Lynn Hershman Leeson, Glowing Cat, 2014
Digital Archival Print, from The Infinity Engine series
© Lynn Hershman Leeson

HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel) will honor American artist, filmmaker and trailblazer in the use of new media and technologies, Lynn Hershman Leeson, with a large solo exhibition bringing together her latest work on the theme of biotechnological developments. Anti-Bodies is the complete and final version of the prophetic installation, The Infinity Engine, and features new pieces especially created for this showing – all raising current and challenging questions about regenerative medicine, DNA manipulation, genetic engineering, and, most recently, scientific antibody research. Curated by Sabine Himmelsbach, Anti-Bodies includes a Talk with Peter Weibel (May 2), screenings of the artist’s films, and workshops addressing the topics raised in the exhibition.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Preabsence at HeK (Basel, Switzerland)

With “Preabsence”, HeK presents the first solo exhibition of the Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer in Switzerland. The show focuses on works dealing with the complex interrelationship between presence and absence, motifs usually understood as mutually exclusive or opposites, but here presented as echoes of each other within the tangible traces that data, memory and visitor interaction leave behind.

Cameras, tracking systems and biometric techniques have now transformed the public space into a metered matrix where every activity can be registered, stored and analyzed. Lozano-Hemmer makes use of this technology, but instead of tracking for pre-emptive control he uses it for connecting disparate planes of experience. By creating platforms for participation and self-representation he offers critical, playful and poetic installations that seek complicity and that by definition are out of control, ambiguous and indeterminate.

The Worlds They Wanted: Regionale 16 (Basel, Switzerland)

The HeK and 18 other institutions feature contemporary art from the tri-national region. The works shown in «The Worlds They Wanted» investigate and create hybrid spaces and realms, where realities shift. As in Allison’s «Worlds She Wanted» (Philip K. Dick, 1953), the artists create their own dream spaces in which they manipulate, alienate and renegotiate the world we know. Using digital tools, they break through material boundaries and create new spaces for design and action. In these spaces, the works question and shatter the old familiar notions of sound, image, time and movement – or they generate new perspectives on social processes, memories and participation. The exhibition opens up spaces for us to experience these shifted and reconstituted artistic realities.


Jonas Baumann, Vincent Chevillon, YGRG (Dorota Gaweda & Egle Kulbokaite), Evgenij Gottfried, Bettina Grossenbacher, Mike Haefliger, Oleg Kauz, Daniel Kurth, Julia Minnig & Jelena Nikolic, Sebastian Mundwiler, Ariane Koch & Sarina Scheidegger, Michel Winterberg

Lecture by media artist Prof. Dr. Jill Scott (Basel, Switzerland)

Media art and neuroscience have one specific thing in common: They’re both interested in how we perceive the world! Media artist Jill Scott will talk about how media art can change and sharpen our senses by demonstrating media art’s change and development over the past few years. Audio-visual technologies shape the perception of ourselves and have a great influence on art and science. Jill Scott illustrates this influence by talking about how audio-visual technologies evolved: About the non-digital images of our bodies, to political and dualistic notions of body and body art, from postmodern coded body information and digital screen manipulations to virtual characters and object-oriented sensory interaction with the audience.

In her series NEUROMEDIA, Jill Scott combines media art and neurobiological anatomy with neuroscientific studies on our perception of the world. Every piece of art is a sculpture and can be explored in „realtime“ by the visitors. NEUROMEDIA addresses the perception of our bodies today as a metaphor in a cultural context.


“AURALROOTS”, a work from the “NEUROMEDIA SERIES” is currently on display at the Anatomischen Museum at the University of Basel. Before her lecture at HEK, Jill Scott will be present at the museum and explain the piece (2pm-5pm).

HeK – Poetics and Politics of Data (Basel, Switzerland)

The exhibition “Poetics and Politics of Data“ addresses the paradigm of a data-driven society and reflects life in an increasingly datified world. In visionary future scenarios, scientists enthuse over a world in which algorithms take over managing processes, envisioning a highly sensory and datafied space for us to live in, a world in which our desires and activities are anticipated, long before we carry them out. “Big Data“ is the keyword to this new era in which the power of data induces a radical transformation of a society whose actions and production of knowledge rely increasingly on the accumulation and evaluation of data.

“Poetics and Politics of Data” shows artistic works that approach the phenomena of Big Data and data mining, visualizing the continuous bitstream in various ways while referring to the political and social implications that come with a world that is controlled by data – from the processes of self-optimization to economical aspects and questions concerning the use and evaluation of this data. Who has access to our data? In what ways is it possible to extract useful information and find “valuable” and applicable correlations from the immense pool of data?

The exhibition introduces critically subversive approaches and interventions in networked spaces that make use of the potential of a virtual community and reflect personal performance in social networks. It focuses on aspects of surveillance strategies, data mining, privacy, post-privacy and digital autobiography acted out in social networks. Amid the constantly growing, infinite ocean of data, artists question the meaning and position of the individual in a technologically networked society and – thanks to their resistance and sense of independence – offer various alternatives to a normative world of data.

From computer-mediated installations to data visualizations, they address these questions through different media in order to not only generate a new approach to complex data structure, but to create a poetic immersive space of data.