists of the exhibition (Ralf Baecker, the Spanish artist Daniel Canogar, the Swiss artist duo Cod.Act, the American artist Heather Dewey Hagborg, the German artist Kerstin Ergenzinger, the Swiss artist Pe Lang, the Swiss artist Zahra Poonawala, the Chinese artist Wang Yuyang and the Colombian artist Fito Segrera.) in conversation with the curators Sabine Himmelsbach and Zhang Ga

Contacts & Details

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Himmelsbach Sabine

T: +41 61 283 6050 M: W: HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel)
Freilager-Platz 9 Münchenstein / Basel , Switzerland